Tahar Rahim

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Tahar Rahim
Tahar Rahim Samba avp 2014 2.jpg
Rahim in 2014
Born (1981-07-04) 4 July 1981 (age 41)
Belfort, France
Years active2005–present
(m. 2010)

Tahar Rahim (born 4 July 1981) is a French actor. His breakthrough performance was in the 2009 French film A Prophet, for which he won the César Award for Best Actor and Most Promising Actor. He has since starred as FBI agent Ali Soufan in the miniseries The Looming Tower and Judas in the film Mary Magdalene (both 2018).

Rahim garnered critical acclaim and nominations for the Golden Globe Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for portraying Mohamedou Ould Salahi in The Mauritanian (2021).[1][2] He received another Golden Globe Award nomination for portraying Charles Sobhraj in the miniseries The Serpent (2021).

Early life[edit]

Rahim was born in Belfort, France, into a family that had immigrated from the region of Oran, Algeria.[3]

After earning a Baccalauréat at the Lycée Condorcet of Belfort, Rahim enrolled first in sports and then computer science programmes. After two subsequent years of boredom studying the subjects in Strasbourg and Marseille, Rahim decided to pursue his passion and began to study film at the Paul Valéry University of Montpellier. His life as a film student was chronicled in a documentary by fellow Belfortain Cyril Mennegun titled "Tahar, student", aired on French TV channel France 5 in 2006.

Following this, Rahim moved to Paris in 2005 and studied drama at the Laboratoire de l'Acteur under Hélène Zidi-Chéruy while working in a factory during the week, and in a nightclub at weekends, to make ends meet.


In mid-2006, after signing with an agent, Rahim won a part in the hit Canal+ television series La Commune written by Abdel Raouf Dafri. Dafri penned the first draft of the script to A Prophet. Rahim then met Audiard when the two coincidentally shared a cab while leaving a set. Rahim introduced himself saying that "I knew it was Audiard and I said I was a fan but I think I was a bit silly" and was afterward very surprised that Audiard remembered him enough to contact him about A Prophet.

After a two-line appearance in the 2007 horror movie Inside starring Béatrice Dalle, he went through a gruelling three months of auditioning. After eight callbacks, he landed his breakthrough role.[4][5]

Rahim in 2012

Rahim also starred in controversial Chinese director Lou Ye's film Love and Bruises. The director, twice banned from making movies by the Chinese government, likely met Rahim at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where they were each presenting Spring Fever and A Prophet respectively. Love and Bruises is the adaptation of the banned biography of Jie Liu Falin.

Another project he starred in was Free Men, the biopic about Si Kaddour Benghabrit, founder of the Great Mosque of Paris, directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi of Le Grand Voyage fame.[6]

In 2015, he was selected to be on the jury for the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival[7] and later starred in the European crime drama television series The Last Panthers.[8]

In 2018, he appeared as Judas in the film Mary Magdalene, written by Helen Edmundson.[9] In the U.S., he had a starring role as FBI agent Ali Soufan in The Looming Tower.

In 2021, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for portraying the role of Mohamedou Ould Salahi in The Mauritanian.[10] Rahim also served as a jury member at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

Rahim will next play Paul Barras in Ridley Scott's Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix, in 2023 for Apple TV+.[11] He will appear with Anne Hathaway in Rebecca Miller's upcoming film She Came to Me[12] and in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe film Madame Web.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Rahim is married to fellow French-Algerian actress Leïla Bekhti, whom he met while filming A Prophet in 2007. Together they are parents to a son, Souleymane, born in July 2017, a daughter, born in February 2020 and then an unexpected third child in 2021.[14][15][16][17][18]



