Sofia Boutella talks playing a Universal Monster in “The Mummy.”
As part of Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer Movie Preview, EW spoke to Sofia Boutella in regards to her upcoming film, The Mummy. The Algerian actress/dancer, recently awarded the CinemaCon Star of Tomorrow, has appeared in a series of hit films – Kingsman, Star Trek Beyond, and Atomic Blonde this summer. But before she stars alongside Charlize Theron (rumored to possibly be the Bride of Frankenstein in an upcoming UMU film), Boutella can be seen as Princess Ahmanet, The Mummy! While The Mummy is a modern take on the 1932 original, it *as of now* does not feature Imhotep. Instead, Alex Kurtzman’s film gender swaps the iconic monster in a way that “is really exciting and seductive,” according to headlining star, Tom Cruise.
In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sofia Boutella goes on to clarify more of Ahmanet’s backstory:
“I’m an Egyptian princess who is promised to become Pharaoh, and is deceived by her father. He removes that promise from her because he has a child, and the child is a son. Having nothing to lose, she summons the wrong god, in order to get what she wanted, that power that will give her what she was promised. She’s put aside for a very long time because she became dangerous. In modern times, she comes back, to go after what she was promised to receive, to begin with.”
While it has not been specified, we could confirm that it’s the God of Chaos that Ahmanet summons in order to get what she wanted – the position of Pharaoh. While the original sequels to the 1932 classic still played with the themes of gods and monsters, none did so as much as the original starring Boris Karloff. Another quality that made the Karl Freund directed classic much more exciting than the more adventure based follow-ups was that of the monster. In later Mummy films, the monster Kharis becomes more akin to that of a slasher monster – killing mindlessly. Karloff’s Mummy had a story! And now so does Ahmanet.
“It was important to me that this character had a backstory, you know? It’s the first time that you see a female Mummy. She can’t be just a monster walking around scaring people. There needs to be something significant her shining through. To explore that psychology in her, what happened to her as a woman: Being deceived, because there’s a boy who comes into the picture all of a sudden.”
As always, the cast of The Mummy have been quite open about their love for the original 1932 film (in which this version is based, NOT the 1999 film). Sofia Boutella, speaking with EW, went on to speak more about the classic Universal Monster film, along with her appreciation for Boris Karloff.
“I did watch the 1932 one. I’ve seen it in the past when I was little, but I wanted to see it again, to look at what Boris Karloff did. I researched a lot about Egyptian mythology and Egyptian civilization. I researched kings and queens: How they would carry themselves, how they were painted and portrayed. I needed to get inside of Ahmanet, and I needed to find that rhythm.
When you’re powerful like that, especially in the time, respect was approached differently. People used to respect royalty to an insane extent that doesn’t exist nowadays. These people never shouted. They never moved, really. Their effort was minimum. They were the most powerful people, but they were just calm.”
As always, stay tuned to Universal Monsters Universe for the latest on The Mummy and the Universal Monsters Universe of films.
Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.
Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, from a script by Jon Spaihts, Dylan Kussman, and Christopher McQuarrie. The film stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella. The film opens June 9, 2017.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)