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Isaach De Bankolé
Isaach De Bankolé has starred four times for Jim Jarmusch; in Night on Earth, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes, and now The Limits of Control.
The French/African actor has also enjoyed a long collaboration with another writer/director, Claire Denis; on No Fear, No Die, the recently completed White Material, and Chocolat.
Recently honored with the Legion D’Honneur in Paris, Mr. De Bankolé earlier in his career won a César Award for his performance in Thomas Gilou’s Black Mic Mac.
The Ivory Coast native was discovered by a filmmaker on the streets of Paris while studying to be an airline pilot. He received his Masters Degree in Mathematics from the Jussieu Paris Sept, and then attended to the drama school Les Cours Simon.
Mr. De Bankolé has since worked in films and with filmmakers all over the world. Among his many movies are Josiane Balasko’s Les Keufs; Alain Page’s Taxi Boy; Sergio Gobbi’s L’Arbalète; Gérard Oury’s Vanille fraise; Nicolas Roeg’s telefilm Heart of Darkness; Pedro Costa’s Casa de Lava; Joe Brewster’s The Keeper and The Killing Zone; Merchant Ivory’s A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Frieder Schlaich’s Otomo; Cheick Oumar Sissoko’s Bàttu; Kevin Asher Green’s Homework, which he executive-produced and which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival; Barry Strugatz’ From Other Worlds; Lars von Trier’s Manderlay; Michael Mann’s Miami Vice; Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, against Daniel Craig as James Bond; Steven Kessler’s 5up 2down, which he co-produced; Amy Redford’s The Guitar; Stuart Townsend’s Battle in Seattle; Amir Mann’s The Fifth Patient; and Julian Schnabel’s multi-award-winning The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.
He has been on the stages of Paris in such plays as Quai Ouest; Dans La Solitude des Champs de Coton; Le Retour au Desert; and Martin Luther King, ou La Force d’Aimer. He toured France and Africa in his own one-man show Ma vie dans la Brousse des Fantomes (My Life in the Bush of Ghosts). On the New York stage, Mr. De Bankolé appeared alongside Lili Taylor in Wallace Shawn’s Aunt Dan and Lemon.
Most recently, he was seen in a guest arc in the seventh season of the television series 24.
Mr. De Bankolé directed the documentary Traveling Miles, which followed the 1998 tour of jazz singer Cassandra Wilson in Australia and New Zealand. He has written and will direct the film The Last Shower, a mystical African tale loosely based on his experiences living in New York City.