Sofia Boutella

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Sofia Boutella
Boutella in 2017
Born (1982-04-03) 3 April 1982 (age 41)
Alma materBerklee College of Music
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • model
Years active1998–present

Sofia Boutella (Arabic: صوفيا بوتلة; born 3 April 1982)[1] is an Algerian actress, dancer and model.[2][3][4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Sofia Boutella was born in the Bab El Oued district of Algiers, Algeria,[7] to an architect mother and a jazz musician father, Safy Boutella.[8] Her brother, Seif, works as a visual effects artist in the entertainment industry.[9][10] Her surname means 'the men of the mountains'.[11] She was raised in a fairly secular household that cultivated artistic expression and creativity.[11] Boutella described her childhood as a happy one, stating that she was "blessed to be born into a family that allowed me to express myself, to be myself and let out all sorts of colours that were living in my imagination and in my heart."[11]

With her family's encouragement, Boutella started classical dance education when she was five years old. In 1992, at the age of 10, she left Algeria with her family in the midst of the Algerian Civil War and moved to France.[12] Shortly thereafter, she started rhythmic gymnastics, joining the French national team at age 18.[13][14][15]

Dancing career[edit]

Growing up in Paris, Boutella was exposed to many more forms of dance, particularly hip hop and street-dance, which intrigued her for offering more "freedom" compared to the more disciplined styles of ballet and gymnastics.[11] She joined a group called the Vagabond Crew, which won the Battle of the Year in 2006, and participated in a spin-off group called "Chiennes de Vie and Aphrodites".

Her breakthrough as a dancer came in 2007, when she was picked for the Jamie King choreography for Nike Women's "Keep Up" campaign, serving as a role model of femininity and hip-hop.[16][11] This was a major boost to her career and led to more work alongside stars like Madonna, in her Confessions Tour, and Rihanna.[15][16] She credits her work with Madonna for helping her learn English.[17]

Boutella successfully auditioned for the Michael Jackson This Is It concerts but could not attend due to the extension of the Madonna tour, whose dates coincided with the Jackson tour.[18] She was the main character in the music video for "Hollywood Tonight" by Michael Jackson in February 2011.[19][18]

Acting career[edit]

Sofia Boutella (2017)

Beginning at age 17, Boutella rehearsed with famed Spanish choreographer Blanca Li. She began dancing in film and television shows, as well as in commercials and concert tours.[15][16]

She played the lead character Eva in the drama film StreetDance 2 (2012),[20] the sequel to StreetDance 3D (2010).

In 2014, after 12 years as a dancer, Boutella sought a career in acting.[3] Initially, she purposefully avoided auditioning for lead roles, wishing to play supporting characters so as to learn from more experienced actors.[3] In 2015, she appeared in her first major film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which jump-started her career as an actress.[21] One year later, she appeared as the alien warrior Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond, released on 22 July 2016.[22]

In 2017, she portrayed a French secret agent in the David Leitch film Atomic Blonde, which also featured Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman and Toby Jones. The same year, she played the titular character in The Mummy, along with Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Annabelle Wallis.

Beginning in 2018, Boutella's profile rose, and she began to appear in more central roles. That year, she appeared in the Gaspar Noé dark psychological horror film Climax, starred alongside Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon in the HBO drama film Fahrenheit 451,[23] and portrayed French contract killer 'Nice' in the near-future action crime thriller Hotel Artemis, alongside Jodie Foster, Jeff Goldblum, and Dave Bautista.

In October 2019, she starred in episode 5 of the first season of Amazon Prime's Modern Love.

In November 2021, Boutella was cast as the lead in the sci-fi adventure film Rebel Moon directed by Zack Snyder for Netflix.[24]

Boutella played the female lead in SAS: Rogue Heroes, released in 2022.

Personal life[edit]

Boutella has cited Fred Astaire, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bob Fosse as artistic influences.[25]

Boutella is the cousin of actress Shirine Boutella.

