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Who Is Marwan Kenzari? New Details On The Actor Who Plays Jafar In Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin'

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Who Is Marwan Kenzari? New Details On The Actor Who Plays Jafar In Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin'

So let's get this straight. The new live action Aladdin villain Jafar is so insanely hot that it is a stretch to think that Jasmine will willingly choose Aladdin over him. There, we said it. The movie won't be released until May, but fans are already taking notice of the new hunk in town. In the cartoon version of the classic Disney tale, Jafar is a bony, creepy villain that sends goosebumps down our spines. The new Jafar still gives us goosebumps but for a totally different reason! Jafar is being played by 35-year-old Marwan Kenzari. We're marking our calendars to see Aladdin in the theater in May. Who is Marwan Kenzari?

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1. A girlfriend got him into acting

Marwan was born on January 16, 1983 in The Hauge, Netherlands to a Tunisian-Muslim family. He has dual Dutch and Tunsian citizenship. As a teenager, he had no interest in becoming an actor. As luck would have it, a girl he was dating at the time signed both of them up to audition for a local production of Chicago. He's had the acting bug ever since. 

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A post shared by stevil knievel (@stevil_knieval) on Dec 19, 2018 at 2:13pm PST

2. Early roles and award

Marwan made his screen debut in the Dutch film Katia's Sister in 2008. He also appeared in The Last Days of Emma Blank in 2009, Rabat in 2011 and Black Out in 2012. His breakthrough role came in the 2013 drama Wolf. He played a talented kickboxer who falls into the worlds of gambling and organized crime. Kenzari garnered praise internationally for his performance and won the Golden Calf Best Actor award at the 2015 Netherlands Film Festival. Stateside, Kenzari can be seen in Ben Hur, Collide, MummyMurder on the Orient Express and The Promise. He will also appear in the upcoming Netflix series The Angel, playing Ashraf Marwan the son-in-law of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who spied for Israel and obtained information that helped shape the Middle East politically in the 20th century. 

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3. His goals

Kenzari wants is career to be like that of his acting idol Al Pacino. In an interview with AD Films in 2015, Kenzari said, "I want to be the new Al Pacino." When he was told that it could take decades to achieve that, he said, "Then I'll start acting onstage first, the movie will come later." If you're lucky enough to catch Kenzari's eye, don't be surprised when he all but disappears while filming. He told Variety, "I dislike the fact that being an actor can make you a bit selfish sometimes. During a shoot, that's the only thing you live for. Explaining why you're away and not responding to calls and messages can be difficult."

4. Fans are going nuts

Fans took to social media to praise the casting of Kenzari. One fan said “Y’all expect me to root for Aladdin when Jafar our here looking like a full balanced meal with dessert on the side. Y’all playing.” Another fan wrote, "Disney just cast this actor, Marwan Kenzari, as Jafar in the live-action Aladdin, which I…uh…that is…um…what was I saying?” wrote one user, while posting a shirtless photo of the actor."

5. It's a whole new (sexy) world

Fans are having a hard time reconciling the cast of the upcoming-Guy Ritchie directed Aladdin with the more wholesome cartoon version. While Marwan's Jafar is smoking hot, Mena Massoud's Aladdin is no slouch, either. Still, it is Jafar and Marwan that the internet is currently obsessed with. We can see why. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.