HT City


- Rishabh Suri

I was stopped by people to take photos. It was surprising. TSAHI HALEVI, Actor-singer

This was his maiden visit to India, and Israeli actorsinge­r Tsahi Halevi has been enjoying all the fame and appreciati­on coming his way, thanks to the global hit web show Fauda.

“I knew Fauda is quite familiar here, but not to this extent. The day I landed in Mumbai, I went to Taj Mahal hotel and Leopold Café to see what happened in 2008. I was stopped by people to take photos. It was surprising,” he tells us.

Does he attribute this to the OTT boom, which particular­ly happened during the pandemic? Halevi answers in the affirmativ­e: “Any project starts with a good story. The show came out in 2015, when OTT platforms had started purchasing internatio­nal content. Now, they not only purchase, but also produce. I suppose this supports so much internatio­nal content. During the pandemic, we were stuck at home, and what [else] could we do than watch a series!”

“This is also why I want a coproducti­on between Israel and India, which has such a vast industry,” adds the actor-singer, who interacted with actor Anupam Kher, filmmakers Imtiaz Ali and Vivek Agnihotri.

What does Halevi, 47, feel about the way Israel is depicted in internatio­nal cinema, akin to the way India is depicted in films such as Slumdog Millionair­e (2008)? He says he has to think hard about an English film or series that talks about Israel, without it being an Israel production in the first place.

“Most knowledge one gets about Israel is from the news. It doesn’t give you the full picture, as news is always black or white. The way we see India in films, that is not India, it is just a small piece of the puzzle. The same goes for Israel. If someone really wants to know what happens, visit Israel and speak to people, like I did in India,” he signs off.

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