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DUBAI: The usually private French Algerian actress Sofia Boutella has been on something of a paparazzi spree in New York, hitting the streets in a series of looks — and attending various promotional events — ahead of the release of Netflix’s “Rebel Moon — Part 2: The Scargiver” on April 19.

The science fiction epic, directed by Zack Snyder, features Boutella in the lead role as she continues the saga of Kora and other warriors as they prepare to fight alongside the people of the settlement of Veldt to defend a once peaceful village, a newfound homeland for those who have lost their own in the fight against the Motherworld.

The film also stars Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Michiel Huisman, Doona Bae and Anthony Hopkins. The first part of “Rebel Moon,” which ended on a cliffhanger, was released on Dec. 22, 2023, on Netflix. This week, Boutella has been photographed out and about in New York and took to Instagram to share the photos — a rare move for the actress-and-dancer whose most recent update was shared on Monday.

Earlier, she celebrated her birthday with her co-stars at a promotional event in the city on April 3. “Celebrating my birthday with this lovely bunch was just the best. Thank you for all the love – thank you Netflix!” she posted on Instagram.

 

In a previous interview, Boutella told Arab News that she was drawn to playing a strong female lead.

“Various aspects drew me to Kora; a big one was the chance to play a lead female character,” Boutella said. “I think that’s important. I’m grateful for Zack for thinking of having a woman as the lead character in his movie — whether it was me or someone else.”

Aside from the rare opportunity to lead an action movie, Boutella also welcomed the chance to shape a character who diverges from the archetypal hero. “What drew me to the project was playing a character that was complicated and conflicted,” she explained.

“From a drama perspective, it was ticking all the boxes: I get to do an action film with the best visual guy ever and play the most dramatic character ever.” Boutella drew on her history as an immigrant. She grew up in Algeria during its civil war and later moved to France, and found herself navigating the complexities of adapting to a different culture. This personal connection became the emotional anchor for her portrayal of Kora, who was abducted at a young age and had to adapt to a new world.

“Having left Algeria young, when I go back there I don’t feel like I belong to Algeria. And then, in France, I don’t feel like I belong to France because I didn’t grow up there,” she explained.

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