Saïd Taghmaoui was born on July 17th 1973 in the Parisian suburb of Villepinte. He grew up in Aulnay-sous-Bois, Paris in a large family, counting nine siblings. His parents are originally from Morocco. Saïd dropped out of school at a relative early age to concentrate on boxing. At a certain point he ranked nr. 2 in France in his weightclass.
While hanging out in Paris, Saïd was asked to appear in a music video for a friend, which led to some parts in short films. He then came in contact with Mathieu Kassovitz and together they started writing a script. This script led to the acclaimed 1995 French arthouse film La Haine (Hatred). Kassovitz directed La Haine in which Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé and Saïd starred. The film, about the aftermath of a riot in a Parisian ghetto, meant the breakthrough for all those involved. Kassovitz won 'Best Director' at the Cannes Film Festival and Cassel, Koundé and Saïd were all nominated for 'Most Promising Young Actor'. The film was also picked up by Jodie Foster's production company and released in the US.
If La Haine meant the breakthrough for his acting career, Saïd was not about to kick back and go with the flow. He learned Italian and has made several movies in Italy. He now speaks four languages: French, Arab, English and Italian and he has also made a movie in German. Saïd occasionally ventures out to Hollywood, the 1999 blockbuster Three Kings as its most notable example to date. Kate Winslet was his co-star.
Saïd can also be seen in I Heart Huckabees with Jude Law, Naomi Watts, and Dustin Hoffman and in Hidalgo starring Viggo Mortenson. In 2006 Saïd will seen opposite Laurence Fishbourne and Ryan Phillippe in thriller Five Fingers.