Disney's live-action version of Aladdin was a major success, taking in more than $1 billion at movie theaters around the world. However, Mena Massoud, who played Aladdin in the movie, says he hasn't reaped the benefits of the film's notoriety.
In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Mena Massoud said that he's been struggling to get additional work since the Disney film debuted. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin," he said. "‘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 admitted that the struggle has been unexpected, saying, "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 Daily Beast is also quick to clarify that during the interview, the actor is at no point "whining or complaining or is in any way ungrateful," simply expressing his journey following the Disney live-action feature.
Mena continued, saying that he expects it will be some time before he's proved himself as an option in Hollywood. "I'm going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor,” he 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.”
Mena told The Daily Beast that he has "no clue" when success from the film might translate into additional work for him, but it doesn't appear as if the actor has any intention of slowing down or giving up. During the interview, he shared details of his role in the upcoming Hulu series Reprisal, which he landed before his stint as Aladdin.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue