Adel Bencherif

Adel Bencherif

Since 2004, Adel Bencherif has played Arabic characters that draw upon his background as a Frenchman by way of Tunisia. He began acting with a small role in the romantic drama "Grande école," which explores the fractured relationship of a couple exploring their sexual desires. Bencherif next appeared as a struggling actor in "Ze Film," a 2005 comedy about an aspiring director who steals equipment from a big-budget movie set to make his own film; the following year, he made a brief appearance as a brazen guitar thief in a segment of the critically-acclaimed anthology "Paris, je'taime." After Bencherif was cast as a radical Islamic teen in the French TV movie "Djihad!," which examined the lives of a group of people caught in the chaotic run-up to the Iraq war, he landed a pivotal role in Xavier Gans's gruesome horror "Frontier(s)." In 2009 he landed a breakout role in Jacques Audiard's critically-acclaimed prison drama "A Prophet," which stirred controversy over its thought-provoking plot about the spread of Islamic fundamentalism within the French prison system. Bencherif portrayed Ryad, a young drug dealer who teaches naive prisoner Malik (Tahar Rahim) to read and write, and educates him about his Muslim heritage. The following year, he appeared as a radical Algerian terrorist in "Of Gods and Men," based on the politically-motivated murders of seven Trappist monks during the 1996 Algerian civil war.