If there's anything Hollywood has always had an abundance of it's the blonde bombshell prototype. At first glance, Meital Dohan might give off that appearance, but for once in the acting gambit, there is more than meets the eye. For one, she lists Mulholland Drive and Talk to Her amid some of her favorite films, she was born in Israel (move the fuck over Natalie Portman), and a large portion of her career has been devoted to theater, that is, until she began gaining the notice of the west coast. In fact, what could be more west coastian than weed?, which is the show Meital landed a guest starring role on as Yael Hoffman. Since appearing on six episodes for the second season of HBO's Weeds, Meital has also been on the successful web series Woke Up Dead with Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder. Behindthehype got a chance to interview the incandescent Israelite about her beginnings and experiences as an actress and here's what she had to say: BTH: Before getting to the hard-hitting questions, I want you to set the record straight about the pronunciation of your name. As someone with an "ethnic" name myself, I understand the tediousness of having to constantly correct people on how to say it. So, what is the phonetic spellling?  

MD: The phonetic spelling is Mey-tal, meaning "dew drops" in Hebrew.  

Meital Dohan

BTH: Who was the primary influence in inciting you to pursue acting? You started at an early age, so was it someone in your family who encouraged you to go to acting school or was it something you just sort of innately felt drawn to?

MD: I was actually very shy but I had the urge to express myself. As a kid, I didn't want to be an actress, but I loved acting as a form of self-expression. Later, when I was sixteen, I decided I wanted to be an actress, and pursued it on a more serious level.       BTH: Was leaving Israel for the United States a difficult decision process or was it an opportunity with too much promise to pass up?

MD: I never left Israel. I live in all places as I am a citizen of the world.    BTH: You started out as a theater actress. In terms of auditioning, do you feel like acting for theater is more heavily based on talent and that, in film/television acting, physical appearance can sometimes override acting ability?

MD: I'm very critical when it comes to acting and what I would consider to be good acting.  Being a good actor is being a creator, and the ability to create a whole new world. You can do that on screen and in live theater. 

Poised for greatness

BTH: Who approached you about auditioning for Weeds and was it a show that you had watched before? 

MD: My manager presented the project to me, and I hadn't watched it up to this point but had heard great things about it.    BTH: For your role in the play "Stitching," did you find it challenging to adhere to Anthony Neilson's "in yer face" theater proclivities or did your natural penchant for comedy make it easy to partake of the at times crude dialogue of Neilson's play?

MD: Throughout my career I did both comedies and dramas, from roles in the Israeli Ugly Betty to Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet." So naturally, "Stitching" was a dramatic role, but I was also able to channel my comedic sensibilities where it worked best.  

Jon Heder (left) and Meital on the series Woke Up Dead

BTH: How did you become involved in the series Woke Up Dead?

MD: The casting director contacted my agent because she thought I would play a good ball-busting, zombie chick.

BTH: You co-wrote a script called Orgy by Heart. Was it preferable to step out of the spotlight to adopt the often invisible role of "screenwriter?"

MD: I write because it's another form of expression to talk about things that are in my heart and are important to express. It's not about being in the spotlight or not being in the spotlight. 

BTH: So much of your acting career has been based in the comedic genre. Do you worry about being pigeonholed into one category or is comedy something that actually provides more challenges to you as an actor?

MD: Fear does not drive my work as an actress. In fact, I try to always make brave choices and take on risks as an actress. And, as I said before, I work in both the comedic and dramatic genre.   BTH: How do you occupy your time when you're in between jobs?

MD: Between jobs? I haven't been in between jobs since I was seventeen.   and finally,   BTH: What are your top five favorite films (no order of preference necessary)?

MD: Mulholland Drive, Happiness, Faces, Eyes Wide Shut, and Talk to Her.

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AuthorSmoking Barrel