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Nov. 9th, 2020

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Masterpost: Oded Fehr Interviews

Masterpost: Oded Fehr Interviews

Oded Fehr RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION Set Visit Interview 2012
Trailer Park: Oded Fehr, quickstopentertainment.com
Resident Evil: Extinction: Star Oded Fehr, bloody-disgusting.com
Sleeper Cell, Dish, Channel Guide Magazine 2005
Oded Fehr inspires fear in latest role, Lexington Herald-Leader - Kentucky.com 2005
Oded Fehr’s Holy War, The Jewish Week 2005
The undercover terrorist, The Jerusalem Post 2005
U Daily News 2005
Truth or Fehr, Charmed Magazine 2005
Oded Fehr on Resident Evil, 2004
Razor Magazine, 2002
CBS.COM interview with Oded Fehr, 2003
Mummy' hunk turns 'Presidio' sawbones, 2002
TV CLOSE-UP - Oded Fehr: The ‘sexiest import’ of ’99, 2001
jewish.co.uk meets Oded Fehr 2001
Ones2Watch4.com -Oded answers questions from his fans!
Condé Naste Traveler: Oded in Iceland 2001
4 Questions for Oded Fehr, nypost.com 2001
a Fehr to remember, Movieline 2001
Oded Fehr, In Style 2001
Oded Alive - Fangoria Magazine 2001
venice 2001
'Mummy ' co-star sets hearts aflutter worldwide, USA Today 2001
My Favorite Weekend - Oded Fehr, L.A. Times Calendar 2001
Guardian Of The Tomb, 13th Street, 2001
Oded Fehr - Sexiest Import, People Magazine 1999
Hype - Oded Fehr - Movieline 2000

Feb. 19th, 2012

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Oded Fehr RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION Set Visit Interview, collider.com - 2012

Oded Fehr RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION Set Visit Interview

by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
2012 by collider.com

If you saw Resident Evil: Extinction, you’re probably wondering how Oded Fehr is returning as the character Carlos Olivera in Resident Evil: Retribution.  It’s an easy answer: cloning.  However, before you start to think that his character is going to be a good guy that teams up with Alice (Milla Jovovich) to kick some Umbrella ass, it’s not that straight forward of an answer.  As Olivera told a group of visiting online reporters last month on set:

    “The interesting thing is, I come back as two different guys on this one. There’s a dynamic to the relationship with Milla’s character, and then there’s the other side. He’s working for the Umbrella again.”

Hit the jump for more.

As I said, last month I got to visit the set of the fifth Resident Evil when the production was filming in Toronto and participated in a group interview with Fehr.  During the interview he talked about when he first found out he’d be returning to the franchise, what it’s like to play two versions of the same character, if he gets to fight himself, working in the 3D format, the action scenes, and so much more.

Before going any further, here’s the official synopsis from Retribution and the just released teaser trailer.  Resident Evil: Retribution opens September 14.

    The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.

Oded Fehr: Now I hear you’re shooting [Resident Evil] 5 without me? What the heck’s going on? And she was so cute. She was like, ‘Blah, dah, bah, bah, blah.’ You know? ‘We’ve got to call Paul [W. S. Anderson] right now.’ She didn’t want to say anything because she knew already that they were bringing me back in. So we met up with Paul that night, I think. And we had dinner that night. And he was like, ‘Yeah. We’re bringing you back in.’ So, I came back from the dead.

How? How are you brought back from the dead? Obviously you’re not the only one. We’re seeing characters from the first film being brought in as well.

Fehr: Yeah!

So if I posed it as, ‘Are you going to get to continue your relationship with Milla [Jovovich]’s character, as they were alluding to in Part 3, or are you on the side of evil?

Fehr: Well, the interesting thing is that in a way I do, and in a way I don’t. See, because I kind of come back twice on this one. I think you had a hundred Millas on the last one. So obviously, you can have more Carloses and more Ones and more Rains. The interesting thing is, I come back as two different guys on this one. There’s a dynamic to the relationship with Milla’s character, and then there’s the other side. He’s working for the Umbrella again. So the answer is both.

So that allows you to have some fun with the character.

Fehr: Yeah. It’s great. I get to play two different characters. It’s fun. Two opposing sides.

Do you fight yourself in the film?

Fehr: Do I fight myself in the film? No. I’m not that lucky.

And you’re getting to work with Paul as a director this time, too. Because the last two that you were in—

Fehr: Yeah, but you know, number three he was there the entire time. I think there was a time where the director was out sick for three or four days, so I actually ended up working with him then. And he was so closely involved that it felt like you were working with him anyway. He’s a great guy. He’s a lot of fun. Really nice. It’s a great atmosphere on set. He’s got a good eye and knows what he wants. It’s fun.

oded-feher-resident-evil-image-2How’s the 3D process on this movie for you?

Fehr: It’s complicated. The funny thing about it is, I always look at the steady-cam guys. When the steady-cam was still young, in the early days of steady-cam, I was in the beginning of my career. And I remember these guys carrying these big cameras—film cameras. They were not yet made for the steady-cam. They were big and heavy, and they were lugging these things around. And then, cameras became smaller and more compact. And then, boom! We moved into digital. Digital came in., and it was all big, and wires, and everything. And now, digital went so compact—it’s amazing! All of a sudden, steady-cams…they have an easier life again. And bam! Now we’re 3D, and they’ve got two cameras set up, with two sets of lenses, and two everything. And it’s heavier than it’s ever been.

Literally, it’s like we went back to the 1920s. But it’s amazingly complex and really cool. And as a guy who loves tech—a techie kind of geek—it’s a lot of fun to watch, and it’s really fascinating and interesting. I don’t know if you guys sat on set and saw…the guys constantly with a laser beam going on the screen to see the depth. It’s a lot of fun. It slows everything down a little bit. You get a little bit spoiled with the digital—shooting TV with digital—all of a sudden, a reload takes about [snaps] forty-five second. It’s done, and you can go and go and go. And now…you have to kind of stop and slow down and wait. It’s interesting. The whole ‘checking the gate.’ When we think about rotary phones, or things like that, or rolling down a window, and [how] our kids will never know what ‘to roll down a window’ actually means…it’s the same thing every time they say ‘checking the gate.’ There is no gate to check. It’s like ‘rerun the video.’ It’s kind of cool. It’s [one of] these things from the past that you know you experienced, and nobody else will. These young people won’t.

Can you talk a little bit about working with Paul? How he approaches the material and talks to you about characters? And how serious he is about this story that comes from a videogame series?

Fehr: I think these movies…they’re not the highest on deep drama and backstories and all the rest of it. They’re a popcorn fun ride, where, if they can stick some romance in it, and suggestions, and things like that, it’s a lot of fun. It’s just a fun movie, and I think that’s his approach about it. He’s extremely open to any kind of suggestions you might have, or anything like that. And he really concentrates on keeping the fun in it. Having the different characters. Having Rain, who Michelle [Rodriguez] plays. She plays Bad Rain and Good Rain, which is really funny. She’s like this tough girl, weapons specialist killer thing. And then, on the other hand, she’s this tree-hugger, Prius-driving, sweet girl. You know what I mean? So, he brings all that fun in there. And I think that’s his approach while filming as well. He loves keeping the fun and the spark in it. He surrounds himself with people he loves working with. Most of the people that are here are people he worked with on previous movies. So it’s a really great, nice set to be on.

[Unintelligible question]

Fehr: No, I think Michelle’s character and myself are the only ones that—I want to make sure that I’m saying it correctly—yeah, we’re the only ones that have the two characters. Sienna [Guillory]’s character has that spider thing stuck to her chest, which kind of controls her thoughts, as you saw in the last movie with Ali Larter’s character. So, she is a good person caught in a bad person’s body, kind of thing.

Have you seen any of the 3D footage assembled together?

Fehr: No. I haven’t seen the 3D assembled together. We see the 3D immediately while we’re shooting, so you can go and see the back-plays with the glasses, and everything. I’ve seen scenes that they were cutting together while we were doing second unit, and we had to find what it is that we had to add, or what’s missing. So we’ll see the little sequence and know what it is that we need to add in there. But that’s never in 3D. That’s just 2D. Just from one of the cameras.

Where do we first meet you in the film? Where do we get introduced?

Fehr: We get introduced to Carlos’ Todd in a very simple suburbanized home. And he’s just the husband. Just a dad and a husband, and a regular ol’ nice guy.

So are we getting prequel elements to this story? Is this kind of a prequel sequel? Eh? Or is this an Umbrella Corporation Home?

Well…[Makes noises] Uh…neh…nuh…yes. And no.

Is this film building to sort of a climax for the franchise? Or do you see it continuing on past this?

Fehr: I don’t know. I think so. I mean, I think the idea is to do—there’s one more movie that I know Paul definitely has in mind. [He] has this idea of this huge crescendo, a beautiful thing. But you know, when we did the third one, I thought that would be a huge crescendo beautiful thing. It just seems that people love watching the movies. Especially number four—it was more successful than number three. It’s like, ‘Well, if people like it, we’ll just keep bringing it back!’ It’s interesting working with Colin [Salmon]. Because Colin keeps saying [how they] shot this little independent movie in Germany, and nobody imagined that it would be so successful. And it is. I think it’s one of the most successful franchises. Right? People love it and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great. It’s interesting; I saw the movies to refresh myself with the series, and it’s like you’re watching Milla grow from a young kid in the first movie into this gorgeous woman in number four. This elegant, older, more mature woman, whereas in the first one, she looks like a kid. It’s kind of cool.

How does this film top the other entries that you’ve been in? Does it allow you to do anything new, action-wise? Is there anything that you’re really excited to see?

Fehr: I think the fact that I get to play the two different characters is the main thing. The movie is like anything else: once you’ve got a big enough ensemble, it spreads out. So there’s not as much…I’m not nearly as involved on this one as I was on number two or number three, really. So, I’m kind of more a part of the gang. And then I’ve got the sequence in the beginning that we talked about. But it’s the fact that I get to play the two different characters, which is a lot of fun.

Do you get to do any crazy wirework or fight sequences, or is it all guns blazing for you?

Fehr: This time, it was mainly more guns blazing. There’s a lot of concentration on the women fighting each other. So us guys, we get to be just tough guys shooting. But I got hung on the wires here and there. It’s fun.

This is a fifty-five day shoot. You obviously have some downtime. What have you been doing in Toronto?

Fehr: I’ve been traveling home quite a bit when I can. When I can’t, I’ve driven to Montreal. I love Toronto. We shoot Covert Affairs here as well. We shot number two here. So I’m back and forth to Toronto a lot. I’ve got to admit, I watch a little bit of the UFC fights. But what I love about Toronto, I love walking in Toronto. I just walk all over all the time. I absolutely adore the city. There’s a restaurant that I go to—every once in a while I’ll have the driver stop for me and pick up food from there. And every time I say, ‘Yeah, I walk here a lot. I walk to get my lunch here,’ and they’re like, ‘It’s an hour away!’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s great!’ [Laughs] I love it. It’s a college town. It’s a beautiful town to walk. A lot of people are walking. It’s gorgeous. And when you come from a place like Los Angeles, you really appreciate walking.

How has it been working with some of the cast members who you haven’t seen in a while? It’s almost like a big reunion tour.

Fehr: It’s great! It’s really lovely. It’s a really nice, lovely bunch of people. I think Michelle—I missed it!—I think Michelle deejayed here on Saturday, which I missed because I went to Montreal. I’d never been to Montreal. I’ve been here, like, a million times, in Toronto. I’d never been to Montreal, and I decided, ‘That’s it. It’s my last weekend here. I’ve got to get out and go to Montreal.’ But yes. [They’re] the nicest people. We laugh a lot. We go out a lot. Eat a lot. It’s fun. It’s really lovely.

In Extinction, you guys were up against, kind of, new ‘super-zombie’ things in the desert. There were new creatures.

Fehr: Wasn’t that Apocalypse?


Fehr: Extinction…is that Number Three?


Fehr: [Laughs] There you go.

When you guys are in Vegas.

Fehr: When we’re in Vegas! Yes! Absolutely!

The effects teams did some really cool ‘super-zombies,’ where they were holed up in these big boxes, or something like that. Do you guys go up against anything new in this one, in terms of a creature or creature effects?

Fehr: Yes. Now, that’s a complicated question for me. The problem is that we never…I’m on the bad guys side. So we are the ones who are unleashing them, more than having to fight with them. So, I get the description, but it just goes right over my head, to be totally frank with you. It’s like, ‘Oh, so what do we got? Something coming out of the face? And claws? Oh, this one is up in the chamber, and he’s kind of a super-licker-something, jumping across the thing? And he’s got them in a kind of a cocoon thing?’ Which is very cool…but I’ll wait until I see it on the movie screen, because I have no idea what they’re talking about. So, because I’m on the bad side on this one, I don’t have as much interaction with them. To be totally frank with you, when we were in the desert, and you would have asked me, I would still have gone, ‘So, there’s something really big and scary coming out of that box. I’m not entirely sure what it is because I can’t see anything. But I really have to try and kill it and shoot it.’ I’m not a huge gamer. I think people who really play the games can recognize it and know what the characters are. But I really haven’t played the games since the second one.

You mentioned that you play two different versions of your character, and also that Paul is thinking for one more film. Do either of your versions survive? And as Paul said, ‘If we make a sixth, you’d be around.’

Fehr: I can’t say things like that! Do either of my things survive?

The Resident Evil movies are known for killing off characters. As you are familiar with.

Fehr: That’s a very good possibility. But I shouldn’t tell you. Should I? I shouldn’t tell you what happens!

Even if both of them die, you could come back. As Paul said to you, ‘If we make a final one, you’d be around.”

Fehr: Of course, but I don’t think anybody knows one hundred percent. He has an idea of what he wants to do. All I can tell you is that I love Paul and we have a great time. He found a way to bring me back on this one, maybe he will on the sixth one. I don’t know. I hope there will be a sixth one. I have no idea. We’ll see.

Which of the two do you like playing the best? Do you have a favorite of the two?

Fehr: That I did? Or the characters?

The characters.

Fehr: Oh, it’s difficult to say. I think the good guy, because he’s almost like a throwback to a 1950s kind of character. It’s very un-Resident Evil kind of scenes. Very sweet.

Are you in pastels, and is it all campy?

Fehr: Yeah, maybe. It’s really nice. Very relaxed and nice. And then everything goes wrong.

Does the ‘50s version of your character have kids in this thing? Or is it just you and a wife? How is that?

Fehr: Yeah. We have a kid. Played by Ariana, who is very sweet. Little girl. Very sweet little girl.

How much of that do we get? That character. The good one. How much of that is in the movie.

Fehr: Oh, I don’t know. Not too much. There’s enough. Not too much. We’re not taking the movies and flipping them on their heads, and going into the 1950s. But it’s fun. It’s nice. Hopefully it will take the audience on a journey they didn’t expect.

Jan. 4th, 2011

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Slice of SciFi Interview with Oded Fehr, 2007

Slice of SciFi Interview with Oded Fehr

September 30, 2007

Actor Oded Fehr first caught the attention of moviegoers with his portrayal of
the mysterious warrior, Ardeth Bay, in the hit action thriller “The Mummy.” He
later reprised his role in the even more successful sequel, “The Mummy Returns.”
Fehr is now starring in the third installment of the Resident Evil franchised
number one film in last weekend’s box office, “Resident Evil: Extinction,”
reprising his role of ‘Carlos.’ Fehr was seen before his current film opposite
Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning in DreamWorks’ “Dreamer: Inspired by a True

On the small screen, Fehr starred as ‘Farik,’ the leader of an underground
terrorist group in Showtime’s compelling drama series “Sleeper Cell.” The show
received nominations for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and TCA Award as well as being
named one of the American Film Institute’s top ten TV programs of the year.
Variety called Fehr “magnetic” and The Hollywood Reporter said he is “masterful”
in his portrayal. His other television credits include leading roles on NBC’s
“UC: Undercover” and the CBS drama “Presidio Med” with Blythe Danner and Dana

Born in Israel, Fehr relocated to Germany to pursue a career in business with
his father. On a whim, he decided to sign up for a drama class and went on to
star in a production of David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity” in Chicago. Foregoing
his business career, Fehr spent the next three years enrolled at the Old Vic
Theatre School in Bristol England. He then went on to London’s Court Yard
Theatre where he graced the stage as Don Juan in their production of “Don Juan
Comes Back from the War.”

Our intrepid online interviewer and reporter, Linda Craddock sat down with Oded
right before the premiere of “Resident Evil: Extinction” and talked with him
about the film and his career. Here is their conversation together for you to

Linda Craddock (SoSF): Hello Oded and welcome to Slice of SciFi, how are you

Oded Fehr (OF): Hi Linda, I’m doing fine and happy to be here with you today.

SoSF: With the premiere of “Resident Evil: Extinction” coming on the 21st, what
can you tell us about this particular installment that differs from the 1st two
and what director Russell Mulcahy wanted to accomplish with #3?

OF: Well, the first two were much smaller movies to start off with. The first
one takes place in these underground chambers. The second one takes place within
one city that’s darker and is mostly shot at night. This third one is a huge
movie. It takes place in a post apocalyptic world where there are very, very few
humans who survive the undead and they reclaim parts of the earth. It’s a lot
sexier and more action, more of an adventure cool movie, totally different feel
from the last two movies. Much bigger cast of characters, fantastic actors and
personally I think the third script is the best of all three. With Mulcahy, his
vision was, I think, to create the sense of adventure and action. He hasn’t done
any big movies like this lately and he did a great job. It looks great it’s very,
very bright, definitely the best of all three.

SoSF: It doesn’t exactly pick up where “Apocalypse” left off it starts the same
concept from a different perspective.

OF: Yeah, basically we are a few years from where we left off in “Apocalypse”. I
think they wanted to do a third one, and it’s always the last one, I think with
a complete different feel so it’s very different from the last two.

SoSF: Talk about your reprised role with the project.

OF: I play the part of character “Carlos Olivera”. He’s a very cool character.
He doesn’t have any super strength, not a super hero kind of thing. He’s just
fun to play, its’ a great character.

SoSF: So at what point, was it during the shooting of “Apocalypse”, when did you
know you were going to get the call for the role of “Carlos Olivera” in

OF: I didn’t know they were going to do a third movie, didn’t know my character
wasn’t dying in the second one but I knew if there were going to be a third one
I would probably have the opportunity to join them. After I read the script I
really got excited about it.

