Sofia Boutella had just finished what she thought was the performance of her life, dancing in front of millions of people watching the Super Bowl.
It was 2012 and Indianapolis, and Boutella was a dancer for one of the hottest pop singers ever, Madonna. It was in that moment, however, Boutella knew dancing wasn’t in her future.
“I told Madonna, ‘I think I am not going to keep dancing anymore,” Boutella told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Annie Howard. “Even if it takes two years, I need to stop now. I’m done.”
Madonna supported her move to get into acting, and in that time, Boutella went from being a nameless dancer to a name of her own, playing a major role in the upcoming “Star Trek: Beyond.” She plays Jaylah in the new movie, a colorful and very physical character Kirk and company run into while stranded on an “adventure planet” following the destruction of the USS Enterprise. She also is set to play the title role in the upcoming “The Mummy” remake starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
At just 34, Boutella has come up fast and furious. She was born in Algeria in 1982 to jazz musician Safy Boutella, and started to dance at a very early age. When her family moved to France when she was 10, Boutella became part of the French rhythmic gymnastics team.