by the Forward

Israeli Actress on NBC

With Israeli entertainers popping up everywhere this year, from the Billboard Top 10 (singer Yael Naim) to the latest Adam Sandler movie (actor Ido Mosseri), it might have seemed like only a matter of time until one materialized on network television.

And sure enough, the coming American season is set to mark the primetime breakthrough of Sarai Givaty, a 26-year-old Tiberias native who’s been cast opposite Christian Slater in the American film star’s new NBC series. According to the network’s Web site, “My Own Worst Enemy” finds Slater playing a married father leading a double life, officially spending his days “in the ’burbs” before morphing into an “operative who speaks thirteen languages, runs a four-minute mile, and is trained to kill with his teeth.”

Givaty, a regular on Israeli television until two years ago, when she moved to Los Angeles, has landed a recurring role in the series as a Russian spy named (what else?) Natasha, whom she described to The Shmooze as locked in a “love/hate relationship with Christian Slater’s character.”

The actress said she earned the role thanks in part to childhood art and piano teachers who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. “I know some Russian, and I definitely know the accent,” Givaty said.

Filming on the series is already under way, with “My Own Worst Enemy” scheduled to air Mondays at 10 p.m., beginning September 29.

Givaty’s previous TV credits include a guest role on “CSI,” as well as appearing opposite Enrique Iglesias last year in one of the Spanish pop star’s MTV videos.

This story "Israeli Actress on NBC" was written by Nathan Burstein.

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