He never ceases to seduce America. Belfort-born comedian Tahar Rahim is nominated for the Golden Globes for his role as a killer in the series The Serpent. But the ceremony will take place this Sunday, January 9 behind closed doors, doubly hit by controversies and the health crisis. Not enough to taint the splendid career of the actor, on the contrary.
He was “born on July 4th”, a national holiday in the United States and the title of a famous Oliver Stone film. This perhaps predestined Tahar Rahim to success across the Atlantic. More than his place of birth anyway, though …
In 1981, the little boy was born in Belfort, in the popular Residences district, into a family of ten children. He grew up in a modest environment, his father was a worker, even if he taught Arabic before emigrating to France, but an environment where studies and success are encouraged. This is why his parents left Oran and Algeria, ” so that we have access to better living conditions, higher education, good jobs. ”Says the actor in the columns of Marie-Claire magazine in 2021.
It is also in Belfort that the young Tahar forged a cinematographic culture. He watches many films in the dark theaters of the city, most of the time in fraud. Bernard Roy, the director of the Alpha and Kursaal cinemas, which are now closed, remembers with amusement the game of cat and mouse in which the staff and the free rider indulged. ” You can’t imagine the number of films he was able to see without paying “, says the manager now installed in the Bugey. “He was our “public enemy number 1. He always had a tip, a knowledge that would open the back door for him or give him his entrance … And when we checked him, he inevitably had a valid ticket on him, without ever having passed by.” by the “cash” box! “
This scenario is repeated many times between 1995 and 2002, then Tahar Rahim disappears from Belfort cinemas, finally on the spectator side. Because it’s on the cover of a magazine for The Prophet that Bernard Roy rediscovered it in a Gare de Lyon newsstand. He can’t believe his eyes. ” We met in a cinema in Lyon during the presentation of the film “the Anarchists”. I voluntarily put myself in the front row. He jumped up when he saw me and we hugged! I told him that I didn’t blame him anymore but that he had to mention me as a part of his career success in every interview. And that’s what he did, including on Michel Drucker’s sofa! Today, we are friends. He is a being who always has a smile, infinitely jovial“.
It is still a Belfortain, Cyril Mennegun (former projectionist besides at the Kursaal) who will give his first role in 2005 to Tahar Rahim in a docu-fiction quite simply entitled “Tahar the student” and which tells in particular the financial woes of the young man between his hometown and his faculty of Montpellier.
The rest is better known. For her first major role, in 2009, in the film a prophet by Jacques Audiard, Tahar Rahim receives the César for best male hope and the César for best actor. This second double in the history of the Caesar (after Richard Anconina in 1984 in Ciao Pantin) will also force the academy to change its statutes so that the same artist is no longer nominated in different categories for the same role.
In 2011, Tahar Rahim’s career took an international turn with the American peplum The eagle of the ninth legion Where black gold by Jean-Jacques Annaud. He will always alternate thereafter between French films, like Samba by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache and foreign productions such as The past by Asghar Farhadi. Each time the public is won over and the critics rave. All praise his ability to blend in with the characters, to play fair and to remain a simple and discreet man. He also participates in the juries of various international festivals.
Tahar Rahim moved to return to Belfort for the preview of black gold in November 2011.
In 2021, Tahar Rahim was successively nominated in the best actor category for his role as Mohamedou Ould Slahi in Designated guilty (The Mauritanian) by Kevin Macdonald at the Golden Globes (organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) then at the BAFTAs (organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts).
It is therefore again for the Golden Globes ceremony that the actor, now in his forties, is nominated. This time it’s a series, The snake, in which he plays French con artist and serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who rocked Southeast Asia in the 1970s.
A role for which Tahar Rahim once again worked a lot. He tells it in a long interview in Vogue magazine. Her face, transformed by make-up and prostheses, her wig, her phrasing… everything contributes to making the charm and coldness of this killer more likely than life. So believable that the American star presenter Ellen DeGeneres laughingly admitted to being “afraid of him” before inviting him to her Talkshow!
Our colleagues from FranceInfo tell you why you have to watch this series.
Will these compliments and this aura be enough for Tahar Rahim to win the Golden Globes? These awards for American cinema and television will take place in any case this year in a special atmosphere. Accused of discrimination, the ceremony has been the subject of much controversy since 2020. Several Hollywood stars are boycotting it. Tom Cruise even returned his three awards. The organizers, however, have maintained the evening in 2022 but coupled with the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant, it will be held without an audience, nor a camera from the usual NBC broadcaster. The victory will still be beautiful if it crowns the old little Belfortain.
To read : Why there 79th Golden Globes held but without audience or television
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What is the career of actor Tahar Rahim, from the Grandes Residences district in Belfort to the Golden Globes 2022?