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Will Smith as the Genie in Aladdin

Disney’s live-action take on the classic Aladdin will go down in history as one of 2019’s biggest hits. The fantasy-musical remake crossed $1 billion worldwide during the packed summer season, no less and after some initial controversy surrounding Will Smith’s CGI Genie. Yet, Aladdin star Mena Massoud recently admitted earlier this week he hasn’t nabbed a single audition since playing the titular street rat.

Luckily, the 28-year-old actor has Genie / life coach Will Smith on his side to offer him up some incredible advice about the unexpected rough patch after starring in the blockbuster hit. Here’s Smith’s advice:

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 be. 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.

Such wise words. Will Smith’s encouragement was given to People the red carpet at the world premiere for Spies in Disguise. Hopefully, Mena Massoud sees it and looks at his current situation from a whole new perspective! Although Smith has been a popular talent in Hollywood since his ‘90s Fresh Prince days but he’s certainly has seen his own hills and valleys in the industry.

For example, just after Aladdin became Will Smith’s highest-grossing movie of his career Gemini Man completely bombed. He once turned down now-iconic Keanu Reeves’ role of Neo in Matrix to be in Wild Wild West and still regrets it today. Smith probably had no idea how big of a hit it would be! It goes to show, the nature of Hollywood is certainly not clear cut.

In a recent interview, Mena Massoud opened up about the crickets surrounding any upcoming movie opportunities since starring in Aladdin back in May. He explained that the “big truth” is that he hasn’t even been given an audition since starring in the Disney role. In his words:

People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion — can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, ‘Here’s Batman.’ But can I just get in the room? … Can you just give me a chance?

The actor does have a new television show called Reprisal from Hulu that just premiered, but he found the role before Aladdin became a big hit. Mena Massoud may also return as the Disney character for a planned Aladdin sequel currently in development. Just the opportunity to play an iconic prince is such as honor that may continue to guide the actor into stardom in the next few years. Not to mention it was his first starring role ever!

Naomi Scott, Jasmine to Mena Massoud’s Aladdin recently starring in a reboot to Charlie’s Angels but it didn’t make a splash among moviegoers. No matter how things are currently going for the actors, they can certainly celebrate a wish granted with Aladdin!

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