SoSF: Can we look forward to new sinister creatures besides the well-known
zombies or the undead?

OF: The undead are new and improved in this one. They’re much faster and smarter
than the last movie, which makes it much harder to avoid them. You’ll also find
there’s an additional creature towards the end of the movie. Forgive me but I
can’t remember what he’s paralleling in the game. The creature actually exists
in the game but I can’t remember which one it is.

SoSF: Tell us about the location for the film?

OF: We shot in Mexicali Mexico and Mexico City. Mexicali was, well I loved it.
It was a great time because it was only about 4 ½ hours away from home to drive
so it didn’t seem that far away but on the other hand its Mexico and it was
great, great food. It is a small little town. It was nothing interesting or
fascinating about the town but I can tell you that the people there were lovely
and we shot in the dunes, just south of the border where they have these great
big dunes and it’s beautiful, very majestic. The only problem was we were
shooting in 125˚F. We once installed like a chicken thermometer in the van and
it was 136˚F, so it was crazy, absolutely crazy. We were drinking water all the
time. If you weren’t shooting, you had some kind of drink in your hand.

SoSF: I understand Milla is again, remarkable with her physicality in the movie,
the stunts, with her action scenes?

OF: She is remarkable. She works her butt off I didn’t know what to expect. I
had worked with her in the second movie and I love her. She’s a great person,
really very, very sweet and very giving as an actress. No ego issues or anything
like that and she works her butt off. She works hard on everything and she’s
well prepared and she looks unbelievable. She’s so photogenic it’s not even
funny. She’s great in this role, she’s such a pro in it’s wonderful.

SoSF: To your knowledge, can we looking for additional installments of the
Resident Evil saga?

OF: From what I understand this is supposed to be the last one but you never
know. People really love it and it makes a whole load of money and they say “you
know, we should make another one”.

SoSF: You appeared in “Dreamer” with Kurt Russell in ’05. What was it about the
project that appealed to you?

OF: I just loved the script. It was a least a 3-star movie. I don’t get to
appear in movies my children would be able to see. Basically it was a real sweet
story. It wasn’t a big role, but they offered it to me and I kind of felt I
wanted to do it. Of course working with Kurt Russell and Kris Kristofferson was

SoSF: You are well known for your role in the two Universal pictures “The Mummy”
and “The Mummy Returns” with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. What would you say
was one of the more memorable moments from either movie for you as an actor.

OF: Well, the first movie, I think the most memorable Stephen Sommers, the
director and tested me and he’s changing the ending, letting my character live
and his exact words I think were “hey why should “Ardeth die. You know,
everybody loves “Ardeth, why kill “Ardeth” so the reason it was remarkable for
me was because within 5 days of shooting I’m thinking they’re going to kick me
off the movie and re-shoot the scenes so it came as a complete surprise to me
when they decided to change the ending. That was fantastic. The second movie, a
lot of horse riding. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had till today as
far as having action from a movie. I literally spent a month and a half on
horseback. It was wonderful , the whole time riding in the desert dunes, it was
just wonderful.

SoSF: I read somewhere while filming “The Mummy” you guys encountered ferocious
wind storms.

OF: It was really weird. It was the second movie. We were shooting on a really
big set and all of a sudden out of no where this rainstorm came in and it was
crazy. They had to evacuate us with the medical helicopters that have always
been standing by. They evacuated the entire crew with medical helicopters we had
standing by and the rain-washed away the set. It wasn’t anything too complicated
but it did definitely wash away the set. It was very strange In May, I think or
June, it was a very untimely kind of rainstorm.

SoSF: A lot of your fans remember that character, “Ardeth,” because of the long
hair and I know you made a comment about cutting your hair and enjoying the
anonymity because people don’t associate that character with other characters
since you’ve cut your hair.

OF: I think a lot of people do know I’m from “The Mummy” in the fact that the
way I looked when I shot “The Mummy” is very unique. You walk around with that
beard and that hair, it kind of difficult to be unnoticed. So I like this life
much better. I walk around with my kids, and I appreciate people coming up and
its lovely to hear but I really enjoy this thing, a regular job kind of thing.

SoSF: You mentioned “Sleeper Cell”, Showtime’s original series, and it appeared
on air after the tragedy of 9/11. What were some of your concerns going into
this project and what did you want the audience to take away from the story and
in particular your role?

OF: My concerns were I knew that the minute people saw the show people might
think that we’re painting terrorists in a good light and I didn’t want anything
like that or being sympathetic towards terrorists. I think that anybody who sees
the show sees that it’s very patriotic and optimistic that we have an FBI agent
infiltrating the cell from extremely optimistic and patriotic point of view.
That being said I think the writers did an amazing job at keeping the show as
real as dramatically possible. I think true, real life terrorists sleeper cells
lead a life that is too boring for the screen that you have to dramatize it in
some ways. They tried to keep it as real as possible and as close to the truth
as possible and use only things that have happened or the fact that they might
have happened. I really think people took from the show what we wanted them to
take what the writers wanted them to take, how real it is and yet entertaining
and maybe in some ways, it brings some people who have no clue about the subject
matter, about terrorists, about what the “Sleeper Cell” teaches them just a
little bit. It s not supposed to be a educational show but maybe it teaches them
a little bit more, you know regarding fear of flying and all that. Our audiences
are much smarter now because of the show and hopefully “Sleeper Cell” had
something to do with that.

SoSF: So you would say that your first reaction when presented with the
storyline was a sense of maybe appreciation for the way the writers depicted
this terrorist..

OF: My first reaction was very negative because I hadn’t read the script yet and
basically all I heard is I am being offered this terrorist role and I said I
don’t want to play a terrorist my representative said Oded, just read the script
and I read the script and the minute I read the script. The minute I read the
script, I fell in love with the story. I’ve never read anything that wasn’t, —
let me put it this way — every script I’ve read before that had anything to do
with terrorist or anything like that was always Hollywood type characters, but
this script was so true to life. People’s impression of what terrorists are
like, the theme in the underground and the first episode, it was so true to life
and I just loved it because I grew up in the Middle East, and I know a little
more than most people and I’ve had people come to me with all kinds of questions
of what it would be like and it’s never what they think so I loved it and the
fact that they managed to keep it going for two seasons was fantastic.

SoSF: Was there a lot of effort on your part, based on your knowledge with the
research for the role?

OF: What I did for research on the role was more or less the American side of
things and culturally, the Muslim side of it but I didn’t research it from a
terrorist side all the quotes they used in the show they actually explained
their point of view, their behavior. I never knew any of that. I never knew how
American got involved, the bombing in Lebanon, all of that, I never knew what
weight that had, the American side of the conflict, so for me that was a lot of
research. What were truly amazing to me were the writers. The writers, again,
their research, their ability to write the smallest detail how we do the
prayers, what time we do the prayers, the behavior between the men and the women
and all that there was amazing.

SoSF: Describe some of the feedback you have received from fans while filming
this project?

OF: I received nothing but wonderful feedback. That was the thing I worried
about. You are always afraid that people won’t separate you from the character
you play on TV. For instance all the actors on “ER” still get confused for real
doctors. But, I actually received nothing but favorable reactions.

SoSF: Excellent!

OF: Yeah, that was the one thing I was worried about being associated with a
terrorist. But I actually received some wonderful reactions from people. They
really appreciated the show.

SoSF: You appeared in 5 episodes of the TV series “Justice League”, 7 episodes
of “Charmed. Describe your role in each of these projects and talk a little
about experience on set.

OF: Doing the Justice League was a lot of fun. I was offered the role of the
character “Dr. Fate” and it was wonderful. That was a great experience. Using
your voice instead of your entire being to act it was so many different mediums
and I really love the role of making a living. It’s almost as if there’s no
pressure. You come in and everybody sits in this room you sit in a circle and
you just run the lines and you create amazing vision. It was a lovely, lovely,
experience and I loved the character and I was a huge comic book fan so I really
enjoy being a part of that. It was a lot of fun. The other one was “Charmed”
that you mentioned?

SoSF: Yes

OF: “Charmed” again, was wonderful job for me because I was in between doing the
pilot of “Sleeper Cell” and we knew the pilot got picked up and we were doing
the show but I didn’t know but I didn’t have anything in the mean time and there
was six months in between and all of a sudden the people from “Charmed” called
and it was one of those things, one of those offers that I couldn’t refuse and I
didn’t think it would be something that would be much of a highlight for me. I’d
never seen the show. So I said ok, a WB show, three girls are witches, and it
ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve had with the acting for me
because the casting was such a, well you were so allowed to be bigger than life
and it was very freeing from that point of view and I loved it. Everybody on the
show was great, and I loved the crew on that show, just a great crew, very
professional, they’ve been doing this a long time. In the beginning it was very
good, very fast, very easy going and the directors were great. It was just a lot
of fun. The girls were lovely and it ended up being just a great, great,
experience and I am really happy I did it.

SoSF: Tell us something about Oded that most people don’t know.

OF: (laughter) Well, first and foremost I have to say that I’m a father and a
husband and very, very much a family guy. I don’t involve myself with Hollywood
very much. I don’t think you’ll see me at any parties, I rarely go to premieres,
especially now that we have the kids. I’m very home-bodied, I love being with my
family, love being with my kids and I’m not nearly as interesting as the
characters I play (laughter).

