One of the highlights of the packed summer schedule will be the new Aladin movie which sees Riteish Deshmukh as the young hero, Amitabh Bachchan as the djinn – a role he was always destined for – and the beautiful former Miss Sri Lanka, Jacqueline Fernandes as Jasmine. The story is a essentially a love story. Aladin is in love with Jasmine but is too shy to express his love for her. He finds a lamp and asks the djinn to help him. It is agreed he will help – but all is not as easy as it looks as there are dark forces which must prevent their union at all magical costs. Packed with special effects, a character-driven plot and one of Bollywood’s most sparkling new heroes, this should be a good evening’s entertainment.
Jacqueline Fernandes is not just a pretty face, however. Since acquiring her title, she has worked tirelessly for social causes. “I hope to use my skills as a motivational speaker and talk to women and empower them,” she says, “A major issue facing women is gender based violence, mainly because women are not aware of their rights.”
Far from being a stereotypical beauty pageant winner, Jacqueline has an extraordinary background. She grew up in Bahrain and has a degree in Mass Communication from Sydney University in Australia. With journalistic ambitions, she has presented the Lanka Business Report and says she would like to work for the BBC or CNN and be more involved with international political broadcasting. For the moment, she is committed to social activism – “I am an animal lover and a member of the Animal Welfare Protection Agency (AWPA). I also volunteer at the Sevana Children’s orphanage. I work as an English teacher there and I want to organize an art exhibition for them. Although they are physically disabled kids they are talented as artists. I’d like to be remembered as someone who can make people realize that dreams do come true. I believe that you shouldn’t look at things in the way they are and ask why but rather you should dream of things that never were and ask why not?”