Five Israeli actors making their mark on Hollywood

In acclaimed films and popular TV shows, Israeli faces are popping up all over the place.

August 26, 2018 16:01
4 minute read.
2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party – Arrivals – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 04/03/2018 – Actress Odey

2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party – Arrivals – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 04/03/2018 – Actress Odeya Rush. . (photo credit: DANNY MOLOSHOK/ REUTERS)


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Gal Gadot has taken Hollywood by storm – propelling her massive success in the Wonder Woman franchise into a series of upcoming film and TV projects. But the Rosh Ha’ayin native is far from the only Israeli making inroads in Hollywood. Here is a list of five Israeli actors and actresses whose faces probably already look familiar – and whose names you shouldn’t forget.

Moran Atias

Moran Atias is hardly a newcomer to Hollywood. The Haifa-born actress has lived in Los Angeles for many years - even becoming a US citizen last year. As a teenager, she began modeling in Europe and later appeared in several Italian films. In 2008, she was cast as Inez in the Starz series Crash, which ran for two seasons. She then appeared in the FX show Tyrant, which was written and directed by Israeli Gideon Raff. Earlier this year, Atias appeared in the premiere season of Fox show The Resident, which is slated to return this fall. And next year, she will star as the lead actress in the buzzed-about NBC show The Village. That certainly won’t be the last we hear of the prolific Atias.

Actress Moran Atias poses at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Los Angeles 2015 Awards season tea party in Beverly Hills, California January 10, 2015.

Ori Pfeffer

You’ve almost definitely seen Ori Pfeffer recently. Whether in a TV show or film, the Israeli actor and native of Jerusalem has been particularly prolific in recent years. Pfeffer’s first role outside of Israel came in 2005, when he had a small role in the Steven Spielberg film Munich, and in 2008 he made an appearance in the Adam Sandler flick, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. In 2015, Pfeffer played the lead role on the USA series Dig, which was canceled after one season. And in 2016, he appeared in the award-winning Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. Last year, the actor appeared in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, alongside Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, and earlier this year, he starred in the action film 211 with Nicholas Cage. And Pfeffer is still staying extremely busy – in September you can see him in the Netflix original film The Angel, about an Egyptian who spied for Israel, and he’s currently filming another Netflix project, The Spy, a miniseries starring Sacha Baron Cohen about Israeli agent Eli Cohen.

The Israeli Actor, Ori Pfeffer (Credit: Vered Adir/Yes)

Odeya Rush

Odeya Rush, a native of Haifa, may be just 21 years old. But the model and actress has appeared in a slew of projects already, including guest starring in Law and Order and Curb Your Enthusiasm when she was just a child. In 2014, Rush – whose family moved to the US when she was nine years old – had a role in The Giver, starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.  In 2015, she landed the starring role in The Goosebumps film. And last year, Rush could be seen as part of the cast of the critically-acclaimed Lady Bird, which was nominated for several Academy Awards. Soon enough you’ll be able to catch Rush in Dumplin’, a musical comedy starring Jennifer Aniston. And all this before she even turns 22.

Actress Odeya Rush, Vanity Fair Oscar Party, Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 04/03/2018

Angel Bonanni

Angel Bonanni may have been born in Uruguay, but he moved to Israel at a young age, and got his first big breaks in Israeli TV. Bonanni appeared in a long series of Israeli programs, and in 2015, he starred in the Keshet program False Flag, which received much critical acclaim, appeared at festivals around the world and was picked up by Fox. Since then, Bonanni has appeared in a series of Hollywood productions, including playing Yoni Netanyahu in the 2018 film Entebbe. Last year, the actor starred in the AXN series Abstentia, and he appeared in four episodes of the 10-part Fox miniseries Shots Fired. Currently, Bonanni can be seen in the Audience Network’s Condor, which just wrapped up its first season on the air.

Angel Bonanni as Yoni Netanyahu in Entebbe (Credit: Yes)

Shira Haas

To many Israelis, Shira Haas will always be Ruchami in Shtisel, the young haredi teenager who tries to escape her troubled family with a troubled marriage. But Haas, a 23-year-old native of Hod Hasharon, has slowly but surely been making her mark on Hollywood as well. In 2015, she played a role in Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, and in 2017, Haas starred in the film The Zookeeper’s Wife, set during the Holocaust. Earlier this year, Haas appeared in Mary Magdalene, alongside Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. In addition to her many other film and TV projects, Haas just wrapped up the filming of Esau, the adaptation of a Meir Shalev novel starring Harvey Keitel.

Shira Haas in the Israeli drama 'Princess.' (Credit: Yes)

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