An Iranian messiah, Syrian refugees, the CIA and the Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet: Messiah, a new original Netflix series, is a suspense thriller that combines US foreign policy, Middle East policy and religious fanaticism. Who is al-Masih? Why did Shin Bet agent Aviram delete the tape? Which Middle Eastern country wants the Netflix thriller to be banned? 25 facts about Netflix series Messiah.
Messiah is an original Netflix thriller series that was released on Netflix on 1 January 2020. Season 1 consits of ten episodes.
Messiah was shot in Jordan (Amman) and New Mexico, USA (Albuquerque, Mountainair, Estancia, Belen, Santa Fe and Clines Corners).
Messiah was created by Michael Petroni (55), an Australian film writer and director. He’s best known for his movies The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Book Thief.
The thriller was directed by two Australian film directors: James McTeigue (52), who acted as assistant director for The Matrix trilogy, Star Wars Episode II as well as V for Vendetta, and Kate Woods, who has worked on many successful TV series like Bones, Law & Order and Castle.
Even though part of Messiah was shot in Amman, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan has asked Netflix to refrain from streaming the US drama series in Jordan. The commission admits that the story is purely fictional and so are the characters, yet it “deems that the content of the series could be largely perceived or interpreted as infringing on the sanctity of religion, thus possibly contravening the laws in the country”. (article)
Al-Masih is a fictional character played by Mehdi Dehbi, a Belgian actor and theatre director (34). He studied drama in Brussels, Paris and London. He was 16 when he played his first role in a film.
Mehdi’s family originally comes from Tunisia. He speaks French, English, Arabic and Spanish.
Mehdi Dehbi starred in several French films like La folle histoire d’amour de Simon Eskenazy, Le sac de farine and Le fils de l’autre. He also had minor roles in a few international films like London Has Fallen and Mary Queen of Scots.
In a video interview with ET Canada, Mehdi Dehbi said: “The role of al-Masih was a part of my journey. Everything in my life was going to prepare me for that role.”
The 34-year old actor doesn’t have an Instagram or Facebook account.
Michelle Monaghan (43) is an American actress. She is best known for her starring roles in Mission Impossible, True Detective and Made of Honor. Before making her acting debut, she worked as a model in Milan, Singapore and Tokyo. She has 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
In Messiah, Michelle plays Eva Geller, a Jewish CIA officer who investigates a man attracting international attention and followers through acts of public disruption.
In an interview with ET Canada, the US actress said: “We want people to have opinions about Messiah. We want the show to provoke conversation. You recognize the humanity and ourselves in the characters of the series.”
Tomer Sisley, who plays Israeli intelligence agent Aviram, is a French-Israeli actor and comedian. He was born in 1975 in Berlin, where his parents, two Israeli dermatology researchers, worked at the time. Tomer’s maternal grandparents were Yemenites, his paternal ancestors were Bielorussians and Lithuanians. When his parents separated, he went to live with his father in the South of France. He was eight years old and didn’t speak any French.
From 1996 to 2006, he had minor roles in sitcoms and mainly worked as a stand-up comedian. He also did a show with Jamel Debbouze, the best-known comedian in France. In 2008, he landed his first leading role in Largo Winch (see video below). He also starred in Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night, 2011), Le serpent aux mille coupures (in which he looks like Roschdy Zem) and the TV series Balthazar.
Sisley was accused of plagiarism in 2017, when an anonymous source published a video on Youtube that proved that Sisley had copied parts of shows of twenty American comedians.
Stefania LaVie Owen, who plays Rebecca Iguero, is a 22-year old actress who was born in Miami, but mainly raised in New Zealand. She played Dorrit, Carrie Bradshaw’s younger sister, The Carrie Diaries. She has 68’000 followers on Instagram.
Photos: Courtesy of Netflix
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH THE MESSIAH CAST
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