18 things worth knowing about “Fauda” star Lior Raz (2023)

ThroughEmil Burack

Lior Raz is one of the few big Israeli stars to break through thanks to Hollywood successFaudaon Netflix. Raz plays Doron, the brooding soldier at the heart of the series. However, he has taken an untraditional path to Hollywood stardom; After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, he worked as Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodyguard. Wild!

Let's move on to 18 things to know about Lior Raz,weil?

1. Lior Raz was born inMa'ale Adumi, a West Bank settlement outside of Jerusalem. Here he is at 3 years old:

Check out this post on Instagram

A post by Lior Raz (@liorraz)

(Video) Lior Raz Was Interrogated by an Immigration Officer About His Show Fauda

2. He is aMizrahi Jude; his father was born inIrakand his mother was born inAlgeria.

3. Growing up, hewas immersedinArabic culture. “His father was a career officer with the Israeli equivalent of the Navyseals and with the Shin Bet intelligence agency; When the family entertained guests, they did so in a manner that would have seemed alien to most Ashkenazim.People often spoke Arabicin the house and played music from all over the Middle East. Later his father ran a nursery and Lior's friends were Arab children from Azaria and Jericho who worked there.”

4. About his Jewish identitygrow up, said Raz: "That was usculturally Jewish. We celebrated the holidays, we fasted on Yom Kippur and celebrated kiddush on Friday night, but that was it.”

5. Oncefeels very strongabout being Jewish and living in Israel: “This is my heritage and why I live in Israel. I am very attached to my heritage and my Judaism. In Israel this is not a question at all. It's something you're born into when you live in the Jewish state. They fight for the Jewish state. They belong to the Jewish state.You cannot separate the two.“

6. After graduating from high school, like most Israelis, he entered theIsraeli Defense Forceswhere he joined an elite counter-terrorism unit, Unit 217Duvdewan(which translates to "cherry" and reflects a "cherry-on-top" status). He was stationed outsideRamallah, in the West Bank.

7. He did not want to be in Duvdevan for ideological reasonsbut because"You want to be therebest people in the countryto test yourself. You want to be loyal to your friends, protect them, and be part of a team that works together." He continued, "We were chosen because we were meant to be calm and moral, not to lose our minds in the midst of difficulties, too think and not behave like an animal.”

8. 1990 when he was 19 years old, his girlfriend,Iris Azulai,was killed in a terrorist attack. She was 18. "It was on a Sunday morning and I was at Ein Kerem Hospital to have my leg checked for stress fractures," Raz saidrecalls. “I heard from someone there that there was this attack. Iris' brother called me and said she was wounded. I just started walking in a daze until my mom picked me up on the street.”


9. After his release, Lior Raz went to Los Angeles with $125 in his pocket. He worked as a bodyguard for actress Nastassja Kinski, then for AArnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. What does Raz's bodyguard life look like? "After the army, guarding a house was pretty boring."

10. He returned to Israel at the age of 24 when he started usingacting lessonsand getting smaller roles on television and on stage. His first big television role was coming upThe Prime Minister's children, an Israeli political drama. He also played alongscarredIn 2013.

11. However, Raz's breakout role was clearly hotFauda. He developed the show with an old friend, Avi Issacharoff, an Israeli journalist, drawing on his own experiences in the IDF. Raz plays Doron, a Special Forces agent who goes undercover in the West Bank.

12. This is just a great description of Lior Razfrom a 2017New-YorkerProfile: “Raz, who's forty-five, also plays Doron Kabilyo, though he's hardly a dashing Sabra or a natural lead. Like many Israeli men, he prefers to shave his head to suffer the outrageous humiliation of bald men, and his face has a stubbly, moon-faced aspect. A three-inch scar, a memento of a car accident, cuts across his forehead, giving him the look of a man with a past. He isas solidly built as a garbage compactor, and his calm expression is one of irritated disappointment.”

Seriously, this face:

18 things worth knowing about “Fauda” star Lior Raz (1)

13. About the nature ofFaudashows both sides of theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict,said Raz, “It's very unique because I don't know many TV shows that do it. They see their life and their needs and their love in their natural environment. I think that's kind of the magic of the show and why people from all over the world are watching. I know many Arabs from Israel who love the show - this is the first time we honor their language as you have a show where 60 percent is in Arabic. You don't see that anywhere."

Still, he continues: “I know people from the Arab community, Palestinians, who don't love the show because they thinkwe glorify the Israelisand the soldier unit and sided with them. But I tell people all the time that I'm Israeli and I can write as an Israeli. Me and Avi [Issacharoff] can try to understand and write about Palestinian characters, but we are not Palestinians.”

14. Oncehas reflectedabout the deep effect his military service had on him - especially coming to terms with hisPost-traumatic stress disorder. “It all stayed there and deep within us. As a person, at some point you wake up and discover that you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. You find yourself tense and stressed all the time, you don't sleep, you're nervous, always on alert. I was lecturing at a high tech company the other day and I clicked the clicker for a snippet of footage about "Fauda" and just the sound of the show - the gunshots - got me excited. I was suddenly so stressed. I immediately looked for the door. We all live in a post-traumatic society.”

15. In 2018 he starred inOperation FinalehowIsser Harel, the Mossad director who oversaw the arrest of Adolf Eichmann.

18 things worth knowing about “Fauda” star Lior Raz (2)

About working with Raz,Nick Kroll told Alma, "He's incredibly smart and hardworking and such a lovely guy to spend time with - and also a guy who, after spending some time with the special forces in Israel, took some of the things we did to others Wise understood and was able to somehow inform us which protocol was actually going to be switched off. Even though he wasn't Mossad, he understood things in a way that we might not understand because we weren't exposed to that kind of activity. It's one of the greatest joys for me to get out of the film, to get to know him."

(Video) Lior Raz on Fauda and being Israeli (interview excerpt)

16. He played in6 underground, a Netflix film directed by Michael Bay in which he plays a dictator from Turgistan.

He will star in another Netflix thriller.Hit and Run, nebenSanaa Lathan.

17. His Instagram is mainlyphotos of his children, interspersed with promo forFauda.

18. He is married to a fellow actorMeital Barda. They are very sweet:

Bonus: He retweeted me once and shared an Alma article. Thank you Lior Raz!!

18 things worth knowing about “Fauda” star Lior Raz (3)


(You can readthe interview with Nick Krollhere.)


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Cover photo of Lior Raz by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.


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