Conflict & Justice

Zohan's Arab-American Co-Star

SB is often cast to play the Arab bad guy but he's not too upset about it: I'm having fun. In �Iron Man,� I play a guy who likes weapon. I'm an actor, I'm doing what Hollywood is giving me and I'm not a victim. We are as American as apple pie and people don't know us, and we are an immigrant story that happens to come from the Middle East instead of Europe. (Initially you did not want to do the Sandler movie. What changed your mind?) Adam Sandler, I hadn't met him, but I figured he was great. He has a big heart and he committed to the Jewish agenda and he doesn't mind other people being committed to their agendas. Adam is great at bringing people together and I had the best time in my life. We used to be sitting together in between shots and we would discuss everything. What's great about it is we would talk about everything, it was honest. (That's what I would like to see.) I think there is some of that behind the scenes shootings. I'm getting a lot of heat from the Egyptian community because it's forbidden for an actor to be in a movie with an Israelis. It's stupid. You don't make peace with your friend, you make peace with your enemy, and this is what happened with Zohan. (Now that you've seen the movie, it's like Adam Sandler is explaining the Israeli-Arab conflict to 13-18 year olds. What do you think this movie accomplishes?) We are not giving those children the credit they deserve. The kids see each other as kids, not as other minorities. After the war in Iraq, people hated America, and I've just tried to be a bridge between the disparate groups. If my role in Zohan provides some inspiration for kids in Egypt or in the Middle East, that is good.

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