Who is playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid Live!? And who is Prince Eric?
The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! has a star-studded cast and the two leads are played by Graham Phillips and Auli’i Cravalho. Some may know Phillips from the hit TV show Riverdale, while Cravalho has lent her vocals to Moana.
Read on below for a rundown on each of the actors.
Cravalho, who is playing Ariel, revealed that she actually got advice from the original Ariel, Jodi Benson. Cravalho told People, “I’ve spoken to Jodi and she’s an absolute dream. I actually met her a few years ago at D23, which is a wonderful Disney convention, and I remember her just telling me — and this is before, of course, anything about me playing Ariel — she said that Ariel had changed her life and I should ‘buckle up, buttercup’ because everything is about to change and about to be so magical and amazing.”
Even though Cravalho wasn’t born when the original movie The Little Mermaid first came out, she said that it had a great effect on her. In an interview with Collider, Cravalho said, “I absolutely loved the film. I think I watched it on a VCR. I don’t remember exactly when I watched it, but I do remember that it definitely shaped me. I grew up in Hawaii, so I was constantly pretending to be a mermaid. I think, once or twice, my mother might have scolded me for using a dinglehopper, or a fork, to brush my hair. She affected me, in many, many ways, throughout my childhood.”
When it comes to have Cravalho got into entertainment, she told Variety that she always has loved to sing and dance but she never thought having a career in entertainment was possible.
Graham Phillips played the role of Zach on The Good Wife and he is also known for being on the hit show Riverdale. But, a live production is a different animal. One would think that it would be nerve-wracking to perform in front of a live audience, but Phillips told Playbill, “My first love was theatre. So I’ve always felt more comfortable on stage than I have in front of the camera. Even though Little Mermaid is in front of a camera, it’s live, so there’s no room for pussyfooting around. You really have to commit.”
Phillips continued to talk about how much nerves actually affect him and he said to Entertainment Tonight, “I don’t feel too nervous. I started out my career doing opera, Broadway and stuff, so it feels kinda like a homecoming … The thing I’m most nervous about is his hair. I mean, it’s tough ’cause he’s royalty, so he’s got to have the coif. But he’s also a sailor, he’s the nautical prince, so it’s a really tough balance to make. Thankfully, we’ve got a good team, but it takes a long time.”