Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Need a Hasid for Your Film? Call Rabbi Elli – He’ll Hook You Up

If you’re setting a film or television program in New York City, and are casting background actors, you’re probably going to need a few good men…specifically, Hasidic Jews. These ultra-Orthodox Jews are part of the NY landscape, and–from television shows like “Law & Order” to movies like “Ghostbusters” and “Men In Black,” just to name a few– there are always a few who pop up for either comic or authenticity’s sake. But those who know Hasidic Jews know that the depictions aren’t always accurate in terms of dress or behavior. A beard’s not enough–and how a coat is buttoned, if a belt is tied a certain way or a hat is a certain style, it indicates a certain subsegment of Hasidic culture that central casting isn’t necessarily aware of.
But Rabbi Elli Meyer, an actor who has Chabad Hasidic ordination as a rabbi, is aware of the subtleties of casting authentic Hasidic background actors:

Advertisement

[H]e made sure the guys he brought with him showed up on time, brought their customary garb, and stayed as long as necessary, but in return, he began demanding help back from producers: kosher food on sets, early wraps on Friday evenings, days off for holidays. “I have two goals,” he said. “I want to make sure actors who are frum are able to work and are afforded the same rights on set. And second, accuracy–I want to make sure Hasidim are portrayed accurately, not as buffoons or fanatics

.”
In this article in the new online magazine called Tablet (it’s a reboot of Nextbook), Meyer speaks extensively about the challenges of acting and suggesting other actors to casting agents through a Hasidic lens.

Advertisement

If you’ve watched an episode of Law & Order lately–and, let’s face it, who hasn’t?–you’ve probably seen [Elli] Meyer, a portly, twinkly-eyed 53-year-old better known to his colleagues as Rabbi Elli, hovering in the background. He appears, often decked out in white shirtsleeves, black vest, and capacious skullcap, his gray beard loosened from its customary knot under his chin, in dozens of TV episodes and films, including a few fleeting frames in the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, which opens today.
But Meyer’s most successful role to date has been as a backstage fixer who can be relied upon to find Hasidic actors–or actors who look credible in Hasidic costume–to work on sets around New York. “He’s very reliable,” said Billy Dowd, the casting director who handled background actors for Pelham. Through a Facebook group called Shomer Shabbos Actors of America and community e-mail lists, Meyer manages a pool of about 40 regular extras, and in special circumstances helps recruit people who would normally be impossible for secular casting directors to reach: children, women, the elderly, and, most controversially, a Satmar Hasid who appeared alongside Natalie Portman in the still-unreleased film New York, I Love You. (Satmar leaders excoriated him for agreeing to appear in the film, causing him to tell the New York Daily News that he disavowed his work.) [Beliefnet wrote about this controversy here.]

Read the complete article.
Law & Order at LocateTV.com

  • http://thesurveyguide.com this guide

    The Other reader’s comment states that an example of the pertinent
    factors to the trendy state of academics was the interrogation of
    the scientific advancement that happened as part of the
    general movement on authority in the last hundred years.

Previous Posts

Bobbi Kristina Brown Dies at 22
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n5A6ZCXuis[/youtube]Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late Whitney Houston, died Sunday at the age of 22. On June 24, the family announced that Bobbi Kristina would be moved to a hospice facility ...

posted 9:47:31am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

“The Great” Hope Hits Theaters Today
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11tsR0kI1ZQ&feature=youtu.be Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy “The Great” Hope, a junior middleweight boxing champion in “Southpaw.” Hope had all the riches he could dream of--a solid family and a ...

posted 10:20:53am Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Becky Hammon Makes History Again
Becky Hammon made history again on Monday by becoming the first female coach to win a NBA Summer League Title, as she led the San Antonio Spurs to a championship victory at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League Championship. The Spurs first game ...

posted 8:08:40am Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Caitlyn Jenner Receives the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sznBIipVekU[/youtube] The 2015 ESPY Awards recognized Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award is a sports-oriented award, but is not limited to sports-related people or actions, ...

posted 9:26:34am Jul. 16, 2015 | read full post »

So Long, FAO Schwarz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yu62StlsMY   FAO Schwarz was once the most prestigious toy store in the nation will close its flagship store July, 15 on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.  Many of us remember the store from the film ...

posted 9:19:53am Jul. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.