Leïla Bekhti

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Leïla Bekhti
Leïla Bekhti Cannes 2011.jpg
Leïla Bekhti at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival
Yasmine Leïla Bekhti

(1984-03-06) 6 March 1984 (age 36)
Years active2005–present
Tahar Rahim (m. 2010)

Yasmine Leïla Bekhti (born 6 March 1984) is a French film and television actress of Algerian descent. She is best known for her roles in Tout ce qui brille (2007) and, in 2006, Paris, je t'aime and Sheitan.

Early life[edit]

Bekhti was born in 1984 in Issy-les-Moulineaux to an Algerian family from Sidi Bel-Abbes. She is the youngest of three children.[1] She also has heritage from Kabylie.[2]

Bekhti went to a theater school in Paris (18e) before entering the program of Stéphane Gildas [fr] in Tolbiac. She next studied in the program of Bérengère Basty at the Art’aire studio. To live and pay for her acting studies, she worked odd jobs (clothes, telemarketing).

She has self-identified as Muslim and speaks Algerian Arabic as well, because of her grandmother.


Leïla Bekhti in 2009.
Leïla Bekhti in 2018

In 2005, Bekhti's friends convinced her to go to the casting of Sheitan, where she was selected for the role of Yasmin, a young beurette. Released on 1 February 2006, Sheitan spent thirteen weeks in theaters, selling around 300,000 tickets.[3]

That same year, she acted opposite Smaïn in Alain Tasma's telefilm Harkis. The film told the story of an Algerian family who suffers persecution from French military forces, despite having fought on their side in the Algerian War. Bekhti was interested in the film's subject as several members of her family, including her grandfather, fought in the ranks of the FLN during the war.

That year, she also played Zarka in Paris, je t'aime (2006) (segment "Quais de Seine", directed by Gurinder Chadha)[4] and Mounia in Mauvaise Foi, playing the sister of Roschdy Zem.[5] On television, she had a small role in an episode of the series Madame le Proviseur and in the series Les Tricheurs alongside Pascal Légitimus.

In 2008 she won a Best Actress Award at the Silhouette Festival for her role in Rachid Hami's Choisir d'aimer. She followed this with Pour l'amour de Dieu, an Arte telefilm by Ahmed Bouchaala and Zakia Tahri. Bekhti starred in Ali Baba alongside Gérard Jugnot and appeared in Des poupées et des anges by Nora Hamdi. For her role as Lya in the film, she was shortlisted for the César Award for Best Actress, although she did not make the final list of nominees.

That same year, two supporting roles helped increase her visibility: one in Mesrine: Killer Instinct by Jean-Francois Richet, and especially that of Djamila in A Prophet directed by Jacques Audiard. She played the only female role in the latter film, which won nine César Awards and the Grand Prix at Cannes.[6]

Meanwhile, Bekhti returned to television with Conte de la frustration, starring Nicolas Cazalé and Roschdy Zem[7] and a new episode of Tricheurs. She also participated in the web-series Twenty Show, the result of a unique partnership between Arte and MySpace, which was released as a documentary film a year later.[8][9]

In 2009 besides a third appearance in Tricheurs, she played the role of Myriam in the two-part miniseries Le choix de Myriam, which portrayed the saga of an Algerian family's arrival in France.

After seeing Bekhti's performance in Mauvaise foi, actress Géraldine Nakache offered Bekhti a role in Tout ce qui brille, Nakache's debut film as a director. Released on 24 March 2010, Tout ce qui brille was a critical and commercial success with over 1.3 million tickets sold. Bekhti went on to win a Golden Swan Award at the Cabourg Film Festival[10] and the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her role as Lila.

