Mena Massoud Embarks on More Plant-Based Culinary Adventures as Season 2 of CTV Life Channel Original Series EVOLVING VEGAN Premieres April 16

Mena Massoud Embarks on More Plant-Based Culinary Adventures as Season 2 of CTV Life Channel Original Series EVOLVING VEGAN Premieres April 16

BELL MEDIA – TORONTO (March 13, 2024 ) – The plant-based adventures continue as the CTV Life Channel original series, EVOLVING VEGAN, returns for its second season beginning April 16 with new episodes airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV Life,, and the CTV app, and also streaming on Crave. Recently nominated for Best Host, Lifestyle for Season 1 of EVOLVING VEGAN at the 2024 Canadian Screen Awards, Mena Massoud (Aladdin) takes viewers to new dynamic destinations, exploring diverse approaches to vegan cuisine in each locale, illustrating how talented chefs and restaurateurs are making plant-based food delicious and accessible.

Over the course of six, all-new hour-long episodes, Massoud explores the vibrant plant-based food scenes of Philadelphia, Montréal, Miami, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Tokyo. Along the way, Massoud experiences local vegan cuisine with guests and experts, including famed magician and actor Penn Jillette; comedian Maz Jobrani; educator and food historian Zella Palmer; and New York Times best selling cookbook authors Carleigh Bodrug and Radhi Devlukia.

In the premiere episode of EVOLVING VEGAN Season 2 (airing Tuesday, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV Life,, and the CTV app), Massoud heads to Philadelphia, a city rich in history and hearty food surprises with elevated live-fire cooking, fresh Capalachi Pasta, and an unexpected turn on the classic Philly “Cheesesteak”. Mena also learns to make delectable donuts with funnyman Maz Jobrani, and crushes an absolutely monstrous “meatball” sub.

EVOLVING VEGAN is produced by Bell Media Studios. For Bell Media Studio, Jennifer Couke and Michelle Crespi are Executive Producers. Eva Filomena is Series Producer. Mena Massoud and Ali Mashayekhi are Executive Producers for Press Play Productions. For Bell Media, Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Justin Stockman is Vice President, Content Development & Programming. Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell. Worldwide distribution is handled by Brian Blazik, Senior Lead, Content Sales, for Bell Media Distribution.

Mena Massoud, Khaled El Sawy & More to Star in Film “Eissa”; Production Underway

SADA ELBALAD ENGLISH – The film hails from scriptwriter Haitham Nabil and director Raouf Abdel Aziz.

Principal photography is underway.

This will be Massoud’s second Egyptian film outing after film “Fi Ez El Dohr” (In Broad Daylight).

That film also starred Eman Elassi, Mohamed Ali Rizk, Ehab Fahmy, Ahmed Gamal Saed, Mahmoud Hegazy, and more.

“Fi Ez El Dohr” is a thriller-suspense genre that revolves around an international gang whose head is Massoud and as his gang commits crimes across the world he finds himself caught up in romance.

The film was written by Karim Sorour, and directed by Markos Adel, in his first directorial debut. It was produced by Adel Saad via brand new production company “Signal Films”.

Massoud is an actor of Egyptian origin, born on September 17, 1991, in Cairo to Egyptian parents before he immigrated to Canada with his parents when he was just a few months old.

He made his international appearance in 2011 when he appeared briefly in episodes of the television series “Nikita” and “Combat Hospital”.

Massoud also starred as Jared Malik in the 2015 series “Open Heart”, and Tarek Kassar in the Amazon Prime series “Jack Ryan”. However, the actor drew attention with his role as Aladdin in Disney’s 2019 remake of the 1992 original film, which nominated him for a Teen Choice Award.

Growth Untold the Podcast

Mena started a podcast with Alex Maryuen. Listen to the first two episodes below!

Photos: ‘The Sacrifice Game’ Captures

Photos: ‘The Sacrifice Game’ Captures

Over 900 HD screen captures from The Sacrifice Game have been added into the photo gallery. Don’t forget to stream the film on Shudder!

Exclusive Interview With Mena Massoud On Playing A Villain In His New Holiday Horror Movie

Exclusive Interview With Mena Massoud On Playing A Villain In His New Holiday Horror Movie

FEAR HQ – Jenn Wexler’s critically acclaimed new horror comedy The Sacrifice Game is now streaming on Shudder and, ahead of its release last Friday, we were able to catch up with one of the film’s stars, Mena Massoud (Aladdin; Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) to get some more insight on his villainous turn and how he enjoyed the challenge of doing something different.

Massoud tells me all about finally being able to get his hands dirty as a villain, bringing some comedy into his performance, filming closer to home, and a whole lot more. Plus, he’s also more than kind enough to talk about his time working with Guy Ritchie and Will Smith on Aladdin, and also teases what could be his next project, the boxing drama Giant.

The Sacrifice Game synopsis reads, “The Blackvale School for Girls, 1971. It’s bad enough that students Samantha and Clara can’t go home for the holidays, but things take a deadly turn when a gang of cult killers arrives at their doorstep—just in time for Christmas.”

In addition to Massoud, the film stars Olivia Scott Welch, Gus Kenworthy, Madison Baines, Derek Johns, Laurent Pitre, Chloë Levine, and Georgia Acken.

The Sacrifice Game is now streaming on Shudder!

ROHAN: After doing Hotel for the Holidays and The Royal Treatment, was getting this film and being able to subvert expectations sort of an exciting challenge for you?
MENA: Yeah, definitely, you know, Hollywood is a machine that tends to kind of cast you in roles that they know you can do well. They like averting risks, so you usually don’t get a chance to kind of play stuff that you’ve never played before, and so, I was incredibly excited to get the opportunity to play a different kind of role, to say the least.

