The Aladdin teaser trailer is very brief, but it does include a look at Mena Massoud as the title character.
The 27-year-old Massoud was born in Cairo and has appeared in only a handful of projects before he was cast as Aladdin. He appeared in episodes of Nikita, Combat Hospital, The 99, King and Saving Hope. He had a recurring role in the short-lived TeenNick series Open Heart.
Massoud also has a big role in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, playing Tarek Kassar opposite John Krasinski.
Last year, he signed on to star in Rowan Athale's Strange But True, co-starring Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson and Greg Kinnear. The plot centers on a woman who suddenly becomes pregnant five years after her boyfriend's death and she thinks he is the father of the child.
Massoud is also dedicated to the vegan lifestyle. He launched his own project called Evolving Vegan, which includes a show streaming on IGTV.
“I wanted to create a community and lifestyle brand that encouraged people to evolve vegan," Massoud told LiveKindly earlier this week. "To move in that direction. To try their hardest and do their best to eliminate animal products from their life. To begin the process. I think there is a benefit anytime anyone reduces their animal intake and their environmental impact.”
The actor said he became a vegan three years ago after he and his friends started researching the animal agriculture industry. He said "people are responding very well" to his Evolving Vegan project, "especially non-vegans."
Although he was born in Cairo, Massoud was raised in Canada. In a 2015 interview with Defective Geeks, Massoud said being a minority made breaking into the movie industry a challenge.
"I grew up in a culturally-different household. My parents saw certain things differently than other people," Massoud explained. "I went to schools that had a significantly large Caucasian population and I feel very fortunate because I was able to compare that perspective with my family’s. It allowed me to create a wider world view on things."
He continued, "Also though, at this point in my career, being a visible minority in this industry still affects me. 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. The competition may be less, some people would say, but the amount of work to be had is less as well. However, I think the industry is growing more and more and starting to support actors of all cultural backgrounds."
Aside from Massoud, Aladdin also stars Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Nasim Pedrad as Dalia and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar.0comments
Massoud can be seen as Aladdin on May 24, 2019.
Photo credit: Disney