Sat | Aug 24, 2019

Oliver eyes Sebastian role in ‘The Little Mermaid’

Published:Tuesday | July 16, 2019 | 12:34 AMRoshea Masters/Gleaner Writer
Oliver Samuels is interested in playing the role of Sebastian the crab in Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’.
Oliver Samuels is interested in playing the role of Sebastian the crab in Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’.

Unsure if Disney Channel has already cast the role of Sebastian the crab in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, Oliver Samuels is hopeful that he will be considered. The Jamaican ‘King of Comedy’ said that if he is selected to play the role of Sebastian, it could allow the world to see not just Jamaica but the entire Caribbean in a new light.

“If Disney is smart, they will give me the role. I have got a call from a friend who says he’s trying to find somebody with connections to Disney; however, my whole outlook is that if I am to get it, they’ll find me. I’m right here in Jamdown,” Samuels said.

“Jamaica is saturated with talent, no question about it. It would be a delight for me to get the role and to not only just rebrand Jamaica but the Caribbean on a whole because I speak on the behalf of the whole Caribbean,” he added.

After Disney announced earlier this year that they would be casting international actor and singer Halle Bailey as Ariel in the movie, thousands of fans worldwide took to social-media platforms to make suggestions about who the famous television channel should cast in the other roles.

Jamaicans, not wanting to miss out on the action, made a few suggestions of their own. One such suggestion was for the ‘King of Comedy’ to play the role of Sebastian, with some calling the would-be character ‘Olisebastian’ or ‘Olibastian’.

Honoured and elated that his fans would even make such a suggestion, with the help of his grandson, Samuels took to Instagram in a 41-second video to make a plea to Disney Channel to allow him to add “real Caribbean flair” to the show. In the video, Samuels even went as far as to sing the famous Under the Sea song, which was sung by Sebastian the crab in the 1989 animated movie.

Grandson GOT involved

“It was my grandson who heard the news that Disney would be doing a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and ... he thought I would be a perfect Sebastian. I’m not so savvy on the social-media thing, so he was the one who encouraged me to do the video.

After I did the video and sent it to him, he was the one who posted it and has been managing the post so far,” Samuels said.

So far, the video has been making the rounds on various social-media platforms, with more than 6,000 views on the original Instagram post. Fans flooded the comment section of the post, tagging the official Instagram accounts for Disney Channel and The Little Mermaid.

Samuels believes that him getting the role of Sebastian would act as encouragement for youths in the business.

“I would not be the first person to receive a big role like this, but honestly, this one would be massive, so it would only go in helping to encourage young minds in forging ahead,” he said.