Belfast Telegraph

The Mummy star Sofia Boutella was a teenage breakdancer

The actress is fiercely proud of her Algerian roots.

The star of Tom Cruise's new The Mummy movie was a top teenage breakdancer.

Sofia Boutella hated the strict disciplines involved with ballet and gymnastics as a kid and rebelled by joining a gang of street artists.

"It came about for me because I was sort of rebelling against all the rules," Sofia tells Harper's Bazaar Arabia. "I was a teenager and I’d done ballet and gymnastics and everything was so strict... that I wanted a sense of freedom. I wanted to be left alone to dance freely, to dance the way that I felt and the way that I wanted.

"So I went and explored and came across some breakdancers and freestylers one day and it just spoke to me. There are no rules to it."

The 35-year-old actress also raves about her upbringing in Algeria in the publication, insisting she'll always be very proud of her roots.

"We were always in nature," she beams. "In our family home we had a big, dishevelled garden, with deer, dogs, chickens and cats. There was a run-down old carriage that we would pretend had horses attached to it. I grew up in a very beautiful way... We were raised to be open-minded, creative, to use our imaginations.

"Algeria is a country that is dear to me, because it’s where I’m from, where my family is from, it’s my home. That will never leave me. I feel very worldly, but leaving a place like that when you’re so young doesn’t come without missing a sense of identity and belonging to one place.

"I feel Algerian, I'm proud to be Algerian and I carry that with me wherever I go."

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