18 de septiembre de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

Watching "Aladdin" as a boy, Mena Massoud saw himself reflected on the screen

By David Villafranca

Los Angeles, May 20 (efe-epa).- The magical, colorful and adventurous universe of "Aladdin" returns to movie theaters in a new version of the Disney classic with a cast headed by Mena Massoud, who spoke to EFE about the value of diversity in movies for exciting all kinds of audiences.

"The biggest thing, when I watched Aladdin really young, was that it was a kind of reflection of me on-screen. There weren't many films in animation or otherwise that I can relate to, with characters that look like me, that remind me of myself, that remind me of my culture," he said

"I think that was the biggest impact," he added about the 1992 production that became one of the masterpieces of animation thanks to such charismatic characters as the Genie as well as an unforgettable soundtrack.

Born in Egypt but brought up in Canada, Massoud found the opportunity of a lifetime with "Aladdin," a remake of the original by director Guy Ritchie ("Snatch" in 2000 and "Sherlock Holmes" in 2009) that premieres next Friday in movie theaters with a cast the likes of Naomi Scott and Will Smith. With Disney absorbed in remakes of its most iconic films with new technologies and real actors, a venture that has been a big success with "The Jungle Book" (2016) and "Beauty and The Beast" (2017), but that slipped up with the recent "Dumbo" (2019), this approach to "Aladdin" preserves, according to Massoud, the "iconic" essence of the original.

"Falling in love, trying to find out who you are as a young man... All that was very relevant to me," he said during an interview with EFE.

Practically unknown to the general public up to now, Massoud said that since his youth he always wanted "to entertain and make people laugh" by acting in school plays and singing in the school choir.

"I was acting as a hobby through my whole life but coming from Egypt and my parents being immigrants they didn't want me to struggle as an artist," he said.

But after a short time at the University of Toronto, Massoud embraced his true passion - he moved to Los Angeles where he has worked eight years as a professional actor.

And now, considering how difficult it is for someone of Egyptian descent to succeed here in an acting career, he finds it "incredibly important" that a person from the Middle East should star in this big Disney project.

"I started in the industry in 2011 and my first role was in a show called 'Nikita' and I played 'Al Qaeda number 2.' Really that was the symbol of the kind of roles that were out there for people that looked like me," he said.

"I would get auditions that had really amazing characters but they never cast people that look like me for those characters. Hopefully, if people go to see this film and support it and it does well...it can show studios in Hollywood that even when you cast someone who looks like me or Naomi, that a film can do well and prosper," he said

At the same time, Massoud noted the complexity of a role like Aladdin, which demanded a lot of physical exercise but also training to a Hollywood standard of singing and dancing.

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Jason Moran and his ode to jazz arrive at New York's Whitney Museum

New York, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Jason Moran, considered to be one of the most innovative jazz musicians in the United States, has created an ode to that...

Greta Thunberg, activists urge Congress to act on climate change

Washington, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, along with a group of indigenous leaders, on Tuesday demanded...

Nicaragua zoo welcomes scarlet macaw born in captivity

Managua, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Nicaragua's National Zoo has welcomed a baby scarlet macaw, a species in danger of extinction, born in captivity at the zoo for...

Baseball legend Mariano Rivera receives Medal of Freedom from Trump

Washington, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Panama-born baseball legend Mariano Rivera, the former New York Yankees pitcher, on Monday received the Presidential Medal of...

New York hairdressers look after Latino community's mental health

By Ruth E. Hernandez Beltran

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy as per settlement

New York, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy in the...

Vaping: Roulette of chemical ingredients that can cause cancer

Washington, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Electronic cigarettes contain a chemical flavoring compound that can cause cancer and that has been prohibited as an additive...

Hurricane Humberto intensifies, threatens US coast with strong waves

Miami, Sep 16 (EFE).- Hurricane Humberto continues intensifying in the Atlantic on Monday and threatens to pound the southeast coast of the United States...

Honduran president asks CentAm to work together to overcome common enemies

Tegucigalpa, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday urged Central Americans to unite to face "common enemies," including...

Venezuelans in forefront of new delivery operations in Ecuador

By Daniela Brik

Maradona makes stumbling debut as Gimnasia coach

Buenos Aires, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Diego Maradona had a bitter first outing as the new coach for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, falling to Racing Club 2-1...

Argentina's gov't to present new budget amid economic woes

Buenos Aires, Sep 15 (EFE).- Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza will present the proposed 2020 budget to the Argentine Congress this week, a budget that will...

UN proposes better education, security to protect religious sites

By Mario Villar

Bolivian indigenous people try to recover in aftermath of Amazon fires

By Gabriel Romano

Celebrities turn out to help Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

San Juan, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Almost half of the 2,500 people listed as missing after Hurricane Dorian devastated the northwestern Bahamas have been tracked...

Migrant advocate says Mexican gov't hindered by political realities

By Juan Manuel Ramirez G.

Bahamas officials estimate 2,500 missing after Hurricane Dorian

San Juan, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Bahamas emergency authorities estimate that some 2,500 people are missing after the devastating passage of Hurricane Dorian...

Trump doesn't rule out easing Iran sanctions to pave way for Rouhani summit

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday did not rule out relaxing US sanctions on Iran in the coming weeks, amid rumors that he...

Mexico's gov't pumps $5 bn in capital into Pemex

Mexico City, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- The federal government said Wednesday that it was pumping $5 billion in capital into Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), bolstering...

Trump rips Fed, urges rate cuts and zero interest rates

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on Federal Reserve policy makers on Wednesday, calling them "Boneheads" and urging...

Trump threatens Taliban on anniversary of 9/11

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday - the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks - promised to escalate combat...

Apple opts for classic look with new iPhones, focuses on camera improvements

By Marc Arcas

TV series "Monarca" shows Mexico that doesn't ride burros or wear sombreros

Mexico City, Sep 10 (efe-epa).- The television series "Monarca," which will air on Netflix on Sept. 13, depicts a Mexico that is "current, that doesn't ride...

Tenharim tribe, the guardians of the Amazon, battling against wildfires

By Fernando Bizerra