Mena Massoud, Aladdin
CAIRO – 17 June 2019: "Aladdin" starring Egyptian Canadian actor Mena Massoud achieved a booming success. The film’s worldwide box office revenues amounted to $724 million, which is more than three times its $183 million budget.
Massoud along with Will Smith and Naomi Scott promoted "Aladdin" which screened in Jordan on May 24. Massoud, Smith and Scott attended the premiere of the live-action remake of the 1992 classic "Aladdin" in London on May 9.
Massoud was chosen by director Guy Ritchie to play the title role of Aladdin.
Born in Egypt to Egyptian parents, and raised in Canada, Massoud worked hard to reach this opportunity. He prepared for his role by getting more into fitness. This is clear in the photos he added to his Instagram account, showing the tough training he went through at the gym.
“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 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 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, where he explained that his admiration to Williams pushed him to shift from The University of Toronto to an arts program at Ryerson University.
Massoud has starred in over eight movies so far: "What Happens Next", "Americanistan", "Let’s Rap", "Ordinary Days", "Masters in Crime", "Final Exam", "Aladdin" and "Strange But True".
"Aladdin" 's 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.
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 also features snippets of the songs included in the original movie, including “Friend like me” and “A whole new world.”
Massoud previously posted a video on his official Facebook page in which he was speaking Arabic addressing his Arabic viewers, asking them to watch the movie. He expressed in the video how he is proud of being part of a Disney project.
The video revealed clearly how Massoud is proud of his Egyptian origins as he ended the video by repeatedly saying "Long live Egypt".