Jameela Jamil Channeled Samantha from ‘Sex and the City’ for Her New Disney Role

Jameela Jamil is an actress and television host who is known for her comedic talent and winning personality. Her NBC sitcom, The Good Placejust ended in January, but Jamil already has another project launching this March. She stopped by Good Morning America to chat with Michael Strahan about her new show, a different kind of beauty in media, and how she prepared to play her latest role.

Jameela Jamil
Jameela Jamil | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Jameela Jamil dishes with Michael Strahan

Jamil co-stars in the upcoming Disney animated series, Mira, Royal Detective, alongside other stars of South Asian descent, including Hannah Simone and Kal Penn. In her GMA interview with Strahan, Jamil beamed with excitement about the cast, remarking, “I’ve never seen so many Indians on a call sheet in my life!”

Mira, Royal Detective, which Jamil called “incredible,” is the first animated Disney project to be set in India. While on GMA, the actress reflected on her childhood and how it felt to be underrepresented in the media. She went on to share her feelings about witnessing the Hollywood practice of casting Caucasian actors as South Asian characters on screen, and how it affected her as a child.

Jamil promotes inclusive beauty and culture

Jamil spoke in-depth with Strahan about growing up during an era that lacked accurate reflections of her culture in the media. She shared the feelings she had as a youngster, believing that she needed to have a thin physique along with traditional European features in order to be considered beautiful. Jamil attributed her feelings to the images she saw on screen when she was a child.

The entertainment industry’s long history of whitewashing, which means miscasting white actors as non-white characters, has come under fire in recent years. While the misrepresentation of cultures in Hollywood still happens, it is on a smaller scale.

There has been progressively more representation of minorities as of late, and Mira, Royal Detective, is yet another step toward diversifying talent in front of and behind the camera. The animated series sends an inclusive message of beauty to a new generation, which Jamil had plenty to say about.

The star expressed the importance of stories that show “a different type of beauty and culture.” She also noted that, “It’s a girl who’s not just waiting for a prince to sweep her off her feet. She’s the protagonist. She’s the hero.”

Strahan echoed Jamil’s passion for representation, saying, “What you said would be important for any young girl out there.”

Jamil’s ‘Sex and the City’ spin on her ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ role

In Mira, Royal Detective, Jamil portrays Mira’s aunt, Pushpa. The actress revealed to the GMA audience that her boyfriend did not recognize her voice due to the character’s American accent. When asked about her inspiration for the voice, Jamil confessed that she took cues from the saucy character, Samantha Jones, from the HBO comedy series, Sex and the City. 

To get into the character of Pushpa, Jamil repeats the classic Samantha zinger from Sex and the City Season 4 Episode 8 ‘My Motherboard, My Self,’ “Honey, when I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come.”

Until Mira, Royal Detective launches, Jamil’s fans can revisit her previous work, NBC’s The Good Place. The first three seasons are currently streaming on Netflix. Luckily, viewers won’t have to wait too much longer to check out Jamil’s sassy voice-acting performance because Mira, Royal Detective premieres on Disney Channel on Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m.

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