Soulful, sad-eyed French actor Hichem Yacoubi is of Moroccan descent. Yacoubi has studied drama at the Actors Studio, and has also studied dance. Beginning in the late 1990s, he played bit parts on French television and in short films, including "Pensée assise," directed by Mathieu Robin from his book about a wheelchair-bound teen's romance, and "Je m'indiffère," a dark comedy about an animal activist arrested for a crime he didn't commit. In 2005, Yacoubi was cast in a small role as a guard in "Munich," Steven Spielberg's drama about the aftermath of the Black September terrorist attack on the 1972 Olympics. He later did voice work in the animated feature "Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest." The film, directed by Michel Ocelot of "Kirikou and the Sorceress" fame, is a fantasy that deals with friendship and competition between a French boy and his Arab nanny's son in the Middle Ages. Yacoubi next took his career path in his own hands, co-directing himself in "Bon Anniversaire!," a dramatic short about infidelity and betrayal that he co-wrote with Daniel Kupferstein. Shortly thereafter, his career took a major turn when he landed a pivotal supporting role in Jacques Audiard's acclaimed prison drama, "A Prophet." Yacoubi was perfectly cast as the haunted Reyeb, a Muslim targeted for death by Cesar (Niels Arestrup), a Corsican gang leader. Cesar coerces the frightened illiterate Malik (Tahar Rahim) into committing the crime, but even in death, Reyeb develops a powerful hold on the young man.