CLAIM TO FAME
Ayelet Zurer has been a household name in Israel ever since playing the role of Shira Shteinberg on “Florentine,” a drama about twentysomethings in Tel Aviv, which attained near-cult status when it premiered on Israeli TV in 1997. She relocated to Los Angeles eight years ago, and has been steadily making her mark with American viewers, nailing major roles in “Munich,” “Angels and Demons” and, most recently as Lara Lor-Van, aka Superman’s mom, in “Man of Steel.”
DRAWN TO WATER
Born and raised in Israel’s capital of cool, Zurer says that at first, L.A.’s massive highways and urban sprawl made her homesick for tiny Tel Aviv. “I realized that if I was going to stay here, I would have to find a place that was like Tel Aviv,” she says. She settled on the beach area of Venice, which isn’t quite the same, but, she says, “I can walk and ride my bike. You see people on the street, and you actually say hello.”
Since moving to Venice, Zurer says she has embraced the local surf culture — even though the Mediterranean-bred actress notes the Pacific is too cold for her tastes. Her husband runs a year-round surf and snowboard camp meant to get families together on their boards.
Zurer makes it a point to return to Israel — and Israeli smallscreens — as much as possible. “I look at other actresses who are internationally successful, and none of them stop acting in their own language, at least once a while,” she says. These days, Israeli viewers are hooked on her performance as a surgeon ordered to kill the prime minister in the Israeli version of “Hostages.”