Fluency in five languages, a radio show, countless Italian TV appearances, award-winning film performances in Europe, a magazine column, and a compliment from Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi were all it took for Moran Atias to finally earn some recognition in her home country of Israel. What recognition? A documentary about her crazy-ass life, that's what. She's got the resume, she's got the looks, and with the start of the second season of Starz' Crash (in which she plays the sultry gypsy Inez), only one step remains for Moran between American foothold and nonstop tabloid attention – an interview!
It's hard to brush up on your bio without speaking Hebrew!
Don't worry, nobody speaks Hebrew.
Phew. Is that why you've done most of your work in Italian?
It's such a rich language. There are so many metaphors and visuals in the way you talk. It's so poetic, it's like you're drawing while you're speaking.
How did you deal with the constant harassment from Italian men?
When I first got to Italy, bus drivers would pull over if they saw me wandering down the street with a map. They'd try to help me with directions, and I was like, "Don't you have to take the people on your bus somewhere?"
Happens to us all the time.
It's actually harder for me to understand American guys, who will wait for the 10th date to kiss you.
So we American guys just suck?
Absolutely not! My plan was to move out here and find a good American boy. Americans are very respectful. I think a guy somewhere between an American and an Italian would be pretty great. But I think charm and charisma are what's most important in a guy, and that all comes from intelligence. I would love to date Einstein or Freud.
How did you get noticed in Israel?
A reporter was covering a meeting between then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi told the reporter in the middle of the interview, "We have a wonderful Israeli girl working on our television." Ariel Sharon had no idea what he was talking about. An Israeli making it in Italian cinema and speaking fluent Italian is like someone walking on the moon.
Did Berlusconi ever hit on you?
No, but he's such a charismatic man, Look, it's not new that he's always had several girls that he's been... helping. That's a party of Italy I don't really like.
Have you worried abut being typecast as the "exotic beauty" in the U.S.?
You can't change you face. I think I can wear a sexy dress and still bring it to an interesting scene. I think it has elevated more that I'm, you know, fucking wearing the dress. You have to feed the appetite of the eye but bring something else and feed the soul of the viewer.
Complicated! Which is a bit like your character in Crash...
She's a gypsy. She's traveled all over the place, no passport, no identity... There's no place my character is welcome. She's using her looks to get what she wants. Like this. For a Maxim shoot, of course I have to look super hot, and I'm totally up for that.
You don't seem like the type of person who would be into the Hollywood party scene.
Los Angeles is my home now. But, no, not yet. It's only the second season of Crash. I'm going to probably have to go to rehab by, like, the fourth season.