Fauda’s Lior Raz needed bodyguard in UAE to escape selfie-taking fans

"Everyone watched the show... We honored their language, because we are not trying to show anyone as the good guy, anyone as the bad guy," said Arabic-speaking Raz.

By
September 4, 2019 23:52
2 minute read.
Lior Raz as Doron in Fauda's season 2

Lior Raz as Doron in Fauda's season 2. (photo credit: NATI LEVI/YES)

Fauda star and creator Lior Raz said that when he was shooting the Michael Bay film, 6 Underground, in Abu Dhabi, he had to have a bodyguard. “Not because I’m Israeli; because all of the Arab people from all of the countries just wanted to take a selfie with me all the time,” the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

Raz, who was speaking in late August at an event at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood, Ohio, reminisced about the wonderful reception he got from fans in the United Arab Emirates: “Everyone watched that show. ‘Why?’ I asked a lot of them. Because we honored their language. Because we are not trying to show anyone as the good guy, anyone as the bad guy. It’s an Israeli narrative, I’m an Israeli, I’m a warrior, I’m a Zionist… And people love it.”

He said that a key to the show’s success was that much of it is in Arabic, including the credits (which are in both Arabic and Hebrew).

“For me, the Arabic language is super important – super, super important,” he said. “I think that in order to understand our enemies, we have to know them much better. In order not to fight with them, we have to honor them. In order to honor them, we have to learn their language, because Arab people in Israel know Hebrew – everyone. But in Israel, if you ask someone in school what you prefer, French or Arabic, most of the Israelis will go and (study) French. Why?” Answering his own question, he became sarcastic: “Because our border with Switzerland is very close and… they need to know French.”

He recalled learning Arabic as a child, while spending time with the Arab workers at his father’s plant nursery, so he could feel that he was part of their group. “I didn’t know what was going on, but I became an undercover soldier when I was 10 years old.”

A couple of years later, he said, he killed some porcupines that had been destroying plants at his father’s nursery. “We ate them later. It’s not kosher. I’m sorry.”

Earlier at the event, while talking about how therapy helped him cope with PTSD from his service in the IDF – in an undercover unit that was the inspiration for Fauda – he showed that he could still be a tough guy. Seeing someone videotaping him on their cellphone, he said, “Please don’t videotape it, OK? I’ll kill you. I’m talking about very personal stuff, so please don’t record anything. We know that I can.” The person stopped and Raz calmed down.

6 Underground, a thriller about billionaires who fake their own deaths and form an elite vigilante squad in order to catch criminals, also stars Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, Ben Hardy, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. It will be opening worldwide in December.


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