"Zohan" or The Art of Middle-Eastern Maintenance : RushPRNews - Newswire & Global Press Release Distribution

 
Bookmark and Share

"Zohan" or The Art of Middle-Eastern Maintenance

June 7, 2008

‘Zohan’ Embraces Palestinians and Israelis - Middle East rivalries set aside for Adam Sandler comedy  By Robin Rowe for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 6/7/08 – “Comedy brings people together,” says Rob Schneider, who stars in Columbia Pictures ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’. “The Zohan is ridiculous, so ridiculous that, I hope, everybody takes a step back and laughs together.” Adam Sandler stars as Zohan, a top Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York.

“I play Salim, a Palestinian cab driver who came to New York to fulfill his dreams,” says Schneider. “He has some residual bitterness. He’s harbored a grudge ever since, as a young man, a goat that he was very fond of was taken from him by Zohan. That stuck with him, so when he sees Zohan in New York, he’s shocked by it and plans his revenge.”

“I was very flattered that Robert Smigel wrote this part for me,” says Schneider. “It reminded me of our best ‘Saturday Night Live’ days. He handed me a great character and I knew that I had to knock it out of the park. So I had all my lines completely down, with the accent.” To master Salim’s accent, Schneider was coached by a Palestinian physician in Milwaukee.

“I’ve got it on paper, spelled out phonetically, and then Adam starts to adlib,” says Schneider. “I’m like, ‘Ohhhh.’ Fortunately, we had Palestinian actors on the set. I would go up to Ahmed Ahmed and ask him, ‘How would you say this?’” Ahmed Ahmed was the Arab comedian in Vince Vaughn’s ‘Wild West Comedy Show’.

“We went from Israel to Palestine to New York to Anaheim, all over Los Angeles, to find people from the Middle East, Israelis and Arabs alike, to be in the movie,” says director Dennis Dugan. “I think we read every SAG and non-SAG acting aspirant for this movie. With 175 roles in the movie, we had to do that.”

Daoud Heidami plays Nasi, a Palestinian cab driver who joins his friend Salim on the wild goose chase to catch Zohan. “In the Middle Eastern culture, it’s like everybody is cousins, even if you’re not really related,” says Heidami. “So if my ‘cousin’ calls me and says he needs help, I go. Everyone’s family when you need a favor.”

“I grew up watching Rob,” says Heidami. “When I found out I was going to have the opportunity to work with Rob, I was really excited. It was exciting to watch and work with him. He’s helpful and encouraging in a lot of ways. He always has such a great energy that it’s really easy to work off of him.”

Sayed Badreya plays Hamdi, another Palestinian cab driver in New York. “I’m a product of war and peace,” says Badreya. “When Sadat made peace with Israel, I had the opportunity to come to America to study film [at NYU]. When I first came here in 1979 and first sought acting jobs, the only roles available were roles as terrorists. I was young and fit and too good-looking to be a terrorist, so I couldn’t get a job. I grew my beard, put on weight, and got a job right away. Since then, for twenty years, I’ve had one line in every movie I’ve been in: ‘In the name of Allah, I kill you all.’”

“One of the great things on the set, and we didn’t do this intentionally, was that we had many scenes that involved all the Arab guys and the Israeli guys in the same scene, meaning they were all called to the set together,” says writer Robert Smigel. “Everyone would be eating lunch together. They had a lot of passionate discussions, but it was very friendly, very healthy, very open-minded. It was really cool to see. Some of the guys have said to me that it’s the most they’ve every talked to an Arab or an Israeli before.”

Ido Mosseri plays Oori, an Israeli who becomes Zohan’s guide to all things American. “I’m always happy for the opportunity to work with Arab actors,” says Mosseri. “On the Zohan set, the first time the Arab and the Israeli actors met each other, I think we immediately became friends. We have a lot in common.”

“Toward the end of the shoot, I heard from some of the actors that they’d grown up hating or mistrusting all Israelis or all Arabs, until they came here,” Smigel adds. “They actually said the shoot was a life-altering experience. Even though we make the point in the movie, I think it was a shock to everyone to see how much they all had in common.”

About Mosseri, Smigel says, “When I was writing the Israeli characters as horndogs, I worried if it was too much of a stereotype. Fortunately, Ido fulfilled all my dreams. At one point on the set he was raving about Tel Aviv, the scene there, and how I had to visit. Then he paused and asked me if I was married, and I said yes. He said, ‘Well… maybe you don’t need to visit.’”

‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’
Release Date: June 6th, 2008 (US)
Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Distributor: Columbia Pictures (Sony)

-END-

RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at www.rushprnews.com
 www.annehowardpublicist.com

Content- Legal Responsability
Rush PR News is not legally and/or morally responsible for content of press releases, opinions expressed or fact-checking.

Rush PR News cannot be held legally responsible for material published and distributed through its newswire service or published in its press-room and therefore cannot be sued for published material. Third-party must be contacted directly to dispute content.

Rush PR News is not the contact for material published.

About the author:

FEINSearch.com is the nation's largest TAX ID Database and is developed and powered by Liberty Data,Inc. Feinsearch.com and REALSearch.com provide ID Verification & Risk Management Data and mitigates risks by providing access to over 3 Billion Consumer & Business Records for investigations, compliance & screening. A world leading provider of customer and business information to collectors, bankers, corporate, federal, state and local law enforcement investigators including: ID Verification and Risk Management, Background checks and Criminal Records, EIN database and compliance, Pre-employment Screening, TAX ID Search, People Search

At REALSearch, our mission is to empower FEIN Search is the nation's largest TAX ID Database and is developed and powered by LIBERTYData.net. Liberty Data (you with the industry's most comprehensive suite of powerful, easy-to-use online risk management and debt recovery tools. REALSearch is led by experienced professionals who understand your day-to-day challenges and the results you need to achieve. We believe that Collection and Risk Management demand access to quality, real time data. We have developed a cutting edge data company with the latest technology to help you meet your day-to-day challenges. That is why our vision is to continue to excel in the delivery of solutions that directly address all of your needs. We offer a comprehensive set of secure, web-based services that help clients get up-to-date information on consumers and businesses.

Click here to see all news from this author/company

Filed Under: ENTERTAINMENT, FILM, YAHOO NEWS, GOOGLE NEWS, MSN NEWS

RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at rushprnews.com / Anne Howard annehowardpublicist.com

Content- Legal Responsibility - All material is copyrighted - You may repost but you MUST link back to the original post on your page and acknowledge Rush PR News as the news source. Rush PR News is not legally and/or morally responsible for content of press releases, opinions expressed or fact-checking.

Rush PR News cannot be held legally responsible for material published and distributed through its newswire service or published in its press-room and therefore cannot be sued for published material. Third-party must be contacted directly to dispute content.

Rush PR News is not the contact for material published.

RSSFeed PRESS & SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASES

GeneSegues Therapeutics Awarded Contract For Development of Nanocapsule-based Vaccine for Biodefense Pathogen

MINNEAPOLIS, MN 12/18/14 · Company Collaborating With U.S. Army Researchers on Topically...

Enjoy a Virtual Tour of Canada's Favourite Spa

GRAFTON, ON 12/16/14 · A brand new tour of Ste. Anne's Spa...

Bahama Beach Club Hosts Christmas and 12th New Year’s Eve Party

Treasure cay 12/13/14 · If you're looking for the perfect place to...

Opportunistic Brand Savvy Investors set to snap up Stackcap Patent

London, UK 12/11/14 · Business savvy investors welcomed an exciting opportunity this...

Newborn Foundation Applauds Reauthorization of Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. 12/11/14 · The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R....

SecurifyApp makes it safe to be Home Alone during this holiday season

New York, New Yrok 12/10/14 · More Americans fall victim to accident, theft and...

Routehappy Raises $3.3M in Funding to Expand Airline & Distributor Products

NEW YORK 12/10/14 ·  -- Routehappy, the product differentiation platform for air travel,...

Spa Lovers Select Ste. Anne's as Canada's Top Destination... Again!

GRAFTON, ON 12/04/14 · Spafinder Wellness once again has awarded Ste. Anne's...

Who Couldn`t Use a Hug? Announcing the HugTrain 6th Annual Hug Tour Dec 2014

Montreal, Quebec, Canada 12/03/14 · Cross Continental Canadian-U.S. Train Journey to Raise Spirits...

Zikto announces stretch goals for successful Kickstarter campaign

Los Angeles/Seoul, Korea 12/01/14 · Campaign reaches global audience! Riding high on the accomplishment...

Coffee With Dr. Stewart

Austin, TX 11/25/14 · A brother and sister bring an exciting new...

Arki Kickstarter reaches $100K target in 13 days

Los Angeles/Seoul, Korea 11/24/14 · One step closer to a walking revolution The kickstarter...

Zikto taking award-winning Arki to Startup Nations Summit

Seoul, Korea 11/22/14 · Zikto taking award-winning Arki to Startup Nations Summit The...

The End of Transparency? Don't be a fraud target

Carrollton, TX 11/18/14 · - Over the years, progressive and productive societies...