Actor (Villepinte, France, 7.19.1973)
Taghmaoui was born in Villepinte, Seine-Saint-Denis, into a large family comprising eight children; he had four brothers and three sisters. His parents were Moroccan immigrants of Berber ancestry. Taghmaoui grew up in the Rose des Vents quartier of the Aulnay-sous-Bois commune. He dropped out of school to become a boxer. He later met actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz; together, they appeared in Kassovitz’s film La Haine (Hate, 1995), for which Kassowitz was awarded as Best Director at Cannes Film Festival. The following year, Taghmaoui was nominated for a César Award (Most Promising Actor category) for his performance. He moved to the United States in 1999 and in 2008, he obtained US citizenship. He has since pursued an international career, appearing in films and produced in Germany, Italy, Morocco, UK and the United States. He had roles in TV series like Lost (2009), Strike Back (2012) and Touch (2013) and in international box office hits like American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013), Vantage Point (Pete Travis, 2008) and Three Kings (David O. Russell, 1999).
As before mentioned, Taghmaoui is relatively well known also to the Italian audience, as he appeared in several films made between late 1990s and 2000s. He played a young Moroccan immigrant in Italy in TV movie L’albero dei destini sospesi (The Tree of Hanging Destinies, 1997), by Algerian-Italian director Rachid Benhadj, premiered at Venice Film Festival and co-starring Adel Bakri and Hedy Krissane. After that, he was a waiter involved in a mafia history in thriller Prima del tramonto (1999) by Stefano Incerti, alongside Maud Buquet and Fatiha Berber. In 2005 he played the role of Moroccan writer Mohamed Choukri, born and raised in colonial Morocco, in Italian-French-Moroccan Il pane nudo (For Bread Alone) by Benhadj, inspired by the eponymous novel and featuring also Sanaa Alaoui, Karim Benhadj, Faycal Zeghadi, Ahmed El Kourachi and Jamil Hammoudi.
L’albero dei destini sospesi (Rachid Benhadj, 1997, tvm, act), I giardini dell’Eden (Alessandro D’Alatri, 1998, ff, act), Onorevoli detenuti (Giancarlo Planta, 1999, ff, act), Prima del tramonto (Stefano Incerti, 1999, ff, act), Il pane nudo (Rachid Benhadj, 2005, ff, act), O’ Jerusalem (Elie Chouraqui, 2007, ff, act)
Frame taken from:
Il pane nudo. Dir. Rachid Benhadj. Progetto Visivo, Esse&Bi Cinematografica, A.E. Media Corporation S.r.l., 2005.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi, with Renata Ornella Orlando and Ylenia Talevi
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