Press: Actress Sofia Boutella opens up about taking a chance on tricky films

 

THE NATIONAL – Even at the highest ­level, acting is still about playing dress-up. “When I was little, I used to put costumes on,” explains Sofia Boutella, relaxing in her hotel suite holding a cup of honey and lemon. “I wore my mum’s stuff. I would wear big dresses and try to fit in her heels, and put a hat on that didn’t fit me. Stuff like that. It’s more fun when you can look the least like yourself as possible.”

 

If it’s a trick to help preserve her anonymity as she climbs the Hollywood ladder, the Algerian-born actress has managed that pretty well so far. She was the high-kicking, blade-footed assassin in Kingsman: The Secret Service and the white-faced alien scavenger Jaylah in last year’s Star Trek Beyond.

 

Now co-starring with Tom Cruise, she’s just as unrecognisable as the title character in Universal’s new horror reboot, The Mummy. Playing Princess Ahmanet, the mummified Egyptian royal who plans to wreak havoc on the world after her slumber is disturbed, it’s the perfect disguise. But Boutella has no desire to hide on screen – a former dancer for Madonna, she’s a total perfectionist.

 

“I was doing this training for The Mummy, and I filmed myself,” she says. “Watching it, it didn’t look right. I thought: ‘How can we fix that?’ And that’s what I do, when I watch the end result.”

 

Directed by Alex Kurtzman, a former screenwriter whose credits include Star Trek and Cruise’s Mission: Impossible III, The Mummy is the first in a planned series of horror movies reviving the classic Universal monsters of the past. The so-called Dark Universe will see the return of Van Helsing, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and next, in 2019, the Bride of Frankenstein.

 

For The Mummy, Boutella admits it was an “exhausting” process – certainly compared to playing Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond. “The Mummy is something else. The stages where you see her, and meet her, and she regenerates – that requires research and tests, and that was quite tiring. I think it’s one of those films where you can always be one inch from being the worst film ever. It’s finding that fine line.” What does she mean exactly?

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Gallery: “The Mummy” Premiere – Mexico City, MX

I’ll have more pics later tonight but here’s a couple. Sofia looks amazing in that color of red.

 
 

 

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Video: Behind the Scenes of Malibu Magazine Photoshoot

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Videos: FB Live Chat and More Interviews

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Videos: New “The Mummy” BTS & Movie Clips

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Upcoming: AOL Build in NYC

The Mummy cast – Sofia Boutella, Courtney Vance, Jake Johnson, and Alex Kurtzman – will be visiting the AOL Build studio for a little Q&A on June 7 at 3:45 PM EST. If you’re in town, you can get tickets at their website.

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Gallery: Crash Magazine Photoshoot & Scans + More!

Thanks to Lora @ Teresa Palmer Source for the Crash Magazine photos and scans.

 

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Gallery: AOL Build London

Sorry these are so delayed!

 

 

 

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Press: Meet Sofia Boutella: Bazaar’s June Cover Star

An intoxicating hybrid of strength, artfulness and femininity, Bazaar meets Sofia Boutella, one of the Arab world’s most enchanting exports

 

HARPER’S BAZAAR ARABIA – There’s a name that you should know. A face that you should recognise. But you’ll be forgiven for being unaware of either. They belong to Sofia Boutella, a 35-year-old Algerian artiste. An accomplished dancer, she’s worked with Michael Jackson and Rihanna, toured with Madonna, and appeared in Nike Women’s advertising campaigns; as an actor she’s landed parts in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond. In one way or another she has been performing since she was five, yet it is this month’s blockbuster, The Mummy, that will prove her most significant entrée. Top-billed against co-star Tom Cruise, Sofia claims the title role as Ahmanet, an ancient Egyptian princess whose ambitions of ruling are put aside in favour of a male heir. Hers is a dark and compelling performance. Her name is here to stay. Her face you won’t forget.

 

Rich olive skin, a razor-edged fringe that exaggerates sharp cheekbones, deep brown eyes framed by thick brows, and a mellifluous French accent… Sofia is an editorial dream – a beautiful blank canvas on which to play out fashion’s greatest fantasies. She wore Chanel haute couture to present at the Academy Awards in February and, reprising the moment for the cover shoot with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia in Los Angeles last month, she created a masterpiece of movement, a feminine fluidity that brought together her dancer’s dexterity with the theatricals of her artistry. Poetry in motion. There’s a delicacy to the imagery, but strength and power too. Sofia is all of these things and more. But to understand her present, one must scratch a little at her past.

 

Born in 1982 in the Bab El Oued district of Algiers, Sofia (whose surname Boutella translates as ‘the men of the mountain’) recalls a childhood filled with beautiful memories. “We were always in nature. In our family home we had a big, dishevelled garden, with deer, dogs, chickens and cats. There was a rundown old carriage that we would pretend had horses attached to it. I grew up in a very beautiful way, in a family that always encouraged me, and my calling to be artistic. We were raised to be open-minded, creative, to use our imaginations.” Raised by two artists – her father is a jazz musician, her mother an architect – she feels “blessed to be born into a family that allowed me to express myself, to be myself and let out all sorts of colours that were living in my imagination and in my heart.”

 

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Videos: More Special Clips from “The Mummy”

 


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