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July 19, 2016 2:42 pm

Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Israeli actress Moran Atias plays a Muslim character on 'Tyrant.' Photo: Twitter/BUILD Originals.

Israeli actress Moran Atias plays a Muslim character on ‘Tyrant.’ Photo: Twitter/BUILD Originals.

Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook.

“Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build.

Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International in 1996, said this season of the FX show will feature her character speaking up about things that in the past she has remained silent about. She explained, “In the first two seasons, [Leila] been in the sidelines…And now in this season she’s really tired and exhausted of seeing things happen that she disapproves of, things that are wrong for the country and she decides to take control and use the years of experiences and the years that she just saw things going by wrongly.”

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As terrorism is central to the show’s plot, Atias talked about the phenomenon as it relates to her personally and as a global issue.

“I was born and raised in Israel so a lot of that is familiar for me. Terrorism has been a part of my reality as a girl growing up in Israel, but to see it now spreading over the world and being a part of other people’s lives is sad,” she said. “Some of the episodes that are coming ahead, that were already shot and written months and months ago, are exactly what’s happening in the world right now in Turkey and in Nice, and it’s just scary to see that.”

When asked which political figure, alive or dead, she would like to speak with, Atias said former Israeli prime ministers Menachem Begin and Golda Meir because theirs “was just a very important time in the shape of Israel and ultimately my dream is to have peace with our neighbors and [during Begin’s leadership] was the only time we had peace with an Arab country, with Egypt. I would’ve loved to witness the politics of that time.”

Tyrant airs Wednesdays on FX.

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  • Jay Lavine

    Education and the open-mindedness it engenders are indeed the keys to understanding and tolerating and accepting others.

    It is important to note that “education” is not synonymous with “schooling.” Being educated is a state of mind that involves respect for educated opinion and legitimate authority as well as pursuit of the truth.

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