The new 'Mad Men'? 1960s workplace drama arrives on Amazon
Meet actress Odelya Halevi, who plays Talia in the new series 'Good Girls Revolt.'
Gal Gadot may be the most famous actress from the small Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin, but she’s not the only one. Odelya Halevi, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Gadot, is in the buzzed-about new series “Good Girls Revolt,” which begins streaming Oct. 28 on Amazon.
Critics who have received a sneak peek of the series are already comparing it to the 1960s workplace drama "Mad Men," but with a bit of a feminist twist.
The series is loosely based on the book “Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace,” which charts the early career of Nora Ephron and other young female reporters at the time. The TV show follows a group of women magazine researchers who launched a workplace rebellion in 1969.
Halevi plays Talia, the wife of the editor (played by actor Chris Diamantopoulos), whose workaholic habits are causing problems in their marriage. “They’re the perfect-looking couple, perfect kids. Everything is great – on the outside.”
“Talia is very intelligent, grew up all over the world. She’s a very strong woman and it was amazing to play her,” says Halevi, a second-generation Israeli.
When she was cast in the role, she researched the period in which the story takes place. She “read all about the revolution, how women fought for their voice to be heard,” and talked to her mother about relationships at the time. “A lot of women who had trouble in their marriages didn’t get divorced.”
Halevi relished the chance to dress in the series’ late ‘60s styles. "I love the fashion. I adore the fabrics," she says.
The daughter of a retired firefighter and a teacher, the second oldest of six children, Halevi doesn't recall a time when she didn’t want to be an actor, she says, remembering writing and directing plays she’d perform for her family. When she was 19, she went to Los Angeles to visit, and was determined to return because “Something told me that my success was there. I felt it in my bones.”
She returned the next year on a working visa, and took a restaurant job while taking acting classes. After she got her green card and signed with a commercials agent, she booked a few commercials for companies like Old Navy and OnStar. She got a theatrical agent, a manager, and landed roles on the sitcoms “Mike & Molly” and “New Girl.”
Now, besides “Good Girls Revolt,” Halevi has a role in “Ice,” about the diamond business, for AT&T and DirecTV, premiering Nov. 16, a guest spot on “NCIS” on Nov. 22, and another in “Midnight, Texas,” an NBC midseason series.
Halevi would also love to work more in Israel, where she returns several times a year to visit her family. “There’s a vibe there that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. You grow up with values. I feel connected to the ground. I love and appreciate everything I have here in America,” she says. “But my heart is there.”
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