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‘Aladdin’: Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad’s New Character

Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where she played Kimberly, the Pink Ranger. Next, fans will see her as Elena in “Charlie’s Angels.” But for now, Scott is only focused on “Aladdin.”

“We’re all just so ready for this movie to come out; it’s been two years,” Scott told Variety on the purple carpet at the film’s premiere. “There was so much joy and love and thought that went into this movie and hopefully that translates on screen.”

Playing a role like Princess Jasmine is already a pretty big task, but the actress had another challenge with Jasmine’s brand-new song “Speechless.” The legendary Alan Menken, who composed the music for both the original film and the remake, wrote the new tune with the award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” and “La La Land” scribes Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

“Together we really crafted something. I think that raised the bar for the entire movie,” Menken said, noting that the new song was just one of the ways the reboot hopes to change the perception of a Disney princess.

“She is a Disney princess, but she’s more than that. She’s a three-dimensional flesh and blood young woman who wants to be heard and respected,” Menken explained. “And the song is about her. It’s a statement, saying ‘I feel like I’m being drowned and I will not be drowned. I will be heard.’”

Another difference from the 1992 version is that Jasmine is not the lone woman in this story, with “Saturday Night Live” alum Nasim Pedrad portraying a new supporting character named Dalia, the princess’ handmaiden. After the actresses collided while doing interviews on the carpet, Scott gushed about her new partner in crime.

“[Nasim] brought so much more to the character than anyone could’ve ever imagined. And Jasmine needed a female energy and someone she clearly was close to and had that kind of relationship with,” she said. “We wanted that to translate on screen – the fact that we actually love each other.”

Scott’s next role is also fueled by powerful female energy when she teams up with Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska as the new “Charlie’s Angels”.

“The incredible Elizabeth Banks, who literally is the perfect person to [direct] this movie. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Scott said about the project, which hits theaters in November.

Of having the opportunity to play these two powerful women back to back, she shared: “I feel very blessed.”

“Aladdin” is in theaters now.

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