Film & TV

'The Little Mermaid's Jonah Hauer-King on Playing Prince Eric and Changes from the Original Film

The actor also opens up about what makes a perfect Disney Prince.

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Since The Little Mermaid hit theaters, fans have taken to social media to express how they feel about the live-action remake as well as the actors’ portrayals of their characters. Naturally, one character fans can’t stop talking about is Prince Eric, who is played by Jonah Hauer-King. The British actor opened up about his role, including his take on portraying such an iconic Disney character as well as changes from the original 1989 film.

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for The Little Mermaid.

If you’ve watched both films, you may have noticed there is much more to Prince Eric in the new version, which was crucial. “A big part of what Rob [Marshall] said to me from the beginning was that we need to have an Eric who is layered and complex and someone we understand as a human being, not just as a prince archetype,” Hauer-King told Deadline in a new interview. “And I think when we meet him, he is quite lost. He knows that there’s something out there that he wants. And I think him being saved by this mystery girl is a catalyst for that. It sparks this journey in him wanting to break free from the four walls of the castle.”

When it comes to being the perfect Disney Prince, King has qualities that he believes fit the protocol. He added, “For me, the perfect Disney Prince has all the qualities that I think we’ve grown up knowing and the more traditional things like being a strong, charismatic person, but also one who hasn’t got it all worked out and is sensitive and empathetic and compassionate and curious and humble, as well.”

The Little Mermaid is currently playing in theaters.

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