Press: Introducing Sofia Boutella, Your Newest Mummy

 

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.

 

AGE: 35.

 

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.

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Press: Sofia Boutella Joins Michael B. Jordan in ‘Fahrenheit 451’

VARIETY – “The Mummy” star Sofia Boutella is set to join Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon in HBO’s film adaptation of the novel “Fahrenheit 451.”

 

Ramin Bahrani is directing.

 

Based on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, the TV film depicts a future where the media is an opiate, history is outlawed, and “firemen” burn books.

 

Jordan will play Montag, a young fireman who forsakes his world, battles his mentor, and struggles to regain his humanity. Shannon will play Beatty, Montag’s fireman captain and mentor.

 

Boutella will play Clarisse, an informant caught between the competing interests of Montag and Beatty.

 

Jordan will also serve as an executive producer on the project, producing through his Outlier Productions. Other exec producers are Sarah Green of Brace Cove Productions, Alan Gasmer, Peter Jaysen, and Bahrani, who is also co-writing with Amir Naderi. David Coatsworth is a producer.

 

Boutella already has a busy summer with “The Mummy,” where she plays the iconic monster opposite Tom Cruise, opening on June 9, and “Atomic Blonde” alongside Charlize Theron bowing in July. She is currently filming “Hotel Artemis” opposite Jodie Foster.

 

She is repped by CAA and 42 in the UK.

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Gallery: “The Mummy” Premiere – New York City

Here’s the first batch of pictures from this event. I’ll add more as they appear!

 

 
 

 

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Press: Sofia Boutella on breathing new life into a classic monster

She stars alongside Tom Cruise in the first instalment of Universal’s planned Dark Universe, revisiting the studio’s litany of iconic creatures of the night

 

INDEPENDENT – A monster is never just that, a monster.

 

Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man; whatever ghouls or goblins may stalk the pages of books or the edges of silver screens, they represent a nightmare far more primitive and deep-stirring than their initial frights.

 

The fear that death is only illusionary, the fear of science and the perils of playing God, or of the beast that dwells within all mankind; each of them distilled into mythical beings who give those terrors a name and a face.

 

“It’s not just a monster walking around,” Sofia Boutella states. “If you look at the original ones, they’re interesting, profound metaphors.” She plays the titular creature of Universal’s new take on The Mummy, now transformed from the lovesick priest Boris Karloff played in the 1932 original and into the vengeful princess Ahmanet, battling against Tom Cruise’s hero Nick Morton.

 

Boutella describes a distinctly cinephilic childhood, one that saw her readily absorb the original Mummy and other monster offerings, and her love for and knowledge of this world is deeply self-evident.

 

She recounts to me how early cinematic versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, namely the 1931 film starring Fredric March and its 1941 remake, saw the character’s ape-like transformation driven by an inability to consume his feelings towards the woman he loved due to the limitations of his era’s moralistic society. “Isn’t that brilliant?” she concludes with. “Every single one of them has an identity that’s special to them.”

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde make their return in 2017’s The Mummy, as played by Russell Crowe. He may no longer be lusting over unattainable women, but that primitive drive still remains; it’s a respect for the original material that Boutella, as a fan, was ardent to keep intact.

 

“When I sat down with Alex [Kurtzman, the film’s director], I told him, how are you going to do this? What are your feelings and thoughts? He wanted to give homage to the original ones, and still adapt it to modern times and adapt it to the technology we have now. That’s what made me fall the most in love with it, because I love the original ones.”

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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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