Sofia Boutella is one of those actresses whose name you might not recognize, but when you realize who she’s played, you’re like, “Ohhhh, I know her!” Born in the Bab El Oued district of Algiers, the daughter of jazz musician Safy Boutella and an architect mother, Boutella has appeared in big-budget films such as Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond. This summer, she will be getting her biggest break yet, starring in the title role as Princess Ahmanet, aka The Mummy in Universal’s upcoming The Mummy.
Boutella started classical dance education at the age of five years old, and at the age of 10 in 1992, she left Algeria with her family and moved to France, where she started rhythmic gymnastics, joining the French national team at age 18.
Boutella started her career as a dancer. She took up hip-hop and street dance and was part of a group called the Vagabond Crew, which won the Battle of the Year in 2006. She also participated in a group called “Chienne de Vie and Aphrodites” created by Momo from the Vagabond Crew. Her big dancing breakthrough arrived in 2007, when she was picked for the Jamie King choreography for Nike. Her Nike gig was a major boost in her career and led to more work alongside stars like Madonna and Rihanna.
After appearing in Kingsman: The Secret Service as Samuel L. Jackson’s sword-legged henchman, Boutella was subsequently cast in Star Trek Beyond & The Mummy. With the combination of exotic looks and physical talent, Boutella seems like a star in the making, and certainly someone to keep an eye on. I know I will.