Aladdin’s Mena Massaud says he hasn’t had audition since film came out
Mena Massoud, the 28-year-old, Egypt-born star of Disney’s billion-dollar-earning Aladdin, still can’t seem to catch a break.
In a new interview with The Daily Beast in promotion of his role on the Hulu series Reprisal, Massoud revealed that he hasn’t landed an audition in Hollywood since headlining the movie that, to date, has made $1.05 billion for Walt Disney.
“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” he said. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.”
Massoud starred opposite Will Smith as the Genie and Naomi Scott (who also starred in this year’s Charlie’s Angels) as Princess Jasmine in the live-action remake of a Disney animated classic. The film opened in theaters on May 24 and crossed the $1 billion mark by July. Massoud was recently honored this year by the SCAD Savannah Film Festival as a Breakout Award honoree alongside Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us), and Camila Morrone (Mickey and the Bear).
The actor landed his roles in Hulu’s Reprisal and the film Run This Town (also released this year) after his casting in Aladdin came to light in 2018 but before the film was released.
The Daily Beast reporter Kevin Fallon noted Massoud did not seem ungrateful when explaining his situation. “It’s wild to a lot of people,” Massoud said. “People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So it’s not always what you think.”
He added how he often feels like a “wild card.” Speaking of his audition for Reprisal, he said creator Josh Corbin had no idea who he was during the audition process and didn’t seem to realize Disney was making a live-action Aladdin, either. “There’s always a wild card or two when you’re casting,” Massoud said. “I’m usually the wild card. In a room of Caucasian guys, a director might be like, okay, let’s see, like, two guys who aren’t. And maybe they’ll be the wild card choice.”
“I feel like I’m going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor,” he went on to say. “I’m an up-and-comer in the sense that I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but to a lot of people, Aladdin‘s the first thing they’ve seen me in. So, I think I’m going to be viewed that way for a long time. I’m going to have to work at chipping away at that.”
- Aladdin star Mena Massoud talks Will Smith, Jasmine, and filming ‘A Whole New World’
- Why is Aladdin wearing so many layers in Disney’s live-action remake?
- Abigail Spencer’s Reprisal seeks to redefine what it means to be a femme fatale