The star of Disney's live-action Aladdin, Mena Massoud, hasn't had any auditions since the film came out. While the film received mixed reviews from critics (though many agreed its cast, costumes and sets really stood out) when it opened earlier this year, Disney's Aladdin retelling still brought in over $1 billion in theaters. As of right now, it ranks as the 4th most successful live-action Disney remake ever, in terms of worldwide box office sales.
Alongside Mena Massoud in the title role, the film also starred Will Smith as the Genie and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. The live-action remake was brought to the screen by director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), and even though some weren't thrilled with the direction in which Ritchie took the film (see also: the tweaks to the character of Jafar), there has already been talk of a sequel. Previously, Disney produced a pair of direct-to-video sequels to the original animated Aladdin in the forms of The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
The Daily Beast recently chatted with Massoud about life after starring in a film on the scale of Aladdin, and the 28-year old actor was candid about the state of his career, revealing he hasn't actually had a single movie audition since the film came out. Even though he has a starring role in Hulu's upcoming noir thriller Reprisal, Massoud explained it's not as though he's suddenly being flooded with offers after delivering a well-received performance in a billion dollar hit.
“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."
The Daily Beast also addresses just how wild of a concept that actually is, especially given the fact that Massoud beat out literally 2,000 other actors for the coveted role. Massoud talked about how he didn't expect to get cast as the lead in the upcoming Batman, but it would at least be nice to be able to "get in the room" and be given the opportunity to put himself out there for these roles. He talked about how, before Aladdin, he was usually the "wild card" in the casting room, often auditioning for roles where there were only one or two other minorities in the room. And that can be tough because only rarely is the "wild card" actually given a real shot.
It is interesting to think about how fans and audiences might view actors and their careers after nabbing a role like Massoud did with Aladdin. With a starring role in $1 billion dollar Disney movie, a lot of people really do expect to see Massoud ride that train of success into a long film career, but this would be the perfect example of things not being how they seem. The film business is extremely tough and can possess many more hurdles for people of color, and even people with big films and extreme talent behind their names still struggle. That's definitely something for everyone to think about the next time they catch an unknown actor in a hit movie - how it should be their big break, but sometimes, it's way more complicated than that.
You can watch Massoud in Hulu's new series Reprisal streaming on December 6th.
Source: The Daily Beast