Although she has lived mostly in France since age 10, Boutella maintains strong ties to her Algerian roots and identity:

Algeria is a country that is dear to me, because it's where I'm from, where my family is from, it's my home. That will never leave me. I feel very worldly. But leaving a place like that when you're so young doesn't come without missing a sense of identity and belonging to one place. I think I've been blessed with the ability to travel, because I'm fearless to go anywhere, but I miss a sense of home, which was originally Algeria. But I feel Algerian, I'm proud to be Algerian and I carry that with me wherever I go.[11]

From March 2014 until October 2018 Boutella was in a relationship with Irish actor Robert Sheehan.[26][27]

Music videos[edit]


Film and television performances
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2002 Le Défi [28]
2004 Les Cordier, juge et flic Maya Episode: "Temps mort" [34]
2005 Permis D'Aimer Lila [28]
2006 Azur et Asmar La Fée des elfes Voice role [34]
Megatánc (Megadance) [35][36]
2007 Supermodelo
The Confessions Tour: Live from London Dancer
2010 Dancing with the Stars Episode: "Macy's Stars of Dance"
2012 StreetDance 2 Eva [37]
2014 Monsters: Dark Continent Ara [38]
2015 Kingsman: The Secret Service Gazelle [39]
2016 Star Trek Beyond Jaylah [22][40]
Tiger Raid Shadha
Jet Trash Vix
2017 The Mummy Princess Ahmanet Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress [41][42]
Atomic Blonde Delphine Lasalle Nominated – ALOS Award for Best Supporting Actress [43]
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Gazelle Archive footage
2018 Fahrenheit 451 Clarisse Television film [44]
Climax Selva
Hotel Artemis Nice [45]
2019 Love, Antosha Herself Documentary [46]
Modern Love Yasmine Television series; 2 episodes
2021 Prisoners of the Ghostland Bernice
Settlers Ilsa
2022 Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities Dr. Zahra Television series; 1 episode
SAS: Rogue Heroes Eve Mansour Miniseries [47]
2023 Rebel Moon Kora [48]
2024 Argylle Saba Al-Badr
Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver Kora Post-production
TBA The Killer's Game Maize Filming [49]


