If you’re not already familiar with JD McCrary, well, you’re in for a treat! At just 11 years old, the star has already made history by becoming the youngest male solo artist ever (yes, ever!) to be signed to Hollywood Records. Plus, he is voicing the character of Young Simba in the upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King premiering in July 2019 alongside the oh-so-iconic Beyoncé and Donald Glover. But that’s not all! He also played Isaac in Little alongside Marsai Martin. Yep, he’s totally killing it. And lucky for us, we got to chat with the star all about his current roles and so much more. Check it out!

J-14: What was the audition process like for The Lion King? How did you get the role?

JD McCrary: It was interesting. I was in Atlanta shooting and did a self tape, I got a callback, then another callback and then was able to come back to LA to be in the room with the producers, and then I found out. And I’m thankful they picked me.

J-14: Where were you when you found out you got it? How did you react?

JD: I was at home in my room and my parents asked me to come in the living room. I was thinking, “What did I do?” And then my mom said you are Simba — I was like “What?!” I jumped around yelling, my mom cried and we stood in a circle and prayed to thank God!

J-14: Did you feel any pressure playing such an iconic role?

JD: No, I didn’t feel any pressure, but knowing what this movie is going to be and who I am in it… I just felt excited and proud to be Young Simba.

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Nick Spanos

J-14: What was it like working with the other cast members?

JD: The characters I worked with were so fun and super funny and made me feel so welcomed.

J-14: You also starred in a couple episodes of Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover when you were younger! What was that like?

That was so cool. Zendaya just took me under her wing and gave me so many hugs and embraced me as a little brother. It made the set like home. She was all smiles and fun.

J-14: Tell us about your new movie Little!

JD: Little was so fun — working on set with such nice kids was different from other sets and working with Marsai who is an executive producer at 14. She’s so funny and cool. One of my greatest [memories] is playing UNO on break and on lunch in each others trailers.

JD McCrary little movie simba lion king
Nick Spanos

J-14: What was the inspiration behind the songs on your new EP?

JD: Shine is about me just wanting to share one of my gifts with the world and just letting it “shine!”

J-14: If you could collaborate with any music artist, who would it be?

JD: Beyonce and J. Cole that would be a dream come true for me!

J-14: What kinds of artists are you into right now?

JD: Chris Brown, Kehlani, J. Cole and Beyonce, of course.

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