Sofia Boutella is a French-Algerian dancer & actress who found fame through her hip-hop and street dancing which appeared in Nike advertising campaigns. Boutella recently starred as Gazelle in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ & as Jaylah in last year’s ’Star Trek Beyond’. This month she plays the title role in Tom Cruise’s new blockbuster ’The Mummy’.

What attracted you to the role of Ahmanet in ‘The Mummy’?
She had a strong back story that I could lean on, that helped me find the character and find her arc about how she worked so hard to achieve what she wanted to become.

What was it like working with Tom Cruise & Russell Crowe in the movie?
It was quite impressive working with men who know so well what they are doing. They’ve been doing this for so long to see their passion for their craft is something I loved being around and listening to their stories. Russel Crowe has such a fascinating voice which is so powerful and strong and Tom is so enthusiastic and loves making films and he loves taking care of people and loves sharing his passion with others. He is a wonderful and lovely man.

How long did daily make-up take? Those look like raised tattoos on your skin and there are a lot of them.
Yeah they’re raised, you’re right they’re all over the body and the longest makeup session took about 6 hours.

You perform a lot of your own stunts, what has been the most physically taxing for you?
I think it was for the Crusaders chamber scene (in ‘The Mummy’) where I had to do all this wire work which was quite intense but it was all worth it. (Also) The scene under the pier was quite spooky and we were literally under a pier that was created in the backlot of Shepperton Studios and it was very muddy and very cold. It was a really spooky environment.

Were you a fan of the old monster movies?
Yeah I grew up watching the original monster films like the early Mummy movie. This is a character made iconic by Boris Karloff and doing this film didn’t come with pressure but I worked hard and I was really looked after by Alex (Kurtzman) and Tom was so lovely and helped me in achieving that.

You played Jayla in last Year’s ‘Star Trek Beyond’.Would you ever return to the role because you were so well received by the fans who absolutely adored you in that film?
Thank you so much you’re so sweet. I would love that, she was such a great character that I loved playing and I love the cast, I love them all so dearly. It would be a joy to do so.

There are plans for a Dark Universe that expands on ‘The Mummy’ by introducing classic monster characters like Frankenstein and the Invisible Man. Are you excited for what possible roles Ahmanet may have in future films down the line?
Yeah I would honestly love to come back because I love her, I love Ahmanet and I’m humbled to be a part of what is about to start. I’m excited to see that they’re bringing these movies out to shine the light on the monsters. I think it’s wonderful. I’m really excited about Dracula and Bride of Frankenstein.

Interview by Graham Day

THE MUMMY is at Irish cinemas from June 9th