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Mena Massoud was catapulted to worldwide fame earlier this year when he starred in Aladdin as the eponymous street rat. You’d think that starring in a remake of such a beloved Disney movie would open doors to numerous opportunities for the actor, but according to Massoud, he’s had no luck securing auditions ever since Aladdin dropped in theaters. As Massoud put it:
I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it. 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.
Aladdin may have pulled in $1.05 billion worldwide, making it the sixth highest grossing movie of the year so far, but evidently that tremendous success doesn’t reflect how Mena Massoud’s career looks in the aftermath. Many people are now familiar with him, or would at least recognize him in a picture or poster, thanks to Aladdin, but he’s had trouble booking a new gig in the seven months since the movie came out.
While Mena Massoud didn’t seem ungrateful for his time on Aladdin while speaking with The Daily Beast, he acknowledged how wild it is that Aladdin hasn’t boosted his profile, saying:
It’s wild to a lot of people. People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I'm sitting here being like, OK, 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.
It is worth noting that just because Mena Massoud is having trouble finding work post-Aladdin doesn’t mean he isn’t returning to our screens soon. Around the time that Aladdin was undergoing reshoots in summer 2018, it was announced that Massoud will star in the Hulu series Reprisal, which premieres on Friday and also stars Abigail Spencer and David Dastmalchian, among others. Obviously this show won’t be anywhere near as huge as Aladdin was, but it will provide another avenue through which one can see Massoud’s performing talents.
Still, it is surprising that Aladdin hasn’t helped Mena Massoud’s career whatsoever. Of the quartet of the main actors, he was arguably the least well-known, as Marwan Kenzari (Jafar) has been acting longer and appeared in movies like Ben-Hur and The Mummy; Naomi Scott (Jasmine) had established herself as a singer and by starring in Power Rangers (and she’s since appeared in Charlie’s Angels); and Will Smith (Genie)… well, very few people need to be told who he is.
Mean Massoud capped off this conversation by saying that Aladdin has taught him not to get ahead of himself when it comes to career prospects, and that he doesn’t know how things are going to work out anymore. Fingers crossed that his luck improves, because if he was considered good enough to lead Aladdin, he deserves at least another opportunity or two to prove himself in a theatrical setting.