Mena Massoud Talks Growing Up In An Egyptian Family In Toronto And Struggling To Find Work After Success Of ‘Aladdin’

Fresh off “Aladdin”‘s box office success, Mena Massoud, who starred as the title character in the Disney live-action remake, is looking forward to his new project while looking back at his childhood.

The actor, 28, joined Jimmy Kimmel on Monday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and recalled what it was like to grow up in an Egyptian family in Toronto. The Massouds moved to Canada when Mena was just 3-years-old.

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“That’s a tough thing for any immigrant, you never feel like… I never felt 100 per cent Egyptian or 100 per cent Canadian,” he said.

And his parents were tough, especially when it came to pets.

According to the “Aladdin” star, after months of begging, his father finally gave in and let the kids get a pet bird.

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“But a week later, the bird was gone,” Mena explained, revealing the bird had died. “And what I’ve learned from American television is that when this sort of thing happens, the parents show some love and gentleness… he’s like, ‘I threw it in the trash.'”

And with a new project, his first since “Aladdin” with the Hulu original series “Reprisal”, Massoud says he’s excited to work on something so different. “It’s really hard to explain,” he told Kimmel. “It’s one of those shows that is a few genres meshed into one. It’s a drama but there’s some dark comedy and it has film noir aspects to it.”

Massoud has previously opened up about finding work outside Disney, especially after “Aladdin”‘s mega-success.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” he 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,” he added. “People have these ideas in their heads. 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.”

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