Israeli actress Moran Atias has been cast in the pilot of high-profile drama "Tyrant," which is being developed by "Homeland" creators Howard Gordon and Israeli director and scriptwriter Gideon Raff for American cable and satellite channel FX (owned by the Fox Entertainment Group).
American entertainment website Deadline Hollywood says Atias will be joined by actor Mehdi Dehbi. The series, which will be filmed in Morocco, tells the story of an average American family — Barry, Molly and their kids — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation.
Atias will play the role of Leila, the wife of Barry’s older brother Jamal and mother of Ahmed the bridegroom.
The pilot is raising a lot of interest in the United States. At first it was supposed to be directed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, but two months ago he pulled out of the drama due to exhaustion.
"It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I’ve seen and one about which I was very excited. However, after spending over four years making and promoting 'Life of Pi,' I have recently realized that I need some rest," Lee explained during the Cannes Film Festival.
FX immediately began looking for a replacement, and chose David Yates ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix") to direct the pilot. Filming is scheduled to begin soon.
Atias, who serves as spokesmodel for Bonita de Mas lingerie company in Israel,
is pursuing an international career after participating in American television series "Crash" and "CSI: Miami." The film "Third Person," in which she stars alongside Mila Kunis and helped write and produce, is expected to hit screens worldwide later this year.
Yedioth Ahronoth contributed to this report