Who is Sofia Boutella?
Sofia Boutella is a popular Algerian-French dancer, model, as well as an actress. She first received fame for representing the ‘Nike Girl’ in the Nike Women advertising campaigns and portraying a vital role in the film ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’. She is recognized as one of the top break dancers for her street style and ‘hip-hop’ dancing moves. Sofia is a star dancer for the noted performer Madonna who has praised her by saying “I think that she is wonderful and I am enchanted. It is incredible, this star is a teacher for me and I admire her hard work and determination. I watch her and I learn”. Sofia Boutella has appeared in several music videos and TV serials on MTV and is a model for famous women's sportswear brands like ‘Puma’, ‘Reebok’, ‘Adidas’, ‘Nike’ and a car manufacturer. She models for beauty products as well. As an actress, she has played prominent roles on the big screen in the movies ‘Monsters: Dark Continent’, ’The Mummy’, ‘Permis d’Aimer’, ‘Street Dance 2’ and advertising films such as ‘Narta’. Nike has initiated an online biographical show, ‘You are Your Own Limits’ where Sofia talks about her life experiences. The beautiful dancer cum actress derives inspiration from Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Sofia Boutella started displaying her love for dance when she was very young and began learning classical dance when she was just five. In France, she won the break dance championships at St Denis and in Los Angeles, she won the Freestyle championships. Sofia Boutella began her dancing career with hip hop and street dance and was a member of a group named ‘Vagabond Crew’ which was the winner of ‘Battle of the Year’ in 2006.
She participated in ‘Chienne de Vie and Aphrodites’, a group created by Momo from the ‘Vagabond Crew’. Her talent was noticed by choreographer Blanca Li under who she received further training. Around this time she ventured into acting as well, and played the role of ‘Samia’ in ‘Le Défi’ which was a dance oriented film. Sofia then started to take part in various competitions, concert tours, television programs, and commercials.
In the year 2007, she got her breakthrough as she was selected by the renowned choreographer Jamie King to star in an advert for Nike as a dancer as well as a role model representing hip hop and femininity. The Nike advert gave a major boost to her career and she started working with popular stars like Madonna and Rihanna. Sofia was featured in a few of Madonna’s music videos and traveled with the diva on her Confession Tours. She became an international star during the campaign, ‘Madonna for H&M.’
Later, Sofia was picked for the ‘Michael Jackson This Is It’ concerts, but couldn’t join due to the extension of the Madonna tours. Luck smiled at her one again soon after and she got another chance to work with Jackson. In February 2011, she portrayed the main character in the music video ‘Hollywood Tonight’ by Michael Jackson.
Sofia acted as the main character, Eva, in the drama film, ‘StreetDance 2’ which was the sequel to ‘StreetDance 3D’ and she was a co-star in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ as well. She represented an alien warrior Jaylah in ‘Star Trek Beyond’ which hit the screens on July 22, 2016. In June 2017, she was cast in ‘Fahrenheit 451’, an upcoming film by HBO which will also feature Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, and ‘The Mummy’.
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Sofia Boutella was born to Safy Boutella, a choreographer and composer of Jazz music, and an architect mother on April 3, 1982 in the Bab El Oued, Algiers, Algeria. She is of Algerian-French nationality.
Sofia started training in classical dance when she was only five. Her family shifted to France when she was ten and she joined rhythmic gymnastics there. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and was selected for the French National Team for the Olympics at the age of 18.