Guy Ritchie reveals hidden Hebrew talent in 'Aladdin' interview

Chatting about his Hebrew speaking background, Ritchie told Ynet that he also speaks with his wife in Hebrew and has been learning the language for about 15 years.

By
May 30, 2019 15:48
2 minute read.
Guy Ritchie reveals hidden Hebrew talent in 'Aladdin' interview

Director Guy Ritchie arrives for the premiere of "Aladdin" at El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, California, US.. (photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)

Who knew that well-known Hollywood director Guy Ritchie can speak Hebrew?

You might think that with the name "Guy" there could be some Israeli roots, but no, that's not the case for the pucker British director.
 
Last week, the filmmaker did an entire interview with Ynet - over three minutes - about his live-action remake of the famous family classic Aladdin. In the interview he spoke, in better Hebrew than most new immigrants, about how his daughter "loved" Aladdin and inspired the remake of the movie.
"What could I do? It's my daughter," he said, adding that "my five children only watch family movies."


Addressing his inspiration for the character of the beloved blue Genie, and how they found ways to fill the large shoes left behind Robin Williams in the 1992 animated original, Ritchie said that it was a challenge.
 
"Robin Williams was bigger than life... I know that Will Smith was nervous about taking the role, but I don't know who else could do it."


Chatting about his Hebrew speaking background, Ritchie told Ynet that he also speaks with his wife in Hebrew and has been learning the language for about 15 years.

 


"My wife also speaks Hebrew, so sometimes in front of our children we speak Hebrew," he said. "It's a hard language, but a secret language as well, so they don't understand anything."


Asked if he would teach his children Hebrew, he said "yes" adding that his Hebrew teacher lives in Haifa.


This is not the first time Ritchie has done an interview in Hebrew. While promoting his 2017 film King Arthur - Legend of the Sword, Ritchie pulled a similar stunt during an interview with Ynet. 
 
When asked during that Ynet interview why he learns Hebrew, he responded, "why not? It's Israel, all stories begin in Israel."


Although not Jewish, Ritchie has dabbled in Jewish traditions and Kabbalah. He was married to the queen of pop, Madonna, from 2000 until 2008, following her into the depths of Jewish mysticism during that time. Their son Rocco had his bar mitzvah at the Kabbalah Center in New York back in 2013. 


Madonna and Ritchie studied Kabbalah, but Ritchie reportedly quit after his split from the pop icon. However, his interest in Hebrew and spirituality remained.


He's now married to 37-year-old model Jacqui Ainsley (now Ritchie) and they have three children together who also sport Orthodox Jewish names - Rafael, Rivka and Levi. His wife has been learning Hebrew since the two started dating in 2010, and during a 2011 interview with Hello! magazine, Jacqui said she'd been studying the language every day. 


“Initially it was difficult, as the characters are so vastly dissimilar to English characters and there are two alphabets to contend with," she said. "I believe you can learn anything you want if you are determined - one hour a day can go a long way.”





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