Ori Laizerouvich might just be the hardest-working man in Israeli show business.
This multi-talented 26- year-old actor and musician has two shows coming out on
Israeli television this fall, a web series that is currently getting tons of
YouTube views, and has a debut album in the works. When he becomes a household
name, and that time is fast approaching, it will be an achievement well
How did you first become involved with acting?
I always wanted
to become an actor. My inspiration was driven by a variety of musical styles,
theater shows and movies. Also by observing people’s behavior in order to try
and understand their way of thinking. I started in 2003 with “Chich Neighbors,”
a Tel Aviv professional youth group that performed on stage and in
During high school in 2005, I hosted a daily live TV show Zap
to 1, which was a special show geared toward young people.
As part of my
military service from 2006- 2009, I was a soloist in the Israel Police Band
Central District. From 2009-2012 I studied at the “Yoram Lowenstein
I performed in many plays and shows: comedies, musicals, masked
theater, and dance. I also played in Smiley, which ran in festivals in the
United States [Fringe NYC and Philadelphia]. I gained confidence that I could
act in English as well as in Hebrew and still bring out the maximum as an
What is it like for a young actor here in Israel?
Being a young
actor in Israel is very challenging.
Every year there are hundreds of new
actors graduating and the market is too small, with limited opportunities for
I feel that I was lucky to get very interesting roles and work
with wonderful and inspiring partners and directors.
You’ve won a lot of
scholarships and accolades. Can you talk about that?
Gladly. During my studies
at Yoram Lowenstein Studio, I participated in many competitions for
scholarships. This is very important, as it helps students get rewarded for
their talent and hard work, as well as pay the rent.
I have won 12
different scholarships, [including] the “Best Actor” prize from the Kameri
Theater in the fall theater contest in Suzanne Dallal. During my second year in
the acting studio, I won the AICF scholarship for 2011-2012. That was the most
exciting moment for me.
As someone who has experience in both theater and
television, which do you prefer?
This is a very difficult question. It’s like
asking who I love more, Mom or Dad. Of course I love them both. The theater
experience is huge and I love reaching audiences in real time, hearing them
laugh, gasp and clap. With TV, the experience is much more personal and each
take can be surprising and new. Professionally, I am living in both worlds and I
am grateful for that.
Was it hard for you to transition from acting in
Israel to acting in the US? Did you encounter any ‘Israeli stereotypes’?
wasn’t difficult. It was challenging and great fun. Every country has its own
stereotypes, but my challenge was to transfer the character from Hebrew to
English without losing its heart. Surprisingly, I found that the English
character was funnier and more communicative. I drew from that and adopted those
traits into my Hebrew character in Israel.
Which actors (Israeli or
otherwise) do you look up to?
I only have a few actors that I look up to, even
though I can learn from many actors as well as from my own acting students. I
admire humor, craziness, courage and honesty.
I would say Jack Nicholson
and Johnny Depp are my top two American actors. My favorite Israeli actor is
Moshe Ivgy. He is very talented, with many faces and a huge soul.
all the many projects you’ve been involved in, what has been your favorite?
favorite role was Leopol in Kid, There is a Bird. I played an African man living
in Paris. The character was full of humor and the story was very touching. I
transformed myself physically with heavy makeup, sang, danced and drummed on
Building this character was new and fascinating to
What projects are you currently involved in?
Currently, I am working
simultaneously on a few projects: the third season of the political satire
Polishuk, the first two seasons of the daily drama The Zagori Empire, and the
web series Bekitzur. I’m also a presenter for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.
In theater, I am acting in Shufra/Smiley (Tmona) and Doors (Tzavta). I teach
group improvisation and prepare students for auditions. I am also writing a TV
series, as well as composing and writing songs in preparation for my first
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
In five years, I
would like to be a successful artist acting in leading roles in theater, TV and
movies. One of my challenges is to try and make it in the international
I also hope to succeed and develop myself as a musician.