Will Smith Praises “Aladdin” Star Mena Massoud After He Says He Can’t Get Auditions


The entertainment industry has proven itself to be a fickle friend, and even actors who have reached a certain level of success can assure you that it’s still difficult to land roles. Disney’s Aladdin saw its live-action remake his theaters this year starring Will Smith as Genie, and fans across the globe stormed theaters to help the movie bring in $1 billion. While that’s something the Aladdin crew can boast about on their resumés, the actor who portrayed the title character claims he can’t even get his foot in the door.

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“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” Mena Massoud told The Daily Beast. “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.”

“It’s wild to a lot of people,” Mena added. “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.”

Variety caught up with Will on the red carpet of his film Spies in Disguise and was asked about Mena’s remarks. According to Will, he wasn’t made away of Mena’s comments, but praised the actor by saying, “He is a spectacular actor, and he has nothing to worry about.” You can see in the video that he quickly made his exit.

Yet, Will chatted with PEOPLE about the tpoic at length. “The thing about this business, that is not unlike life, it’s hard by design,” he said. “It’s like the universe, God, whatever you believe, designed it to be hard. So, if you’re having a hard time it’s because you’re supposed to.

He added, “That difficulty is overcome by patience, commitment, dedication, endurance — so if you have a dream, you desperately have to be willing to work on it every single hour of the day with your deepest love and focus. You can not get around having a hard time,” Smith explained.

Watch below.

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