Harry Styles reportedly doesn’t want to be part of ‘The Little Mermaid’s world. Simon Cowell – who launched Harry’s career on ‘The X-Factor’ – EXCLUSIVELY tells us if he thinks another 1D member should play Prince Eric.
From the moment that Halle Bailey, 19, was cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, fans have been pleading for Harry Styles, 25, to play Prince Eric. So, the outrage from Directioners was HUGE when he reportedly “respectfully declined” the offer to play the part. What does Simon Cowell, 59, the X-Factor creator and man credited for bringing One Direction together, think about this career decision? “You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. I don’t think I have ever seen the movie,” Simon said to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY ahead of the America’s Got Talent quarterfinal tapings on Aug. 13.
“I said that if it was The Jungle Book and he turned down Baloo or Shere Khan or Bagheera I would have said big mistake! That film [The Little Mermaid], I don’t know enough about!” Simon told HollywoodLife. As for the possibility of one of Harry’s One Direction bandmates – Niall Horan, 25, Zayn Malik, 26, Liam Payne, 25, or Louis Tomlinson, 27 – should step in, Simon is on the fence. “You would have to ask them, they have always made their own decisions,” he tells HollywoodLife.
In fairness, the almost-60-year-old Simon was probably not watching Disney movies in the late 1980s, which would explain why he hasn’t seen the flick. It also seems his son, Eric Cowell, 5, hasn’t forced his dad to watch The Little Mermaid a couple dozen times. Maybe Eric is more into Ninja Turtles?
Simon does have a point. Despite being the male romantic lead in the 1989 original, Prince Eric doesn’t have a huge part. Sebastian has more memorable scenes and songs, and he’s a crab. It’s a shame that Harry reportedly “declined” the role because an insider told HollywoodLife that when he “screen-tested” with Halle, their chemistry was off the charts. “They clicked,” the source said. “Harry loves the whole team that’s being assembled. He thinks Halle’s incredibly talented and thinks she’s a brilliant choice for Ariel.” Harry is also a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has written a few new songs for the movie.
“People are taking him seriously as an actor since Dunkirk, and he’s been getting called in for a lot of projects. He’s a hot commodity in Hollywood,” the source added. Obviously, especially judging by how many fans wanted to see him “kiss the girl” in The Little Mermaid. Perhaps someone should see if Ed Sheeran is free?