Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections.
“I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” says actress Maureen Van Zandt (“The Sopranos,” “Lilyhammer”). “Eric is royalty and loves to sail and handle working class duties on the boat. Harry is pop royalty, but he’s really a boy from a working class background, and I’m sure, like The Beatles, he’d never let go of that. And, let’s face it, he’s gorgeous – as a fairy tale prince should be.”
Here are a few more reasons why Styles would rock the role:
He can really act: When Styles auditioned for the role of Alex in Christopher Nolan’s drama, “Dunkirk,” the director didn’t know much about his background. But Styles “truly earned a seat at the table” in his big screen debut about the evacuation of Allied soldiers in Dunkirk, France, in 1940. “He fit the part wonderfully,” Nolan said.
He wears his vulnerability on his sleeve: Even though he is 6-feet tall, Styles has a sweet shyness about him, with a puppy dog quality that just begs for a quick seaside rescue from the film’s little mermaid, Halle Bailey. That shy side will certainly come through during the film’s “Kiss the Girl” scene, when Prince Eric takes the voiceless Ariel out for a moonlit ride in a boat on the water. Bonus: Styles already has the pretend-drowning thing down, due to his previous experience in Nolan’s war drama.
Vocal chops? Check: Here is where Styles has the edge over his competition. While Prince Eric does not have any songs in the animated film version, there are two songs from the Broadway play tailor made for Styles’ soft, dreamlike vocals. One particular scene, in which Prince Eric guides Ariel through a romantic ballroom dance to the song “One Step Closer,” will have fans swooning. Doubters should also listen to the romantic ballad, “Her Voice,” another place where Styles’ leading man good-looks and charm is sure to enchant. Plus, with Lin Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) producing the soundtrack, who’s to say there won’t be a new dreamy pop ballad for Styles to knock right out of the park.
It’s in the eyes – and ink: While some “Mermaid” fans may nitpick Styles’ lack of blue eyes, his green eyes are mesmerizing enough to attract Ariel’s attention and hypnotize Ursula, the evil Sea Witch. Plus: Styles has a tattoo of a mermaid on his arm.
He looks – and acts – the part: Beyond Styles’ chiseled cheekbones and boyish good looks, which embody the physical, what-makes-him-beautiful screen presence of the young royal, consummate gentleman, Styles is about as close as you get to a real-life prince charming these days.