Year Title Role Director Notes
2006 Tahar l'étudiant Tahar Cyril Mennegun
2007 Inside A policeman Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
2009 A Prophet Malik El Djebena Jacques Audiard
2011 The Eagle Prince of the Seal People Kevin Macdonald
2011 Les Hommes libres Younes Ismaël Ferroukhi
2011 Love and Bruises Mathieu Lou Ye
2011 Black Gold Prince Auda Jean-Jacques Annaud
2012 Our Children Mounir Joachim Lafosse
2013 The Past Samir Asghar Farhadi
2013 Grand Central Gary Rebecca Zlotowski
2013 The Informant Redjani Belimane Julien Leclercq
2014 The Cut Nazaret Manoogian Fatih Akın
2014 Samba Wilson Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
2014 Le Père Noël Le Père Noël Alexandre Coffre
2015 The Anarchists Jean Albertini Elie Wajeman
2016 Daguerrotype Jean Kiyoshi Kurosawa Also known as The Woman in the Silver Plate
2016 Heal the Living Thomas Rémige Katell Quillévéré
2017 The Price of Success Brahim Mecheri Teddy Lussi-Modeste
2018 Mary Magdalene Judas Garth Davis
2018 Treat Me Like Fire Abel Marie Monge
2019 The Kindness of Strangers Marc Lone Scherfig
2021 The Mauritanian Mohamedou Ould Salahi Kevin Macdonald
2023 She Came to Me Not yet released Rebecca Miller Post-production
2023 Napoleon Not yet released Paul Barras Ridley Scott Post-production
2024 Madame Web Not yet released TBA S. J. Clarkson Filming[19]
Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Director Notes
2007 La Commune Yazid Fikry Philippe Triboit 8 episodes
2015 The Last Panthers Khalil Johan Renck 6 episodes
2018 The Looming Tower Ali Soufan Various 10 episodes
2020 The Eddy Farid Various 3 episodes
2021 The Serpent Charles Sobhraj Various Main role
2023 Extrapolations Ezra Haddad Scott Z. Burns 1 episode


  • 2007 – 2008: Libres sont les papillons in the role of the blind character Benjamin. The play was written by Leonard Gershe, directed by Hélène Zidi-Chéruy and staged at the Côté Court Theater, 11th arrondissement of Paris.


Year[a] Organization Work(s) Category Result Ref.
2009 European Film Awards A Prophet Best Actor Won
2010 Lumières Awards Best Actor Won
2010 Globe de Cristal Awards Best Actor Won
2010 César Awards Most Promising Actor Won
Best Actor Won
2010 British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Award Nominated
2021 London Film Critics' Circle The Mauritanian Actor of the Year Nominated
2021 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
2021 British Academy Film Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2022 Golden Globe Awards The Serpent Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated


  1. ^ Year in which awards ceremony was held.


  1. ^ "Female Filmmakers Lead Nominees For London Critics' Circle Film Awards". Deadline. 2021-01-12. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  2. ^ "Waterboarding, Starvation, and Great Acting: Tahar Rahim Could Be In the Oscar Race". IndieWire. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  3. ^ "L'Expression - Le Quotidien - 110 km d'autoroute achevés". Lexpressiondz.com. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  4. ^ "Tahar Rahim: "Je m'étais donné dix ans pour y arriver" - L'EXPRESS". Lexpress.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Dang, Simon (2010-02-25). "The Playlist: Tahar Rahim To Team With Lou Ye For 'Bitch,' Also Shooting A Biopic On French-Muslim Icon Si Kaddour Benghabrit". Theplaylist.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  7. ^ "Un Certain Regard Jury 2015". Cannes Film Festival. 7 May 2015. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  8. ^ "The Last Panthers – exclusive trailer for the Samantha Morton thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  9. ^ Hawson, Fred. "Movie review: 'Mary Magdalene' seeks to redefine distaff disciple". ABS-CBN News.
  10. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2021". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (2022-02-16). "'The Serpent' Star Tahar Rahim Joins Joaquin Phoenix In Apple And Ridley Scott's 'Napoleon'". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  12. ^ "Anne Hathaway, Tahar Rahim, Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig & Matthew Broderick Board Rom-Com 'She Came To Me' – Cannes Market". Deadline.
  13. ^ "'Madame Web': Tahar Rahim Latest To Join Sony Marvel Pic". Deadline.
  14. ^ "Leïla Bekhti : Savoureusement métamorphosée en femme fatale..." (in French). Pure People. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  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. ^ "Tahar Rahim papa d'une petite fille : cet événement miraculeux qui lui a permis d'assister à l'accouchement de sa compagne, Leïla Bekhti". Closer Mag. Paris. 19 February 2021.
  18. ^ ""3 children", "10 films" and "27 extra pounds": Leïla Bekhti takes stock of her last four years". Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (2022-06-03). "'Madame Web': Tahar Rahim Latest To Join Sony Marvel Pic". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-06-07.

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