Mena Massoud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mena Massoud
مینا مسعود
Massoud in 2019
Born
Mena Mansour Massoud

(1991-09-17) September 17, 1991 (age 32)[1]
Cairo, Egypt
Citizenship
  • Egypt
  • Canada
Alma materRyerson University[2]
Occupations
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active2011–present
Notable workAladdin
AwardsFull list
Signature

Mena Mansour Massoud (Arabic: مينا منصور مسعود; born September 17, 1991) is an Egyptian-Canadian actor.[3] He is known for playing the title character in the Disney fantasy film Aladdin (2019), which earned him nominations for a Teen Choice Award and two National Film & TV Awards.

Massoud had roles in the Canadian drama series Open Heart (2015), the Amazon Prime series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (2018) and the Hulu series Reprisal (2019). He starred in the Netflix original film The Royal Treatment (2022) and the horror film The Sacrifice Game (2023), the latter of which he also executive produced.

Early life[edit]

Mena Mansour Massoud was born on September 17, 1991, in Cairo to Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christian parents Gorgit and Mansour Massoud. He has two elder sisters, Marian and Margaret, who both work in the medical field.[4][5] He and his family emigrated to Canada when he was three years old.[6] When asked why his family left Egypt, Massoud stated, "I was born there. We immigrated when I was 3 1/2 years old, to Toronto. But I'm still very, very close to my culture and – back home in Egypt. We're Coptic Christian and my parents just felt like things were getting a little too dangerous when I was growing up in Egypt. They wanted to create a better life for their family so they decided to emigrate to Canada."[7]

Massoud attended St. Brother André Catholic High School, where he was the head of the improv team.[8][9][10] He later attended the University of Toronto with a major in neuroscience, in the pursuit of becoming a doctor or psychologist. He did not finish this degree, and instead auditioned for theatre schools. Massoud eventually transferred to Ryerson University for their theatre performance program, which he graduated from in 2014.[11]

Career[edit]

Massoud began acting in 2011, with guest appearances on the television series Nikita and Combat Hospital.[12] His role in Nikita, being his first ever on-screen role, was of a terrorist. In an interview with The Daily Beast, it was stated that this role made him set a goal for himself to "find characters who aren’t terrorists or bring negative connotations because of the color of their skin or ethnicity."[13]

In 2015, he was cast as Jared Malik in the Canadian-drama series Open Heart, which was cancelled after one season.[14] In 2017, he starred as Ollie Santos in the film Ordinary Days, which premiered at the Atlantic International University.[15] In 2018, he had a recurring role as Tarek Kassar in the Amazon Prime original series Jack Ryan.

Massoud in 2019

In 2019, Massoud portrayed the titular character in Disney's fantasy-adventure film Aladdin, which is a live-action adaption of the animated film of the same name.[1] The film was a critical and commercial success, passing $1 billion in the global box office,[16][17] and he received nominations for a Teen Choice Award and two National Film & TV Award nominations.[18][19] In the months following the film's release, Massoud said that "I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out".[13] Also in 2019, he played Ethan Hart in the Hulu original series Reprisal,[20] Chaz in the thriller film Strange but True,[21] and Kamal in the drama film Run This Town.[22]

In January 2021, it was announced that Massoud would star in the Egyptian film Fe Ez El-Dohr.[23] In January 2022, he starred in the Netflix film The Royal Treatment alongside Laura Marano.[24] He was announced to star in the horror film The Sacrifice Game, which was released in 2023; he also served as an executive producer for the film.[25]

In 2023, Massoud announced via Instagram that he is producing the film The Last King, an Iranian adaptation of Stephen King.[26] He will portray British-Yemeni boxer Naseem Hamed in the upcoming biographical sports drama Giant opposite Paddy Considine as Brendan Ingle.[27] He is slated to reprise the role of Aladdin in an upcoming sequel.[23]

Other ventures[edit]

In September 2019, he was appointed an ambassador by Egypt's Ministry of Migration for their new "Speak Egyptian" initiative, with the goal of preserving the Egyptian identity of those living abroad.[28] Later that year, he launched the not-for-profit Ethnically Diverse Artists Foundation to help Canadian artists from underrepresented groups jumpstart their careers through securing mentors, training, headshots and includes support for actors, musicians, and visual artists.[29] Speaking about his motivation for the EDA Foundation, Massoud stated, "In the industry, artists of color struggle the most. Caucasian artists have really solidified themselves in the industry, and with African Americans now we see directors and producers who vow to only produce work that shines a light on African American artists. But everybody in the middle gets lost." His mission is to make changes in the industry so that roles are cast fairly, despite the color of an artist's skin or their ethnic group. He spoke again about the foundation and his advocacy for diversity in the industry when he was honored at Egypt's third El Gouna Film Festival in 2019.[30]

