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In the classic 1954 film A Star is Born, Judy Garland sang "Born in a Trunk," a tale of the actor's life on the road. That song can be applied to Meital Dohan, the stunning Israeli actress who works at home, as well as in New York and Hollywood.
Some people are born actors and, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Dohan reveals what drew her to the stage at such an early age. "I grew up in a small village in Israel and I was actually very shy," she says. "I studied acting in school when I was seven. I did it because I wanted to express myself - not because I wanted to be an actress."
The young Dohan must have had something going for her. She attended the Nissan Nativ School of Acting, one of Israel's most prestigious theater academies. By the time she graduated, she had made her film debut and was signed to a contract by the Cameri Theater. In 2000, she was voted most promising newcomer for her role in the Cameri's Best Friends. Soon after, she starred in the Haifa Theater's production of Romeo and Juliet. Dohan then caught the eye of acclaimed playwright Edna Mazya, who wrote Bad Children specifically for her.
In 2001 and 2002 Dohan was nominated for Best Actress Ophir Awards for her roles in Giraffes and God's Sandbox, respectively.
When Dohan speaks of those who most influence her work, she reveals a list of names as diverse and eclectic as her own career. "I see actors as creators, and therefore I'd like to take wide examples from the art world, such as Andy Warhol, Madonna, Seinfeld, Woody Allen, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Gena Rowlands. I love Pedro Almadovar, John Cassavetes, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman."
Dohan remains immensely proud of her homeland, pointing out Israel's progressive social attitudes and openness. "Tel Aviv is one of the most vibrant cities, especially in it's nightlife, art scene and culture," she says. "Also, we should not forget that we are a leading force in innovative technology. There is a lot to be proud of here."
DOHAN HAS BEEN making a name for herself in the United States while continuing to work at home. She recently completed a six-episode run on the hit Showtime series Weeds, and guest starred as Aurora on Woke Up Dead, an online "zombie comedy thriller" produced by and starring Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite). Dohan has nothing but praise for her co-star. "I think Jon is a wonderful, wonderful person, a very unique and sincere character and an actor with a lot of charisma and talent."
Dohan's role in Weeds is particularly amusing: she plays Yael, the brassy, sassy head of a rabbinical academy. When lost soul Andy (Justin Kirk) decides he wants to be a rabbi, Yael questions his motives, and ends up, in Dohan's words, as "the seductive dominatrix."
Dohan's film career is also going strong. She has just completed work on Monogamy, about which says she can't reveal any details until it premieres. She's also quite excited about LL, a film she's doing with acclaimed Israeli director Amos Kolleck. "The film tells the story of a woman searching for her identity after her mother's death," she says.
Dohan finds little difference between working in New York, Los Angeles or Israel. "I think Hollywood can be anywhere. I'm trying to look at the content of the project, the themes, my character, and the people I work with. For me, it's more about the content than the size or location of the project."