International Star You Should Know: Moran Atias

Israeli actress looks to write her own ticket in the movie business

Moran Atias
Jeff Vespa/WireImage


Israeli-born Moran Atias became known to U.S. auds as Inez in Paul Haggis’ 2008 series “Crash” on Starz. She also teamed with Haggis on 2010 thriller “The Next Three Days.”


The 33-year-old Atias began her career as a globe-trotting model, but her friend Domenico — the Dolce in the Dolce & Gabbana fashion design house — urged her, in her early 20s, to try thesping. “I had a very exciting life in Italy, and I was doing lots of variety shows,” she says, but when she took an acting seminar, that was it for her. “I love the inner discovery,” she says.


While Atias was picking up acting gigs, she also started writing. She had an idea for a film that had a complex structure, so she called on Haggis. “My pitch to Paul was dreadful,” she says, but it became the film “Third Person,” which will be released by Sony Pictures Classics this year. “For me there’s always a third person in the relationship — an ex, parents, somebody. That’s the basic idea.”


Acting and writing weren’t childhood dreams, although Atias says she has always liked to create things, “whether it’s my own Purim costumes or art.” And now characters. “You can forgive if the shot is not right, or the lighting is a bit off, but not if the writing is bad,” she says.


Atias, based in L.A. is in demand in Israel, too, and loves well-drawn female characters. “Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren, Meryl Streep — I love actresses that are strong and fragile at the same time. They bring complexity to their roles.”