Despite having a lead role in one of the top grossing films of 2019, Aladdin actor Mena Massoud revealed he hasn’t had an audition since the movie was released in May.
“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” Massoud told The Daily Beast in a lengthy article published Tuesday.
“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,” he explained.
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A native of Egypt, Massoud grew up in Canada. He beat out 2,000 other actors to land the title role in Aladdin opposite Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as Genie.
The Disney live-action remake has earned just over $1 billion worldwide, and is one of the top ten grossing films of the year. Still, Massoud said he can’t get in front of casting directors or filmmakers.
“It’s wild to a lot of people,” he noted. “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?’ I’m not expecting you to be, like, ‘Here’s Batman.’ But can I just get in the room? Can you just give me a chance?”
Massoud will next appear in the Hulu series Reprisal, which premieres Friday. He plays Ethan Hart, who appears to be looking to be recruited by a gang, but is actually infiltrating the group as a spy.
He booked the role in the thriller alongside Abigail Spencer before Aladdin was released.
The 28-year-old actor hinted that his look — brown skin with dark eyes — isn’t usually what casting directors are looking for.
“There’s always a wild card or two when you’re casting,” he said. “I’m usually the wild card. In a room of Caucasian guys, a director might be like, ‘OK, let’s see, like, two guys who aren’t. And maybe they’ll be the wild card choice.”