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Volume 72, Issue 95, Monday, February 19, 2007

News

Actress brings realism to role

by GRANT MEHLHOFF
The Daily Cougar

Israeli actress Sharon Zuckerman showed excerpts of the film Melanoma My Love and discussed her role in the movie Thursday as a guest speaker for Houston Hillel.

The movie centers on the true story of an Israeli couple whose lives are upset after the wife is diagnosed with skin cancer.

Zuckerman plays the role of Noga, a young dancer slowly dying from melanoma. 

As a dancer and choreographer, she was chosen for the role to add realism to the movie. 

"(Noga) was a physical person, a dancer, and the disease attacked that part of her identity," Zuckerman said.

Her husband Uzi (Igal Adika) refuses to accept her fate and decides to hide the terrible news from her in an attempt to maintain her spirit. Based on his true story, Adika -- who lost his wife Orit in a similar bout with terminal cancer -- brings viewers into his tragedy.

In her preparation for the role, Zuckerman interviewed friends, family and several hospital employees who witnessed Orit's last days.

One of the more challenging aspects of the film for Zuckerman was how to depict a character differently from stereotypes.

"Most films about cancer show a heroic portrayal of a character who works to overcome the disease and tries to make up for lost time," she said. "However, this is a mostly unheroic portrayal. When she became sick, she became passive and numb. Slowly, she detached herself from her life."

The personal subject matter was difficult for Zuckerman as an actress, and she broke down into tears on several occasions during filming, she said.

"The most difficult part of making the movie was the mixing of film and reality," she said. "There were scenes in the movie that were like a dialogue to his wife ... I felt like I shouldn't be there, that it was too personal." 

For information on coming Hillel events, visit www.houstonhillel.org.

Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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