STEPHEN SCHAEFER IS A VETERAN ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST AND FILM CRITIC WHO REGULARLY COVERS CINEMA AND CELEBRITIES FOR THE BOSTON HERALD.
ALGERIAN BORN, RAISED IN FRANCE, SOFIA BOUTELLA began her professional career as a dancer at age 16. Her success led her to what was then a dramatic departure: acting. “My journey hasn’t been exactly what I expected,” Boutella says. “I never went into various ventures in my career in my life sort of imagining what it could be. I genuinely went into these areas and places and art forums, just following what was in my heart, and working hard for it. I come from a very creative and artistic family. That’s how I was brought up. So it was always sort of natural for me to practise an art form and to have it be my life, but I sort of learned as I went. I didn’t have necessarily expectations.” She had guts though, a willingness to risk complacency for something entirely new and different. “I could not imagine things to be any different and I don’t regret any of my decisions. But it was hard. I stopped dancing when I was 29 and even though I’ve acted since I was 17, I had to start something from scratch. At 30. It was a bit crazy.” Now 39, Boutella’s films range from The Mummy opposite Tom Cruise to Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron, Star Trek Beyond with Chris Pine and Hotel Artemis with Jodie Foster to this fall’s Prisoners of the Ghostland with Nicolas Cage. An actor’s life is often isolated, going from finishing one film in Morocco to Berlin for the next. “I feel because I started touring when I was young, I’ve always been on the road and I’ve always been a part of the family that you create from work and hopping from one to the other. “I’ve learned to appreciate it to its fullest when I’m there and then having incredible fond memories of it, having built relationships that are deeper than what we can imagine if we were not being thrown [into this] kind of lifestyle. I’m grateful for every single person that I met.”