I don't know about you but I still randomly listen to songs from the soundtrack of the live-action remake of Aladdin—I liked it that much, you guys. And so did a lot of people: The movie grossed $1.05 billion at the box office.
Despite the movie's success, however, it hasn't been easy for its star, Mena Massoud, to land more roles. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Mena revealed, "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."
He continued, "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."
ICYDK, Mena actually started a foundation called Ethnically Diverse Artists Foundation to help artists from underrepresented groups. In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said, "Even though I'm very fortunate and grateful to have played Aladdin, there were still four, five casting directors who never gave me a shot in Toronto (Canada). They didn't give me the time of day. I never got to audition for them."
Mena's next project is a noir thriller called Reprisal. Speaking about the audition process for this project, he said that Josh Corbin, the show's creator, had no idea who he was. And that's something that Mena has come to terms with: "I feel like I'm going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor. 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."
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