‘The Mauritanian’ star on his role as a Guantanamo Bay detainee

Tahar Rahim talks about his emotional portrayal in the acclaimed film.
3:18 | 03/04/21

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Transcript for ‘The Mauritanian’ star on his role as a Guantanamo Bay detainee
You got to tell me what happened. You're asking to set fire to this place. But I'm still standing. Write it down. That's what the pages are for. Write it down. You need to tell me the truth. You need to tell me what happened. Or I can't defend you. Do you understand that? You can't defend me. Nothing. Whatever I say, it doesn't matter. Outside my family and my brother, their lives go on, Tara's life goes on, but being here, I'm like a statue. That powerful moment there is from an all new film portraying the real-life story of former Guantanamo Bay detainee mohamedou could slahi, held for 14 years at Guantanamo and at times enduring unimaginable torture but he was never, ever charged with a crime. Actor tahar Rahim brings the story to life on the screen with this incredible performance that's being talked about a lot of places and tahar joins us now. My man, thanks so much for being here, congrats on all the accolades you are getting, the nominations, golden globe nomination, and the success of the film, but, my man, I'm told you put yourself through trauma to get through, to get prepared for this role, including force feeding, being in a freezing cell. Why put yourself through that? Because I'm crazy. That wasn't the answer I was expecting. Because I had to. I mean, out of respect to mohamedou, and it was important to me and plus, I didn't know how to do it otherwise. I had to get a feel, so I could believe in what I was doing, and I could convey authenticity to my director and to the audience. And, tahar, you actually met mohamedou. Tell me what it was like meeting him for the first time. He's unbelievable. It's such a beautiful memory. I met him on Skype. And we started to talk, and I expected to meet someone a bit more dark, because of what he's been through, and I met a light. He was a sun. Full of life. Warm. Cracking jokes all around. And asking about my family and things like that, with a big smile from ear to ear, so it was very hard to believe he's been through this, and it was great, so I had to, you know, to do my actor work, so I asked him some questions about the darkest moments there, and then he suddenly changed, I mean, you could see that, the PTSD, you know, coming on his face, and it was very hard for him to talk and move, it's very hard for him to talk about it, so I felt stupid and I stopped and I just wanted to observe him talk with him and meet an extraordinary soul. Tahar Rahim, thank you so much for being with us, I mean what a powerful story, what a powerful performance, and we just want to thank you for being on the show with us today. Thank you for having me. Getting a lot of attention, a lot of talk. Good to have him, and Dr.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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