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Boutella’s Long Journey From Dancer To Trek

Just a few years ago, the Algerian-born actress was backing Madonna

Sofia Boutella had just finished what she thought was the performance of her life, dancing in front of millions of people watching the Super Bowl.

It was 2012 and Indianapolis, and Boutella was a dancer for one of the hottest pop singers ever, Madonna. It was in that moment, however, Boutella knew dancing wasn’t in her future.

“I told Madonna, ‘I think I am not going to keep dancing anymore,” Boutella told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Annie Howard. “Even if it takes two years, I need to stop now. I’m done.”

Madonna supported her move to get into acting, and in that time, Boutella went from being a nameless dancer to a name of her own, playing a major role in the upcoming “Star Trek: Beyond.” She plays Jaylah in the new movie, a colorful and very physical character Kirk and company run into while stranded on an “adventure planet” following the destruction of the USS Enterprise. She also is set to play the title role in the upcoming “The Mummy” remake starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.

At just 34, Boutella has come up fast and furious. She was born in Algeria in 1982 to jazz musician Safy Boutella, and started to dance at a very early age. When her family moved to France when she was 10, Boutella became part of the French rhythmic gymnastics team.

She would continue dance, including street hip-hop dancing, through her early adult years, but got her first big break in 2007 when she was discovered by choreographer Jamie King. That led to gigs with stars like Madonna, Chris Brown and the late Michael Jackson.

When she walked away from dancing, her prediction it would take two years came true. Boutella didn’t work at all, looking to get that first big role. And she finally did in 2015 when she was cast as Gazelle in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” And from there, her career has exploded.

And a lot of it is thanks to a life that, until a few years ago, was dedicated to dance.

“With dancing specifically, you have access to body language and movement,” Boutella told THR. “That is a massive part (of) acting. How does your character move around in space? How do people walk? How do they carry themselves? Because I was a dancer, I observe people. Being a dancer gave me that eye.”

Star Trek fans will have a chance to see how Boutella moves around in actual space. Well, on a planet somewhere else in space.

That’s because “Star Trek: Beyond” premieres July 22.

For the full THR story, click here.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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