Wise girl is finally here! Leah Jeffries is set to play Annabeth Chase in the Disney+ series for Percy Jackson. So, who exactly is Leah?

Leah, 14, is a child actress known for her portrayal as Idris Elba‘s daughter in Beast, along with her role as Lola in EmpireRel and PawParazzi. She’s been in the acting world since she was 5 years old, starting with a few local commercials, until landing her role in Empire in 2015.

Her casting as Annabeth Chase was announced in May 2022, along with the announcement of the casting of Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. Additionally, it was announced that Walker Scobell will be playing the titular character back in April 2022. Now that the iconic trio has finally been casted, fans of the book series could not be more excited!

The show is based on the highly popular five-book series written by award-winning author Rick Riordan, following 12-year-old Percy Jackson after he discovers he is the son of a Greek god, opening an entirely new world of mythology, sword-fighting, friends — and summer camp. The book series was originally published in 2005 and has gone through one attempt at screen adaptation in 2010 and 2013, which starred Logan Lerman as the titular star.

The Disney+ series will be co-written by Riordan as well this time around, who also helped with the casting process. Unfortunately, when Leah was first announced as Annabeth, she faced racist backlash which Riordan had to address on his official website.

“The response to the casting of Leah has been overwhelmingly positive and joyous, as it should be. Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be,” he began.

He continued, “You are judging her appropriateness for this role solely and exclusively on how she looks. She is a Black girl playing someone who was described in the books as white. Friends, that is racism.”

“I have been clear, as the author, that I was looking for the best actors to inhabit and bring to life the personalities of these characters, and that physical appearance was secondary for me. We did that,” his statement concluded. “We took a year to do this process thoroughly and find the best of the best. This trio is the best. Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase.”

We’re so excited to see Leah play our favorite daughter of Athena! Scroll through our gallery to find out more about the young actress set to play Annabeth Chase. 

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.