Lior Raz was relaxed but projected star quality as he appeared on a question and answer session following what was billed as a virtual premiere of his new Netflix series, Hit & Run, late last week.
The series will begin streaming on Netflix around the world on August 6, and it is billed as Netflix’s first original Israeli series.
Interviewed by American actor/comedian Nick Kroll, Raz spoke confidently in Hebrew-accented English as he described making the suspenseful, twist-filled series, which was cocreated with his Fauda partner, Avi Issacharoff.
Hit & Run costars Sanaa Lathan (Love & Basketball), who also appeared in the question and answer session following the episode.
“You will never guess anything till the end. It’s like, everything you think of – it’s totally the opposite, and this is what makes a good show, I think,” Raz said.
The first episode centers on Segev (Raz), a former Israeli intelligence agent who is now a jovial, divorced Tel Aviv tour guide, spending as much time as he can with his cute young daughter.
His girlfriend, an American named Danielle (Kaelen Ohm) who dances for the Batsheva Dance Company, is planning to go back to the US for an audition when she is struck by a car and killed (this is not a spoiler; it’s in the trailer).
As Segev deals with his shock and looks into the police investigation of the incident – the police suspect an underworld figure in her death – he becomes convinced that the cops are concealing key evidence and that there is more to the incident. He reconnects with an old friend, Naomi (Lathan), an American journalist, to try to get to the bottom of it.
Other stars in the first episode included Lior Ashkenazi as an intelligence official and Moran Rosenblatt, almost unrecognizable as a blonde, pregnant Israeli, who is also working in intelligence.
Segev suspects that Danielle’s death was not an accident and realizes that he must head to New York to figure out the truth.
It’s an excitingly photographed series that shows Tel Aviv at its best and even features Segev attending a dance performance starring Danielle.
Given the unexpected worldwide success of Fauda on Netflix, a show in Hebrew and Arabic, Raz said that he did not think it would be a problem that a substantial portion of the dialogue in Hit & Run is in Hebrew.
“It’s not just an English-speaking show; it’s for everyone,” he said, referencing Netflix’s 190 million subscribers worldwide.
“We don’t have money to produce shows in Israel, so you have to be very creative to produce a good show, and you have to think out of the box to invest in your characters and in the relationship between your characters and the emotional journeys of your characters; and I think this is the secret for a good story and a good drama,” Raz said.
Lathan said, as preparation for her role, “I got to do some research on real black Jews in America.”
Raz said the next season would be shot in October and, asked what its focus would be, he joked, “I could tell you everything, but then I’d have to kill you, and I don’t want to, so let’s leave it like that.”