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Aladdin’s Mena Massoud Stars in New Netflix Rom-Com After Speaking Out About Lack of Auditions

Aladdin's Mena Massoud Stars in New Netflix Rom-Com After Speaking Out About Lack of Auditions

Two years after Mena Massoud said he couldn’t get an audition following the billion-dollar box office hit Aladdin, the actor will be starring in Netflix’s upcoming rom-com The Royal Treatment.

Massoud, 30, will play Thomas, a prince who is preparing for his arranged marriage. Former Austin and Ally actress Laura Marano will star opposite Massoud as love interest Izzy, a New York hairdresser tasked with handling the royal wedding’s hair and makeup.

The Rick Jacobsen-helmed film will be the first movie Massoud has starred in since playing Aladdin Disney’s live-action remake Aladdin. The film was a highly successful smash, which also starred Will Smith, earning $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office in 2019.

According to IMDB, Massoud only recently added to his acting resume, with a guest role on 9-1-1: Lone Star and a voice-over gig in the animated Lamia’s Poem, both in 2021. The film In Broad Daylight, in which he’ll also star, is slated for pre-production in 2022.

In a 2019 interview with The Daily Beast, the actor got candid about the challenges he faced booking auditions following Aladdin, admitting that opportunities were hard to come by.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” he said at the time. “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.”

ALADDIN

ALADDIN
Credit: Disney

He later added: “The big truth is I haven’t really seen a big anything from [Aladdin].”

Massoud said that when he tells others about the lack of casting interest after his major Hollywood breakout, they don’t believe him.

“It’s wild to a lot of people,” he said. “People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, okay, 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? Can you just give me a chance?”

Massoud also added that his Middle Eastern background often makes him the “wild card,” when casting directors are mostly looking for white actors to fill roles. He admitted roles for him were often limited to portraying terrorists – which he has no interest in moving forward.

Mena Massoud

Mena Massoud
Mena Massoud
| Credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage

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“There’s always a wild card or two when you’re casting,” he said. “In a room of Caucasian guys, a director might be like, ‘Okay, let’s see, like, two guys who aren’t.’ And maybe they’ll be the wild card choice.”

The Royal Treatment will be available for streaming on Netflix on Jan. 20.