SoSF: Oded, thank you for coordinating this interview based on your schedule and
continued success to you. I am very grateful to you and Slice of SciFi fans will
be thrilled.

OF: Thank you. It was my pleasure.


hype bw

Trailer Park: Oded Fehr, quickstopentertainment.com

Trailer Park: Oded Fehr

By Christopher Stipp



With Oded Fehr’s career in Hollywood working out in the exact opposite direction
that most other actors build their resumes, his stints in THE MUMMY pictures
thrusted him to the front of the line of big budget productions, Oded found
himself being quickly established within the acting community. He took his
notoriety and actually channeled it into smaller roles on television. This part
is important to understand because from Presidio Med, Charmed and even UC:
Undercover Oded two-stepped back into the thunderous actioneer, RESIDENT EVIL:
APOCALYPSE without so much as missing a beat.

Too many times in this business you talk to people who are vocal about being
film actors and nothing but or television actors that only sees television as a
way into film. Oded, I think, doesn’t see things that way. As evidenced by his
turn in Sleeper Cell on Showtime you can see Oded deliver a tightly packed
performance that is definitely an argument as to why film actors need to rethink
their stance on the issue.

I believe the other part of this duality about Oded, and this could be pure
speculation, is when he’s going to break from playing characters with obviously
“international” names like Prince Sadir, Kazim, Amahl Ali Akbar, Zankou, et al.
Hopefully you can see where this is leading when you understand that, as Carlos
Olivera in the newest RESIDENT EVIL installment, his newest role is yet another
step forward for the actor who is constantly looking for roles that will allow
him to be seen as an actor who can play roles of varying type.

I talked with Oded regarding the choices he makes with regard to work, whether
he’s had it up to here with productions set in the sand and what it’s like to be
a working actor with small children.


ODED FEHR: Hi…is this Christopher Stipp? This is Oded Fehr.

CHRISTOPHER STIPP: How are you doing?

FEHR: I’m very good, how are you?

CS: I’m doing fine. I couldn’t wait to talk to you.

FEHR: I appreciate that.

CS: I know you’ve already been through rounds and rounds and rounds of press and
all that…

FEHR: Yeah, but it’s not so bad.

CS: No?

FEHR: I like to talking about movies and the work.

CS: The only reason I bring that up is because I recently saw an interview with
Kevin Bacon talking about doing press and junkets and what he thought of junkets.
Being on the other side I’ve got to think that answering the same questions
again and again and again…

FEHR: The junket days are definitely hard. They are a little bit mind numbing
because you literally do answer the same questions over and over and I think it
gets to the point where the day you can sum up all the answers right off the bat
from the first one.

CS: I am absolutely fascinated by that only from your point of view. Obviously
in the back of your head you want a memorable, a nice conversation…is there
things you look for - hope that somebody brings up instead of the “What was it
like to work with” kind of questions?

FEHR: No, I was thinking about it myself; what would be the questions that would
be most interesting? It’s one of those things that when you are on your side,
you know your work really well and sometimes you are surprised by questions some
people ask you as far as your work because it’s not the first thing you think
of. It is the same with me. I don’t necessarily – I’m surprised by the questions
or I’m not surprised by the questions. As far as I’m concerned I always afraid
I’m boring people. Because I’m not really – I live a very simple life. I’m a
father first, husband and so on so I’m not nearly as interesting as others might

CS: Well, you are to me because I have two girls at home, one’s four and one’s
one so when I saw that you had two children of your own.

FEHR: Exactly the same ages.

CS: I was utterly fascinated from the point of view that your world must have
changed dramatically. You have a preconceived notion of what life will be like
when you say “I am going to be a father and having to balance”…Obviously, at the
end of the day, acting is work.

FEHR: It is very much that. The thing about me I think is I was always very
ready to have children and looked forward to having children and a family. My
wife and I got married and really found a wonderful life with each other and we
added it on with children and it never….you know how people always warn you
everything will be so different. Everything is upside down, life is completely
different and shocking but for it me it always felt as though it was very much a
natural progression of things. I love it. It’s the first and foremost most
important thing in my life.

And acting is definitely a job. It’s the most wonderful job. I’m the luckiest
person on earth to have such a great job and to be able to sustain our life with
it… It’s definitely a job. It’s one of those things…no body can touch me. If
somebody doesn’t want me for a certain role or if somebody doesn’t like the work
I do it doesn’t really affect me as far as who I am – it just affects me as I
just had a bad day at work. Do you know what I mean?

CS: Absolutely. I looked at the shoot you did for the latest RESIDENT EVIL. I
thought it said something about 55 days or something to that affect. Almost two
months. Does that come into the picture now? All these years now of not having
children and now you do…or is it “This is what I have to do to be a working

FEHR: You know what? The thing about RESIDENT EVIL was that it was a wonderful
shoot for me because we shot most of it in Mexicali which is four hours away. It
all definitely, definitely comes into play with my family and I like to bring my
family with me whenever I can. I just shot a movie up in Vancouver and spent
three and a half weeks away from the family which is extremely difficult but
then they came up for the final two weeks. I always have them come join me
whenever possible. But, as far as RESIDENT EVIL was concerned, it was great, I
used to drive home. Any time I would have at least 24 hours, I would drive home
four hours just to see them and drive four hours back. But it was totally worth
it. My daughter was only a month and a half old. We went through quite a lot to
have her in the sense that my wife was on bed rest for a few months and actually
hospitalized for seven weeks. It was really hard.

CS: Oh my…

FEHR: But we have a beautiful baby girl. It was totally worth it. It was great.
I had a wonderful time in all aspects of RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION.

CS: One of the first really big questions I have is after looking at the stuff
you’ve done for the MUMMY and now RESIDENT EVIL…the kinds of shoots that they
were, I’m just curious - are you just sick of filming in the sand?


FEHR: Ha ha, no. I do love it. I’m naturally drawn more to heat than cold. I
have a much better time being in 125 degrees than being in zero degrees. I
really enjoy it. Personally I think it just looks so fantastic. It looks amazing,
that kind of natural beauty you get with dunes, the rolling sand hills, it just
the earth colors is extremely beautiful. Very sexy, very adventure like. I think
Milla looks better than she ever looked in anything I’ve seen her in. It’s just
very exciting and a lot more adventure like.

CS: Right, in fact you are leading right into the second thing I was going to
bring up. You mentioned the word adventure-like and these movies just lend
themselves to feeling sort of epic and I’m just curious from your side of things
if there were things you have to do as an actor sort of embody that largess,
that bombast of an adventure movie that you need to do. This is not a tiny role.
You really have to play it up as it is.

FEHR: Yeah, I mean you try to do everything you can as far as building up the
emotional depth of the character in these kinds of movies is not nearly as much
work as you would do in a show like Sleeper Cell or Hamlet. But this movie is a
lot more passion driven. I certainly spent three months or so working out,
trying to build up more, trying to look like someone who is a hired killer, a
fighter kind of thing, you know, soldier for hire. Definitely attempted at the
same time to loose a lot of fat. Get that lean look – lean and hungry look of
someone who is living in a post-apocalyptic world. You try to do a lot more
physical stuff in these kinds of movies.

CS: Does anything surprise you anymore as to what these writers are coming up
with as far as premises for these movies? Does anything go “Oh God…” You say the
words post-apocalyptic, a lot of snobs, for lack of a better word would turn up
their nose…

FEHR: I can’t see anybody turning up their nose or doing any of that with this
kind of movie anyway in the sense that this is very much a genre of movie that
snobs I don’t think would even look at. It’s the third installment in a genre of
a move that was created from a video game and, truthfully, I think it was very
well done.

The only other ones that might come close even though I think this is more
truthful to the game is Laura Croft. And the thing about this one I believe is
that the script is better than the last two, definitely the location, the
details. I other two were great it’s just a nice progression, a nice build up
from one movie to the next and I definitely think this is the best of all three.
It has a lot more of that adventure feel just because of where it’s shot and all
the other characters that have been added to it. It has a MAD MAX kind of feel
in the sense of what’s left of the world. I think it’s one of those things
that’s in all our minds. Are we going to bring this world to an end one day and
only a few of us will survive.

CS: When you were reading the script for the third one – and I’m really curious
to know - that when you are reading a script, even before one frame is shot, was
it detailed enough that you could actually see how these individual parts evolve
or have evolved since the last film or is there a lot of imagination you have to
posses to try and envision if the movie is going to be schlocky?

FEHR: I think one of the hardest things for any actor, actually, not in my case
with this one, if an actor is reading a script and is going to read for a
certain part – your interpretation of what it is and the director’s
interpretation could be two totally different things. That being said, reading
this one after shooting the second one and seeing the first one you kind of have
an idea of what it is that we’re talking about. And it was very clear in the
script the vision, the totally different style from the last ones in the sense
of the location, where it’s taking place and what the world looks like now. The
fact is that the movie happens mostly in daytime, outdoors. The other movies
were very much in the dark and felt very closed. So all of that is very
different. It read much bigger obviously, bigger sceneries, bigger everything.

