“As an actor I like challenges, I like to be challenged and I’m seeking for something I haven’t done or something I haven’t seen to get out of my comfort zone.”
The French-Algerian actor starts the new year as though 2020 never happened, with two award-worthy performances in BBC’s The Serpent and Netflix’s The Mauritanian.
Out today on BBC 1, The Serpent sees Rahim portray renowned French serial killer Charles Sobhraj in a thrilling eight-part series that tells the tale of Sobhraj’s twisted life of murder and theft on Asia’s hippie trail in the mid-’70s alongside Jenna Coleman and Ellie Bamber.
Starring Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch, The Mauritanian is also based on a real-life story about an altogether different character in Mohamedou Ould Salhi – a man detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp without charge from 2002 until 2016. It is out on Netflix in March.
On playing roles based as real-life people, Rahim says:
“It’s scary, man! It’s more scary because you’ve got a responsibility. There's two ways to portray real life people: if they are celebrities you have to mime them in a way because everybody knows them. When it comes to people who are not famous and alive there's a responsibility in a way to not disappoint them. For Charles, I couldn’t find anyone more distant from my nature than him; you want to know what happened to him psychologically and physically.
On decompressing while playing Charles Sobhraj, Rahim says:
“I worked out a lot just to let it go. I’m so restless and I have to be very tense and contain things inside so everything goes through my eyes only.”
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