Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Muslim
  • Career: Actor
  • Birthday:  July 19, 1973

Saïd Taghmaoui is a French actor. One of his significant screen roles was that of Saïd in the 1995 French movie “La Haine,” directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. Taghmaoui has also appeared in numerous English language movies, with roles in “Three Kings,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” “Wonder Woman,” and “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.”

Taghmaoui was born in Villepinte, Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, into a large family of eight children with four brothers and three sisters. His parents were Moroccan immigrants. Taghmaoui grew up in the Rose des Vent quartier of the Aulnay-sous-Bois commune and dropped out of school to become a boxer, rising as high as number two in his weight class in France. Later, he met director and actor Mathieu Kassovitz. Together, they appeared in Kassovitz’s movie “La Heine,” whose plot concerns violence and race in the ghettoized banlieues of Paris.

The following year, Taghmaoui was nominated for a Cesar Award in the Most Promising Actor category for his performance. He’s since pursued an international career, appearing in movies in Italy, Morocco, Germany, and the United States. In 2008, he starred in “Vantage Point” as the leader of a terrorist group plotting to kidnap the U.S. president. In Morocco, he appeared in “Djinns,” a movie about the Algerian War, alongside Thierry Fremont. Taghmaoui’s television work includes “Touch,” “House of Saddam,” and Lost.”

What religion is Saïd Taghmaoui?

Taghmaoui is a practicing Muslim. While getting his directorial debut off the ground, the actor said he hoped to use his platform to address Hollywood’s representation of Muslim and Arab communities. He said, “It’s about time for me to go behind the camera after all these years, and obviously, I want to talk about something that I know. I know myself pretty well, so it’s going to be the story of the journey of a ghetto boy from the French ghettos to Hollywood movies. I want to talk about so many things in society from my own experience and do it with a conscience.”

He continued, “There is a lot of cliche and stereotyping, and you always have to try to be real – at least, that’s what I try to do. There’s always a danger, but there are also always people with good intentions and people with bad intentions. I believe that directing will be the beginning of changing things with the world for me. I’m very happy you asked, though, because, yes, I want to defend my people and culture and my religion, but, yes, we also need more love and understanding and tolerance – and less politics.”


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