'The Mummy's Ahmanet Has Real World Inspirations

by S. Atkinson

If you're gearing up to watching the new Tom Cruise movie, whether or not the new female mummy Ahmanet was a real person might be on your mind. After all, the Egyptian princess has a pretty detailed back story. The actor who plays Ahmanet, Sofia Boutella, told Entertainment Weekly her character "...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." Yeah. So, given the character's complicated story, you might wonder if in her pre-Mummy incarnation, Ahmanet is based on a real person in history.

But from what Boutella told Entertainment Weekly about her research for the role, it sounded more as if she'd based the character on the information she'd discovered about general Egyptian royalty than about one specific figure in the past. She said:

"I researched a lot about Egyptian mythology and Egyptian civilization. I researched kings and queens: How they would carry themselves, how they were painted and portrayed. I needed to get inside of Ahmanet, and I needed to find that rhythm."

However, it's worth noting that the character's name does sound similar to an ancient Egyptian goddess, Amunet, who Egyptian Mythology A-Z describes as “The wife of Amun in the creation myth of the OGDOAD. Amunet and her husband represented ‘hiddenness.’” The "hiddenness" aspect sounds relevant to the character, who is buried deep beneath the ground as a mummy before the movie begins.

Her name could also be in reference to the real-life mummy Amunet, who the University College London blog describes as "a Priestess of the goddess Hathor at Thebes" who:

"...was unearthed at the height of the 'Golden Age' of Egyptology, when the discovery of mass burials of mummified royalty and clergy became a source of popular fascination."

So, no, it doesn't appear that Ahmanet was based on one specific person. Instead, it appears that her character is based on a whole host of Egyptian references and that she's all the more richer and nuanced for this.