“Aladdin” Star Mena Massoud Had A Hilarious Upbringing As An Egyptian Raised In Toronto
Earlier this year we got the live-action remake of the 1992 classic Aladdin that got tons of praise and did incredibly well. If you missed it in theatres, rest assured that Disney+ already has the movie available to watch whenever you want, and as much as you desire. Be warned that you may be smitten by Aladdin star Mena Massoud who was raised in Toronto in an Egyptian family.
Massoud was born in Cairo in 1991 and moved with his parents and two older sisters to Markham, Ontario when he was three-years-old.
In a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he shared pretty funny and relatable stories about his childhood, and especially his Egyptian father.
The 28-year-old actor told Kimmel that he was shocked to hear his school peers talk about getting grounded because that didn't exist in his family.
Massoud also shared he struggled a bit with his culture in Canada. He said, "for any immigrant, you never feel like you're 100%, I never felt like I was 100% Egyptian or Canadian."
The story that really got Kimmel and the audience laughing was about Massoud and his sisters asking their dad for a pet.
He said, "[we] would ask my dad for a dog, and he would say, 'you want a dog, I'll go to Egypt and get you fifteen dogs from the street' because there are stray dogs everywhere. And we'd be like 'no, no we want a dog. It will instill responsibility and all these great virtues. And we finally decided that he would get us...a bird."
When the pet store clerk recommended buying a partner for their love bird, he said his dad hilariously responded, "'we will start with one and then think about number two.'"
Massoud said his bird quickly died, but his dad didn't offer the response he was expecting.
He told Kimmel, "so what I learned from American television and films is that usually when that happens, the parents show love and gentleness, and my dad was like, 'see you could not even take care of the bird, how would you take care of a dog?'"
Massoud also said that he visited his birth town and was overwhelmed with the positive response following his debut in Aladdin.
He named Rami Malek and Omar Sharif as big stars who have come out of Egypt before him.
Massoud's appearance on the talk show was to discuss his new show, Reprisal, which is premiering this Friday. The first season will be on Hulu, but it hasn't yet been announced how we will have access to streaming it in Canada.
Before starring in Aladdin, the Canadian actor also had TV roles on Cut to the Chase, Open Heart, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, and Poser.