by Dudi Caspi
Ahead of the upcoming sophomore season of 9 time Emmy Award nominated “Homeland”, actress Claire Danes talks about her experience in Israel.
The production team visited the holy land back in May for two weeks, and shot footage in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa and Nazareth, all doubling for Beirut per the plotline, with co stars Danes and Mandy Patinkin, on hand.
This was the second time the crew of the critically acclaimed series visited Israel, after filming parts of the show’s pilot episode there back in late 2010. Danes herself recalls both trips as favorable. “I do love working in new environments and new cultures”, she stated during a recent promotional visit to the Television Critics’ Association summer press tour held in Los Angeles, “I particularly love Israel. I’ve had fantastic experiences there”.
DC: Do you encounter misconceptions about Israel in the US?
CD: I think people think of Israel as being incredibly dangerous and volatile, and that was not my experience.
DC: Reports and pictures emerged of Israeli POW Gilad Shalit on set. How was your meeting with him?
CD: I met him very briefly. And it’s always a kind of awkward thing. “Hi, welcome” and there’s nothing to really say beyond that. Of course, I understand he went through, you know, an unimaginable experience and there’s no way to address it in a fleeting moment like that. But, yeah, it was a great, great honor and I was surprised to meet him.
DC: Any chance of a third trip? Anything specific you remember fondly?
CD: (The) awesome hummus. I don’t know if we’ll shoot there next season. Come April or May, I’ll be ready for my annual trip to Tel Aviv.
Whether or not Danes will be treated to yet another visit to Israel, one thing is certainly going to be different. In early July, the 33 year old Danes and her husband, British actor Hugh Dancy, announced that they are expecting their first child. “This hasn’t run too much interference”, she said regarding her pregnancy during the current production of “Homeland”, currently in its domestic late stages filming in North Carolina, “It’s proven to be a non issue and, yeah, all is well and Carrie remains fervently non-pregnant”.
DC: When the second season premieres Sept 30th on Showtime, where do viewers find your character?
CD: She’s not hiding to the same extent, and she doesn’t have that same kind of panic and defensiveness. And when we find her at the beginning of the second season, she’s been very humbled, and she’s really struggling with she’s suffering from a real crisis of confidence, and she gets her mojo back, but it takes some time.
DC: Would you say she went through a great deal of change?
CD: I think she is freer. I think she’s a little bit less paranoid, you know, a little less high strung.
DC: So if you do end up coming back to Israel – baby on board?
I think he’s going to have to come with, or she, whoever it’s going to be. They’re very portable. I carry my dog around in a suitcase. That’s been working out for, you know, my schnoodle.
The full interview with Claire Danes was published in Hebrew in this past weekend’s “Israel Hayom” newspaper.
British actor Patrick Stewart, known mainly for his roles in Star Trek and the X-Men movies has arrived in Israel to take part in “Hunting Elephants,” a heist comedy directed by Reshef Levy (Lost islands). Stewart will replace John Cleese, who was originally cast but quit due to heart problems.
At the start of the press conference, Stewart recalled his previous visit to Israel a year ago, when he was on vacation before appearing in Shakespeare’s “Mechant of Venice,” saying he spent four wonderful days in Israel.
He told friends and family how much he wanted to come back to Israel, and opportunity knocked in the form of Levy’s funny script. Stewart expressed his happiness in returning to Israel not as a tourist, but as part of an Israeli film production.
Stewart stressed he will be the only non-Hebrew speaking character in the movie. Therefore, as he pointed out to fellow cast member Sasson Gabai, he won’t understand a word anyone says.
Like any guest to Israel, Stewart was expected to share his thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Stewart, an Amnesty International activist who worked with Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister, said he thinks it’s impossible to live in this world and be a-political.
He said that if he were the leader of the US or Britain he would make solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict his top priority. He expressed hope that within a few weeks he will have a better understanding of the situation in the middle east.
Director Reshef Levy said “The movie is based on my father’s memoirs. Back in the day he was a bank robber and member of the Lehi organization. I wondered what he’d say about the situation of senior citizens today and if robbing banks was still relevant. We wrote a script with a part for an English actor. It was a bit pretentious – we sent it to John Cleese, who agreed to do it but sadly became ill. We sent it to Patrick who read it and agreed to come on board. I am very excited to work with him.”
Israeli rhythmic gymnast Neta Rivkin delivers an excellent performance in the 2012 London Games, finishing seventh in the women’s rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition’s finals.
Rivkin, who advanced to the final round after ranking ninth in the qualifying competition, made Olympic history for Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics field with her remarkable performance during the competition.
Rivkin will be honored with carrying the Israeli flag during the Olympic closing ceremony.
The 21-year-old gymnast from Petah Tikva scored 27.350 points in the hoop apparatus, but received a low score of 26.800 in the ball apparatus, placing her ninth overall.
For the hoop apparatus, Rivkin received a score of 27.800, after completing an excellent routine, boosting her overall placement by two spots. Rivkin managed to maintain seventh place after the fourth and final ribbon apparatus, for which she received a round score of 27.000 points.
Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva won the gold medal, with a total score of 116.90, followed by fellow Russian gymnast Daria Dmitrieva. Belarus’ Liubou Charkashyna won the bronze.
Rivkin is an Olympic and world champion rhythmic gymnast. She won silver medals in the individual hoop competition and in clubs at the 2011 Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships, and a bronze medal in the individual hoop final at the 2011 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. Rivkin competed at the 2008 Beijing Games, coming in 14th.
LONDON – Alexei Shved scored 25 points — 13 in the fourth quarter — and Russia, led by Israeli coach David Blatt, won its first medal in Olympic men’s basketball with an 81-77 victory Sunday over Argentina.
Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and Vitaliy Fridzon 19 for Russia, which finished ninth at the Beijing Games four years ago.
Manu Ginobili scored 21 and Andres Nocioni 16 for Argentina, which was looking to add another bronze to its Olympic collection after winning one in China and gold eight years ago in Athens.
Fridzon’s layup with 5.2 seconds left sealed if for Russia, which came away with the ball after it changed hands several times near midcourt. When the game ended, several Argentine players surrounded the officials to protest and guard Pablo Prigioni kicked an electronic clock off the scorer’s table.