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Hasidic Jew Quits Natalie Portman Film

Posted: March 18th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Hasidic Jew Quits Natalie Portman FilmSubmit Comment
NYDailyNews reports that a Williamsburg Hasidic Jew was forced to give up his chance to star in a Hollywood movie, opposite Natalie Portman, due to backlash from his community.

"I am backing out of the movie," said Abe Karpen, a married father of three. "It's not acceptable in my community. It's a lot of pressure I am getting. They [the rabbis] didn't like the idea of a Hasidic guy playing in Hollywood."

Karpen, who is a kitchen cabinet salesman, was cast as Portman's husband in "New York I Love You," a film composed of 12 short stories about love in the five boroughs.

"I have my kids in religious schools and the rabbi called me over yesterday and said in order for me to keep my kids in the school I have to do what they tell me and back out," he added.

Just Wednesday, Karpen was strolling along the Fulton Ferry State Park under the Brooklyn Bridge alongside Portman, who sported a dark head-covering and a coat. "They wanted me to hold her hand, but I said 'no way,'" said Karpen, who proudly stood his ground. "It's against our religion. You can't even hold your wife's hand on the street."

Then came the howls of protest about his unorthodox job. "This is when I woke up and saw that I made a big mistake. My kids mean everything to me and my community where I live means everything to me," said Karpen.

Hasidic community activist Isaac Weinberger said Karpen should have known better. "We don't watch television. We don't go to the movies, so to be in a movie is the worst thing. It's a shame for any Hasid," he said.

Still, despite his troubles, Karpen had nothing but kind words for the film and Portman. "She's the only one I was willing to work with," Karpen said. "I was shocked that she's a Hollywood big shot. We talked in Hebrew. ... She wants to become more religious."

Source: NYDailyNews


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