By Iman Sadri
May 28, 2017
Sofia Boutella is a name you will come to learn of, if it’s one you don’t already know. Universal Pictures has had their eyes on the one with The Eyes. The dark brooding beauty of French-Algerian heritage is starring as the titular character in Universal’s The Mummy. A film co-starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
Boutella is a dancer, model and actress who brings a trifecta of talent on screeen. Not to mention a trifecta of languages. Boutella is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
Seeing her for the first time Kingsman : The Secret Service left an indelible impression on me. Immediately, I was reminded of an Egyptian princess, seeing her jet black hair and short bangs. Fast forward three years later and Boutella is starring as an Egyptian Princess, Ahmanet, in The Mummy film.
I first met Boutella at last summer’s Comic Con premiere of Star Trek Beyond. I was there blogging about Shohreh Aghdashloo’s role in the film as Commodore Paris. Boutella was introduced by Conan O’Brien on stage to join the other actors who were already present in front of thousands in the audience. As she walked across the stage about 15 feet in front of me her magnetism struck me.
After watching the premiere in a large outdoor screen at Comic Con, her role of Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond also stayed with me. Her rich, deep eyes which communicate with the audience were not masked by the makeup of her character. They shined through asking the audience for empathy for her character’s plight.
This past January I had the fortune of meeting Sofia, albeit briefly, at Catch in L.A an a CAA Pre Golden Globes event. Walking outside on the balcony I saw her standing next to a female friend. My heart sank. There were those brooding eyes again. She was getting ready to leave. I pointed to Sofia and told her friend in a dry, nervous voice, “That’s my Sofia.” Not sure exactly why I said those words at that moment. It was not unlike an eight year old pointing to a stolen bike and claiming it as theirs.
Sofia and her friend smiled as they prepared to leave. She asked me my name as she was leaving. With those eyes fixed, she repeated, “Iman” and then left.
Those eyes now grace enormous billboards along Sunset Blvd and the 405 and many other freeways and countless buses, taxis, and subway stops. Those eyes are the backdrop of The Mummy poster and promotional imagery.
Sofia Boutella is more than a set of magnetic eyes, however. She is a national- level gymnast. A dancer who has worked with Madonna, Rihanna and almost Michael Jackson, if it were not for a scheduling conflict.
There is no scheduling conflict with Sofia Boutella in The Mummy, however. Her eyes and talent are just in time for the summer blockbuster season.
Iman Sadri is the founder of @ThePersianObserver