With Aladdin cracking the half a billion-dollar mark when it comes to box office sales, the new adaptation will go down as an unqualified success for Disney Studios.
A large of that is down to its appealing cast, which includes Will Smith as the Genie, Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud in the titular role and British actress and singer Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.
Speaking to The National from the Jordanian capital, Amman, Scott sheds light on why she took the role as the Princess of Agrabah.
When you accepted the opportunity to be Princess Jasmine in this remake, you were specific about making her character a strong woman. Can you tell us more about that?
I was really specific about humanising her and giving her a narrative and her own journey. For me, watching the original movie growing up, she was one of my favourite Disney princesses, and I felt empowered when I watched her, but I think there's always room to progress those themes and make her even more ambitious. What's really great about this version and this adaptation is that she wants to lead, and she really is the leader. She really is a politician. The way that she deals with situations and challenges shows that.
Did any powerful women influence you in particular when portraying her new Jasmine?
I truly am inspired by women from all parts of the world; women I’ve met for five minutes and women that I’ve known since I was a kid. I wanted Jasmine to feel like she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. I wanted it to feel like she had an adventurous spirit, and the royalty and the duty and the context of which she’s in, that’s not actually who she is. And I think that’s true for any person who has that title. That is a part of who they are, but that doesn’t just purely define them.
The key song in the new Aladdin is the emotional Speechless. Was it a challenge to nail that song?
I was singing in character, which is always a different challenge. I wanted it the song to feel connected and in the moment, and that's why we actually did a lot of the singing it live to camera. The reason I really wanted to do that is because I wanted it to feel like what she was going through in that moment. I really like that we were able to add that layer to it.
You posted a video on YouTube back in 2013 about your trip to Dubai where you performed a private concert. How was that trip?
Absolutely. Yeah, my Auntie works in Dubai, and she is an incredibly successful businesswoman. Yeah, it was wonderful to go out there, and it was such an amazing experience, so who knows? I would definitely love to go back.