The much-anticipated adaptation of Disney’s 1992 Aladdin has finally hit theatre screens and to everyone’s surprise, Ritchie has brought in a new character played by Saturday Night Live’s Nasim Pedrad. Princess Jasmine, played by British actor Naomi Scott, now has a handmaiden named Dalia. While many were initially sceptical about the remake needing an additional character, many have now welcomed the character and agree that she brings a new dynamic to Jasmine’s character.
On the purple carpet at the film’s premiere, Scott took the opportunity to highlight the importance of Pedrad’s character as she spoke to Variety. “[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.”
Dalia is that one person in the live-action film that Jasmine confides in most. Unlike in the the 1992 animated version, the adaptation gives viewers an insight into what really happens behinds the scenes, in terms of Jasmine’s feelings for Aladdin, the person she is and why being Sultan is so important to her.
Pedrad, 37, while speaking to EW highlighted how she identifies with the film and character. “I can’t even tell you the amount of full circle moments relating to me being in this movie. I’m Iranian-American and so for me, growing up a child, there weren’t many portrayals of Middle Eastern cultures in Hollywood at the time so to see that in the animated version as an Iranian-American girl and identify with it was hugely impactful,” she said. What also came as a surprise to audiences is Dalia’s part in a new storyline for Genie as his love interest! Scott, 26, is already on to her next project in which she will be playing alongside Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska in the new Charlie’s Angels.