A leading actor in Disney’s musical Aladdin is being inundated with messages of support from Māori and Pacific Islanders.
Graeme Isaako who plays the role of Aladdin in the Auckland season at the Civic Theatre, is of Māori and Samoan descent.
Now based in Sydney, he told 1 NEWS that he’s been overwhelmed with feedback since coming back to New Zealand.
"I think it’s a beautiful thing to come home. There’s many Maori and Pacific Islanders messaging me sand saying ‘we’re proud of you’ and ‘we’re coming to see the show".
He said others had written, "we don’t know each other but thank you for representing us".
Graeme Isaako admitted he uses his heritage to help portray the "cheeky" side of Aladdin's character.
"I have to use it!" Isaako said laughing.
It's the first major lead role for the actor, who has also performed in Oliver and The Lion King.
"I really feel like everyone can relate to him (Aladdin), you know whether you’re cheeky, you’re looking for romance or you have fallen in love," Isaako said.
The cast of 34 has already danced on stages in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth over 800 times.
There's almost 340 costumes with over 1200 different types of fabric and half a million crystals.
"The best thing about the musical as opposed to the film. we learn a lot more about his (Aladdin’s) back story and his relationship with his mum, so it's a great investment to come and see the show," Isaako said.