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Lee Majdoub Talks About Fan’s Expectations and Diversity in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’

Lee Majdoub is returning to movie theaters this month reprising his role as Agent Stone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the sequel to the blockbuster Sonic the Hedgehog. In the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog film, Majdoub's Agent Stone character served as the right-hand man to Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik.

After working on the first film, Majdoub was able to better understand the character going into the sequel but spoke about the pressure that comes with fan expectations this time around stating, "There is the pressure of if our fans are gonna love the relationship this time around just as much as they loved the relationship the first time around. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself."

But despite the pressure, the actor shared he had a lot of fun during the filming of the sequel. This time around Idris Elba and Shemar Moore joined the cast. “I didn't even find out that Idris was voicing Knuckles until I had wrapped filming. So, they just do a very good job because typically the voice acting is done separately in a studio [in a separate location],” Majdoub said about the surprise of learning of Elba’s casting. “But I was hyped when they told me Idris was voicing Knuckles,” he added.

Since the Sonic the Hedgehog character was first introduced over thirty years ago in Sega's video game series, it has become a defining character within the 90s’ culture. The video game holds a special meaning to Majdoub in which the video game was the first video game he received with Sega Genesis as a child.

The road to making a live-action film adaptation of the video game series took a long road. When the game series finally made its live-action film debut there was diversity amongst cast members from Tika Sumpter and Natasha Rothwell to Jim Carrey and Majdoub himself who comes from a Lebanese background. “I do think that every role I've played including Agent Stone definitely has an element of the challenges I've gone through being a person of color,” Majdoub stated.

“The industry can be a lot harder for people of color, LGBTQ+, anybody that's deemed "other." There's that element of okay, we got to work harder, we got to be more perfect and you can't afford to mess up because potentially all you get is one strike, whether that's true or not, it can feel like that sometimes,” he added.

Majdoub also spoke on how the film’s studio, Paramount, didn’t draw attention to the diversity with the casting and just let it reflect how the world is without having to explain casting people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“I definitely try to bring as much empathy and sympathy to the roles that I play just based on my experience. I always think about who's the audience and how important it is to all the kids out there, even adults that haven't necessarily seen themselves represented and getting to see themselves represented. I'm always conscious of that.” Majdoub said.

Prior to embarking on his acting career, Lee followed a STEM academic path pursuing and ultimately graduating with a college degree in mechanical engineering. Majdoub explained that it was his sister who encouraged him to pursue acting classes after he found he wasn’t passionate about his science studies. While mechanical engineering may have been something encouraged by his parents, acting was an area he knew was for him. “I was no longer doing it for my family, I was doing it for me. I think that was a big turning point for me,” Majdoub expressed about the change in his career direction. He is also happy that he did get a college degree in mechanical engineering as well.

We look forward to seeing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 when it is released in theaters on April 8th.

Photo credit: Brandon Hart

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