Landing the lead in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” should have been an extraordinary big break for any young actor in Hollywood, especially after the film grossed over $1 billion worldwide, but that’s not the case for Mena Massoud. The 28-year-old actor gets brutally honest in a new interview with The Daily Beast about life after “Aladdin.” Massoud reveals that since “Aladdin” opened in May and grossed $1.05 billion around the world, he has yet to land a single audition. As the actor puts it, “The big truth is I haven’t really seen a big anything from it.”
“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” Massoud says. “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.”
The Daily Beast reporter Kevin Fallon stressed that in no way does Massoud come off as “whining or complaining or in any way ungrateful.” In speaking out, Massoud is bringing attention to the fact that actors of color still face an uphill battle in Hollywood even after fronting a hugely successful studio IP movie like Disney’s live-action “Aladdin.”
“It’s wild to a lot of people,” Massoud says. “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.”
The actor continued, “I think since ‘Aladdin’ my expectations for things releasing and what they’re going to do in my career, I’ve had to really pull them back. Because, you know, I got the same question about ‘Aladdin’ and it was like, ‘Oh, you know, Aladdin’s coming out. How do you feel about what that’s going to do to your career?’ The big truth is I haven’t really seen a big anything from it. As for whether people are gonna discover me from it or what it’s going to do, I literally have no clue. I can’t tell you I know how things are going to work out anymore.”
Next up for Massoud is a supporting role opposite Abigail Spencer in Hulu’s revenge noir series “Reprisal.” The actor landed his role in the television series after wrapping “Aladdin” but before the Disney tentpole opened in theaters. “Reprisal”debuts December 6 on Hulu. Head over to The Daily Beast’s website to read Massoud’s interview in its entirety.