At ten-years-old, JayDon “JD” McCrary is already an accomplished actor, singer, and dancer. Having been seen on some of Disney and Nickelodeon’s favorite tv shows, this young up-and-coming entertainer is setting the bar higher and higher on his rise to the top.

McCrary’s interest in entertainment began at a young age with a love for listening to Michael Jackson. At the age of three, he began testing his own vocal skills by singing his ABC’s in different pitches, quickly excelling in vocal prowess. As he got older, McCrary continuing to diversify his interest through not only vocal training but acting and dance lessons as well. To date, this talented young man’s credits include Disney’s K.C. Undercover, Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, Vital Signs, produced by Paul Hunter/Dr. Dre, among others.


Recently, McCarary has signed on to play the young Simba in the long awaited live-action remake of the animated movie, The Lion King alongside Donald Glover, Beyonce, Seth Rogen, John Oliver, among others. 

Recently, McCarary sat down with Complex Magazine to talk about his upcoming role in The Lion King and more. Check out an excerpt of what he had to say below.

How did you find out you got the part for The Lion King?

My mom told me. And a few days later, we went straight to the studio and we started recording

How was the audition process?

It was a self tape, because I was in Atlanta at the time shooting [The Paynes]. Luckily, we had a week off so I went back to LA to go to the studio.

Have you always been into acting/singing?

I’ve been singing since I was about two-years-old and dancing since I was three.

What does The Lion King mean to you?

It means a lot! It shows a lot of [different] things. Simba becoming a man, into a King. It’s a movie that relates to life.

Obviously, you start the story as young Simba and your friend Donald Glover gets to finish the film as adult Simba. What was it like working with him again?

It was very nice! He’s very cool.

Have you seen him during the process of recording The Lion King?

Not yet, I haven’t seen all the special guests [laughs].

So if you meet Beyonce, what are you going to say?

I’m going to say… “It’s a pleasure to meet you!” because she’s like the greatest singer of all time.

What other things are you excited about when it comes to The Lion King?

Going to the premiere, and seeing it on screen. I haven’t seen everything, because they are still in the process of recording.

To read the remainder of McCaray’s interview with Complex, click here. And while we are in The Lion King mood, check out this bonus video about Danny Glover’s and Spiderman: Homecoming. 

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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