ROHAN: It felt like you were relishing playing a bad guy – were there any villains you drew inspiration from to craft your performance? Or did you want to keep it pretty fresh?
MENA: I like to make things my own, I think that I’ve watched enough movies and TV, so that influence kind of naturally makes its way into my performance. So, I wasn’t looking at any one particular, you know, villain for inspiration, but I had talked to Jen about what she wanted to see from role, what we wanted Jude to kind of look like, not physically, but personality wise. And, you know, the charm is something that she really kept talking about, that she still wanted him to be charming, and that’s something that, you know, I’ve obviously done in my other roles. So, how do we kind of take that charm, but not having to come off as a prince or as a hero, like in other roles that I’ve played. So that was something we focused on, and I had played Mercutio back in high school, and so, that was another character that I kind of took inspiration from. Mercutio had this exuberance, kind of charisma, but, you know, often to his own detriment, so I kind of took elements from that as well and kind of just ran with it.

ROHAN: When you first read the script, who did you see your character as? What was your take on why it was so easy for him to be influenced by his demonic surroundings?
MENA: Yeah, I think the era is one thing. The era lends itself to a little bit of carelessness, just because of the, you know, science that they had back then, and forensics, they didn’t have the forensics that we have now, and so, I think, in general, when you take a look back at serial killers, murderers, back in that timeframe, they were a little bit more careless, just because science hadn’t caught up to where it is now. So, I kind of took that into consideration, but this is a guy who is power hungry, obviously, who hasn’t had a lot of power in his life before, and once he gets a taste of it, you know, he kind of just gets addicted to it, and wants to see how far he can take it. And obviously, it’s a cult, so they kind of all feed off of each other, so I think Jenn what did so beautifully, and the producers, was putting together a cast that kind of made sense. The four of us kind of made sense together, in a way that also nobody really took themselves too seriously. In the end, nobody’s like a genius, serial killer. They’re kind of all careless, and they get away with it for a while, but their fortune kind of leads them down this path.

ROHAN: There is some comedy in your performance too, especially in the third act, and I read that you were a big fan of comedy growing up, so is that something that comes fairly naturally to you? Or is it more dependent on the character?
MENA: Yeah, I think the comedy in this film is more situational comedy in that nobody in this game really takes themselves too seriously, but when things start to unfold the way they do, it’s almost like that’s what becomes funny, you know, is there, or at least for Jude, is that his truth begins to unravel, and he doesn’t want to admit it to himself that things are not going the way he expected and that he finds himself on the other end of this prey-predator kind of dynamic. So, there are roles, you’re right, where I do play the comedy, and you have to kind of play the comedy, like if you’re doing a romantic comedy, or you’re doing just like a straight up comedy, you kind of play that comedy in a way, but I think, in this film, what made it different, the comedy in the third act, is that dynamic of the truth beginning to unravel for Jude, and so, I wasn’t really playing the comedy, I think, as much as the situation in this kind of role. He’s this, you know, what takes a person to carve something in their chest, they’ve gotta, at that point, just absolutely have lost it, right? So, I think that’s kind of what becomes funny about the third act.

ROHAN: What was it like shooting in Quebec again for this film? It’s not exactly Toronto, but still not too far from home for you.
MENA: Yeah, I’ve shot, you know, it’s funny my work is taking me back to Montreal or Quebec, or close to it a lot the last couple of years. Hotel for the Holidays was shot in Ottawa, which is still in Ontario, it’s not Quebec, but it’s pretty close, you know, big French speaking city, and then, I shot Evolving Vegan season one, we shot an episode in Montreal. So, I’ve been back to Montreal a little bit now, but for me, it was special just because, you know, that’s kind of where it all – a lot of it started for me. I booked Jack Ryan, right before Aladdin back in 2017, when I first moved to LA, and we shot that in Montreal, so you know, I got to spend some time with John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce there six years ago, so coming back there six years later was was pretty special to be working on a film like this.

ROHAN: When you get a chance to work with people like Guy Ritchie and Will Smith on Aladdin and John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce on Jack Ryan so early in your career, what were you able to learn from them that you were able to take with you to new projects?
MENA: Yeah, I just tried to learn as much as I can from them, both on-screen and off-screen, you know, the industry, so much of what happens is off-screen that I think that, for me, is always almost more important in a way, because there’s only so much someone can teach you about acting or telling you about acting. It’s more of, you know, a doing kind of learning, but when I’m around them, there is a lot they can teach me about the behind the scenes of the industry, how it is, how everyone’s overcome obstacles, and how they’ve kind of moved on and grown from that. So, I always kind of try to learn those things, and just their energy on set and demeanor. So, yeah, I’m very blessed to have worked with some incredible people throughout my career, and hope I continue to get to do so.

ROHAN: I saw that you were working on a boxing movie called Giant, and I’m a big boxing fan, so just had to ask if you’re allowed to say anything about what we can expect from that one?
MENA: Yeah, right before the strike, I was in London, that’s where we’re shooting it. I went to London for six weeks and we started training, we started choreographing all the fights, which was really cool. Prince Naseem is a southpaw and he had a very, very unique fighting style. He’s also from a northern part of England, so the accent is really different, so I went to London, we started prep and things got halted, so, you know, I don’t know if we’ll get back there, but I hope so because I was having a fun time prepping for this film.

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