Aladdin Breakout Star Mena Massoud: 'People Who Look Like Me Struggle to Get Roles' | 5/24/2019 | Staff
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For relative newcomer Mena Massoud, playing the lead role of Aladdin in Disney’s live-action reimagining is the project of a lifetime.

As he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “People like me struggle to get roles.”

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Born in Cairo, Egypt, Massoud, 27, moved to Canada when he was 3 years old.

For Massoud, Aladdin — which features a racially diverse cast and a fleshed out, fiercely feminist Princess Jasmine (played by Naomi Scott) — is a milestone in Hollywood representation.

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“We want it to represent something for them and for women,” he says. “I want to look back 20 years from now and be like, ‘This movie affected people.'”

For more about Massoud, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE,...
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