You can tell but you never have that 100% vision of the director. You don’t know
where he’s going to take it or how he’s going to take it to shoot certain
things. Even when you are shooting it you can’t 100% tell what it’s going to
look like. You can see with your own eyes and every once in a while you look in
a monitor but you still have no idea what it will look like after somebody adds
the special effects to it. That’s where it takes me a few times to watch the
movie and actually enjoy the story line because what I do the first few times is
just go, “Oh my gosh, that is what it looks like, or wow they did that, the
girls look fantastic, oh they added”…..And that’s how you watch the whole thing
and you go through it and what your remember is so different.

CS: It’s funny you bring that up. Some people don’t like to – it’s an odd thing
– I encounter some people like to watch what they do, some people say I’ve
filmed it and move on and feel very uncomfortable looking at it. But it doesn’t
seem like you have a problem with that.

FEHR: I don’t particularly enjoy watching myself. It’s probably the same feeling
you must have when you leave a message on your phone. You hear your voice and
say oh my gosh, do I really sound like that? 10 times worse.

CS: But you’re a nice looking guy, aesthetically speaking…

FEHR: You’re part of a project – and I’m interested in directing one day and I
am fascinated by seeing how the complete picture comes together.

CS: Funny you bring that up that you wanted to direct. You mentioned that the
MUMMY mostly made your career what it is but most people work in the opposite
direction with actors eventually leading to the big time, big budget role. But
right out the gate you’ve done the big budget movie. What have you done to try
and get the kind of roles like Sleeper Cell to demonstrate your range and that
you are not just a big action go-to guy?

FEHR: I wish I could tell you that it’s as easy as oh this is what I want to do
and this is what I’m going to do. It never is. The business has become very
difficult out there. It’s much harder to get work. You can tell. Huge stars are
doing TV shows and you never expect them doing. A very small percentage of
actors are in a position that they can shoot exactly what they want to do and
even they don’t get the opportunity unless they develop it themselves. So I
can’t say that I just chose what I want. On the other hand, I do say no a lot.
If there is something that I like, something that I read that I enjoy, for me,
99% of the time it’s the script. If it is something I enjoy - no matter what
genre it is in. I’m happy to do it. I do try to do as many different things as I
possibly can. DEUCE BIGALOW is a comedy and I’d love to do more comedy and
always keep my eye out for a nice comedy to be a part of. Many times I’ll do
tiny roles like in DREAMER for the opportunity to work with people like Kurt
Russell and Kris Kristofferson. So you just try to not do actual crap. (Laughs)
But sometimes you just can’t help it for whatever reason. Most of the time you
try to do things you enjoy reading.

CS: I’d like to ask you – when I was going through your resume a lot of the
roles that you played with the exception of the work you did with UC Undercover,
your characters names have a very international, ethnic sort of ring to it, is
there any sort of frustration on your part, maybe there wasn’t or isn’t…

FEHR: There was a little bit in the beginning, obviously. The MUMMY was a
wonderful thing on one hand – a double edge sword because it was difficult for
anyone to see beyond the long hair, the beard, and the Arab accent. But that
being said not being in the TV world there is no – I just did a pilot for Fox
last season which I play a doctor…

Truthfully, it’s one of those things, you have to, whenever you sell anything
whether it’s a product or you as an actor you really have to stand with your
feet on the ground and be aware of what it is the people perceive your product
is to be. And if your biggest advertisement shows the product as an Arab
character it’s going to be hard for anyone to see you as anything else. You have
to think of yourself – when you see an actor do something that you really enjoy
you immediately think of him doing another 15 roles which are exactly the same.
Your natural inkling is not to put him in a completely different genre. It a
natural thing and you try to keep in mind. I’ve turned down many, many Arab
roles. When Sleeper Cell came first, I just read a description of being offered
a role of the head terrorist of a terrorist cell the first thing I said was “No,
I don’t want to do it” but my representative said “Just read the script” and
when I read the script there was no way I could turn it down. It was absolutely

CS: I think it was one of your best work. I absolutely agree.

FEHR: And I would have to agree with you. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It
was an amazing experience all around – working the directors we worked with, the
cast, the crew, the writers everything. It was almost a family working together
to achieve the same goal. It was great.

CS: And what did you bring away from that experience? Because it seemed that it
was you, just you, just your acting - it wasn’t this bombastic – it wasn’t this
large character we’ve come to know. What did it teach you about what you can do
with a tiny role?

FEHR: I think it is extremely difficult to say what exactly it is. You learn
about the acting aspect about what you can take away for the next time. It’s an
internal thing. All of a sudden when you are doing another character you just
find it easier to be natural with it.

All I know is that it was extremely important to me that this character be real
– somebody that could be your neighbor. I felt that I definitely did not want to
do some kind of Hollywood bad guy type of character. I wanted to do somebody who
is just somebody that you almost, had it not been for the things he did or does,
you’d really like the guy. And that’s what I was going for so therefore he had
to be extremely natural just very much driven by his ideals and beliefs and he’s
100% convinced that he was doing the right correct thing. So basically, that’s
what I was going for. I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to play somebody
for that length and depth that is so natural and I think I’ve learned a lot from

CS: One more question – going forward where I didn’t see anything else coming up
on your horizon but certainly as you are contemplating moving forward as a
working actor what are some of the things you are hoping to do with your next
project and the next one after that? Is there any career path that you want to
try to build on going forward?

FEHR: Well, I just shot a movie with Melissa George up in Vancouver, directed by
Amanda Gusack. It’s a very small independent movie for MGM and that was a lot of
fun. I’ve never done an independent before. I can’t tell you anything specific.

I do know that one of my dreams after leaving drama school was to do Shakespeare
on stage one day. I come from a very classical type of training and for me that
was the biggest challenge as a student actor entering drama school because I
knew practically nothing about Shakespeare any of that classical theatre and
really learn the language and all that. It was a huge challenge for me and still
would be a huge challenge. I would love to conquer that one day by doing some
sort of a Shakespeare play. Obviously the problem with that is the commitment it
so long that you have to be in a place in your career that you could be taken
away for practically a year. But I’d like to do anything – anything that’s good.
I really enjoy doing TV – great TV. I enjoy doing film. I don’t really have
anything specific. I just hope for great scripts. They are so scarce.

CS: I was just going to say, there are some people, some actors who say I’m just
a film actor or look at television in a different way – not that it’s a lesser
form but just something they do not want to do.

FEHR: It’s rare today that actors do that. There is a very small percentage of
actors who do film only. Television today – the quality of TV – the quality of
the story line, writing, the filming, the directing, all of it is so advanced –
is so close to film now. The challenge on TV nowadays, in my opinion, is as good
if not better than film it’s just that you have 8 days to shoot an episode
instead of five months to shoot an hour and a half which is a huge difference.

CS: Oded, thank you so much for your time.


hype bw

Resident Evil: Extinction: Star Oded Fehr, bloody-disgusting.com

Resident Evil: Extinction: Star Oded Fehr

By: Mr. Disgusting (Bloody-Disgusting.com)

Alice (Milla Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, once again joins
forces with Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new
survivors Claire (Ali Larter), K-Mart (Spencer Locke) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti)
to try to eliminate the deadly virus that threatens to make every human being
undead... and to seek justice. Since being captured by the Umbrella Corporation,
Alice has been subjected to biogenic experimentation and becomes genetically
altered, with super-human strengths, senses and dexterity. These skills, and
more, will be needed if anyone is to remain alive.

BD: So how does it feel to be back for another Resident Evil?

OF: Great. Very good. I’m a lot more excited about this one than I was on the
last in the sense that I just think this is going to be a better movie than the
last one. I enjoyed doing the last one but when I read the script and coming
into Mexicali where we shot the dunes and all the rest of it, and seeing it,
seeing stills of what the movie will look like. The feel of what the movie will
look like. It’s beautiful. I think heast, desert, sand, all these earthy colors
are very adventure-like. They give a different dynamic to a movie.

BD: Sitting in a truck all day on a soundstage, how hard is it to keep the
excitement up?

OF: Well, you can see. You guys saw. It’s very different because, obviously,
you’re on a soundstage, there’s a blue screen. You’re doing all these scenes of
reacting to things you’re seeing outside of the truck and all that so it’s
harder. It’s funny. You don’t have anything to look at so you have to really
imagine it. And the conditions were so extreme over in the desert that it’s kind
of hard reproducing that, bringing that back. It was the most extreme conditions
I’ve ever worked in when we were in the desert.

BD: We actually couldn’t hear the dialogue so what were those two scenes in the
truck today?

OF: Basically, we’re discussing that this is a post-apocalyptic so there’s a
scene where we’re talking, Alice and I, that I feel like that’s it. Maybe we’re
the freaks. Maybe we’re the ones who don’t belong here anymore. Maybe it’s their
world now. That kind of stuff. We’re arriving in Las Vegas and we’re talking
about that, how it looks so different.

BD: Now you’re the veteran of doing genre movies in the desert. For the actors
that weren’t used to those kinds of conditions look to you for any sort of

OF: Well, I probably did better than most but again I got to say, this was the
highest temperature I ever worked in and the hardest conditions I’ve ever worked
in so I was in the same boat as everybody else really. I was equipped with the
emergencies, electrolytes and all the rest of it. Grapefruit extracts against
the stomach bugs, things like that. So a little bit helped people out.

BD: How would you say your character’s changed or evolved in this one?

