Disney’s live action Aladdin directed by Sherlock Holmes helmer Guy Ritchie is coming and casting is underway with Will Smith in talks to play the Genie made famous by the late Robin Williams. Jade Thrilwall is also the top pick to play Princess Jasmine. The big question now is who will play the lead role of Aladdin? Upcoming and coming actor Armani Salado has been putting his name out there and social media has picked up on it, even getting multiple auditions for the role.
Armani takes a minute of his time to interview with Skyler from Disney Film Facts enjoy.
DFF: You have been petitioning for the role of Aladdin for quite some time now. When did you first hear about the live action Aladdin? and what inspired you to petition for such a classic role?
Armani: Yes I have been petitioning for awhile now. I remember seeing back in 2015 that Disney was possibly developing a live action Aladdin movie. My first thought was ‘no way! I need to get in on this.’
Acting has always been my love and devotion and seeing such an iconic character being rumored to be made into live action story telling motivated me to no ends. Friends and family were so supportive when I told them and they immediately started blasting my images on social media- then out of nowhere it was October of 2016 when I offically saw/heard that Aladdin was actually being made live action. That’s when things started to amp up. I was getting messages worldwide from Aladdin fans telling me I’m perfect for the role and it really humbled me to have such a strong fan base for a character I wasn’t even playing (yet ;). )
DFF: How did the audition process go?
Armani: In February of 2017, after 2 years an months of casually posting stuff about Aladdin and getting lots of recognition for it, the casting directors sent out the first round of auditions.
I was in LA at the time at another audition when my agent at the time texted me and was like “guess what” and for some reason I already knew. I was so excited and shocked and things were moving so fast. Within that week I had my first audition. I was so nervous and excited and thrilled.
I can’t speak on what the audition was but I can tell you that it was an amazing opportunity and something I’ve been hoping and fighting for!!
DFF: Have you met with or spoke with anyone from the company or production?
Armani: In the early stages I was in constant communication with a casting associate from One of the casting directors office. But as of now I let my rep(manager) handle all the communication.
DFF: Is there any actresses out there that you think would make a great Jasmine?
Armani: It’s such a peculiar idea to box in who I think should play Jasmine. I’m sure who they cast as Jasmine, and if they cast me, we’ll have good chemistry. I’m easy to get along with and in a professional environment whoever is cast will make a noteable performance nonetheless. But if I had to pick, in the last couple of days I saw a lot of buzz about Jade Thirlwall as a candidate. I’m not familiar with her music but if Disney is looking at her for Jasmine then I trust their judgment 100%.
If not her then I know whoever they cast as Jasmine would be a grand spectacle to the public eye.
DFF: Who or what inspires you to keep pushing as passionately as you do?
Armani: As a kid I grew up in a martial arts school- Monday through Sunday. Right after school till close during the school year, and from 7am to 10pm during the summer and breaks and holidays.
Within the walls of that school my will to never give up was strengthened. Coming from a close knit family, we were raised to fight for and achieve any goal we set in our mind. Along with my martial arts training which was both physical and mental, and my families love and wisdom, I grew up with a mindset of never settling. Doors only open if you open them. And sometimes it takes pushing to open a door that’s heavy and sometimes it doesn’t budge. That’s why I train and get all the knowledge I can in this industry so when i meet a door that seems to not want to budge, I’m strong enough to push through it and open it at the end. Luckily I have a strong supportive system; both friends and family. They know how bad I want this, not only Aladdin, but acting in general. It’s a quenching thirst that’s never satisfied and it’s something I plan to do for the rest of my life if God allows it.
DFF: Pitch yourself, Why should Disney chose you for the role of Aladdin?
Armani: Disney is all about underdog stories and never giving up to achieve your dreams or goals and always making the best out of a situation. Disney should pick me for Aladdin cause I’m a prime example of not giving up and fighting to achieve my dreams.
In 2015, when I first posted about Aladdin, I didn’t give up once people stopped showing interest in my post, I kept going and persevered through the hard times of doubt.
I know I can portray Aladdin how the studio and fans want him to be and with all the support I’m getting worldwide I think it would be safe to say that fans DO want me as Aladdin and I’m ready to deliver a performance of a lifetime.
Everything I do I do with all my heart and I give it 110% percent. I’ve climbed my way to get to where I’m at and Disney has a proven track record of making dreams come true- Disney, make a young actor who looks, sounds, and has the support from fans globally, to be Aladdin, come true.
DFF: Lastly what is your favorite Disney films?
Armani: I think my favorite Disney movie is Mulan. I see Mulan as the female Aladdin. As Aladdin is seen as a mere street rat with nothing to offer, and Mulan is seen only as a woman with nothing to offer but service to her husband and family. Both characters break their social boundaries and conquer what truly makes them great; Mulan shows she’s just as good as any other man while Aladdin proves even a street rat is of noble praise. Mulan tackles every aspect of what it means to be a strong woman and I grew up with two older sisters, and it’s made me appreciate the movie even more.
Alsooooooooooo the soundtrack is one of my favorites and since I’m a martial arts, you KNOW I was always doing the martial arts moves during the movie when I was a kid.
Now that I’m older and when I watch it alone, I just sing to the songs and stretch.
I want to add this:
I haven’t seen any other male actor get as much attention and praise as a solid/best choice for Aladdin. If I get casted, it would be to all the people who tweeted and talked about me as Aladdin for all these months. If I don’t get casted, it’s only a door that was closed, and I just will have to keep pushing and opening other doors along the way.
Here is a video of Armani singing One Jump Ahead from Aladdin…
You can follow Armani Salado on Twitter and Instagram @Armani_Salado