Interview date: 11/16/2009
Run date: 12/21/2009
Those familiar with the television series “Weeds” will certainly know the name Meital Dohan – the beautiful Israeli actress best known for her recurring role in Season Two. Meital also co-starred with “Napoleon Dynamite’s very own Jon Heder in the Web series “Woke Up Dead,” which is about zombies, as well as a small appearance on “The Sopranos.” Meital was kind enough to sit down with Bullz-Eye.com to talk about her experience on “Weeds,” the differences between working in America and being an actress in Israel, as well as the U.S. actors she’d love to work with.
Bullz-Eye.com: Hi, this is Anthony.
Meital Dohan: Hey Anthony, how are you – this is Meital.
BE: Good! How are you today?
MD: I’m very good!
BE: Good, thanks for joining me today.
MD: Thanks for joining me!
BE: (laughs) I see you’re awfully busy – what kind of projects are you working on?
MD: I’m working on a TV series here in Israel and I’m in a print-production for a film. I’m also working on a couple of other films – one is going to be shot in Jerusalem and the other will be shot in L.A.
BE: What’s this “Woke Up Dead” project that you’ve been working on? This seems like an interesting concept to me: Can you talk a little bit about that?
MD: Sure. It’s a Web series that is distributed by Sony on the Web site Crackle. My co-star is Jon Heder from “Napoleon Dynamite,” who is a wonderful person and a very talented actor. The series is about zombies!
BE: Do you enjoy doing off-the-wall projects like “Woke Up Dead?”
MD: You mean content-wise?
MD: I like to do projects that are off-the-wall and on top-of-the-wall (laughs)
MD: I like to do variations of all kinds of different work. One of my roles in Israel was for the theatre – Romeo & Juliet. So from that role I went to -- I was playing, I believe her name was Amanda in the U.S., on “Ugly Betty.” Or you know, Yael on “Weeds.” So I like to take on a different role every time or else I make myself bored, you know?
BE: Sure. And did you enjoy your time on “Weeds?”
MD: Oh, the work on “Weeds” was wonderful! It was pure fun, from the people involved in the production to Jenji Kohan, who was the creator of the show, to Justin Kirk, who was my partner and who was terrific to work with because he’s a great friend. The whole experience was just wonderful.
BE: Can you draw any comparisons from working on “Weeds” to your role on “The Sopranos?”
MD: Well, my role on “The Sopranos” was so small and I only had one day of shooting. I had fun that day because I met Michael Imperioli, who is a friend of Johnny Ventimiglia, and Johnny and me are close friends. It’s always nice to meet friends of friends. But I can’t really compare the adventure because on “Weeds” it was more of a longer, stronger experience.
BE: Sure. I see that you’re a writer as well. Are you doing anything right now or are you concentrating on acting?
MD: Well, the new film I’m shooting in Jerusalem – which is partly why I’m here in Israel – is something I co-wrote.
MD: Yeah, I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I am writing so I guess I’m a writer. (laughs)
BE: (laughs) Do you like having a hand in what the dialogue is going to be in a film or would you rather just pick up a script and perform it?
MD: I treat both acting and writing as a creation – writing is just another element or aspect of it. So, while I’m acting I’m focused on what I’m trying to say through the character. And when I’m writing, I’m just putting down on paper or on the computer what I have to say.
BE: I would imagine that there are many differences between acting in America and acting in Israel where you are now. What are some of the biggest differences?
MD: Well, there are a lot of differences. I’m connected to both places because I already feel like New York is my home. But then again I feel like L.A. is my new home and Israel is my real home. So I kind of feel connected to all places at the moment, and I’ve done very interesting projects in both places (Israel and America). However, obviously Israel is a much smaller place in terms of population. There are only 6 million people in Israel, where there might be 6 million people in one city in America.
MD: Israel has the mentality of a small Kibbutz. Kibbutz is kind of like a small village that -- actually there aren’t many Kibbutz left in Israel -- but it was something that was based on socialism and based on a principle that everyone is working for the Kibbutz and the Kibbutz is one. And that’s how show business is like in Israel – it’s very, very small. It kind of feels like a high school environment, you know? Everyone knows everyone and if you come to Israel for a month, you’ll meet half of the actors on different occasions – not to mention in the doctors office! (laughs)
MD: So, it’s pretty different, where as in America, everything is big and more like a jungle.
BE: I bet! Are there any American actors or actresses that you’re looking forward to working with in the future?
MD: Oh, that’s a nice question. I really love Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Edward Norton. I also like Ryan Gosling and Rick Bentley.
BE: Those are some good names.
MD: Yeah, and of the girls I like Naomi Watts and Juliette Binoche, and I would like to work with…
BE: You’re rattling off some good names here – it sounds like you’ve thought about this before!
MD: Well, I’m very picky and I’m very critical.
MD: No, seriously! I also like Juliette Lewis – I think she’s great.
BE: Well I know you’re busy and I don’t want to keep you too long but I did have one final question; I would love to know what kind of movies you enjoy when you’re watching in your spare time.
MD: I like “Talk to Her” by Almodovar and “Happiness” by Todd Solondz, “Mullholland Drive” by David Lynch -- is that enough?
BE: (laughs) Yeah, sure! Those are your top choices?
MD: Yeah probably, although they’re probably a lot more. I also love a film by Ang Lee – “Lust, Caution.”
BE: Great, well I want I wish you nothing but the best in your future projects.
MD: Thank you so much – it was a pleasure talking to you.
BE: You too! Thanks for joining us.MD: Okay, bye!