OF: I think the main thing is how the world around us has evolved. The fact that
it’s the end of the world. The last movie, the infection was in a city and we
were fighting to keep it in there and in this one, we’re just trying to survive.
It’s a world where we’re trying to find food, find gasoline, find water and
anything else we need to survive on and we’re literally picking the smallest
things we could survive from anywhere, you know? So we’re just trying to survive
in this movie and the last movie we were just fighting an enemy kind of thing. I
think that’s where it’s quite different.

BD: Milla seemed to be keeping things very loose during the shooting today. Is
that how she normally acts?

OF: Yeah, I think we all do. The thing is also that you have to remember is that
you guys have come to visit us toward the end where everybody is all very
exhausted and we’re all very silly. But it’s never really been tense. We’ve
never really had tense moments other than if somebody fainted because of the
heat or things like that. Other than that it’s a relatively fun set to be on.

BD: You did not seem silly today. Do you have silly moments?

OF: Did I not seem silly today? You missed it. We’re all very, very silly. I
find I’m the biggest klutz out there and I’m very opposite of the kind of cool,
fighting here that I’m playing. I’m a total klutz.

BD: What’s it been like working with Russell [Mulcahy]? How’s that different
from the last one?

OF: Great. Russell, obviously, has a lot of experience under his belt and has
been around for a long time. He’s got good vision, he’s very good at working
with the actors and getting performances and all that so it’s been great. It’s
been very good.

BD: The producer told us that they’re already working on the fourth one. Is
there a chance your character survives and could be in the fourth one?

OF: Can’t tell you, can I? [laughter] Don’t think I can. Uhhhh, nope, can’t.

BD: If you did survive and they asked you to come back, would you?

OF: Yeah, I love these movies. It’s great.

BD: The second season of Sleeper Cell is coming up. Can you tell us anything
about that?

OF: Just that I’m extremely excited. I really, really, really love the show. I’m
very, very proud of the show and I’m really excited to be going back and doing
another season. As far as dramatic acting, it’s the stuff I’m most proud of.
It’s my best work to my feeling. It’s wonderful.

BD: How do you like having the regular schedule of a TV show?

OF: I don’t think there’s anything regular about the schedule of a TV show. If
you’re suggesting that you’re working in Los Angeles and you drive to work and
you go home, it’s wonderful. It’s fantastic to go home and sleep in your own bed
and spend the weekends t home. But the TV schedule’s the most grueling schedule
out there. You start off at six o’clock or five o’clock in the morning on a
Monday and you finish Saturday morning at four. So it’s extremely grueling on
the one hand. On the other, I do love it. When it works well … what’s so
important about TV is that you try to cram as much as you can in eight days.
With a movie you get a little bit more of a longer time. You get to do more
takes, you get to do more set-ups and different angles and so on. On TV you
really have to make each take happen. And when you have a cast and a crew that
work seamlessly together, that’s when you get great performances and I really
have to slay that on Sleeper Cell, it’s been so smooth. The scripts came in very
early, the pre-production was wonderful, the crew was amazing, all the actors
were well-prepared and ready and worked very well with each other.

BD: Will the second season address any of the recent developments address what’s
happening in the real world? Like killing Zarqawi?

OF: I’m sure it does, you know? So far I’ve read only two of the scripts. I’m
sure it will. It does already in what I’ve read but yes.

BD: Do you go straight into that after this wraps?

OF: Yes. I literally finish this, fly back and start working, which is great. To
be an actor, it’s great to work.

BD: I know you’re always asked about a third Mummy film but are you interested
in coming back? I remember reading an interview with you where you said you were
looking forward to cutting off the hair and all that.

OF: Yeah, The Mummy movies are what turned me into a working actor. I love them.
I think they’re great adventure, fun movies. I would love to do another one if
they did one I’m in but from what I know, I spoke to Stephen Sommers about six
nonths ago or whatever. He called me and he said the writing – he’s not involved
in the writing process I don’t think – they’re writing one that is very
different. That’s a totally different time. Rachel and Brendan are in it, I
think, but it’s a totally different style. I think it takes place in a different
place and I think they’re the only they plan to come back. But I have no idea
what’s happened since. But I love The Mummy movies and would have done another
one, of course. I feel like I owe The Mummy movies my career.

BD: The producer and special effects guys have told us this is a lot bloodier
and gorier than the previous two films. Have you noticed an elevated level of
blood and guts on the set?

OF: That is an excellent question. I have not. We have new kind of super undead
in this that are much faster and much scarier and more disturbing than the last
ones. The movie is elevated in a certain way in its action so probably it will
end up being like that if that’s what they’re saying. But on the set itself –

BD: You haven’t gotten wet, have you?

OF: I got a little blood here, sprayed there. Little bit this, a little bit
that. But I couldn’t tell you I’ve noticed [more].

BD: Have you kept track of Carlos’ personal bodycount of victims in this?

OF: Yes, you know I have my little helmet that I go and – no, I think I lost
count by that point.

BD: They told us that the zombies are a step-up from the last two films. Is it a
lot easier to react to them?

OF: Yes. The first scene we shot with the super zombies, they kind of burst out
and come at us. This is the first time we see them and it was very easy to react
because on the last one, they kind of diddle-daddled towards you. There’s just a
lot of them. On this one we’re standing there with the guns and all of a sudden,
these things just run right at you and you’re like, “Whoa!” And you try to get
away. So, yeah, it’s definitely helped. I mean, they’re very fast. The stunt
guys that they use are amazing. If you think of the conditions of running in 130
degrees with all the masks and the make-up and the heavy things they’ve got on,
and they have to run in deep sand, and still they ran so fast and they attacked
us so fast. These guys were amazing. Amazing.

BD: Do you find working on Sleeper Cell more rewarding as an actor simply
because you’re not reacting to things happening off-screen?

OF: It’s a totally different genre. This movie is a made-up movie. It is not
reality. You’re not confined so much by the real world. On this movie you can
overact or over-react to all kinds of things because there’s all these creatures
jumping at you and all these things. The fighting and you’re really cool and all
of that. Whereas Sleeper Cell’s a much grittier, very realistic, it’s all very
small. So as far as an actor, I love that. This was my first opportunity in
drama to play somebody real time, very heavy drama, bad guy. All of that was a
great challenge as an actor because the character of Farik is so different from
who I am. So it’s been very rewarding and really wonderful.

BD: What do you look for in directors?

OF: I’ll tell you what the most important and enjoyable thing for me is getting
notes. A director that enhances my performance by seeing things onscreen and
then telling me, “Why don’t we do that? Why don’t we do this?” Directors who
understand a little bit more of the psyche of what he’s looking for and can put
that in words. I work great with notes. I really am able to elevate with getting
notes from other people and hearing other people’s opinion and I think that’s
for me the best thing about working with a great director.


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Sleeper Cell, Dish, Channel Guide Magazine 2005


Oded Fehr Isn't A Terrorist, But He Plays One On TV

By Ryan A. Berenz

Channel Guide Magazine / DISH Network (December 2005)

Oded Fehr is a good guy. He's suave, stylish, handsome, articulate and
incredibly polite. He's traveled the world and speaks three languages. He's a
devoted husband and father. He's been in movies (The Mummy) and TV series (Charmed)
and, with a fervid following of female fans, he's one of Hollywood's rising

It's just days after the July terrorist bombings in London's transit system when
I meet Fehr to talk about Sleeper Cell, Showtime's new 10-part drama series
about a group of terrorists and the FBI agent working to bring them down from
inside. With the wounds of London still fresh, we share an uneasy feeling that
the fiction of the series is all too real in America. It's a reality that Fehr,
a native of Israel, believes most Americans haven't yet fully grasped. "Growing
up in the Middle East, when I first came [to America], I really felt a
difference in people's awareness of that side of the world, of those conflicts,
the fear of terrorism and so on. I felt an absence of that awareness. And I
think we're still there," he says. "I think if you asked the average American
general questions about Islam or what are these people fighting for, or any of
those kind of questions, they probably wouldn't know."

Contrast nice-guy Fehr with Farik, the character he plays in Sleeper Cell. Farik
is ...

"...Farik is spearheading a group of terrorists who are planning something
really bad for Los Angeles. He's a finely tuned instrument of jihad, focused
like a laser on his objective, not afraid to brutally kill anyone - even an ally
- who might jeopardize the mission. He's America's worst nightmare, and he could
be your neighbor or your kid's soccer coach.

"'The whole thing is very strange for me. It really is,' Fehr says of his
challenging role. 'I can't even tell you how far to the other end that character
is from who I really am in real life.It's very strange. It's very scary in that
respect. I find that many times I scare myself with this character.' And what's
also frightening is that Fehr plays Farik with such cold, calculating charisma
and conviction that it's sometimes difficult to remember he isn't the guy you
should root for.

"Fehr's goal was to portray Farik not as a monster, but as a human, and it's
horrifying to see how seemingly ordinary people are capable of extraordinary
evil. 'I think that's what's so well done in this show is the fact that these
are people you'd never suspect - the soccer player, the coach, the teacher -
people you'd never imagine would be terrorists.' he says, 'I think it's very
clear that [Farik] does absoluely horrendous acts and his beliefs are very
extreme and wrong, really. But he's very realistic.'

