Jonah Hauer-King Was Too Swole For ‘Little Mermaid’

in Disney, Movies

Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid 2023

Credit: Disney

Actors make a lot of effort when preparing for their roles. However, sometimes they can go too far. Take, for example, Jonah Hauer-King, who almost became too muscular to play Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid (2023).

halle bailey and jonah hauer-king as ariel and eric in the little mermaid 2023
Credit: Disney

A resounding success, the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has brought a ton of star power to the story of Princess Ariel. This includes Halle Bailey as the titular mermaid, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the sea witch, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.

However, one of the surprising standouts has been Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric. A largely quiet and uninteresting character in the original film, Eric has much more to do in the remake. Not only does he get his own song from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, but he has a much deeper backstory that emotionally connects the prince with Ariel.

While he didn’t have to do the same amount of work as others who had to be mermaids, Hauer-King still had to go through a training regiment to look like a man of the sea. However, after multiple production delays, Jonah went from sailor to superhero.

‘Little Mermaid’ Director Rob Marshall Wanted “A Strong Sailor Boy,” Not The Hulk

Hale Bailey as Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid 2023
Credit: Disney

Related: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Remake Officially Beats the Original

In an interview with Insider, film and television trainer Sana Shirvani revealed how her training regiment almost got Jonah Hauer-King too beefy, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic delayed production and extended the amount of time the actors would be working out.

“It was a standard bodybuilding program, so we would do, for example, back and biceps, chest and triceps. We would focus solely on getting a little bit of strength, a little bit of size into his body.”

Shirvani continued, “We got him to that point, and then obviously, if he continued training in that capacity, he was only going to get bigger and bigger. I remember the director [Rob Marshall] coming up to me and saying, ‘We are not after the Incredible Hulk, we want a strong sailor boy.'”

Ariel (R) and Eric (L) in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Related: The Hardest Scene to Shoot in ‘The Little Mermaid’ Is Its Most Iconic

The note does make sense. After all, someone who goes sailing every day will have a different physique than one of the most gigantic muscular characters ever conceived. Sana Shirvani changed the regiment, reducing Hauer-King’s training and changing his diet to one focusing on protein with a calorie surplus.

In the wake of these adjustments, Shirvani had nothing but praise for Jonah’s hard work and commitment. “He was so, so dedicated. His professionalism was so good that he just said yes to everything I threw his way.”

Who is your favorite Disney prince? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Comments Off on Jonah Hauer-King Was Too Swole For ‘Little Mermaid’