first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Mena Massoud, left, and Will Smith in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, opening in theatres on May 24. (Daniel Smith / Disney) Twitter “I was going to go on the path my parents chose for me,” said Massoud. But after a course correction 10 years ago, it all changed. When he spoke with the Star last month on the phone from Los Angeles, he was about to set out on an international press tour alongside Will Smith for the remake of the 1992 animated classic.It’s a stunning position for the relatively unknown 27-year-old actor, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, and raised in Markham. The original Aladdin grossed more than half a billion dollars at the global box office — in 1992 dollars — as part of Disney’s animation renaissance. The remake is projected to pull in upwards of $80 million US in its opening weekend in North America.“I’m taking it in stride,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I have a lot of pressure, but I feel the value of the responsibility I’ve been given.”It’s a responsibility Massoud never would have had if he didn’t cut his degree short, having enrolled in the University of Toronto to pursue neuroscience in 2009, and auditioned for Ryerson University’s theatre performance program after a year. But he was miserable in science. His adolescent experience acting in high school left an impression that he couldn’t shake.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Long before he would ride a CGI magic carpet, Mena Massoud’s world was all nerves and neurons.The Toronto-bred actor, poised to catapult into global stardom Friday as the lead in Disney’s live-action Aladdin, was a budding doctor. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img