"It's in the gritty realism that Sleeper Cell succeeds. It cuts through the
perceptions and paranoia to get to the reality of who terrorists are and aren't,
and examines the conflict from all angles. Fehr hopes that from this knowledge
will come understanding and dialogue. 'It's extremely important because it
actually makes that fear - that fear of something we don't know about - maybe
explains it a little bit more,' Fehr says, 'The show is very real. It's
excellent at showing both sides of the conflict, the situation, the Muslim
religion, the extremists, the non-extremists, everything. I'm very proud of it.
It think it really would be extremely interesting for somebody who knows nothing
about that, and would really help to start a dialogue.'

"Sleeper Cell premieres on Showtime Dec. 4 and airs in 'multiplay' format with
new episodes premiering Sunday through Wednesday, and the two-hour finale Dec.

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Oded Fehr inspires fear in latest role, Lexington Herald-Leader - Kentucky.com 2005

Oded Fehr inspires fear in latest role

He plays a terrorist in Showtime series

By Rich Copley, December 4, 2005

Lexington Herald-Leader - Kentucky.com

Last time we saw Oded Fehr, he saved the day.

As Prince Sadir in Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, he was the one who gave
the pre-teen horse owner played by Dakota Fanning the wherewithal to enter her
horse in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Tonight, he becomes our worst nightmare.

In Showtime's new series Sleeper Cell, which runs tonight through Dec. 18, he
plays Faris Al-Farik, a charming business executive, Little League baseball
coach and Muslim who also happens to be a terrorist plotting an attack inside
the United States. He heads up a terrorist group that includes a high school
science teacher and a blond, blue-eyed bowling-alley manager. Faris rules them
through fear and intimidation, including an execution by stoning in tonight's

"It was a very difficult decision for me to play an Arab terrorist," Fehr said
in the business lounge of the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in October. He was in
town for a vacation and the gala premiere of Dreamer at the Kentucky Theatre. "It's
not just a villain; it's a villain we're all afraid of, and the idea of being
associated with these terrorists is a scary thought.

"Not everyone in the public is able to disassociate the actor from the character
he plays. Like, a lot of people feel the people on E.R. are real doctors and
would go to them on the street with problems. There's a fear of being associated
with a terrorist."

Fehr, 35, who is Jewish, said he "grew up in a very peaceful family" in Israel,
and unlike his character in Sleeper Cell, he doesn't have any conflicts with
other cultures.

"I really do wish for peace," he said. "Arabs really are closer to me culturally
than Americans are."

Fehr began his acting career in Frankfurt and London, but he moved to the United
States and appear the 1999 hit The Mummy.

He has been offered roles that don't hinge on his Middle Eastern looks, but
Fehr's parts thus far have played on his distinctive appearance. Typecasting is
a concern, he said, but it won't keep him from taking on a good part, and "I am
very proud of this project."

Sleeper Cell centers on Darwyn Al-Hakim (played by Michael Ealy), a Muslim FBI
agent who has infiltrated a Los Angeles-based terrorist cell. The conflict
between Al-Hakim and Fehr's Al-Farik highlights the vast differences in the
characters' approaches to their shared faith.

"He has to deal with being a Muslim himself and living with these extremists and
having them use or abuse his religion for their cause, their beliefs," Fehr said
of the character of Darwyn. "I think it's going to be extremely eye-opening, it
will raise awareness and maybe sort of explain things a little more. ... It may
really help the average American who knows nothing about the conflict and
assumes all Muslims are terrorists see there are extremists in Islam and
mainstream Islam, which is the same in every religion, really."

In the show, the terrorists plot to pump anthrax into the air-circulation system
at a Los Angeles shopping mall.

Fehr, as a father, said it's scary for him to think about such violent acts.

"When my son was born, everything changed," Fehr said. "Now, anything that
happens in this world I think affects the future of my son, and that's all I
care about."

Some of that future could be in the Bluegrass. Fehr said that while filming
Dreamer, he and his family fell in love with Central Kentucky and made friends.

"It's probably one of the most gorgeous countrysides I've seen in America, if
not the most gorgeous," Fehr said. "We feel very at home here, and we hope maybe
someday to make this our second home. We are that much in love with this place."


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Oded Fehr’s Holy War, The Jewish Week 2005

Oded Fehr’s Holy War
The Israeli actor portrays a Muslim terrorist pretending to be a Jew in Showtime’s new miniseries ‘Sleeper Cell.’ The role took its toll.
Liel Leibovitz - The Jewish Week - December 2, 2005

When he accepted the role of Fariq, the leader of a Los Angeles-based terrorist ring in Showtime’s upcoming drama “Sleeper Cell,” Oded Fehr knew he was in for a challenge.

It wasn’t that Fehr, 35, a native of Tel Aviv and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, found it odd to portray an Islamic fundamentalist devoted to executing a deadly chemical attack; after all, his distinctively Middle Eastern good looks have often contributed to his being typecast as anything from a mysterious nomad (“The Mummy”) to a menacing pimp (“Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo”).

“Sleeper Cell,” however, presented an entirely different challenge: To maintain his cover, Fariq poses as a Sephardic Jewish man who is so active in the community that he even coaches the local shul’s little league soccer team.

“This was the most challenging role I’ve ever played,” Fehr told The Jewish Week. “To play someone who is pretending to be who I am – a Jewish man – and yet is uncomfortable in his own skin, that was a little bit hard.”

And yet, it’s a challenge Fehr overcame elegantly. When Fariq is not delivering impassioned speeches about the evils of American and Israeli policy, he davens, kvells and kibitzes with natural ease. Which, Fehr added, is precisely what makes the show’s premise so scary.

“It’s one of those things that when we sat down with the writers, I said we should make this as scary as possible,” he said. “The last person you would ever think is a terrorist is a terrorist. The little league is as far as you can take it — this is the guy who is training your children, and he’s a terrorist.”

Such minor details lend “Sleeper Cell,” despite its often-stale dialogue and convoluted plotlines, an eerily realistic feel. Told from the point of view of Darwyn al-Sayeed (Michael Ealy), a young Muslim FBI agent who infiltrates Fariq’s cell in order to thwart its plans, the 10-part series often feels like a retread of a thousand television thrillers past, with plot twists and narrative lines that are likely to be familiar to anyone who has watched a television drama in the past three decades.

However, when it veers away from the terrorist conspiracy and focuses on shedding light on the cell’s members, it is raw and unsettling. Fariq and his men are utterly believable as ordinary Angelenos. A grocery store cashier, a university student, fathers and husbands and friends, the would-be terrorists are perfect facsimiles of ordinary people, a fact that infuses their most mundane interactions — a drink in a bar, a child’s birthday party — with a sense of impending doom.

To overcome the tension, Fehr said, he had to apply an intricate thespian theoretical device: Think happy thoughts.

“Obviously,” he said, “I don’t believe anything I say on the show, but I had to be convincing when I said it. What I tried to do, then, is try to think about the one thing that I believe in the most. I believe my family is important, so I tried to think of them when I said his lines, as if I was trying to convince them of whatever it is I was saying.”

But the method, Fehr added, could not address another major challenge of portraying an arch-terrorist: The need for violence, an inseparable part of every villain’s repertoire.

“The violence was extremely hard,” Fehr said, “especially because I’m the most nonviolent person in the world.” Some scenes, he admitted, tested his nerves and his acting skills alike. As the cell’s ruthless commander, summary executions, spontaneous beatings and occasional shootings were all written into his script. Fehr cringed each time.

One scene, for example, features the execution of a cell member who endangered the mission by bragging about it to his uncle. Fehr, as Fariq, forces the man to dig a hole in the ground and cover himself in dirt until his head alone is visible; then, he and the cell’s other members, following an ancient Muslim tradition, stone the man to death. When the scene was shot, a stuntman took the place of the actor, and large pieces of sponge were used to simulate rocks. Still, Fehr’s stomach was turning.

“I could barely do it,” he said. “Even though the rocks were made out of sponge, the stuntman still couldn’t protect himself, he was stuck in the ground. It was hard to throw a sponge at the guy’s face, because I felt it could still hurt him.”

Despite such reservations, and his own background as an Israeli, Fehr’s Fariq is a tour de force; he prowls and teases, smiles and scoffs, saying and doing even the most unspeakable things with the endless elegance that Hollywood seldom permits anyone but its greatest on-screen heroes. All that makes his portrayal of Fariq triply menacing: He is not a psychopathic terrorist who enjoys violence for its own sake, but, as Fehr said, “someone so committed to his cause that he would go to any extreme to do it.” When he orders, for example, the murder of a young Muslim woman who has been dating a white, Christian boy, or the execution of a moderate imam who he fears may hamper his chances of recruiting future terrorists, he does so with a frightening, amoral ease that makes his character all the more formidable.

To think, then, that Fehr almost turned down the role.

“At first I was told about it by my agent without reading it,” he said, “and I passed. They said, there’s a show on Showtime about a terrorist cell in L.A., and they want you for the head terrorist. I said, ‘I’m not interested.’”

He added that while his breakthrough role as the Arab nomad, Ardeth Bay, in the hit movie “The Mummy,” has turned him into a working actor, it was followed almost exclusively by offers to portray a string of typecast characters. “I was the go-to guy whenever anyone wanted a terrorist,” he joked. For that reason, he added, “Sleeper Cell” seemed like a bad career move.

Encouraged by his agent and by his family back in Israel, Fehr nonetheless agreed to read the script for the show’s pilot. “The minute I read it,” he said, “I realized we’re talking about a wonderfully written show.” Fariq was born.

