Tahar Rahim

Tahar Rahim

Rahim in 2014
Born (1981-07-04) 4 July 1981
Belfort, France
Occupation Actor
Years active 2005–present
Spouse(s) Leïla Bekhti (2010–present)

Tahar Rahim (born 4 July 1981) is a French actor of Algerian descent. He is known for his starring role as Malik El Djebena in the 2009 award-winning French movie A Prophet by Jacques Audiard.

Rahim has demonstrated multilingual skills and an ear for accents, having played in Corsican and Arabic in addition to French in A Prophet, and in Scottish Gaelic for his role as the Seal Prince in Kevin Macdonald's The Eagle.

Early life

Ra him was born in Belfort, France, into a family that immigrated from the region of Oran, Algeria.[1]

After earning a Baccalauréat at the Lycée Condorcet of Belfort, he enrolled first in Sports and then Computer Science programs. After two subsequent years of an unmotivated boredom with the subjects in Strasbourg and Marseille, Rahim decided to pursue his passion and began to study film at the Paul Valéry University of Montpellier. His life as a film student was chronicled in a documentary by Cyril Mennegun titled "Tahar, student", aired on French TV channel France 5 in 2006.

Following this, Rahim moved to Paris in 2005 and studied drama at the Laboratoire de l'Acteur under Hélène Zidi-Chéruy while working in a factory during the week, and in a night club on weekends to make ends meet.


In mid-2006, after signing with an agent, Rahim won a part in the hit Canal+ television series La Commune written by Abdel Raouf Dafri. Dafri penned the first draft of the script to A Prophet. Rahim then met Audiard when the two coincidentally shared a cab while the two were leaving a set. Tahar introduced himself saying that "I knew it was Audiard and I said I was a fan but I think I was a bit silly" and was afterward very surprised that Audiard remembered him enough to contact him about A Prophet. After a two-line appearance in 2008 horror movie Inside starring Béatrice Dalle, he went through a gruelling three months of auditioning. After eight callbacks, he landed his breakthrough role.[2][3]

Rahim also starred in controversial Chinese director Lou Ye's film Love and Bruises. The director, twice banned from making movies by the Chinese government, likely met Tahar at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where they were each presenting Spring Fever and A Prophet respectively. Love Bruises is the adaptation of the banned biography of Jie Liu Falin.

Another project he starred in was Des hommes libres (Free men), the biopic on Si Kaddour Benghabrit, founder of the Great Mosque of Paris, directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi of Le Grand Voyage fame.[4]

He was selected to be on the jury for the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

He is currently starring in the European crime drama television series The Last Panthers.

Personal life

Rahim is married to French actress Leïla Bekhti, whom he met while filming A Prophet in 2007.[6][7][8]


Year Title Role Director Notes
2006 Tahar l'étudiant Tahar Cyril Mennegun
2007 Inside a policeman Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
2007 La Commune Yazid Fikry Philippe Triboit
2009 A Prophet Malik Jacques Audiard Lumières Award for Best Actor
Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actor
César Award for Most Promising Actor
César Award for Best Actor
European Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Rising Star Award
2011 The Eagle Prince of the Seal People Kevin Macdonald
2011 Les Hommes libres Younes Ismael Ferroukhi
2011 Love and Bruises Mathieu Lou Ye
2011 Black Gold Prince Auda Jean-Jacques Annaud
2012 Our Children Mounir Joachim Lafosse
2013 The Past Samir Asghar Farhadi
2013 Grand Central Gary Rebecca Zlotowski
2013 The Informant Redjani Belimane Julien Leclercq
2014 The Cut Nazaret Manoogian Fatih Akın
2014 Samba Wilson Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
2014 Le Père Noël Le Père Noël Alexandre Coffre
2015 The Last Panthers Khalil Johan Renck TV series
2015 The Anarchists Jean Albertini Elie Wajeman
2016 The Woman in the Silver Plate Jean Kiyoshi Kurosawa
2016 Heal the Living Thomas Rémige Katell Quillévéré
2017 Mary Magdalene Judas Garth Davis In post-production



  1. "L'Expression - Le Quotidien - 110 km d'autoroute achevés". Lexpressiondz.com. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  2. "Tahar Rahim: "Je m'étais donné dix ans pour y arriver" - L'EXPRESS". Lexpress.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  3. Dang, Simon (2010-02-25). "The Playlist: Tahar Rahim To Team With Lou Ye For 'Bitch,' Also Shooting A Biopic On French-Muslim Icon Si Kaddour Benghabrit". Theplaylist.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  4. "Un Certain Regard Jury 2015". Cannes Film Festival. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  5. "Leïla Bekhti : Savoureusement métamorphosée en femme fatale..." (in French). Pure People. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  6. Marouf, Fouzia (May 17, 2011). "Leïla Bekhti, aux sources de la joie". Le Soir (in French). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  7. "Tahar Rahim, amoureux de Leïla Bekhti : Je crois au mariage à vie". Pure People. Paris. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
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