Israeli Actress Cracks ‘Code’

By Nathan Burstein

Published May 01, 2008, issue of May 09, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Step aside, Bar Refaeli — starting next year, Israel’s most famous international face will belong to a 38-year-old thespian from Tel Aviv.

Ayelet Zurer, a film and TV star in Israel for much of the past two decades, has been tapped to play the female lead in “Angels & Demons,” a prequel to “The Da Vinci Code” almost sure be one of next year’s top box office draws.

Based on the juggernaut best-seller by Dan Brown, the film will feature Zurer opposite Tom Hanks in the role of Vittoria Vetra, the adopted daughter of a murdered Italian physicist. The bereaved woman, also a scientist, soon joins forces with Robert Langdon (Hanks), a Harvard “symbologist,” untangling a conspiracy that involves a secret religious society, a small container of antimatter and the election of a new pope.

Though the film is unlikely to earn rave reviews — the big screen version of “The Da Vinci Code” was widely panned — it’s nearly certain to bring Zurer to a new level of international visibility. The previous film in the series, released in 2006, opened that year’s Cannes Film Festival and grossed just under $760 million worldwide.

Production on “Angels & Demons” will begin next month in Europe, with Ron Howard directing. The film’s release set for May 2009.

The winner of Israel’s top film acting prize in 2003, Zurer scored her Hollywood breakthrough two years later, as the wife of a Mossad agent in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.” The actress appeared in a key role earlier this year in “Vantage Point,” a Hollywood thriller that stars Dennis Quaid and Sigourney Weaver and is currently the sixth highest-grossing film of the year.

Zurer’s agent, David Lillard, described the actress as “excited” about the new project, adding that she was “busy prepping already.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.