A live-action remake of classic Disney cartoon Aladdin will hit theaters nationwide on May 24. The film features a famous cast of characters, including vegan actor Mena Massoud. During this year’s Grammy Awards, a new trailer aired, revealing that Will Smith’s character, Genie, would in fact be blue-hued and animated in a way that mirrors the original—voiced by late actor Robin Williams. In October, Massoud announced the launch of his vegan media brand Evolving Vegan, which includes a lifestyle book, an IGTV series, and an apparel line. Massoud spoke to VegNews about the project, explaining that he intends for it to be a bridge between vegans and those curious about adopting a vegan lifestyle. “It’s a difficult thing, changing the way you eat, and I felt as though vegans didn’t care to share their knowledge or experience with those who weren’t fully willing to commit immediately,” Massoud told VegNews. “Evolving Vegan is about encouraging everyone to evolve and turn to a plant-based lifestyle, even if it’s for one day of the week.” For the role of Aladdin, the film’s director Guy Ritchie chose Massoud—who was born in Egypt and resides in Ontario, Canada—from a list of more than a thousand actors who auditioned for the part in 2017.
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