J.D. McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph dish on bringing 'The Lion King' to life

The stars who play young Simba and Nala in the new film open up about what fans can expect and more.
3:00 | 07/19/19

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Transcript for J.D. McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph dish on bringing 'The Lion King' to life
There is so much excitement over the release of "The lion king" finally in theaters everywhere today. Y will have to see it with your daughter? She's waiting and should be here now because we have the young powerhouse stars of the new movie, J.D. Mccrary and shahadi Wright Joseph who play young simba and nala. Welcome them out. To be king Hi. Hello again. Hi. Nice to see you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Welcome. Love the kicks first of all. Let's start there. Oh, yes. All right. Were those a birthday present because I hear you just celebrated a big birthday if well, I did, yesterday. That was my birthday but these are not a birthday present in fact. How did you celebrate the birthday. I got a lot of sweets, a lot. It was T much. Every interview we did yesterday, they were like, here's a cupcake. We got cupcakes coming? I know. No more. Sorry. But if you just turned, what, old. This had been out a decade. 13 years. You were still a fan -- I've bulls an fan. So what did you think when you got this role? Oh, I was just so shocked. I was -- I was like out of my one of the biggest roles and it's such an honor just to be a part of a Disney movie in general. Being one of my favorites, "Lion king" and being simba is a huge blessing. You are simba. Seems weird to say, you are You played nala. You are 14. This wasn't your first time playing her. You played her -- back on Broadway when you were just 9 Yes, yes. So what was it like to find out you were cast for this role this time around. Well, it was just amazing. It was so exciting. I mean, grew up watching "The lion king" and that was like one of my favorite movies growing up and I think that that is kind of what inspired me to act so that was really exciting. And I think that it feels really good making a full circle coming back to it. And the director Jon Favreau said when it came to casting this part there was no one else. He had you in mind for nala. What was it like to find out you're the only, the number one? It feels really great. I feel truly blessed and thank to you Jon Favreau. You know, he's like a really good director. No competition. Nala for a long time, though. Isn't that something. Yeah. We're seeing this but you've been nala for the past five years of your life. We do have a clip we do want to show. I know the movie is out. We'll give you a little tease. Oh I just can't wait to be king You have rather a long way to go, young master. If you think -- no one saying do this no one saying be there no one saying stop that no one saying see here Now, see here. Free to run around all day Well, that's definitely out. Free to do it all my way Okay. Our audience didn't see it but you all were still dancing to this song that I know both of you have performed a lot but you especially because you've been nala since 2014. Yeah. I mean how many times have you all performed that song? Like three times. Yeahing like three times together. Oh. Yeah, yeah. People have asked us to sing it. We've suggest it a few time. To cupcakes and we're not going to ask you to sing. Doing things differently around here this morning. Donald glover who plays the adult simba, the grown simba gave you some acting advice. You two actually performed together at the grammys. Yes, we did. Gave you advice. What was it. It was just to be myself and to act naturally. Don't change for any role even if you're being someone else, just keep your own flavor on it. That is good advice. Keep your own flavor. So you guys got this huge honor to share this credit with Beyonce. Yes. Yes. Can't believe it. Can't wait to see her in this as what was it like to -- when you first met her, for the first time, what did she say to you. Well, I was trying not to freak out too much. I think that I kept it kind of calm just for her. But I said hi and then she said hi and then -- Good start. Good start. And then she was like, you're my nala, right and I was like, yeah, I can be anything you want me to be. So she was like -- and so she hugged me and it was so great. She smells like summer. And she was like do you want to take a picture and I was like, yes. And so we took some photos and I found it on Getty images the next morning and it was just really exciting. That's your Instagram profile obviously. Yes. Guy, we are so happy for you. Thank you for coming. Congratulations, we told you "The lion king" is in theaters everywhere right now and coming

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