Whenever I open my eyes, or close them, a goddess appears to excite me. No presence burns brighter in my imagination than the inimitable Naomi Levine. That she happens to be both my oldest friend (I fell for her round eyes, Cat-woman glasses and ski jump nose on the first day of Grade 6 at Jewish People School), and a fearless comedienne, is a dream come true. Every movie I make has her in it.
In my first film WANKER, Naomi plays Moira Madjinski; an exhibitionist, Jewish maid, the ethnic foil to a Waspy family’s snotty reserve, whose sexual addiction helps bring their prodigal son’s story to an explosive climax. Originally Naomi tried out for the part of the Hooker with the Heart of Gold, but a Jewish goddess is no call girl so I wrote her an even more likely role- Moira; the tough-nut, boob-baring house-cleaner. The Jews (my people) couldn’t contain their mirth at the the thought of a Jewish maid? HA!!
In my second film JACK AND ELLA, Naomi plays Susie Schmeiss; Jack and Ella’s controlling interior decorator and resident expert at other people’s affairs. She alternates her wigs daily because “nothing is forever.” A Jewish child of concentration camp survivors. Naomi infused the role with her life’s blood. Love her (yes!) or hate her (how could you?!), Susie is unforgettable.
In my third film, the soon to-be-produced BE HAPPY, Naomi will incarnate Shoshana “Shashy” Shtull; a blunt, traumatized ex-Israeli soldier now red-hot fashion designer who uses hot sex and stinky pot to dull her aching heart. Naomi is working on her Hebrew accent (an hommage to our Israeli teachers of the past), and I can’t wait for the oversize mole Shashy will sport with a single, shining, coarse, black strand of hair.
My crush goes into new mediums. I’ve written the part of Aunty Fanny Blatter – special for La Levina, in what will be my first web series, A FINE FAMILY (it’s under wraps so don’t tell anyone). Naomi will play the meddling, gum-cracking, fave aunt to the family in question. She’s loud, cool, bi-sexual, and she pisses everyone off. Much to her sister’s constant chagrin, Fanny refuses to fix her big Blatter nose.
O, fair Naomi, don’t fix anything!
FAN THE FLAMES
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