What you need to know about Mena Massoud
Born in Egypt to Egyptian parents, and raised in Canada, Massoud worked hard to reach this opportunity.
He prepared for his Aladdin role by getting more into fitness staring from 2016. This is clear in the photos he added to his Instagram account , showing the tough training he went through at the gym to get that six pack.
“I grew up in a culturally different household, my parents saw certain things differently than other people.
I went to schools that had a significantly large Caucasian population and I feel very fortunate because I was able to compare that perspective with my family’s.
It allowed me to create a wider world view on things.
Also, though, at this point in my career, being a visible minority in this industry still affects me,’’ recounted Massoud in his interview with Defective Geeks.
Massoud participated in Amazon's Jack Ryan series, playing the role of John Krasinski. He participated as well in some successful shows like Nikita, Open Heart, and Saving Hope.
Massoud recently joined the cast of the movie ‘Strange but True,’ starring alongside with Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley and Connor Jessup.
"I can’t compete for roles that require me to be Caucasian or African American, even if those characters really connect with me and intrigue me," he continued.
"The competition may be less, some people would say, but the amount of work to be had is less as well. However, I think the industry is growing more and more and starting to support actors of all cultural backgrounds’’ declared Massoud in his interview with Defective Geeks.
Massoud admitted that he was inspired by the great actor Robin Williams. “He was an incredibly well-rounded actor, but I grew up on his role in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’’’
Massoud talked about Williams in an interview with ‘The Hudsucker.’ He explained that his admiration to Williams pushed him to shift from The University of Toronto to an arts program at Ryerson University.
Also, ‘Power Rangers’ star Naomi Scott will perform the role of Jasmine, while Will Smith is the Genie. Shooting will start on August in London.
Massoud's has starred in over 8 movies so far: What Happens Next, Americanistan, Let’s Rap, Ordinary Days, Masters in Crime, Final Exam, with Aladdin and Strange But True still in the works.
Disney has revealed the first full-length trailer for its live-action remake of Aladdin, starring Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie.
The teaser only got the audience more excited for “A Whole New World” based on the catchy colors, special effects and snappiness of the remake of the 1992 animated film.
The movie is announced to hit the cinemas in May.
Massoud was born in Cairo, Egypt to Egyptian Coptic Christian parents before immigrating to Canada when he was three-years-old. He was amid hundreds of actors who auditioned for the role.
Will Smith himself shared his enthusiasm for his latest role as he posted on Instagram, “LEMME OUT!! Can’t wait for y’all to see Me BLUE!”
Aladdin’s tale itself was born and characterized by a European colonial view of Asia.
Aladdin had no known source before French writer Antoine Galland stuck it into his 18th-century translation of 1001 Nights, claiming to have heard it from a Syrian storyteller.
The original story of Aladdin was set not in the Arabic world, but in China, and was gradually transformed into a Middle Eastern tale by storytellers.
Disney announced earlier that the movie includes new songs as well as re-recordings of the original songs written by Alan Menken and lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
The trailer features snippets of the songs included in the original movie, including “Friend like me” and “A whole new world.”
Additional reporting by Mohamed Zain