This is Mena Massoud. He was just cast as Aladdin in Disney's upcoming live-action remake.
When Disney announced his casting yesterday, people wanted to know everything they could about him. But so far, all we really have is his Instagram — which, btw, is ~extremely~ worth a follow:
But there is one 💎 GEM 💎 about Mena buried deep within the web, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you today.
Two years ago, in a chat with a publication called The Hudsucker, Massoud and his interviewer had the following exchange:
The Hudsucker: What actor or performance do you feel has impacted and inspired you the most?
Massoud: Robin Williams in everything he did. He was an incredibly well-rounded actor but I grew up on his role in Mrs. Doubtfire. That role by itself is very well-rounded and he goes through an amazing journey in that movie. I think it’s very underrated.
"IN EVERYTHING HE DID."
For those of you who don't know, Robin Williams was the voice of the Genie in Disney's original 1992 Aladdin — and it ended up becoming a standout role in his career.
The role earned him a Golden Globe for Special Achievement, and paved the way for other celebrities to take on similar voiceover gigs. That was mostly unheard of at the time, and now it's a staple of pretty much any major animated film made today. It was a big deal for Robin Williams to take on that role — and his involvement in the film remains a big part of his legacy.