For Disney, she is Jasmine, a rebellious and strong-willed princess, but for Netflix, she is the protagonist of a noir-tinged affair. In life, however, she is super-quiet, in love (forever) with her husband.
The world is hers. Perhaps this phrase will remind you of the refrain from a famous Disney cartoon – Aladdin – but it is also the most apt phrase to describe the fast rise in the star system of Naomi Scott, 29.
Born in London to an English father and Ugandan mother – both pastors at the Bridge Church in Redbridge – but with Indian ancestors who bequeathed her a beautifully amber complexion, the actress is living her moment of glory.
Thanks to her parents' profession, Naomi Scott grew up 'singing in church. I grew up with gospel music from a young age,' she told the Huffington Post in March 2017. Her passion for music, therefore, preceded her passion for acting: before launching her acting career, she released two EPs, Invisible Division (2014) and Promises (2016).
Naomi Scott's love for music
When she writes a song, 'the words shape the ideas and I feel fulfilled. I love being in the studio recording, diving into emotions and turning them into music,' the (in this case) singer revealed.
But if we talk about happiness, 'then there is nothing comparable to live concerts. The audience giving you back something intimate and private like a song you created and singing it back to you at the top of your lungs… That return, that energy: there is nothing better'.
The same goes for the theatre: 'The stage is a special place. On the set you can make mistakes even five times. On stage you only get one chance. But if it goes well…', and those ellipses say it all.
The best time to write his songs is at night, when 'I have too many things floating around in my head. Maybe they don't blossom into anything but I have to get up and get them down. No iPhone, just pen and paper. The few times I haven't done it I've regretted it: flown away forever'.
Naomi Scott's career
After starting her career in music, Naomi Scott slowly moved into acting. "Her interest in film developed later, accompanied mainly by her love of football," she said, "to which she contributed a film that is a true manifesto of female pride and sporting redemption".
The film she is talking about is a classic: Dreaming of Beckham. "When I saw that film, I felt like it spoke directly to me. I was an Indian girl in England who wanted to play football. It was only later that I realised I had more talent in acting".
The actress' first major role was in a TV series, Life Bites, in 2009, before moving on to the Disney TV movie Lemonade Mouth, a teen movie that follows in the footsteps of High School Musical.
Naomi Scott, Princess Jasmine from Aladdin
After starring in the TV series Terra Nova, in 2017 she played Kimberly Hart in the film Power Rangers. In 2019, however, the turning point in her life takes place. And here the claim "The world is hers" returns again, because the actress gets the lead role in the live-action remake of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie. Naomi Scott is the strong-willed and beautiful Princess Jasmine.
In the film, Will Smith plays the Genie, who had the power to grant three wishes to anyone who possessed the magic lamp. "To have worked with Will Smith", for her, was the biggest thrill. "Every time I meet him it feels surreal. He is unique. My brother is a big fan of his, I brought them together."
Like everyone else, she grew up with Disney animated films: 'Aladdin has always been one of my favourites. It is a story full of action, comedy, magic and love. It is overwhelming to say the least. An incredible world'.
As she said, it was "a real honour for her to be able to interpret the songs of one of the Disney Princesses I love most and with whom I identify most. Jasmine, like me, is an independent, ironic and tenacious girl'.
The Aladdin soundtrack
The Aladdin soundtrack was composed by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken. The film features new versions of original songs written by Menken and several Oscar winners: lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Guy Ritchie, director of the film, entrusted her with Speechless, the unreleased song of the live action, a true feminist anthem. Jasmine, in fact, complains of having to suffer the decisions of Jafar or the Sultan, and wants to take flight freely and independently.
Naomi Scott and Charlie's Angel
That same year, Naomi Scott made another 'hit': she got the role of one of the three leading ladies in Charlie's Angels. Alongside her are Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska.
And she loves those gorgeous girls, 'the ultimate spies. Mum watched the original and loved Farrah Fawcett with that crazy hair that wouldn't move even on a boat in the wind. I had the film with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu in my heart'.
And she dreamed of being Dylan/Drew, the 'supercool badass. I grew up with American action movies, when I played with my brother I was always a CIA agent or a spy'.
For her, it was an honour to play Charlie's Angels "for a new generation, a fresh film, with a woman at the helm, two colleagues whom I respect, in the role of a character who is by no means perfect, a nerd who aspires to become a spy".
With her colleagues 'there was a lot of collaboration. Kristen Stewart is so funny, she's hilarious, Ella Balinska is impressive in how agile and athletic she is. I was in total awe'.
For her, being a Charlie's Angels means 'wanting to make the world a better place'.
An American franchise has certainly not made her forget her Indian roots, which are deeply rooted in her. "I had an Indian nanny who used to tell me Hindi fairy tales. They all had a moral, it was my favourite time of day," she explained.
"I feel proudly British to the bone but at the same time I'm also something else. I often talk about it with friends. Ours is a world of second generations raised in a multicultural society."
That is why he loves his country so much, 'because of this hybrid atmosphere. Growing up, I felt like reconnecting with those other parts of me. It is an interesting process, in the search for my identity. My husband is British of Jamaican descent and he understands me perfectly. I love my city, London, unconditionally'. In fact, she has never considered 'moving to Los Angeles'.
Even when it comes to food he has an obvious duality: 'My two favourite dishes reflect the two parts of me. Roast with potatoes which is quintessentially English and my mother's dahl with aubergine curry. I am very proud of the goose I made at Christmas, with lots of spices, the first one not burnt after countless attempts'.
Naomi Scott, the films of 2022
This year, Naomi Scott appeared in the Netflix series Anatomy of a Scandal, based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Vaughan. The series, created by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson, stars Sienna Miller and Michelle Dockery.
The plot: James Whitehouse (actor Rupert Friend) is a charming Member of Parliament married to Sophie (actress Sienna Miller), his college sweetheart and devoted mother and wife. It would seem a perfect relationship, and it is, until he enters into an extramarital affair with his young colleague Olivia Lytton (our own Naomi Scott). At some point, his mistress accuses him of rape, and his castle of lies begins to crumble.
Naomi Scott, face of Chloé
In addition to music and film, there is also the world of beauty for Naomi Scott: the actress was chosen to be the face of the fragrance Chloé Nomade Eau de Parfum Naturale, a vegan and 100% natural Eau de Parfum with no artificial colourings.
"I have very sensitive skin," said the British actress, "and the new Chloé fragrance is vegan and made with 100 per cent naturally derived aromas. With naturally derived alcohol and water. Something I can wear knowing that there is nothing toxic for my skin'.
Naomi Scott's daily routine
And when she's not on set or on magazine covers? On the street she says she gets 'a lot of strange looks from children. In their eyes I read confusion because in my daily life I am not glamorous at all but comfortable. They stare at me and go from 'This one looks familiar' to puzzled looks like 'How is it possible that Princess Jasmine is walking around without her tiger? And who stole her pretty clothes?".
Sometimes a little girl approaches her to tell her that Jasmine "is her heroine, that she loves my songs. It also happens with 30-year-old girls, they tell me they saw the film with their boyfriends. It's nice to realise that, although in the context of a Disney film, there was a connection between women, that Jasmine made her mark because she is independent, rebellious, the true leader of the couple'.
Naomi Scott's private life
Yes, let's talk about another couple, the one she forms in life with Jordan Spence, since 2010 a footballer who now plays for Ipswich Town and since 2014 her husband.
And here Naomi Scott is no longer a Disney heroine, but a romantic: 'I always dreamed of marrying him. I was very young, I was only 21, but he's a really amazing man." Jasmine has found her prince.
Written by Michael Zippo
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