“You’re 18, you’re becoming a woman, I was like, ‘I think that time is over.'”
Naomi Scott is officially a Disney princess thanks to the 2019 live-action remake of Aladdinbut there was a time when she could have been a Disney Channel star too – but chose to pass up on that opportunity.
While on Ladies Night Collider to celebrate his new audio/podcast series, Soft voiceScott thought back to his early days in the industry working on the Disney UK production, Bites of lifeand the Disney Channel Original Movie, Lemonade Mouth. Given the formative nature of his early gigs at a young age, I asked Scott what the filming environment for those Disney productions was like. She began by shining the spotlight on Bites of life:
“Life Bites was this little British production. It was awesome. It was so much fun. And again it was like [a] five-minute sketch show, so it wasn’t necessarily part of the big American machine. I’m sure some of the other Disney stars, child stars that have appeared on a show, I think it was a whole different thing and a whole different kind of pressure.
Even when it came to making the 2011 feature Lemonade Mouth, Scott suspects his experience hasn’t been like the “Disney machine” many might imagine. She explained:
“I did the Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth, [it] was probably even different from that. I was already, at that time, 18 years old, so I had understood a little who I was, what I wanted to do, what I didn’t want to do. My friend Bridget [Mendler]she had been on a show since she was 14. So again, when it comes to Lemonade Mouth, I got it in [at] 18, so I feel like I know a little bit more about myself by then.
Although Scott had already found himself to some degree when she was working on Lemonade Mouthshe learned something valuable on this platter – the excitement of artisanal serving:
“The only thing I remember is that they had the best breakfast on set. [Laughs] I also remember being introduced to crafting services for the first time. And for me, it’s this American production and I was like, ‘Oh my god, they’ve got a candy cart that just arrived!’ And for me, I just thought, ‘I made it. That’s what I wanted. That’s what it’s all about. It’s candy on a cart.
Although Bites of life and Lemonade Mouth weren’t part of this “Disney machine”, so to speak, at some point Scott had the opportunity to pursue this, but the timing just wasn’t right. Here’s how she described it:
“I think once it got on the shows, which, by the way, they were really keen on me going that route. There was an opportunity for me to follow in the footsteps of maybe some of these other girls; having your own show around you that has to do with music, etc., etc. And it’s so interesting that at 18 – 17, 18 – I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. And I think that’s because, again, these deals; they lock you up for so long and if you’ve ever, like I said, you’re 18, you become a woman, I was like, ‘I think that time has passed.’ If I was 14 and it was like, ‘Disney Channel, make your own show,’ great! But I think there is a [frustration] – and you can see that, and I’m sure a lot of those actors would be open about that and those Disney stars that we see now, about maybe that frustration of wanting to grow up as an adult and always feeling nice to be seen as a thing. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted, so I kindly passed on the opportunity.
A major career move for Scott right there and, at this point, it seems fair to say it was the right decision considering everything she has achieved since! If you want to know more about Scott’s experience on projects such as Power Rangers, Aladdin, Soft voice and more, you can follow our full Collider Ladies Night conversation below:
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