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PostHeaderIcon Lion King’s Young Simba Judah Bellamy in Broadway

Judah Bellamy who plays young Simba in the Broadway production of “The Lion King,” in front of the Minskoff Theatre in Times Square, Manhattan.

Judah Bellamy in Lion King Broadway

Judah Bellamy in Lion King Broadway

When Judah was 6, he announced he would play Simba one day on Broadway. With Judah’s father, Bellamy being a writer in Baltimore, and his mother a day care provider, the dream was brushed off as a childish fantasy.

The Bellamys were so profoundly impacted by the rich African culture embedded in the show that Bernita played “The Lion King songs” to her belly in 1999 when she was pregnant with her first born, Judah Bellamy—who now plays Simba on Broadway.

“None of us can sing. It is just not a part of our make up. I’d probably be less surprised if they told me he could move objects with his mind,” his father said. But not only could Judah sing, he also memorized the entire “The Lion King” script by age 5. He then moved on to memorizing the Danish and German versions. His father could no longer ignore Judah’s wish when he turned 9, and began taking him to “Lion King” auditions.

Judah Roars in Lion King

Judah Roars in Lion King

Without ever taking a single singing or acting lesson, Judah left for his trip to New York. As a 4’3” 9-year-old, he walked into the large auditioning room, getting lost among 50 Simba hopefuls who were at least 3 inches taller than him. To the judges’ surprise, the most regal, resounding voice bustled from the little body. But it was more than the voice that captured the directors’ attention; it was Judah’s passion for ” The Lion King” scenes, his striking familiarity and natural ease with the script, and his compelling bearing as Simba. There was one small problem. He was too short for the role. Over the next two years, Judah was invited to audition five times. Although he was rejected each time, Judah held firmly to his dream.

“I’m going back to get it, at no time did I think I wasn’t going to get it,” he said. He got the auspicious phone call at age 11. Although his dream finally came to fruition, strangely, at such a young age, Judah’s excitement did not affect his rationale. “I ate dinner… I went to bed, because, you know, I wouldn’t really do anything until a month later,” Judah said.

Judah’s first four weeks on Broadway consisted strictly of trainings, with zero break days. But that did not stop Judah from being “a big ball of energy,” his father recalled.

Even today, at age 13, “The Lion King” is still Judah’s favorite movie. He continues to sing “Into the Night” in the shower, which happens to be his favorite scene—where Simba meets his father’s spirit in the starry sky.

Judah aspires to be a screenwriter, director, and film actor after his Simba days are over. He recently completed an independent film with Jono Oliver, an award-winning director. The film, called “Home,” is about the complex relationship between a mentally ill father and his young son. The director was originally looking for younger actors for the role of the son, but out of an array of actors, Judah was chosen for his “nuance” in the difficult role, his father said.

Although Judah has had a string of luck in his acting career, in his father’s eyes, the most important thing Judah has learned is having compassion and love for others.

Read the complete story {Via TheEpochTimes.com}

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