Real-Life Actors for Ariel and Eric Spark Dating Rumors

in Disney, Movies

Jonah Hauer-King and Halle Bailey at The Little Mermaid press event

Credit: Disney, @jallethinker on Twitter

There are a lot of rumors floating around — just before the anticipated Disney remake dives head first into opening week.

Sebastian from the live action The Little Mermaid in Under The Sea played by Daveed Diggs
Credit: Disney

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During the previous year’s D23 Expo, The Walt Disney Company first showcased the official trailer for The Little Mermaid (2023), granting Disney fans their first look at Halle Bailey’s interpretation of Ariel. The forthcoming film is a fresh take on the cherished 1989 Disney Renaissance masterpiece, which, in turn, was inspired by the original Hans Christian Andersen fable. Jodi Benson famously portrayed King Triton’s (Kenneth Mars) youngest daughter Ariel, a red-haired mermaid who surrenders her voice to the Sea Witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) in exchange for a chance to find her true love, Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes), on land.

Littler Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Disney’s new The Little Mermaid live-action reboot

The Little Mermaid remake is directed by Rob Marshall, aiming to provide a fresh and distinct perspective on the classic tale and film. The movie’s cast is packed with big names, including Melissa McCarthy in the role of Ursula, the Sea Witch who sings about “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle the seagull, and Halle Bailey as Ariel. Furthermore, the film will feature new compositions by Alan Menken, the original composer of the 1989 movie, aided by Lin Manuel Miranda (taking over from the late Howard Ashman’s role), the creator and star of the musical Hamilton, who has previously contributed to Disney’s blockbuster productions such as Moana (2016) and Encanto (2022).

melissa mccarthy as ursula in ‘the little mermaid’
Credit: Disney

Related: “Black Little Mermaid” Discussion Prompts Comparison to “14 Year Old Pocahontas”

The “real-life” Little Mermaid couple that everyone’s talking about

Despite the controversy surrounding Halle Bailey being the first Black actress to play Ariel, she has received enthusiastic reviews for her performance in the role. But it’s not just her stellar portrayal of Ariel that is getting fans talking.

'The Little Mermaid' Movie Moments
Credit: Inside the Magic

It doesn’t really matter that previous Ariel actress Jodi Benson refuses to give Halle Bailey any advice — as Bailey definitely has a good eye for talent — and is especially aware of who jives well with her portrayal of Ariel.

Recently, Halle Bailey along with her co-star, Jonah Hauer-King who plays Prince Eric in the upcoming Disney film, have been involved with the press tour leading up to the debut of The Little Mermaid in theaters come May 26, 2023. Performing outside of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Anaheim, California’s Disneyland Park, and appearing at press events and doing interviews has brought the close relationship of Bailey and Hauer-King into the spotlight. As the official Little Mermaid Twitter account shared:

🎶Watch and you’ll see…🎶 Halle Bailey’s iconic performance of #PartOfYourWorld at @Disneyland!

Fans have begun to “ship” (short for “relationship”) the two co-leads of The Little Mermaid, some even starting to use a portmanteau of their names, “Jalle” to refer to the duo — think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s “Brangelina”. Members of the public such as @jallethinker have been particularly excited about this real-life couple, with their tweet about the two actors’ recent confession about their meeting during the casting process going viral — collecting an impressive near-40K likes at the time of writing.

the little mermaid live action
Credit: Disney

@jallethinker alludes to their relationship, calling it “impressive” how Halle Bailey simply knew that Jonah Hauer-King was destined to be her Prince Eric, exclaiming “SHE CHOSE HIM”, and stating that “fate made it” happen. They then go on to describe how Bailey went to visit Hauer-King’s trailer to congratulate him on a job well done, saying she “looked forward to seeing him again” — showing how she already knew that he’d fit the role perfectly. The user explains that they aren’t “crazy” to be pairing them together in the following tweet, sharing a clip of both Jonah Hauer-King and Halle Bailey talking about that fateful moment:

The most impressive thing about them and all is that SHE CHOSE HIM.
Fate made it. She just went to his trailer to say that he did a good job and that she looked forward to seeing him again. And suddenly days later he’s her prince.

(cont.) I’m not that crazy, and you can look for the video on The Little Mermaid’s account and you’ll see him saying that days after the audition, Rob called him and said the role was his

Others like @Lorem_Ipsum_Est chimed in, adding fuel to the fire, in a way. Allegedly, Bailey has been rumored to have split from her partner, rapper DDG — and that information is being highlighted as something that “can’t be a coincidence”:

@Lorem_Ipsum_Est: Can’t be a coincidence

Pop Tingz: Halle Baile and E-list rapper DDG are rumored to have broken up.

Meanwhile, users like @mmdisney200 are highlighting adorable moments between the two — like when Hauer-King enthusiastically runs up to Bailey, whereupon they hug and hold hands — also garnering almost 30K likes (at the time of writing):

The way he runs up to her 🥹 (teary eyed emoji) #thelittlemermaid

@ComplexCut also shares how it appears that the “universe is sending the messages” that Bailey and Hauer-King are/should be together, and how “every critic writes that they need more romantic movies together”, as they are “spellbinding to watch”. They also reference Bailey’s boyfriend DDG (sarcastically dubbed “SUV” here), and how he “went insane online” after being called “E-list”:

Honestly, I truly believe the universe is sending the messages. And every critic writes that they need more romantic movies together as a team because their chemistry is spellbinding to watch. I think SUV saw this in real-time and that’s when he cracked and went insane online.


What is this in reference to? Well, apparently the fact that DDG did not take being called “E-list” well, releasing a string of comments on his Twitter after the fact, about being called “E-list” — as well as several nonsensical videos and tweets as the phrase started trending.

As long as Bailey herself has not come forward to lay any rumors to rest, we can probably assume that she is not really in a relationship with her Prince Eric co-star, Hauer-King. Either way, it appears that the internet (and fans) will continue to speculate, and also probably “ship” the two together.

But what do you think about The Little Mermaid actors for Ariel and Eric potentially dating in real-life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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