Saïd Taghmaoui was born on July 1973 in Villepinte Seine-Saint-Denis, France into a Moroccan immigrant family of Berber ancestry. He was the youngest of the 10 children in his family and grew up in la cite des 3000, the ghetto in Aulnay-sous-Bois, also known as the poor Paris suburb. Dropping out of school at the age of 14, he started spray Painting Graffiti wherever he could and was quite a delinquent. That didn’t last for long as by the age of 17 he got involved in boxing in France. At a time in his life, he was ranked number 2 in his category. He also got into the French championship twice. Later on, he also proved himself to be quite a dancer as he joined a French gangsta-rap group known as Assassin, but even that didn’t last long. In 1995, Taghmaoui joined up with his close friend and rising filmmaker named Mathieu Kassovitz and that where his rise as an actor started. Along with Mathieu Kassovitz he made a revolutionary film “La Haine” (Hate) which not only made Kassovitz win the best-director award at Cannes but also set Saïd Taghmaoui on a course to global fame.
What sets him apart is his multilingualism. He is fluent in French, Arabic, Berber and English. This helped him gain fame and helped him to not be confined in just one country but stretch out. He is known to have stacked up assignments on multiple continents, although in small parts and as a supporting cast, he still managed to pull it off. He was quite determined and ambitious. Although he was nominated for Cesar Award in the category of the most promising actor in 1996 for his performance in the film La Haines, his talent was recognized in the much anticipated movie “The Kite Runner “ and “ Vantage point “ . He was the second actor after Maurice Chevalier to land big Hollywood roles in the Movie industry. In recent years, he starred in the highly acclaimed and first of the three Mega-budget Movie “G. I. Joe “based on the fan-favorite Marvel comic book series. In France, he made sure his characters were not caricatures. Omar Sharif presented him with an award at the 2005 Cairo Film Festival, and said that Taghmaoui was his cinematic heir. “I cried,” Taghmaoui recalls.
He didn’t just do movies but also starred in a lot of TV-series. His first role in the TV-series business was as Hamid in the “Sleeper cells” which released in 2006. Then he got a role in “Secrets” in 2007. The most promising role of his would have to be in the controversial, and one of the most famed TV-series of all time “lost” where he played the character of “Ceasar”. He also played the role of Saddam Hossain’s brother Barzan Ibrahim in “Between Two Rivers”, a BBC-HBO television mini-series about Saddam’s life.
Taghmaoui even after gaining international fandom and success still hasn’t forgotten his roots and his ancestry and till this day is in love with Morocco.
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