If you’re a Weeds fan, you probably have no trouble remembering Israeli actress and series regular Meital Dohan. After all, in one episode she straps on a black dildo and prepares to go to town on a surprised Justin Kirk. Clearly, Dohan is not one to shy away from scenes that push sexual boundaries.
That lack of acting inhibition serves her well in her latest project, Monogamy, which hits movie theaters today. Co-starring with Chris Messina and Rashida Jones, the 32-year-old Dohan plays Subgirl, a mysterious object of obsession for a photographer whom she hires—without explanation—to follow her. The photographer, Theo (Messina), soon gets drawn into Subgirl’s darkly sexual world, and who’s to blame him given Dohan’s blonde hair, blue eyes, sexy accent and striking good looks.
It wasn’t long into our conversation with Dohan before the topics turned to pornography, voyeurism and sex. Not a huge surprise, considering her strap-on acumen.
PLAYBOY: How would you describe your character Subgirl?
DOHAN: She is very mysterious because you get to know more and more details about her, and about her story throughout the journey of Theo, who really doesn’t get the whole story because he photographs her. My character hires him to follow after her and basically he gets to know the character through the camera. Subgirl is taking very provocative actions and Theo gets quite intrigued and at the same time quite confused because it’s not really clear what the motives are behind Subgirl’s behavior. So I think the character has a big need for love and attention and she’s very mysterious, but the way that she’s looking to get that attention is quite unique.
PLAYBOY: What drew you to this role?
DOHAN: I loved the script. I thought it was very timely, very modern. We live in these days where the internet exposes us to everything and the connection between two people is so scattered and so confused because people communicate through text messages and e-mails and nobody has time to communicate. And people are really scared of commitment in relationships. There were a few waves of feminism and capitalism and it just shows the balance between female and male, and I think this movie addresses all of the issues just by the title, Monogamy—you know, it just puts a smile on your face, like "monogamy," ha ha…. They think it’s a joke.
PLAYBOY: What of your own personality is reflected in your character?
DOHAN: My personality is also provocative to some degree. I wouldn’t say I find the same solution. I choose to express myself or deal with my needs in a different way. But you have to understand the whole motive of the character. You really understand it by the end of the movie. Then the reason why she’s acting like that is revealed.
PLAYBOY: With Theo’s voyeuristic obsession and how he has to confront some truths about himself, what do you think this film says about relationships?
DOHAN: Again, it goes back to relationships and how people deal with relationships these days. Voyeurism has just become a part of our culture. We have the Internet, and kids back in the old days had to steal porn from their parents. Today they just have to open the Internet—which probably they’re already obsessed and addicted to—and just say they’re older than 18. We are designed to become more voyeuristic. People just Google everyone. People want to know everything about everyone. People share everything about everyone. I think it totally makes sense that Theo’s doing it out of passion for photography but he’s also doing it because his state of mind is in this period of time, where everyone is accessible and everyone is involved in each other’s private moments.
*PLAYBOY: *Switching topics: Regarding your reccurring role on Weeds, is smoking weed an inspiration on set?
DOHAN: Umm, no, nobody smoked weed. [Laughs] I was actually thinking about that before I went to do the shoot, and maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but I spent quite a lot of time over there and it wasn’t at all part of it.
PLAYBOY: The website for your book Love & Other Bad Habits says it’s about defiance, irony and the immortalization of feminine beauty. What was the inspiration for this?
DOHAN: I was in a relationship and I was engaged to someone that I really loved. Me and my girlfriend were talking a lot like, Jesus, love makes you so retarded, like you’re just completely losing yourself. And I mean, of course I think it’s part of what comes with being in love and being emotional, and this book addresses that—all those moments and all those things you don’t talk about. But also I think I wanted to express the confused stage of where women are at. What are women these days? They’re almost like men, but am I a semi-housekeeper, a sex object? Basically, it’s the chase after perfectionism and beauty…and then you have the young people who are doing botox.
PLAYBOY: Is that what you meant by “the immortalization of feminine beauty”?
DOHAN: Yeah, I mean people are chasing after and trying to be absolutely perfect. Women are in a confused state, but still we’re trying to figure out a way to communicate with a man and still have a relationship.
PLAYBOY: You’ve done some interviews where you were very frank about sex. Is that a product of your upbringing, where you were raised, just something about your personality?DOHAN: You know, it’s interesting because this is something that was addressed in a lot of my interviews. If you see roles that I’m taking and you read my book, you can see it’s definitely a subject I’m not afraid to deal with. It’s very interesting, especially these days, because of the Internet, porn is everywhere—and I’m not comparing the use of porn in porn and porn like sex in art, which is a completely different thing. We are in a modern society, and the Western world is very, very in your face. Women these days, they buy fake boobs and then they walk around with half of their boobs out. Then you go to MTV—and of course it’s not MTV anymore—but if you look at video clips or just commercials, you look at billboards and half of the girls are naked. And then still when you have a sex scene in a movie people are like, “Oh my gosh.” Which I think is a little bit prudish. It’s a little bit not recognizing that this is where we live and this is where we are these days. Sex is a big subject and every society has a completely different approach and I’m more European about it. I probably was French in my previous life. But still, it’s very interesting how society has progressed, how everything is so provocative, everything is so sexual and still we all become kids when we just talk about the issue itself.