VANITY FAIR – The Algerian actress, who plays the namesake character in the Tom Cruise remake of the Universal classic, is this season’s breakout action star.
PROVENANCE: Bab el Oued, Algeria.
ON POINT: “My family was artistic and encouraged me to express myself. I was a show-off, so they took me to ballet class.”
AU REVOIR: “Times were hard for my country when I was young. France had more opportunities, so we left.”
INTO THE GROOVE: In Paris, Boutella danced professionally—“it taught me discipline”—and, at 20, she was introduced to Madonna. “We worked together for 10 years. Being on tour is a unique dynamic because its pace is so intense and special. You grow up fast.”
BACKGROUND TO FOREGROUND: “Acting has always been a strong force in my life, but it was hard to change direction. I didn’t make a paycheck for two years.”
UNWRAPPED: After starring in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond, this summer Boutella plays the title role in The Mummy. “It was important that she was a strong female character who paid respect to the original 1932 film.” As for her co-star? “Tom Cruise is incredible! He loves moviemaking, so it was a pure joy to be on set.”
BOMBSHELL: In July, Boutella will continue her action streak, opposite Charlize Theron in David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde. “I love that I can say that I’m busy. Storytelling is important, so I keep exploring and reading, to see what may be out there.”
The other photos from the shoot are in the gallery.