The Serpent: Jenna Coleman stars in BBC series trailer
Tahar Rahim portrays French serial killer Charles Sobhraj in the gripping BBC true-crime drama The Serpent. Rahim, has received praise for his portrayal of the killer but does he look anything like Sobhraj? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
What does Charles Sobhraj actor Tahar Rahim look like in real life?
Charles Sobhraj is a serial killer, thief and fraudster of Vietnamese and Indian origin.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sobhraj evaded arrest on several occasions and was always on the run.
Between 1974 and 1975, Sobhraj and fellow criminal Ajay Chowdhury (played by Amesh Edireweera) committed at least a dozen murders and potentially more across Southeast Asia.
They preyed mainly on Western tourists, travelling along the Hippie Trail of Southeast Asia.
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The pair and Charles lover, Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman) would drug their victims, with the two men killing them.
His known victims were Teresa Knowlton, Vitali Hakim, Stephanie Parry, Cornelia Hemker and Henricus Bitanja, Laurent Carriere, Connie Bronzick, Allen Jacobs and Jean-Luc Solomon.
However, Sobhraj was able to evade capture by using the passports and visas of victims and was able to move across Europe and Southeast Asia without any detection.
In The Serpent, Tahir Rahim takes on the role of Sobhraj.
Rahim is a French actor, best known for his role as Malik El Djebena in the 2009 award-winning French movie A Prophet by Jacques Audiard.
He is also well known internationally for his role as FBI Agent Ali Soufan in The Looming Tower, and for playing Judas in the film Mary Magdalene, written by Helen Edmundson.
Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press about taking on the role of Sobhraj, Rahim said: “It’s a very complicated character to portray, it’s easier to get out of a character, sometimes than to get in.
“I remember I struggled the two first weeks, it was hard for me to, to capture him to understand him. Because, how can you possibly be real, and in a way, truthful, when you have to portray those type of people?
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“I mean they are psychopaths, a murderer, they don’t have any empathy for anyone.”
He continued: “Usually when I build a character, I start from the inside and this time, we’ve been talking back and forth, and I came to realise that I should start from outside.
“That’s what we’ve done. We talked about him a lot. A lot of things about him, pictures video, I heard recordings and then it was more of the factual.
“And then someday, I don’t know what happened, I thought up this of an animal and of course it’s a serpent. But I had to pick one.
“I thought of a cobra because a cobra is very still and he bites and then there’s kind of a charm around this Cobra thing and suddenly, some point, I just let my, my imagination and my guts lead me to something that I feel is kind of truth. And then with the other actors in the team, and what’s written? Just go with the flow.
Sobhraj was arrested in 2003, after he returned to Nepal where he was spotted on the street by a journalist and arrested two days later for the murders of American backpacker Connie Jo Boronzich, 29, and Canadian tourist Laurent Carrière, 26.
Today, Charles Sobhraj, 76, is serving out a life sentence in Kathmandu prison, Nepal for the murders of Boronzich and Carrière.
The Serpent is streaming on the BBC iPlayer and airs Sundays on BBC One
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