Hollywood megastar Will Smith, 51, is offering advice and encouragement to his Aladdin co-star Mena Massoud, after the 28-year-old actor revealed he’s had no auditions since the release of the blockbuster film earlier this year. Smith insisted the movie industry is “hard” and that his young co-star needs to persevere with his “deepest love and focus”.
Asked about Massoud’s situation, the Spies in Disguise actor told People magazine: “The thing about this business, that is not unlike life, it’s hard by design.
“It’s like the universe, God, whatever you believe, designed it to be hard. So, if you’re having a hard time it’s because you’re supposed to.
“That difficulty is overcome by patience, commitment, dedication, endurance – so if you have a dream, you desperately have to be willing to work on it every single hour of the day with your deepest love and focus. You can not get around having a hard time.”
Massoud admitted earlier this week that people had expected him to make millions following the release of Aladdin, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it. I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin,” explained the young star.
“[They say] ‘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.
“I feel like I’m going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor. I’m an up and comer in the sense that I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but to a lot of people, Aladdin is the first thing they’ve seen me in. So I think I’m going to be viewed that way for a long time. I’m going to have to work at chipping away at that.”