With so many Disney live-action films coming out right now and massive Hollywood stars such as Lily James, Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson taking on the biggest roles, it becomes easy to forget about the little guy that could be perfect for the role. In one such case, Guy Ritchie's #Aladdin film has yet to cast its titular character, and I may have just met the right man for the role.
I recently discovered Armani Salado, a young actor from Massachusetts who currently lives in Florida looks and talks scarily like the original character from the 1992 #Disney animated classic. Check out some pictures of Armani alongside the original character, and some videos he made where he sings some of the original classic songs from the film:
CH: Armani, what originally got you interested in acting?
AS: What originally got me into acting was watching lots of movies when I was a little kid and then re-enacting the characters I saw on TV or in the theaters to my friends and family. I loved getting dressed up and then changing my voice or body posture to recreate the character I saw on-screen. My parents have so many home videos of me doing this. It really sparked this fire and love for the art. Ever since then I've aimed to be an actor.
CH: Are there other types of films that you would like to appear in one day?
AS: I would love to appear in a period piece drama like Gladiator; the stories of Ancient Rome, Egypt, and the old world intrigue me so much. Also, a mobster thriller would be ideal: The Godfather, Scarface, something along those lines.
CH: Why do you have such a passion to take on the role of Aladdin?
AS: I have such a passion to take on Aladdin because I know I can portray the character 200 percent. People say I look and sound like him when I sing and with so many people backing me on this it motivates me even more to obtain that role.
CH: So many big stars are getting cast in these live-action Disney films, what makes you the right choice for the character?
AS: I think what makes me the right person for this role is that Aladdin is a character who literally started from the bottom and ended up getting his girl and becoming a prince. I connect with that; I had no prior connections in this industry, I'm riding through the ranks with my pure drive and desire and the help of the agents and managers I've acquired on my own. So, in a sense I'm the riff-raff like Aladdin. I also do look and sound like him and my fan base around is growing. I'm getting emails and messages from people around the world supporting me for this role. It's crazy and humbling, honestly.
CH: Do you think any of your previous roles show off the skill set you would need to play Aladdin?
AS: None of my previous film roles showcase me as Aladdin, they're all kind of dark and deep thrillers, but my old martial arts competitions and exhibitions do show my range of character choices and vocal ability, along with range of motion. It seems Aladdin will be have a strong musical sense, that's what Dan Lin (the producer teaming with Guy Ritchie) said.
CH: If a live-action remake of Aladdin were to take place, do you think you could live up to the singing ability of the original film?
AS: I truly believe I can live up to the singing aspect of Aladdin. I have two videos showcasing me singing "One Jump Ahead" reprise and "A Whole New World." I was actually in talks with working with Micah Plissner on my vocal ability so my voice can be absolutely perfect for the role.
How does it compare with the original?
CH: If you were to be cast as Aladdin, are there any actors you would love to work with as Genie, Jasmine or Jafar?
AS: If I were to be cast as Aladdin, first I'd be sooooo honored and blessed, and then being able to work with the other actors cast as Jasmine and Jafar and Genie would be amazing. So far I see for some reason Ben Kingsley as a live-action Jafar. As for the other characters, it's hard for me to say who I'd see as Genie because Robin Williams stamped his name on that role. As for Princess Jasmine, there are so many incredible actresses out there who can fill that part that I know in my heart that Disney will have no problem finding the perfect Jasmine.
As you can see from the pictures and videos above, #GuyRitchie may just have to give in to growing fan support for Armani and give him a shot at the role. He has worked hard to grow his fan base and get the word out about this role, which he does appear to have been born for. In any case, you can follow Armani on Twitter at @armani_salado and keep an eye out for new casting updates on Guy Ritchie's Aladdin. Thanks for reading, folks!