In February 2022, Massoud announced the release of his new gin, Dharma Indian Dry Gin, via an Instagram post.[31] He created the gin alongside Emily Shah and Prashant Shah, describing it as "the world’s first & only spirit inspired by Ayurvedic practice" and "an expression of culture, willpower, and history."[32]

Artistry[edit]

Massoud is an admirer of Egyptian comedy movies, in an interview with the BBC, he stated how his Egyptian heritage has inspired him as a comedian, stating: "I grew up watching Egyptian comedy films by the great Egyptian comedians such as Ismail Yassine and Adel Emam.[33] The way they entertain the audience with not only their words but with their body language and facial expressions is totally different from that of the actors here. I played a lot of comedy roles in American productions. My role in Aladdin is also a comedy role. I believe I play comedy roles with a different taste that I learned from our own Egyptian cinema and this makes it appealing in a different way."[34]

Massoud takes inspiration from Robin Williams. In an interview with The Hudsucker, he stated that Robin Williams was the actor who impacted him the most, saying "He was an incredibly well-rounded actor but I grew up on his role in Mrs. Doubtfire. That role by itself is very well-rounded and he goes through an amazing journey in that movie. I think it’s very underrated."[35]

Personal life[edit]

Massoud is a vegan, and the founder of the book and community with the name 'Evolving Vegan'.[36][37]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2017 Ordinary Days Ollie Santos
2019 Aladdin Aladdin
Strange but True Chaz
2020 Run This Town Kamal
2021 Lamya's Poem Rumi (voice)
2022 The Royal Treatment Prince Thomas
Hotel for the Holidays Luke
2023 The Sacrifice Game Jude
Butterfly Tale Patrick (voice)
TBA Wish You Were Here[38] Adam Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Nikita Al Qaeda No. 2 1 episode
Poser Bretten Thomason Recurring role
Combat Hospital Salman Zawab 1 episode
The 99 Hafiz the Preserver / Dave / Saad Main role
2012 Cut to the Chase Jason Recurring role
King Malik Atassi 1 episode
2015 Open Heart Jared Malik Main role
2017 Saving Hope Justin Srinivasan 1 episode
2018 Jack Ryan Tarek Kassar Recurring role
2019 Reprisal Ethan Hart Main role
2021 9-1-1: Lone Star Salim 1 episode
2023 History of the World, Part II Egyptian Diplomat 1 episode

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2016 Watch Dogs 2 Various voices

