BN1 chats to… Jamillah and Aladdin star Blossom Campbell

Jamillah and Aladdin is a magical live action drama & modern retelling of the folktale Aladdin, which transports viewers of all ages to an ancient world full of intrigue and mysterious encounters. The series heroine, Jamillah, is played by Brighton resident, Blossom Campbell.

Jamillah, a modern-day girl, lives with her family in London; she is curious and brave and is always on the look- out for adventure. Her story begins when she discovers a dusty old lamp in her attic, makes a wish, and is startled by the appearance of a charismatic and fun-loving Genie. Genie transports Jamillah back in time to ancient Baghdad where she meets Aladdin.

Aladdin hates household chores (he has a lot of them) and, like Jamillah, dreams of having adventures. He has never met a girl like her before and is amazed, and occasionally horrified, by her actions. She is courageous and bold but he often has to use his charm and quick wit to extricate them both from difficult situations. We caught up with Blossom, to hear more about her debut role and filming in South Africa…

So, tell us, how would you describe Jamillah and Aladdin to anyone who hasn’t already heard about it?

It’s about a girl from the present day who finds a genie lamp in her attic and he takes her on adventures to olden day Baghdad where she meets Aladdin.

How would you describe your character in the series?

She is a smart and confident girl who has a great sense of fun and adventure. She can be a bit mischievous at times but she means well. She is always the one to get them out of trouble, with a little help from her genie!

Would you say you are quite similar to your on-screen character?

I think I am like her because I love adventure, trying new things and meeting different people. Like Jamillah, I am curious and I love a new challenge. However I don’t have my own genie to help me out. But I do have my mum!

How similar or different is this version to other imaginings of ‘Aladdin’ that you have seen?

The character of Aladdin is quite similar to others that I have seen but in this story he doesn’t have a monkey as a pet. Also Jamillah is the one who summons the genie this time and the genie is always getting things wrong! I think this version is good because Jamillah is there to share his adventures.

What are your favourite memories of being on set?

Chatting with the cast and crew and always having a laugh at lunch time and between takes. I liked it when we were able to go behind the cameras and see how they worked. My favourite scene to film was called The Globe, because I had to work with the stuntman and learn how to do a flying leap through the air to catch a precious necklace.

It sounds like a lot of fun! What was it like to film in South Africa?

Yes it was amazingly fun but also hard work. I remember asking my mum if it would be filmed in London and I couldn’t believe it when she told me where I would be going. I thought she was joking! The set was like a maze at first but I soon got used to it. It was so interesting to see how a TV show is filmed and all the people who work behind the scenes. I had to have several costume and hair changes every day and even in the scorching African heat my character had to wear jeans and jumpers! Luckily the wardrobe and hair/make-up teams were really nice. This was the first time that I had been abroad so I made the most of my time off by doing things like going on safari, climbing Table Mountain, going to Robben Island and enjoying the local theme park!

Tell us about how you got in to acting?

I have always liked drama and performing. I go to a drama school and there was an agent who came to one of our classes looking for people to sign. She put me forward for the audition for the role.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become an actor?

Go to drama classes or try to take part in a local production. When you are at the classes make the most of them by taking it seriously and listening to the advice you are given (but don’t forget to have fun!) Put yourself forward for any auditions you can. Have a go at everything, be brave and tell yourself that you can do it.

What other character in children’s television and film would you love to play in a live action version?

That’s hard because there are so many. I would like to play Annie because she has such an interesting life and a fun personality. I like characters who make me laugh and are not afraid of anything.

What’s next for you in 2016?

Who knows! I will be filming the second series of Jamillah and Aladdin which I am really looking forward to. I know that I will also have to work hard at school and keep up with football training and athletics competitions. Most of all I want to keep on acting and see what opportunities come my way!

Finally, if you could have three wishes from a genie what would they be?

1. Equality for everyone in the world
2. To be successful and happy
3. Infinite wishes!

Jamillah and Aladdin comes to CBBC on Sun 29 Nov 2015.

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