Rene Ifrah grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he was highly influenced by the multi-cultural surroundings of Sheepshead Bay/Gravesend/Brighton Beach's Italian/Jewish/Russian neighborhood.
The majority of Rene's formal acting training began at the Laguardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York, and continued in Los Angeles under the guidance of William Alderson and Robert Carnegie.
After being offered a role in a European television series during a two week vacation stint, Rene returned to Germany, the country of his birth, in 1999. The three weeks that he was supposed to be in the country have turned into six years and a promising TV and film career. Rene's first major challenge in Europe was relearning the German language. However, after struggling for only a few months, he was able to master the language without any trace of an accent.
Rene began performing in the Berlin theater scene and was discovered by renowned casting agent Annette Borgmann while playing the lead character of Matthew in a production of 'Private Eyes' at the Friends of Italian Opera-The English Theater. This chance encounter led to Rene being cast in his first major role in the film "September", directed by the award-winning Max Faerberboeck. In this story, experiencing September 11th through German eyes, Rene played a Pakistani pizza store owner sympathetic to the terrorists on 9/11. The role was ideologically challenging, given Rene's own Jewish-American background. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (2003), and consequently opened many new doors for him.
His greatest success to date came as the lead in Miguel Alexandre's "With Love From Kashmir." In this film Rene played the role of a foreign architect, Sharif Mishra, living in Germany. Sharif is torn between his love for a German woman, and his sense of responsibility towards his family and his war-torn country of Kashmir. For this exceptional performance, Rene was honored with the prestigious Grimme Prize for Best Actor (2005).
Action films have also proven to be well within Mr. Ifrah's range. In "Blood of the Templars", directed by the Oscar nominated Florian Baxmeyer, Rene played an assassin working for one of two rival Templar families. He underwent extensive physical training for the role, including martial arts and sword fighting techniques.
Most recently Rene had the lead role in the comedy "Zorres" directed by Anja Jacobs. Going full circle Rene gets back to his roots, playing a German-Jewish character, Leo Rosen. Handsome, lovable, though a total mama's boy, Leo can't seem to get his life together. He works as a coach for a youth soccer team, consistently taking on too many responsibilities and consequently not being able to live up to them. The romantic comedy shows a very different side of Rene, and is a wonderful example of his diversity as a performer.
With his roots firmly planted in New York's melting pot, René has been able to expand and broaden his technique from his many experiences in Europe. Whether playing a belligerent Pakastani immigrant, the conflicted partner in a multi-racial couple, or a goofy and charming Jewish soccer coach, Rene's talent continues to impress and entertain audiences.
Considering the variety of strong roles behind him, we can certainly expect many more promising appearances from Rene Ifrah in the years to come.
Name: René Ifrah
Known for: Nurse Jackie
BirthDay: 02, Jan ,1978