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor Aladdin Nominated [18]
GQ Men of the Year Awards Breakthrough Talent Himself Won [39]
National Film & TV Awards Best Actor Aladdin Nominated [19]
Best Newcomer Nominated
2020 Goodreads Choice Awards Best Food & Cookbooks Evolving Vegan Nominated [40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "7 Things You Need to Know About Aladdin's Mena Massoud". E!. July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Balcerzak, Izabella (July 25, 2017). "Ryerson alumnus Mena Massoud cast as Disney's Aladdin". The Eyeopener.
  3. ^ Omar, Eslam (May 29, 2019). "Aladdin's Egyptian actor Mena Massoud under fire over interview with Israeli outlet". Ahram Online. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Mena Massoud on the making of 'Aladdin', starring opposite Will Smith", ABC News, May 24, 2019, retrieved June 25, 2019
  5. ^ "اختارته ديزني لشخصية علاء الدين .. مينا مسعود مصري ترك الطب من أجل التمثيل.. وهذه حكايته |صور". بوابة الأهرام (in Arabic). Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  6. ^ "Aladdin Breakout Star Mena Massoud: 'People Who Look Like Me Struggle to Get Roles'". People. May 24, 2019. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  7. ^ Mena Massoud On Being 'Aladdin', NPR, May 26, 2019, retrieved July 1, 2019
  8. ^ Mena Massoud On Being 'Aladdin', NPR, May 26, 2019, retrieved July 1, 2019
  9. ^ 'I followed my dream': Canadian Aladdin star Mena Massoud's magic carpet ride to stardom, CBC News, May 24, 2019, retrieved June 25, 2019
  10. ^ Wong, Jessica (May 24, 2019). "'I followed my dream': Canadian Aladdin star Mena Massoud's magic carpet ride to stardom". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  11. ^ Smyth, Deborah (January 17, 2020). "3 wishes for Mena Massoud". Ryerson Today.
  12. ^ "Who is Mena Massoud? Meet Disney's new Aladdin". Entertainment Weekly. July 15, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Fallon, Kevin (December 3, 2019). "Mena Massoud: After 'Aladdin,' I Couldn't Get an Audition". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  14. ^ "Who Is Mena Massoud? Meet Disney's New 'Aladdin'". EW.com. Retrieved February 25, 2024.
  15. ^ Barrett, Brandon (December 2, 2017). "Ordinary Days, three different ways at WFF Dec. 2". Pique. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "'Aladdin': Will Smith's blue Genie is pretty cool, once you get to know him". Chicago Sun-Times. May 22, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2024.
  17. ^ "'Aladdin' Flies to $1 Billion Worldwide". The Walt Disney Company. July 26, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Moreau, Jordan (June 19, 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Wakeling, Naomi (October 21, 2019). "Nominations for the 2nd annual National Film & TV Awards are announced". National Film Academy. Archived from the original on October 22, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (August 8, 2018). "Mena Massoud Joins Hulu's Femme Fatale Pilot 'Reprisal' From Warren Littlefield & A+E Studios". Deadline. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  21. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (June 27, 2017). "Mena Massoud Joins 'Strange But True'; Jessica Allain Boards 'Vengeance'; Hassie Harrison In 'The Iron Orchard'". Deadline. Retrieved February 25, 2024.
  22. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 26, 2018). "Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud & Damian Lewis To Star In 'Run This Town'". Deadline. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "What We Know About Mena Massoud's First Egyptian Movie". FLAIR MAGAZINE. January 28, 2021. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  24. ^ "'The Royal Treatment' Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far". What's on Netflix. December 23, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  25. ^ Grobar, Matt (May 6, 2022). "Shudder Boards Jenn Wexler's '70s Horror Film 'The Sacrifice Game' Starring Mena Massoud, Olivia Scott Welch, Gus Kenworthy & Chloë Levine". Deadline. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  26. ^ @menamassoud (May 7, 2022). "The teaser for the worlds first Iranian adaptation of the legendary Stephen King" – via Instagram.
  27. ^ Roxborough, Scott (January 25, 2023). "Paddy Considine, Mena Massoud to Star in Prince Naseem Boxing Drama 'Giant'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  28. ^ "'Speak Egyptian' initiative appoints 'Aladdin' star Mena Massoud as ambassador". Egypt Independent. September 20, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  29. ^ "'Aladdin's' Mena Massoud Talks Closing Hollywood's Diversity Gap, Authentic Casting – The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  30. ^ Barraclough, Leo (September 20, 2019). "'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  31. ^ @menamassoud (February 24, 2022). "This project has been more than 2 years and 50+ distillations in the making" – via Instagram.
  32. ^ "ABOUT". Dharma Gin. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  33. ^ "مينا مسعود، بطل فيلم علاء الدين: استلهمت الاداء الكوميدي من عادل امام" [Mina Masoud, the hero of Aladdin: I was inspired by Adel Imam with a comedic performance]. BBC News (in Arabic). May 5, 2019 – via YouTube.
  34. ^ Nasr, Nahed (May 16, 2019). "A present-day Aladdin: Mena Massoud, a new Egyptian star in international cinema". Ahram Online.
  35. ^ "Heart to Heart: Chatting with Mena Massoud of 'Open Heart'". The Hudsucker. February 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  36. ^ "Home". Evolving Vegan.
  37. ^ "Disney's Vegan 'Aladdin' Actor Mena Massoud Launches Plant-Based Food Travel Show 'Evolving Vegan'", LIVEKINDLY, October 8, 2018, retrieved June 25, 2019
  38. ^ [https://deadline.com/2024/02/julia-stiles-movie-wish-you-were-here-casts-isabelle-fuhrman-more-1235835801/ Julia Stiles Wraps On Directorial Debut ‘Wish You Were Here’; Isabelle Fuhrman, Mena Massoud, Jennifer Grey, Kelsey Grammer & More Star ]
  39. ^ "Mena Massoud is GQ's Breakthrough Talent". GQ. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  40. ^ "Emily St. John Mandel, Emma Donoghue, Silvia Moreno-Garcia among 2020 nominees for Goodreads Choice Awards". CBC Books. November 3, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2021.

External links[edit]