Tahar Rahim, prophet in his country

He has the seductive energy of a Tom Cruise, a misty throaty voice that you would recognize among a thousand and the joyful smile of the child who played you a good trick. Tahar Rahim is Don Juan. On screen, in Don Juan signed Serge Bozon, presented at the Cannes Film Festival before being released in theaters in stride (“An inverted Don Juan, with amorous sorrow such as one hardly ever sees in a man in the cinema”, he explains nicely). And Don Juan in the city, able to charm you reluctantly while smiling – as here in the carpeted, plushly modern lobby of the Marriott hotel – at people who pass and interrupt him with a hello.

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He says that in order to understand this Don Juan of the cinema, distraught at having lost his love for a look slipped towards another, he thought: “We must not forget that the character is an actor. To understand this madness that inhabits him, I thought he had to be confused. I’ve read stuff like that: actors who don’t get out of character, who mix things up and end up in a psychiatric hospital. »

“You never feel more alive than in survival”

He is anything but. At Tahar Rahim, nothing is confused. Never seems to have been, since the day, at 17, when he discovered in The Republican East, at his home in Belfort, an ad to appear in a short film. It has been three years since the youngest of ten siblings whose father left Algeria – where he was teaching Arabic – for the French El Dorado, a better paid job at Alsthom, and the promise of a future for his offspring, no longer leaves cinemas.

“I had an extraordinary childhood, nothing to say, and then after adolescence we run after something else and then I go to the cinema, it grabs me, I like the atmosphere, it allows me to m escape, and then I had a way back. I went there five times a week, for two years non-stop, and then after that it slowly turns into a vital need. » He responds to the ad for the extras. It was there that he met Cyril Mennegun, the future director of Caesarized Louise Wimmer.

Step by step

Because contrary to what we often imagine, Tahar Rahim, now an international star (To lose reason by Joachim Lafosse The past by Asghar Farhadi, The Secret of the Dark Room by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Found Guilty by Kevin Macdonald or soon Napoleon of Ridley Scott…), which the glossy magazines tear off, was not discovered during a wild casting to interpret the convict ofa prophet by Jacques Audiard. Man built himself step by step, voluntarily.

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