Nadia Benzakour and John Malkovich
Co-written by Robert Schwentke and co-produced by Kasbah Films (Men In Black 4, Cherry and Hologram For The King …), the film which should be filmed in Ouarzazate looks back on the relationship between Sénèque and the emperor Néron, of which he was the tutor. The latter will lead a plot against him which will lead the philosopher to commit suicide.
The heroine of “Sofia” by Meryem Ben Mbarek has also just joined the cast of the History Channel series “The Colosseum” directed by Roel Reine.
For Nadia Benzakour, the two projects have totally different tones. “Colosseum” is an epic series about gladiators and The Creation of Earthquakes is a new genre comedy about Seneca and his relationship with Emperor Nero, ”she says.
An international career
Nadia Benzakour had seduced the Moroccan public with her role of an innocent young girl, hardworking and out of step with the world of beauty and coquetry in the Moroccan series “Salon Shahrazade”. Later, she will burst the screen in Meryem Ben Mbarek’s feature film “Sofia” selected in the “Un certain regard” category at Cannes in 2018.
She has since built a solid career in international productions and has been able to sign with some of the best agents in Hollywood and international cinema. We could see her in the “Tyrant” directed by David Yates, the director of Harry Potter.
In “Killing Jesus” facing John Rhyes Davis (Lord of the Rings) and Rufus Sewell (the Illusionist, Dark City …), she is the woman condemned for adultery and saved by Jesus, played by Haaz Sleiman who will inspire the famous proverb “Let him who has never sinned throw the first stone at him”.
In “Deep State”, a Fox Tv series, as an underground casino manager, she gives the answer to the great British actor Mark Stong (RockNRolla, Cruella, La Taupe, Kingsman …) and to Joe Dempsie (Skins, Game of thrones …) and Karima Mc Adams.
She will also be seen in the French series “Le Bureau des Légendes” and “Les Hommes deombre”. “When I found myself facing Carole Bouquet, which was a big surprise, I just killed myself. Above all, I didn’t want to be clumsy. Error, Carole Bouquet is such a likeable actress in reality, so I was encouraged to speak to her as simply as possible, and it was a real moment of sharing, ”recalls Nadia.
Passionate about theater
The past two years have been fruitful for the Franco-Moroccan actress. She plays a first classic role at the national theater in Rabat, “Hedda Gabler” / Jahim directed by Asmaa Houri and the filming of African Special Forces, the first pan-African series, in which she plays one of the main roles.
In “The Covenant”, for the first time she plays a sulphurous woman trying to divert the right path of the Prophet Joseph in this TV movie directed by David Batty.
Having grown up in Paris, Nadia discovered the theater there, she began her training at the École des Enfants Terribles, then met the French director Nicolas Liautard who opened her eyes to realism in the theater and subsequently flew to New York.
From there, she continued her acting training in front of the camera and on stage with Mary Boyer and took the opportunity to join the McDonald’s Gospel Choir which had as lead singer Cissy Houston and just before Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin. “It was a unique experience,” says Nadia. I gathered at Madison Square Garden to sing the American national anthem for the Nicks’ basketball team.
After almost three years in New York and fond memories, encouraged in the pursuit of her career by casting director Penny Dupont (Arizona Dream, Karate Kid) and professor at Tisch, NYU Drama Film academy, who allegedly spotted her in short films by Melanie Delloye and Emily Cheeger, she moved between Paris and Casablanca.
And even if the pandemic was not easy for the actress, she was still able to shoot and especially write. “Write at last! One play, two feature film projects. I was not bored at all. Supported by the Richard Lawson Studio group in Los Angeles, I actually worked a lot, ”she concludes.