Fehr is not the only Jewish actor on “Sleeper Cell” finding himself in an unlikely role. The same could be said for Gary Levine.

Better known as Showtime’s executive vice president of original programming, Levine green-lighted the series, not expecting ever to cross the artistic divide and appear on camera. But when the script called for a cantor — one of the series’ opening scenes takes place inside a shul — Levine, a chazzan, found himself in demand.

“Knowing I was a cantor,” he said, “they corralled me to be the cantor in the first episode. I needed to figure out what prayer to chant that was in the public domain, that didn’t require the congregation – played by a bunch of extras who didn’t know the prayers – to sing along, and that would allow the congregation, according to the script’s needs, to sit down. I ended up doing the Chatzi Kaddish.”

His on-screen performance aside, Levine said he was proud of “Sleeper Cell,” and hoped that, either despite or because of its explosive subject matter, it would resonate well with viewers. The show’s creators, he said, have gone to great lengths to ensure that the series is authentic in its portrayal of terrorist cells on the one hand, and not offensive to Muslims on the other.

“Our executive producers had done a careful job of vetting the script with the Muslim community and law-enforcement community,” he said. “They wanted to be authentic. The response from the Muslim community has been positive, because our hero is a devout Muslim, and even as he dedicates himself to stopping the extremist Jihadist terrorists, he never wavers in his Muslim faith. I don’t think there has ever been a television drama with a Muslim in the lead. Of course, the Muslim community’s preference would be to have a series with Muslims in it that has nothing to do with terrorism. That’s a fair request, but it’s just not what this show is about.” n

“Sleeper Cell” premieres 10 p.m. Sunday on Showtime, and will be shown daily through Sunday, Dec. 18.
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The undercover terrorist, The Jerusalem Post 2005

The undercover terrorist

The Jerusalem Post - November 9, 2005


In the upcoming Showtime television series Sleeper Cell, Tel Aviv-born actor
Oded Fehr plays Farik, the leader of a Muslim terrorist cell, who poses as a
synagogue-going Jew as his cover.

Fehr now savors the irony of the casting and plotline, but he was less
enthusiastic when a producer initially approached him about the role.

"I told my agent I didn't want to do it," said Fehr, who at 34 has the tall,
dark and handsome looks of an old-time Hollywood idol, as he sits outside
Starbucks on the Los Angeles Westside.

After he read the script, Fehr changed his mind. "The writing was fantastic," he
said. "There was also the challenge - I have never played a role that was so far
from me."

An unlikely. Jewish Tel Avivian Oded Fehr (center) plays a fanatical Muslim in 'Sleeper

Once into the part of Farik, however, Fehr is chillingly convincing as the
alternately menacing and personable leader of the multi-national terrorist cell,
plotting to spread havoc at some of the best known Los Angeles area landmarks.

Among the likely targets considered in the opening segment are the Los Angeles
International Airport, the Rose Bowl, UCLA campus and the San Onofre nuclear

The latest recruit to the six-man cell is Darwyn (Michael Ealy), a young black
man and devout Muslim, who is actually an FBI undercover agent. He has
infiltrated the cell by first posing as the inmate of a federal prison, who is
steered to Farik by a fellow Black Muslim prisoner.

Darwyn first makes contact with Farik at a most unlikely place, Sinai Temple in
Westwood, where the cell leader, wearing a yarmulke and tallit, poses as a
regular worshipper.

He is so dedicated a congregant that he coaches the "Sinai Maccabi" girls
softball team, wearing a blue T-shirt emblazoned with a large Star of David.

The other members of the cell are an odd lot, all Muslims but mainly non-Arab.
Christian is a radical French skinhead, Ilija is a Bosnian whose family was
killed by Serbians, Tommy is an all-American boy rebelling against his Berkeley
parents, and Bobby is an Egyptian-American.

Gayle (Melissa Sagemiller) as Darwyn's love interest adds a touch of
inter-racial romance to the macho drama.

The producers of Sleeper Cell are obviously striving for veracity, both by
setting the cell's meetings in such familiar locales as bowling alleys and
children's parks, and by hiring a Pakistani-born Muslim as one of the writers.

Whether opposing a "good" Muslim to a "bad" Muslim and making most of the
terrorists European and American will make the series attractive to U.S.
television viewers remains to be seen.

Fehr is optimistic that the quality, tension and timelines of the show will find
an audience and carry Sleeper Cell over into a second season. If so, it might
prove a major break for the actor, whose Jewish mother and German father met in
Israel. At age 18, Fehr joined the Israeli navy and after discharge worked two
years as an EL Al security guard.

After his parents separated, his father returned to Germany and in 1992 Oded
joined him to work in his business.

On a whim, Fehr signed up for a drama class at an English theater in Frankfurt,
and went on to star in his first play, David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in

This initial success decided his career path and he moved to England and
enrolled at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol for three years. From there it
was a short leap to his first movie in England, playing the mysterious warrior
Ardeth Bay in The Mummy and in the sequel, The Mummy Returns.

Over the years, his English pronunciation has undergone various transformations.
He picked up the language in Israel by watching American television shows and,
he said, "I talked like an Israeli-American."

After his lengthy drama training in England, he acquired a British accent, which
he had to lose on arriving in Hollywood. Nowadays, he sounds like a mainstream

Fehr recounted his background and career in matter-of-fact tones but became
visibly animated when talking about his family, and especially his son Atticus.

His wife, Rhonda Tollefson-Fehr is an American film producer and formerly a
partner with actor Sean Connery, who has put her own career on hold while
raising her son. Since the birth of Atticus, the parents have had to cut back on
their practice of hapkido, a Korean martial art, but continue to be avid hikers.

Fehr said that the new TV show was not made for education purposes, but he hopes
that it "will open people's eyes that within the mainstream there are extremists
in every religion.

I think we have a superb show," he said. "As an actor, it didn't make me cringe.
I am very proud of it."

The 10 episodes of Sleeper Cell, each one hour long, will begin airing on the
Showtime cable channel next month. There are no plans yet to air it here.


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U Daily News 2005

U Daily News

By David Kronke, Television Critic

July 16, 2005

Showtime will introduce an unprecedented series in December exploring terrorism
from inside an American terrorist cell.

"Sleeper Cell" stars Michael Ealy as an American Muslim undercover agent who
infiltrates a Los Angeles terrorist cell.

Oded Fehr, who, ironically, was born in Israel, plays the Islamic jihadist who
runs the cell.

Robert Greenblatt, president of Showtime Entertainment, told members of the
Television Critics Association on Saturday in Beverly Hills that the series is a
serious examination of "the constant threat of these despicable acts that are a
part of our lives," as well as "the complexities of Islamic culture."

Greenblatt added, "The more we discuss this, the more we can diffuse our fears
of it and maybe even understand a little bit of it."

Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, the show's creators, insisted that the show is
intended as a serious look at an issue with grave international overtones.

"It will be a balanced portrait," Reiff said. "The lead [character] in the show
is a Muslim and he's the hero. That helps balance out the issue of whether we're
just portraying Islamic terrorists."

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about" potential terrorist attacks," added
Voris. "So in a way, this is a release."

Ealy offered, "The extremist side is composed of people who take the words from
the Koran out of context to serve their own political purpose. That's a tough
enemy, and you have to know your enemy."

"What's beautiful is that it has taught me a lot about … peaceful Muslims," Fehr
said. "They're as scared as we are and now they have to deal with being blamed
for it."

Both former FBI agents and an expert into Islamic and Arabic culture have been
hired to serve as series advisors, and many crew members are Muslim, as well.

"The most enthusiastic people on the set are crew and writers who are Muslim,"
Fehr said. "They are so proud of this show - it tells it as it is."

Fehr disputed the early erroneous report that the series sought to "humanize the
terrorists. This show is very disturbing - my character does things that are
very scary. No one will say, `I like this character, I like what he's doing
there.' That's not going to happen."

Fehr admitted that he initially questioned whether he as an Israeli should play
an Islamic terrorist, but his brother convinced him he was being offered a
tremendous challenge as an actor.

"I've never creeped myself out as much as on this show," he said. "But the only
way we can get to the point of solving this thing is to have a dialogue, and I
think this show will create a dialogue."

"Sleeper Cell" is not the only series dancing on the knife's edge of reality.
The upcoming FX drama "Over There" takes place during the ongoing war in Iraq.

Fox's "24," admittedly more of a fantasy-thriller, faced controversy in its
first season when it featured an image - shot before Sept. 11, 2001 - of a
passenger plane exploding (it was toned down when it aired).

More recently in the past season, the show was assailed for its negative
portrayal of Arab-Americans. Pro-Muslim public service announcements were aired
during the episodes.

Showtime's series' timeliness is both a blessing and a curse. While many viewers
will be drawn to a world that confounds them, the possibility of future
terrorist actions could make the series seem exploitative.

The first episode of "Sleeper Cell" includes a plot to distribute the anthrax
virus at LAX.

"It's a concern," Greenblatt admitted. "If something happened close in proximity
(to the show's launch), we would be very sensitive and rethink our plans" for
the show's launch.

Reiff said he understood the network's concern, revealing that when he recently
called a technical advisor regarding the series, the source was too immersed in
details of the recent London bombing to speak.

"This (show) doesn't mean jack-diddly compared to what's happening," he said.



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