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Tahar Rahim (born July 11, 1981 in Belfort, France) is a French actor of Kabyle descent. His family is from the city of Tizi Ouzou, Algeria. [1]

He is most notably known for his role as the main character, Malik El Djebena, in the 2009 award-winning French movie A Prophet by Jacques Audiard.

Rahim has shown in his performances that he has multilingual skills and an ear for accents, having played in Corsican and Arabic in addition to French in A Prophet, and in ancient Gaelic for his role as the seal prince in Kevin Macdonald's The Eagle of the Ninth.

He says that he found refuge from the boredom of Belfort in cinema watching up to 5 movies a week during his youth, an habit which gave birth and fed his passion for the art.

After a Baccalauréat gained at the Lycée Condorcet of Belfort and 2 years of finding himself bored and unmotivated in Sports and Computer Science programs in Strasbourg and Marseille, Rahim embraced his passion and studied film at the Paul Valéry University of Montpellier. A period during which his struggles as a student were shown in a docu-fiction by Cyril Mennegun "Tahar, student", aired on French tv channel France 5 in 2006.

Following this, Rahim moved to Paris in 2005 and studied drama under the direction of Hélène Zidi-Chéruy at "Le Laboratoire de l'Acteur" (The Actor's Laboratory) while working in a factory during the week, and in a night club on weekends to make ends meet.

In mid 2006, after signing with an agent, Rahim won a part in the hit Canal+ tv serie La Commune written by Abdel Raouf Dafri, behind the first draft of the script of A Prophet and met Audiard who was after leaving the set when they shared the same production car. After a two-line appearance in 2008 horror movie Inside starring Béatrice Dalle, he went through a gruelling 3-months and 8-rounds long casting process to earn his breakthrough role. [2] [3]

Rahim is now set to star in controversial Chinese director Lou Ye's movie "Bitch". The director twice banned from making movies by the Chinese government, whom he likely met at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where they were both respectively presenting "Spring Fever" and "A Prophet", is going to adapt the banned biography of Jie Liu Falin.

Another project in the works for Rahim is Des hommes libres (Free men), the biopic on Si Kaddour Benghabrit, founder of the Great Mosque of Paris, to be directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi of Le Grand Voyage fame. [4]




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


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