Isaach de Bankolé

Isaach de Bankolé

Isaach de Bankolé in Karlovy Vary (2009)
Born (1957-08-12) 12 August 1957
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–present

Isaach or Isaac de Bankolé (born 12 August 1957) is an Ivorian actor.[1][2]

Early life and education

He was born in Abidjan, to Yoruba parents from Benin.[3] His grandparents are from Nigeria.[4] He studied Acting at Cours Simon and earned an M.A. from the University of Paris.


He has appeared in over fifty films, including Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes and The Limits of Control.[5] He has been based in the United States since 1997.[3] He appeared in the movie Machetero, in the role of journalist interviewing an imprisoned Puerto Rican revolutionary, along with the members of the New York City-based punk band Ricanstruction.

He has also appeared in Lars von Trier's Manderlay. He portrayed Steven Obanno, a terrorist, in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, and "The Lone Man", an assassin in Jim Jarmusch's film, The Limits of Control (2009).[6] In 2013, he starred as Ayodele Balogun in Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was the closing night selection for Maryland Film Festival 2013.

Personal life

Isaach is fluent in Yorùbá, Bambara, English, French, German and speaks some Italian.[3] He is married to musician Cassandra Wilson.


Year Title Role Director Notes
1984 Asphalt Warriors The Blackie Sergio Gobbi
Comment draguer tous les mecs Honoré Clair Jean-Paul Feuillebois
L'addition Denis Amar
1986 Black Mic Mac Lemi Thomas Gilou César Award for Most Promising Actor
Taxi Boy Touré Alain Page
Noir et Blanc Claire Devers
1987 Lady Cops Inspector Blaise Lacroix Josiane Balasko
1988 Chocolat Protée Claire Denis
Ada dans la jungle Bumbo Gérard Zingg
1989 How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired The Old Jacques W. Benoit
Vanille fraise Hippolyte N'Go Gérard Oury Also writer
1990 No Fear, No Die Dah Claire Denis (2)
1991 Night on Earth The Driver Jim Jarmusch
1992 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Sgt. Barthelmy Simon Wincer & Carl Schultz TV Series (1 Episode)
1993 Heart of Darkness Mfumu Nicolas Roeg TV Movie
1994 Down to Earth Leão Pedro Costa
1995 The Keeper Jean Baptiste Joe Brewster
1998 A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries Mamadou James Ivory
1999 Otomo Frederic Otomo Frieder Schlaich
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Raymond Jim Jarmusch (2)
Cherry Menu Man Jon Glascoe & Joseph Pierson
2000 Bàttu Saar Cheick Oumar Sissoko
2001 3 A.M. Angus Lee Davis
The Sopranos Father Obosi Tim Van Patten TV Series (1 Episode)
2003 Coffee and Cigarettes Isaach Jim Jarmusch (3)
The Killing Zone Malcolm Joe Brewster (2) New York VisionFest - Outstanding Achievement Award - Acting
2004 From Other Worlds Abraham Barry Strugatz
Homework Jean Kevin Asher Green
2005 Manderlay Timothy Lars von Trier
Stay Professor Marc Forster
The Skeleton Key Gas Station Owner Iain Softley
Before It Had a Name Waiter Giada Colagrande
L'évangile selon Aîmé Aîmé André Chandelle TV Movie
2006 Casino Royale Steven Obanno Martin Campbell
Miami Vice Neptune Michael Mann
5up 2down Hunter Steven Kessler
The Unit General Togar James Whitmore Jr. TV Series (1 Episode)
2007 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Laurent Julian Schnabel
Battle in Seattle Abasi Stuart Townsend
The Fifth Patient Captain Mugambe Amir Mann
2008 The Guitar Roscoe Wasz Amy Redford
Machetero Jean Dumont Vagabond Beaumont
24: Redemption President Ule Matobo Jon Cassar TV Movie
2009 White Material The Boxer Claire Denis (3)
The Limits of Control The Lone Man Jim Jarmusch (4)
24 President Ule Matobo Brad Turner, Milan Cheylov, Jon Cassar (2) TV Series (6 Episodes)
2010 I Am Slave Bah Gabriel Range TV Movie
Getting High ! Hunter Messiah Rhodes Short
2011 Oka ! Bassoun Lavinia Currier
2012 Désordres Vincent Etienne Faure
2013 Mother of George Ayodele Balogun Andrew Dosunmu
The Ordained Mr. Obiku R. J. Cutler TV Movie
2014 Calvary Simon John Michael McDonagh
Run Assa Philippe Lacôte Nominated - Trophees du Cinema - Best Supporting Actor
Mirage Francis Szabolcs Hajdu
Where the Road Runs Out George Rudolf Buitendach
White Collar Luc Renaud Sanford Bookstaver & Jeff F. King TV Series (2 Episodes)
2015 The Last Witch Hunter Max Schlesinger Breck Eisner
The Good Wife Larry Oliver Matt Shakman TV Series (1 Episode)
2016 Double Play Ernesto Ernest R. Dickerson
2017 Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Joseph Cedar


Year Title Author Director Notes
1986 Quay West Bernard-Marie Koltès Patrice Chéreau Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers
1987 Dans la solitude des champs de coton Bernard-Marie Koltès Patrice Chéreau (2) Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers
1988 Le Retour au désert Bernard-Marie Koltès Patrice Chéreau (3) Théâtre Renaud-Barrault
1989 La Force d'aimer Martin Luther King, Jr. Patrice Chéreau (4) Théâtre Renaud-Barrault



  1. "New York Times". Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  2. "Isaach De Bankolé An Unexpected Gentleman". MADMUSEUM. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Segun Oguntola (June 6, 2011). "Isaach De Bankolé: A Flower of the Tribe". Nigerians in America. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  4. "Jim Jarmusch interviews Isaach De Bankole" (in German). Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  5. "The Limits of Control". The Guardian. United Kingdom. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  6. Dargis, Manohla (30 April 2009). "New York Times". Retrieved 2 April 2012.
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