Saïd Taghmaoui (born July 19, 1973) is a French/Moroccan American actor and screenwriter. Taghmaoui is best known for his role as Said in the French film La Haine directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, and as the U.S.-trained philosophical Iraqi interrogator Captain 'My Main Man' Saïd in Three Kings. More recently as "Omar" Don Cheadle's (Samir) close radical Islamic associate in the 2008 film Traitor.

Life and career

Taghmaoui was born in the Parisian suburb of Villepinte, into a large family of nine siblings. He grew up in Aulnay-sous-Bois, in the quartier Rose des Vents. He dropped out of school to become a boxer and rose as high as number 2 in his weight class in France.

Later he met Mathieu Kassovitz and together, they co-wrote the script for the award winning film La Haine (about race and violence in the suburban ghettos of Paris). Taghmaoui also played one of the main characters in the film and was nominated for a César Award in 1996 (Most Promising Actor) for his performance. He has performed in many films since then. He speaks five languages and he has pursued an international career, making films in Italy, Germany, Morocco and the United States. He divides his time between Los Angeles, France and Morocco.

Saïd recently starred in the 2008 film Vantage Point playing the leader of a terrorist group that plotted to kidnap the U.S. president. Saïd is again working with Fox as a guest star in the ABC TV show Lost. In Morocco he is making a film about the Algerian War alongside Thierry Fremont.

Selected filmography

  • La Haine (1995)
  • Hideous Kinky (1998)
  • Three Kings (1999)
  • Ali Zaoua (2000)
  • The Good Thief (2002)
  • Crime Spree (2003)
  • Spartan (2004)
  • Hidalgo (2004)
  • I ♥ Huckabees (2004)
  • Five Fingers (2006)
  • O Jerusalem (2006)
  • The Kite Runner (2007)
  • Traitor (2008)
  • Kandisha (2008)
  • Vantage Point (2008)
  • House of Saddam (2008 BBC mini-series)
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
  • Mogadishu (2008)
  • Lost (2009)
  • Linear (2009)
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