The Fauda star is no-nonsense, despite attempts to the contrary
After growing up on Long Island, NY amongst a generation of men who couldn’t change a lightbulb, Fauda, the hit Netflix series about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Israel, was as refreshing to me as it was fascinating. The drama, suspense, and edge-of-your-seat anxiety are addictive. It spikes your adrenaline. It keeps you up at night. It infiltrates your dreams. Season 4 recently premiered, and I had the fortunate experience of interviewing the co-creator and lead actor; Lior Raz. Lior plays the role of Doron Kabilio, the tough, fearless, doesn’t-listen-to-anyone, Israeli undercover super soldier. After four seasons and countless interviews, Lior has been asked every reasonable question, so we asked some unreasonable ones as well.
Q: Season 4 just came out and it’s very different from the previous seasons. How do you come up with new ideas for each season? It is all based on your experiences or is it from imagination or both?
A: Fauda is a drama so we’re inventing most things. The world is based on our life and our experience but the stories are ones that we hear, see, and know from other people. We let our imagination control our writers. So it’s a combination of both, but mostly from our imagination.
Q: In the show, Doron appears ready for anything at any time. Are you as capable in real life for an anything-can-happen situation?
A: Funny question. I’ve had many experiences in life so I think I know how to handle things, and be in difficult and crazy situations. In life, you understand that it’s all about your mind and nothing else. Your mind controls everything. Everything is possible with willpower.
Q: Are you anything like Doron? Is there any aspect of your personality that is like his?
A: When I was younger I used to be more like him. I think we are similar in the way that both of us go with our truth, and take risks, til the end. But unlike Doron, I would never risk my life at the expense of my family or friends. I wouldn’t do it just for the hunt or any reason. Also, he’s more grumpy than I am.
Q: You were an undercover IDF solder. Is it realistic that as an undercover soldier, you would walk into a building and take down 10 men in 3 minutes all without batting an eye?
A: Fauda is a TV show. In real life, it’s much more complicated and risky, it’s not as easy as we see in the show.
Q: Doron has a major smoking problem. Do you realize that in certain episodes he smoked more cigarettes than he spoke words?
A: Yes, but this is part of the character. Sometimes when you’re in the field of undercover everyone smokes and it’s part of the job. It is easy to blend in. You can start talking to someone if you ask for a light. I don’t smoke. I smoked just for the show but they were cigarettes without nicotine.
Q: Boaz, one of the core members of the original unit in Season 1 was very handsome. Was it your intention to kill him off early on so that everyone would fall in love with Doron?
A: First of all I didn’t think everyone would fall in love with Doron. We didn’t know we were going to cast Tomer Capone to be Boaz. When he died it was sad for everyone. When any character dies it is sad for all of us because when it’s a character on the show it’s real as opposed to a character you’re writing in a script.
Q: Where is Boaz now? I might be looking for him.
A: Probably shooting a show in Canada for Amazon.
Q: If you were walking down the street and someone randomly yelled “Walid!!!” What would your reaction be?
A: I would laugh probably and continue walking because it’s happened from time to time. People shout many things when they see me.
Q: When Fauda came out you were in your mid 40s. What was it like to become famous at that point in your life? How do you think your life would have been different had you had this level of success and fame at a much younger age?
A: If I was younger I’d be much more confused. When you’re younger you don’t care so much and you don’t have too much to lose. You don’t understand things that you understand in your 40s. In your 40s you’re much more responsible, you have a family to take care of. At the end of the day, you have to wake up in the morning to do your job and you know that what’s important in life is good friends, family, and creation.
Q: In Fauda your character is fearless. What are you afraid of in real life?
A: Relating to the last question, I think something happening to my family is the scariest thing for me.
Q: Are you aware that thousands of American women look at Fauda as counter-terror porn?
A: I’m not going to answer that question.
Q: Will there be a season 5?
A: Hopefully. We really want to make another one.
Q: If there is a Season 5 would you be interested in casting a single American humor writer with zero acting experience?
A: Yes, definitely.