Who Is Deniz Akdeniz? 'Once Upon A Time' Has Found Its Aladdin
For its upcoming sixth season, Once Upon A Time has found its Aladdin and Jafar in Deniz Akdeniz and Oded Fehr, respectively. While you might be familiar with Fehr, who has appeared on Covert Affairs and NCIS, you might be wondering: just who Deniz Akdeniz is. His Season 6 casting news was revealed at Once Upon A Time's panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, where the show's cast and executive producers shared info about the upcoming season and premiered some clips. In addition to details about where familiar characters like Belle, Hook, and Regina are heading, the panel provided information about the new characters and actors portraying them. Fehr and Akdeniz will join fellow newcomers Giles Matthey, who will play Greek mythology figure Morpheus, and Craig Horner, who'll portray the Count of Monte Cristo.
Akdeniz's casting is especially exciting considering how important his character is. In the preview clip that premiered at Comic-Con, Aladdin is seen in rough shape. While he's hailed as a savior, he appears ill, bent over, and unkempt. Unfortunately, this is when Jafar shows up on his flying carpet and begins to torment him further. Jafar lectures Aladdin about the cost of giving away too much of himself to others, warning him that, "that’s why you never, ever hear these words about a savior: ‘They live happily ever after.’” Things do not look so good for Aladdin, who seems nearly incapable of movement, let alone saving anyone.
For those who might be wondering who that is under all that facial hair, here's some info on Akdeniz. The 26-year-old actor is of Turkish origin, but he grew up in Australia. Most of his past experience is in Australian films and TV, with his big break coming in the acclaimed war movie Tomorrow, When the War Began. He's since appeared in small roles in I, Frankenstein and Russell Crow's The Water Diviner.
On TV, he appeared regularly on Graceland and starred in the Disney Channel Australia series As The Bell Rings. We'll probably be seeing more of him soon, especially once Aladdin gets his hair under control.