Who is Aladdin’s breakout Egyptian star Mena Massoud
Most people will have first heard of Mena Massoud from having watched the trailers for Disney’s live-action remake of ‘Aladdin’. But in reality, the 27-year-old star has been working away diligently for almost a decade.
Ahead of the film’s Middle Eastern premiere (May 24, 2019), here’s everything you need to know about 2019’s breakout star Mena Massoud:
Mena Massoud was born in Egypt
Massoud was born in Cairo, Egypt. But didn’t stay there long before he immigrated to Markham, Ontario in Canada. According to the star’s Instagram, he spends his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.
He previously starred in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Massoud played alongside John Krasinksi, in Amazon’s big-budget thriller series that came out late last year. While this was his first blockbuster production, he’s no stranger to television screens. He played Jared Malik in Open Heart, and he has also appeared in Nikita and Saving Hope.
Aladdin isn’t his only movie of 2019
Mena Massoud will be another four movies destined for cinemas this year. He’ll also star in indie-darling Strange but True, Run This Town, Warning and Reprisal. All films are currently in post and pre-production, with release dates towards the end of 2019.
He’s frustrated there isn’t more diversity in Hollywood
Speaking to Defective Geeks back in 2015, Mena Massoud lamented the fact that most roles in Hollywood go to Caucasians. “I can’t compete for roles that require me to be Caucasian or African American, even if those characters really connect with me and intrigue me,” says Massoud. “However, I think the industry is growing more and more and starting to support actors of all cultural backgrounds.”
He’s a card-carrying vegan
Massoud funded his very own company to promote a healthy vegan lifestyle. The company – Evolving Vegan – tours cities to find the best ‘plant-friendly’ restaurants. His website also regularly shares vegan recipes (and the plan is to one day turn them into a cookbook).