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"Gang Related" Star Inbar Lavi

Didn't plan on spending your summer watching another cop show? That's about to change. Meet Israeli stunner Inbar Lavi, the star of Fox's new action-packed drama Gang Related.

Photographed by Diana King

How did you prepare for your role as a member of the SFPD gang task force?
I did a lot of research, and I got to ride along with a police gang unit. I can’t give out all the details, but let’s just say what I saw was crazy. Cops are constantly in life-threatening situations. They’re real-life superheroes. 
Did you have any prior experience firing weapons?
Yes, but my character, Vee, is an excellent shot, so I spent a lot of time with my friends at the shooting range, on top of training with the show’s weapons consultant. Plus, I wanted to make sure I was comfortable handling a gun on-camera and off—you know, just in case. 
Along with the training, what’s your favorite part about playing Vee?
The best part about Vee is that she’s a woman in a man’s world. She needs to fight to prove that she can keep up with the dudes around her, physically and mentally, and that’s inspiring. Any woman who can take her femininity and sexuality and use it as a weapon to get the job done, that’s sexy.
With Terry O’Quinn and RZA as part of the squad, you manage to hold your own among some real icons.
The one TV show I never missed was Lostso I was stoked to find out that Terry was cast, and even more excited to discover he’s such a gentleman and one of the coolest dudes on the planet. We play guitar and serenade each other between takes. With RZA it was a bit different, though.
Why is that?
I had no idea who he was. Nor did I know what Wu-Tang meant! But one day I asked Bobby—that’s what I call him—“So you’re a rapper, right? Can you spit a little Flava-Flav?” And he went into a mind-blowing hip-hop spout, just preaching. That’s when I realized what a legend was in front of me.

Do people recognize you a lot when you’re back home in Israel?
There’s definitely a lot of pride and support, but I never actually did any on-camera work when I was growing up there. I attended a dance academy and majored in ballet and modern dance. I was a closeted actor.
Are you hiding any other talents?
I’m good at picking up languages. I was introduced to English in third grade, but I worked in a video store for four years, and I watched every American film in stock to perfect my accent, since I knew I would need it for acting. Now I’m working on my Russian for an upcoming episode, and I’m hoping to be fluent by the time we shoot it.
So what do you like to do when you’re not working?
I enjoy getting dressed up and going to a nice restaurant. But I’m not going to lie; I’m more of a pajamas, Breaking Bad, takeout kind of gal. That’s just how classy I am! 

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