Marwan Kenzari

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Marwan Kenzari
Kenzari in 2013
Born (1983-01-16) 16 January 1983 (age 41)
The Hague, Netherlands
Years active2008–present

Marwan Kenzari (born 16 January 1983) is a Dutch actor. Starting his career in 2008, he first came to prominence for his role in the 2013 film Wolf, which earned him a Golden Calf award for Best Actor. Since 2016, he has been starring in English-language films, including Aladdin (2019), The Old Guard (2020) and Black Adam (2022), which earned him international recognition.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and beginnings[edit]

Kenzari was born on 17 January 1983 in The Hague, Netherlands, to a Tunisian family. His father was a construction worker, while his mother was a housewife.[1] As a teenager he was mainly interested in football before a girl he was seeing signed them up to audition for the Dutch version of the musical Chicago.[1][2] In 2009, Kenzari graduated at the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts.[3] After graduation he was recruited by the Toneelgroep Amsterdam,[4] which allowed him to tour in Moscow, London, Vienna and New York City with the group.[5]

Kenzari has acted in films and TV series in his native Dutch since 2008. In 2013, he won a Golden Calf for Best Actor at the Netherlands Film Festival for his role in the feature film Wolf (2013).[6] He trained for over a year to play the role of kickboxer Majid. With his toned body, he was also featured on the cover of Dutch Men's Health in 2013.[7] His performance in the film was well received by critics, with Variety naming him an "International Star You Should Know".[2] In 2014, Kenzari won a Shooting Stars Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.[8]

Rise to prominence[edit]

In 2016 he appeared in the English-language films Collide, Ben-Hur and The Promise, which resulted in The Hollywood Reporter naming him amongst their list of "15 International Breakout Talents of 2016".[9] In 2019, Kenzari played villain Jafar in Disney's live-action adaptation of Aladdin.[10][11] He gained international recognition after portraying the role with mainstream media giving him the nickname "hot Jafar".[12] In July 2020, Kenzari appeared in The Old Guard as one of the film's protagonists.[13] In February 2021, Kenzari was cast to portray Ishmael Gregor / Sabbac in the 2022 film Black Adam.[14]

He starred as the controversial Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) officer Raymond Westerling in the 2020 film The East, which was released on Amazon Prime Video.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Kenzari speaks Arabic, Dutch, English and French.[17]



Denotes works that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Note
2008 Katia's Sister Giac
2009 The Last Days of Emma Blank Martin
2010 Loft Tom Fenneker
2011 Rabat Zakaria
2012 Black Out Youssef
2013 Wolf Majid Zamari
2014 Hartenstraat Daan
Accused Det. Ron Leeflang
Reckless Rico
Grab My Heart Richard
2016 Collide Matthias
Ben-Hur Druses
The Promise Emre Ogan
2017 The Mummy Malik
What Happened to Monday Adrian Knowles
Murder on the Orient Express Pierre Michel
2018 The Angel Ashraf Marwan
2019 Aladdin Jafar
Instinct Idris
2020 The Old Guard Joe (Yusuf Al-Kaysani)
De Oost Raymond Westerling
2022 Black Adam Ishmael Gregor / Sabbac, King Ahk-Ton
2023 Ghosted Marco
2024 The Return Antinous Post-production
TBA The Old Guard 2 Joe Post-production[18]
TBA Any Other Night Max Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 Flikken Maastricht Luca de Keyzer 7 episodes
2009 Maite was hier Vuc TV movie
2012 Van God Los Frank Hendrikx 1 episode
2012–2013 Penoza Mustafa 8 episodes
TBA The Night Agent Reza[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Work Result
2013 Golden Calf Awards[6] Best Actor Wolf Won
SUBTITLE European Film Festival[20] Angela Award Won
2014 Rembrandt Awards[20] Best Dutch Actor Nominated
Shooting Stars Awards[8] Shooting Star Himself Won
2019 Teen Choice Awards[21] Choice Movie: Villain Aladdin Nominated
2020 Golden Calf Awards[22] Best Actor Instinct Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Met zijn rol in 'Aladdin' breekt de Nederlandse Marwan Kenzari internationaal door". NRC Handelsblad. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b "International Star You Should Know: Marwan Kenzari". Variety. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Marwan Kenzari on Becoming Jafar in Aladdin". 26 June 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Is Marwan Kenzari onze volgende Hollywoodster?". Algemeen Dagblad. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Netflix Premieres "The Angel" Starring Marwan Kenzari". Brave New Hollywood. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b (in Dutch) Gouden Kalf winnaars Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Netherlands Film Festival. Retrieved on 28 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Trainen met Marwan Kenzari". Men's Health. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  8. ^ a b "European Shooting Stars Awards 2014". EYE International. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  9. ^ "15 International Breakout Talents of 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (4 August 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Reboot Casts 'Mummy' Actor as Jafar". Variety. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Disney's Aladdin remake has finally found its Jafar". The Independent. 6 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Breakout 'Aladdin' star Marwan Kenzari (aka 'hot Jafar') got into acting accidentally to impress a girl". CNBC. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (28 May 2019). "Jafar Actor Marwan Kenzari Joins Charlize Theron in Action Thriller 'Old Guard' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  14. ^ Kit, Broys (17 February 2021). "Dwayne Johnson's 'Black Adam' Casts 'Old Guard' Scene-Stealer Marwan Kenzari (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Marwan Kenzari speelt rol in Nederlandse film De Oost". (in Dutch). 4 February 2019. Archived from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  16. ^ Broeren-Huitenga, Joost (12 May 2021). "Regisseur Jim Taihuttu over De Oost: 'Natuurlijk ga je niet iets bij elkaar fantaseren'". Het Parool. Archived from the original on 14 May 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Marwan Kenzari, The Netherlands". Shooting Stars. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  18. ^ Rajput, Priyanca (23 September 2022). "Netflix's The Old Guard 2 wraps filming in Rome".
  19. ^ Grobar, Matt (26 March 2024). "Marwan Kenzari, Elise Kibler & Dikran Tulaine Join 'The Night Agent' Season 2".
  20. ^ a b "Marwan Kenzari - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  21. ^ "'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Two Golden Calf nominations for Carice van Houten - Movie". Variety. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2020.

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