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, April 3, 2019". United Press International. 3 April 2019. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019. dancer/actor Sofia Boutella in 1982 (age 37)
  2. ^ AlloCine. "Sofia Boutella". AlloCiné.
  3. ^ a b c "How Sofia Boutella Is Redefining Her Action Stardom". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Sofia Boutella Is the Best New Action Star of 2017". GQ. Condé Nast. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Introducing Sofia Boutella, Your Newest Mummy". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  6. ^ "La Momie: Sofia Boutella, une danseuse franco-algérienne adoptée par Hollywood". 14 June 2017.
  7. ^ Lachichi, Mohamed-Chérif (21 August 2016). "Sofia Boutella, de Bab El-Oued à Hollywood / Sofia Boutella, from Bab El-Oued to Hollywood". Liberté (in French). Algeria. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2019. Née le 3 avril 1982 à Alger, dans le quartier mythique de Bab El-Oued... / Born April 3, 1982 in Algiers, in the mythical district of Bab El-Oued...
  8. ^ "Sofia Boutella, l'Algérienne qui a conquis Hollywood". TSA (in French). 10 June 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  9. ^ "IndieLondon: Streetdance 2 – Sofia Boutella interview – Your London Reviews".
  10. ^ Morrow, Brendan (8 June 2017). "Sofia Boutella's Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Meet Sofia Boutella: Bazaar's June Cover Star". Harper's BAZAAR Arabia. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Sofia Boutella Is the Best New Action Star of 2017". GQ. Condé Nast. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  13. ^ Aktar, Alev (22 May 2018). "How Sofia Boutella went from backup dancer to movie star". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  14. ^ "Sofia Boutella stars in new Foo Fighters music video". Arab News. 11 November 2020.
  15. ^ a b c "Sofia Boutella Biography". Sofia Online. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "Biography of Sofia Boutella". African Success. Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Meet Star Trek's New Warrior". Time. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Vogel, Joe (14 March 2011). "Exclusive: Inside Michael Jackson's "Hollywood"". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  19. ^ "Michael Jackson – Hollywood Tonight". YouTube. michaeljacksonVEVO. 9 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  20. ^ "All Street Dance Streetdance 2 (3D) Vertigo Films official press release". All Street Dance.
  21. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (29 October 2013). "Matthew Vaughn's 'The Secret Service' Gets A Femme Fatale In Sofia Boutella". Deadline Hollywood.
  22. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (10 April 2015). "'Kingsman's Sofia Boutella Lands Lead In 'Star Trek 3'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  23. ^ "'Mummy' Star Sofia Boutella Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Fahrenheit 451'". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (2 November 2021). "Zack Snyder Taps Sofia Boutella To Star In His New Sci-fi Adventure 'Rebel Moon' At Netflix". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ Gamboa, Shéyen (September–October 2009). Gamboa, Shéyen (ed.). "Sofia Boutella, la force et la beauté" [Sofia Boutella, strength and beauty] (PDF). Juste Debout (in French). No. 24. Paris. pp. 14–18. ISSN 1772-189X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  26. ^ O'Toole, Jason. "The Full Hot Press Interview with Robert Sheehan". Hot Press. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Robert Sheehan on girlfriend Sofia Boutella: 'You're staring at five months apart, but it always works out'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Sofia BOUTELLA" (in French). Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  29. ^ Rigby, Sam (7 September 2017). "Watch Take That's music video for 'Get Ready For It'". Attitude. Archived from the original on 1 January 2023. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  30. ^ Furdyk, Brent (12 June 2018). "Paris Jackson Gets Emotional In Thirty Seconds To Mars' New Video For 'Rescue Me'". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  31. ^ Nolfi, Joey (26 June 2019). "Madonna features shocking mass shooting scene in 'God Control' music video". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  32. ^ Reilly, Nick (10 November 2020). "Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters' 'Shame Shame' video: "It's darker than anything we've ever done"". NME. Archived from the original on 24 July 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  33. ^ Masini, Patrice (26 February 2020). "Katia the runaway (official video) starring Sofia Boutella". lulu_films, Homemade Productions. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  34. ^ a b Leonard, Frédéric. "Sofia Boutella – Curriculum Vitae". In English via Google Translate (in French). EN TETE – Agence Artistique. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  35. ^ "Sofia Boutella: a múltad a jövõd!". In English via Google Translate (in Hungarian). Megatánc. 24 November 2006. Archived from the original on 15 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  36. ^ Barna, Marthy (24 November 2006). " exkluzív: Sofia Boutella titkai". In English via Google Translate (in Hungarian). Megatánc. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  37. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (14 May 2011). "Vertigo ramps up StreetDance, Monsters sequels". Screen International. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  38. ^ "Monsters: Dark Continent". Protagonist Pictures. 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  39. ^ Failes, Ian (16 February 2015). "Kingsman: not so secret effects". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  40. ^ Yamato, Jen (2015-12-15). "'Star Trek Beyond' Director on Avoiding Plot Overlap with 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'" Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  41. ^ Kroll, Justin (21 January 2016). "Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' Gets New Release Date". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  42. ^ Kit, Borys; Ford, Rebecca (8 December 2015). "'Kingsman' Actress Sofia Boutella in Talks to Star in 'The Mummy' (Exclusive)". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  43. ^ Sneider, Jeff (26 October 2015). "'Kingsman' Breakout Sofia Boutella Joins Charlize Theron in Spy Thriller 'The Coldest City' (Exclusive)". Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  44. ^ Hipes, Patrick (7 June 2017). "Sofia Boutella Joins HBO Films' 'Fahrenheit 451'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 10 June 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  45. ^ Kroll, Justin (28 April 2017). "'The Mummy' Star Sofia Boutella in Talks to Join Jodie Foster for 'Hotel Artemis' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  46. ^ Cohen, Anne. "All Your Favorite Celebrities Give Life To The Most Touching Documentary Of The Year". Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  47. ^ Jack O'Connell, Alfie Allen & Dominic West Among Cast For Steven Knight's BBC Series 'SAS: Rogue Heroes'
  48. ^ Kroll, Justin (2 November 2021). "Zack Snyder Taps Sofia Boutella To Star In His New Sci-fi Adventure 'Rebel Moon' At Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  49. ^ Grobar, Matt (19 May 2023). "Ben Kingsley, Sofia Boutella Join Dave Bautista In Lionsgate Action Comedy The Killer's Game". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 May 2023.

Further reading[edit]

  • H. W. Wilson (2017). Current Biography Yearbook 2017 (78th ed.). Ipswich, Massachusetts: Grey House Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61925-848-8.

External links[edit]