Mena Massoud: “Aladdin Is a Good Soul”

The “Aladdin” filmmakers wanted fresh faces for the roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmin. So the two newcomers Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott got their chance.

For the role of Aladdin they wanted someone with a charming and unpretentious character, someone the audience could identify with, who could sing and dance, and who was able to perform the many stunts the role demanded. Mena Massoud was ultimately cast as the eponymous hero. He was on the set of the TV series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” when he got the good news that he’d been awarded the role – just three weeks before shooting began. The actor, who was born in Egypt and grew up in Toronto, felt attracted to the role for several reasons: “The director Guy Ritchie wanted to put together the film in a very real, tangible, fantastic way without losing sight of the friendships and development of the main characters,” says Massoud. “Aladdin is a good soul. He is very selfless and usually helps other people. When he falls in love, he gets a little thrown off-balance and turns into a person he is not. But he is a good boy with good intentions, with kind-hearted people around him to help him get back to where he belongs.” Londoner Naomi Scott (“Power Rangers”), British singer and actress of South Asian heritage, always felt attracted to Jasmin and was thrilled to bring the princess to life on the big screen: “Jasmine in my eyes is tough and independent. She is a leader who seeks connection with the people of her kingdom and wants to treat them well,” says Scott. “She doesn’t just fight to get her own way – she stands up for the common good, fights to make other people’s lives better. Her ambitions are higher, she has the kingdom as a whole in mind, and she strives for the welfare of the people.”

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