When "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" hit the theaters last summer, Said Taghmaoui got a chance to fight terrorists rather than play them. Taghmaoui's character, Breaker, has Muslim origins and is a member of the global G.I. Joe team hunting down the world's baddies. Taghmaoui, a standout actor in France of Moroccan parentage, has steadily built a career in Hollywood, even playing the stereotypical role of the terrorist (such as in the movie "Vantage Point" and "Traitor")--but adding nuance, complexity, and even a touch of sympathy every time he takes on such a role.
Taghmaoui, who is more widely recognized now for his recurring role as Caesar in Season Five of the ABC hit drama "Lost," first had a career as a boxer. Later, with a friend, he wrote and starred in the script for "La Haine" ("Hatred," about race and violence in the ghettos of Paris), which won him awards and accolades. Since then he's made his mark as an international star, making movies in Hollywood ("Hidalgo," "Three Kings," "The Kite Runner"), as well as in France and Morocco. As he continues to score bigger and more popular roles in Hollywood, Taghmaoui is poised to become that actor who can take on roles where faith can be part of his backstory instead of the main plot focus.