The Rabbi & The Homophobic Cop

It’s not your run of the mill pastoral duty but when I took a call movie director Elliot Lesters assistant asking if I might be able to come on set one very early Sunday morning some eighteen months ago I thought as every Hollywood wannabe thinks, This is it, my big break!

Regrettably it turns out it wasnt for a lead role or even as a walk on. Had I read up on the film Blitz in advance I might have realised thats theres hardly a role for a Rabbi in a London based crime thriller involving a serial killer and a homophobic cop.

So what was I needed for? Elliott being conscientiously Jewish wanted me to come on set in order to bless the film and the actors prior to the first shoot. So there I was, 6:30 on a Sunday morning being picked up in a nice chauffeured car and taken to some discrete location in the East End of London.

It wasn’t some exotic, art deco movie set. More like lots of trailers and cars strewn about this open field by some dilapidated buildings. I came equipped with a yarmulke and some tefilin. An hour or so later, all camera crew were ordered off set and I was huddled inside a room with the director and actors ready to roll.

When Jason Statham shook my hand, winked and mumbled something like “aright?” and Aidan Gillen came in bare-chested, I really started to wonder whether this was the right setting for my especially composed prayer. Keeping a straight face became difficult at that point.

Id long since forgotten about the whole experience until this week when I saw billboards advertising the movie for national release. The premier I was promised is now not happening but Ive been offered several tickets to a screening of my choice. Its the plush red carpet in Leicester Square I was so looking forward to. Not the green stained carpet at some Odeon cinema. Now I can only but try to imagine cameras flashing in my face and adoring fans screaming, “Rabbi, over here! Over here!”

So Im not destined for an Oscar. Perhaps I can carve out a career in “movie blessing.” If this films a box office hit, I can only hope Elliott will remember its humble beginnings and ensure to hire me for similar such occasions. Only next time first class to LA rather than the backstreets of London. Go out there and watch this film. Get all your friends to as well. I’ll remember to thank you and wave to you the next red carpet. Hollywood here I come.