Before his sky-rocketing breakthrough in the Arab world, Dhafer L'Abidine enjoyed a successful career in the West, appearing in international film productions, such as Children of Men (2006), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Centurion (2010), Black Forest (2012), and Rise of the Footsoldier (UK). Last year, L'Abidine took part in the American TV series The Looming Tower that received four Emmy nominations.
Most recently, Dhafer finished filming his role in Netflix’s new French-speaking series The Eddy. Currently airing on Netflix, the series is produced and directed by the Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle (La la Land, Whiplash), written by Jack Throne and coproduced by Alain Poul.
Moreover, Dhafer starred recently in the hit TV series Aroos Beirut, aired on MBC4 and it received great reviews across the Arab world. He is currently in the making of season 2 of the series.
Dhafer’s acting journey started in 1999 when he moved to the UK to join the Birmingham School of Acting, from which he graduated with a Professional Acting Diploma in 2002. A year later, Dhafer made his acting debut in the UK in the popular TV series Dream Team (Sky TV) for two seasons.
He then went on to appear in numerous popular British television dramas, including Spooks (BBC), Strike Back (Sky TV/CINEMAX), Wallander (ITV), Wire in the Blood (ITV), Hunted (BBC/HBO), season 5 of the French TV series Engranages on Canal+ and the American TV series Transporter on TNT and HBO Canada. Recently, Dhafer appeared in the British TV series Fearless.
Always keen on appearing in TV dramas in the Arab world, Dhafer starred in the TV series Eugénie Nights (2018), which takes place in Cairo and Port Said in 1946. In 2017, he starred in the two successful TV series Caramel and Halawat Al Dounia, for which he won the Murex D’or for Best Arab Actor in a TV series in 2018. L'Abidine starred in Al Khoroug TV series (2016), Taht Al Saytara TV series (2015), for which he won the Best Actor award at the Arab Satellite Channels Festival. He won critical acclaim for his performances in Farq Tawqeet (2014), Neran Sadeqa (2013), Vertigo (2012) and Zakerat Al Jassed (2010), which featured an array of A-list stars from across the region, and the Tunisian TV series Maktoub (2008).
As for Arab films, L'Abidine starred in several Tunisian films, including Dowaha (Buried Secrets) (2009), Fin December (2010), and Fausse Note (2012). And outside Tunisia, he starred in the Egyptian action-comedy film Esmat Abu Shanab (2016), the Lebanese film Habbet Caramel (2017), and El Ankabout (2019).
Dhafer is a UN Women’s champion and he works closely with the United Nation on the issues of gender equality and violence against women. In March 2018, Dhafer attended an event titled Understanding Masculinities in the Middle East and North Africa Region at the Japan Society in New York as a guest of honor. The event was organized by the UN Women, Brazilian organization Promundo, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).