In 2010 she worked in a wide variety of projects. She worked with Alain Tasma again in the telefilm Vous êtes leur crainte, based on the novel of the same name by Thierry Jonquet. She also appeared in Jean-Luc Perréard's Itinéraire bis, in the musical Toi, moi, les autres... directed by Audrey Estrougo and in Anne De Petrini's debut film Il reste du jambon?.[11]

Her latest film, the French-Moroccan co-production The Source, competed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[12]

In 2011 she was signed as the new face of L'Oréal, the cosmetic firm.[13]

In 2016 she played the French police officer Kahina Zadi in the Swedish television series Midnattssol opposite Peter Stormare.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Bekhti is married to Algerian-French actor Tahar Rahim, whom she met while filming A Prophet in 2007.[13][15][16]


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Sheitan Yasmin
2006 Madame le proviseur Djamila Kadi "Chacun sa chance"
Paris, je t'aime Zarka "Quais de Seine" segment
Tricheurs Vally 1 episode
Harkis Leïla
Pour l'amour de Dieu Meriem
Mauvaise foi Mounia
2007 Ali Baba et les 40 voleurs Morgiane
2008 Choisir d'aimer Sarah
Des poupées et des anges Lya Nominated—Lumières Award for Most Promising Actress
Mesrine: Killer Instinct La fille du Fellagah
2009 La bête
A Prophet Djamila
2010 Tout ce qui brille Lila César Award for Most Promising Actress
Nominated—Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actress
Le cose che restano Alina
Histoires de vies Sofia "Conte de la frustration"
Fracture Zora
Bacon on the Side Anissa Boudaoud
Toi, moi, les autres Leïla
L'Or rouge
2011 The Source Leila Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actress
Itinéraire bis Nora
Une vie meilleure Nadia A better life
2012 Nous York Samia
2013 Before the Winter Chill Lou
2014 Maintenant ou jamais
2015 L'Astragale Albertine Damien
All Three of Us Fereshteh
2016 The Jungle Book Kaa French voice
Midnight Sun Kahina Zadi Main cast
8 episodes
2018 Beirut Nadia
Un homme pressé
Sink or Swim Amanda
2020 The Eddy Amira 8 episodes



Year Single Peak positions Notes
2010 "Chanson sur une drôle de vie"
(Géraldine Nakache & Leïla Bekhti)
6 From soundtrack of film Tout ce qui brille.
A remake of a Véronique Sanson hit.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Bekhti with her César Award for Most Promising Actress for Tout ce qui brille.
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 Silhouette Film Festival Best Actress Award Choisir d'aimer Won
2010 Cabourg Film Festival Most Promising Actress Award Tout ce qui brille Won
2011 César Award Most Promising Actress Tout ce qui brille Won
Golden stars of French cinema Most Promising Actress Won
Globe de Cristal Awards Best Actress Nominated
2012 César Award Best Actress The Source Nominated
Globe de Cristal Awards Best Actress Nominated
2017 Golden Nymph Award Best Actress in a Dramatic Series Midnattssol Nominated
2019 César Award Best Supporting Actress Sink or Swim Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Didier Verdurand (17 February 2006). "Leïla Bekhti (Sheitan)" (in French). SARL Digiside. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Leila Bekhti, une jeune actrice qui promet". Dziriya. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Sheitan" (in French). CBO. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  4. ^ "'Paris, Je T'aime' shows city through varying vignettes". Danbury News Times. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ Nayeri, Farah (11 January 2007). "Arab-Jewish Couple Battle Odds in French Romance `Mauvaise Foi'". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Aux Césars, "Un prophète" triomphe en son pays" (in French). Libération. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Conte de la frustration" (in French). Télé-Première. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Avec Twenty Show, Arte a lancé une série... sur le web" (in French). PaperBlog. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Twenty Show, le film" (in French). L'Express. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Festival du Film Journées Romantiques, Journées Russes 2010" (in French). Cabourg Film Festival. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Leïla Bekhti multiplie les projets" (in French). AlloCiné. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  12. ^ Mintzer, Jordan (21 May 2011). "The Source (La Source des femmes): Cannes 2011 Review". Hollywood Reporter. 21. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Leïla Bekhti : Savoureusement métamorphosée en femme fatale..." (in French). Pure People. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  14. ^ Leïla Bekhti: ”Jag blev verkligen min rollfigur i tv-serien” aftonbladet.se Retrieved 23 October 2016
  15. ^ Marouf, Fouzia (May 17, 2011). "Leïla Bekhti, aux sources de la joie". Le Soir (in French). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  16. ^ "Tahar Rahim, amoureux de Leïla Bekhti : Je crois au mariage à vie". Pure People. Paris. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  17. ^ LesCharts.com: Leïla Bekhti page

External links[edit]