Mena Massoud, who used to have difficulty getting a job because of his Arab face, has also played the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. In a short film project. It’s called Americanistan. However, his name really skyrocketed after being announced as the actor of Aladdin by Disney.
Disney considers the actor who also plays in the series adaptation of the Jack Ryan novel as suitable for Aladdin. His cute Middle Eastern face, plus his athletic body due to his fitness routine, is considered to fulfill the character of the charming street thief who falls in love with Princess Jasmine.
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Meanwhile, the election of Naomi Scott as Mena Massoud’s own opponent had sparked controversy. Many Aladdin fans have protested. Because the Ranger Pink actor in the film Power Rangers (2017) is not of Middle Eastern descent, but of Indian descent. Born in London, England.
However, Disney did not budge. The 26-year-old actress is still considered the most worthy to be Jasmine. Moreover, there are some fans who provide a defense: That the princess from the Kingdom of Agrabah is an Indian. Not Arabic.
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Judging from her track record, Naomi Scott, in fact, has a pretty good acting quality. Although most of his films are not blockbusters, he is always a total performer. The wife of footballer Jordan Spence has played in the Life Bites series. And the television movie Lemonade Mouth.
In addition, Naomi Scott has also played the character of a scientist named Ryoko. In the Golden Globes winning film: The Martian (2015). Which, unfortunately, during the editing process, the scene was omitted. As a result, his appearance in the film, in the end, can only be seen in the extended version.
One of the main considerations for Disney in choosing Naomi Scott is her vocal skills. The girl who grew up in the priest’s family is indeed steeped in the art of spiritual singing. And play the piano. Since childhood.
In fact, until now, Naomi Scott has released two music albums. His work is known to be soulful and has deep lyrics. According to him, music must have a soul and a purpose. And connected to his beliefs.
Besides Naomi Scott, a similar controversy was also sparked by the selection of Will Smith as a Genie. Many fans think he will not be able to compete with the late Robin Williams. Who used to voice the Blue Jin in the animated film version of the original Aladdin. Which was released in 1992.
Playing a Genie is not easy. Robin Williams used to be very successful in his voice. In fact, the silly blue genie character gets more side projects than the Aladdin character himself. In addition, reportedly, Disney will also make a special spin-off film Genie!
However, Disney’s choice, in the end, did fall into the hands of Will Smith. Apart from being funny, the actor who is already half a century old is also good at singing. In accordance with the terms set by Disney. Before fame as a movie star, Will Smith did start his career as a musician.