Sofia Boutella has discussed the motivations of her character Princess Ahmanet in Universal’s reboot of The Mummy. Universal Pictures is in the process of developing a cinematic universe built on the classic monster movies of the early 20th Century, rebooting and linking the likes of Frankenstein and Dracula. Despite the excitement surrounding this prospect, Universal has suggested that these movies won’t be as closely connected as previously believed. Russel Crowe elaborated on this in a recent interview, pointing out that the success of these movies depends on creating a believable and scary world in individual installments.
Universal intends to do this through close attention to its villains, and Sofia Boutella believes that The Mummy has a unique and believable antagonist in the scorned Egyptian Princess Ahmanet.
In this week’s issue of EW, Boutella was asked to expand a bit on her character’s backstory. The actor answered:
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.
She went on to discuss how the character’s actions are “a little more justified than the typical monster-movie villain“, claiming that she always hoped to put a new spin on the classic character:
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.
Boutella’s comments reflect those from the movie’s director Alex Kurtzman who said he was attempting to capture the “deep humanity” of monsters. The Kingsman actor is developing a reputation for portraying strong and capable women in film, so it’s no surprise to see her carrying those principles through into The Mummy, which is quickly shaping up to be one of the most exciting films of the year. In a sneak peek at the movie from SyFy Wire (see the video above), Tom Cruise described Sofia Boutella as the perfect casting to play the “inspiring and seductive” female mummy.
In the interview, she went on to discuss the research she did for the role, claiming the she was intent on finding the “rhythm” of how royalty would carry themselves in Ancient Egyptian society. The trailers may paint a picture of a furious woman scorned, but Sofia Boutella suggests that her character is powerful yet eerily calm. In the video for SyFy Wire she described the Princess as “a warrior” and a “survivor“. While Universal has mooted the idea of a Monster Universe in the vein of the MCU, Sofia Boutella was positive about the idea of reprising her role, offering hope to fans that would like to see her alongside other classic monsters like The Bride of Frankenstein.