Jonas PR
Sydney Scott
Dec, 05, 2017

Since the announcement came down that it was in the works, Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Lion King has everyone talking.

The film’s cast was recently made public and features Donald Glover and Beyoncé as Nala and Simba with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa and Chiwetel Ejiofor undertaking the role of Scar.

JD McCrary, a star on the rise, is tasked with bringing young Simba to life. ESSENCE spoke to McCrary to find out more about the 10-year-old who is taking on an iconic role in animation.

Here are five things we learned about the young star.

1. McCrary appeared on Childish Gambino's "Terrified" and NBC's Little Big Shots before landing the role of Young Simba. You can see a clip of McCrary's Little Big Shots performance on YouTube. McCrary is set to appear in The Paynes, a spin-off of Tyler Perry's House of Payne

2. The 10-year-old received wonderful advice from Pharrell Williams, something many of us can use. "He [Williams] told me to stay how I am, follow my own path, and a lot of just, great motivational things."

3. McCrary says the best part of filming the upcoming live-action movie was meeting everyone and getting the opportunity to work on a Disney film. He adds that filming with VR was pretty cool too because it felt like "I was in pride rock."

4. The actor is a big fan of video games, specifically, Injustice 2. McCrary also adds that if he could play any video game or comic book character in a movie it would be Blue Beetle. 

5. And, McCrary, who shares videos of covers on YouTube, is working on an album of his own. The debut is still in its early stages, but, hopefully, fans will get to hear something next year.