UPDATED 12/5/19 10:20 a.m. ET: Will Smith was asked about his Aladdin co-star Mena Massoud's career struggles and offered some words of encouragement, Variety reports. “He is a spectacular actor," Smith said at the Wednesday night premiere of his new film Spies in Disguise. "He has nothing to worry about."
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Securing the lead in Disney's live-action version of Aladdin should've been Mena Massoud 's big break. But in a new interview with The Daily Beast, Massoud reveals that he's struggled to find roles following the blockbuster movie.
"I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it," Massoud 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 beat out 2,000 other actors to land the role of Aladdin and the film went on to gross $1.05 billion globally. Massoud received critical acclaim for his acting, winning trophies like SCAD Savannah Film Festival's Breakout Award. The Daily Beast emphasized that the actor didn't come" off as ungrateful," and instead stressed that he just wants a chance to "get in the room."
"It’s wild to a lot of people," he said. "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."
Despite voicing his angst and readiness to pursue life after Aladdin, Massoud is not willing to compromise himself for stereotypical Arab roles. He also knows that he's relatively new to the business and is willing to keep working until studios have no choice but to recognize his talent.
"I feel like I'm going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor," Massoud said. "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."