Tahar Rahim, juror at Cannes and head of the American film “Designated Guilty”


RED CARPET – At 40, Tahar Rahim has already explored many routes, but has not finished his ascent. Member of the jury in Cannes, he is also on the bill of “Designated guilty” which comes out on Wednesday July 14th.

He combines flowers and honors. Tahar Rahim is one of the nine members of the Cannes Film Festival jury and is now one of those whose opinion counts, twelve years after being born as an actor on this red carpet, with “A Prophet” by Jacques Audiard . He played the leading role there, that of an inmate. This intense drama won the Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival and nine Césars, including that of best male hope and best actor.

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“It is a memorable moment, very very strong, that I will not forget. But above all, the importance of the Cannes Film Festival, it is really something crazy that can change the lives of films, actors, actresses, screenwriters “, he confides. Four years later, in 2013, he returned to compete in Cannes with “Le Passé” by Iranian Asghar Farhadi and “Grand Central” by French Rebecca Zlotowski.

Of all the plans

Tahar Rahim has since become an international star and hopes to conquer Hollywood. Which seems to be off to a good start after his impressive performance in the film “Designated guilty” (in French theaters on July 14). The true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi unjustly accused of terrorism, imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years in Guantánamo. The actor gives the reply, in impeccable English, to a legend of American cinema, Jodie Foster.

“When I heard he was going to do the movie, I jumped for joy. And besides, I don’t think there is any other actor who could play that kind of vulnerability that he has, this thrill of joy he has as a little boy. It is exactly the same as Mohamedou. He has brought so much “, recognizes the American actress.

Sometimes unrecognizable, with hollow cheeks, a sick complexion and a shaved head, present on almost every front, this role has earned him a nomination for the Golden Globes and the Bafta, and the recognition of his peers across the country. Atlantic. “It feels good, it encourages, it reassures the idea of ​​continuing to make choices, of knowing how to say no, of knowing how to get involved in projects which, perhaps at the start, are difficult to set up or risky”, he underlines, while he has long refused certain roles in the United States, scores of terrorists, for example.

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Born in Belfort, in a humble background, Tahar Rahim grew up admiring De Niro and Scorsese. As an adult, he didn’t betray his childhood dreams. “I would say that he was right to dream, to work and then to think that it was possible. And that it is possible for any type of kid who comes from anywhere”, he admits. At 40, he has been touring abroad for ten years, in parallel with his roles in French cinema, and was recently noticed in two series, “The Eddy” and “Le Serpent”, where he plays the French killer Charles Sobhra.

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