Ben Barnes is Prince Caspian

As recently as February 2007 Ben Barnes was your typical struggling actor trying to make his way in London’s theatre district. Then Walt Disney Pictures cast him in the title role of the second film in their Narnia series and Barnes will forever be known as Prince Caspian.

Disney and Walden were looking for a particular type of actor, said Oren Aviv, president for production at Walt Disney Studios. The role called for dark features to contrast with William Moseley, the blond-haired actor who portrays Peter Pevensie, the oldest of the children who magically journey to Narnia. He needed to be able to pull off a believable Mediterranean accent. Horse-riding skills were important.

“We also needed somebody we felt could handle the pressure of going from obscurity to stardom,” Mr. Aviv said.

Fame is not likely to be fleeting either as Barnes will be needed in the third film in the Narnia series which features the Prince Caspian character. Read more about Barnes’ rise to fame at the NY Times.

For great coverage of all Narnia films don’t forget to visit Narnia Web. The World Premier was last night, but Narnia: Prince Caspian hits the theaters in the US May 16th.