Actor Mena Massoud says the upcoming live action adaptation of Aladdin is important with respect to the representation of people of colour in Hollywood.
Massoud, who was born in Egypt and lived in Canada, will be seen as Aladdin in the Disney film.
In a video posted on people.com, he opened up about the responsibility he feels being a Middle Eastern actor in a lead role of a Hollywood film.
“I don’t feel a lot of pressure but a lot of responsibility. I think things are changing with Rami Malek winning an Oscar for doing an incredible job as Freddie Mercury. There are a lot of Middle Eastern actors coming up,” Massoud said.
“I think this film is important for representation. Hopefully, if it does well in cinema, Hollywood can have confidence in the fact that you can put a Middle Eastern in a lead role or in iconic role and it will still do well,” he added.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film stars Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Aladdin will release in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on May 24.
He said Princess Jasmine will be empowering women all over the world.
“We really focused on making this an empowering role for women all over the world seeing it and Naomi does an incredible job with that,” added the actor.