Somewhere between the hisses and tongue clicks, Ben Stiller threw some Hebrew into his Avatar spoof at last night’s academy awards when he presented the award for Best Makeup. Decked out in Na’vi blue-face and cat eyes, complete with tail and braids, Stiller seemed to offer a Seder preview.
“Pesach,” he hissed, then trilled and elongated his rrrs in “borei perrrrrri” before busting out with “hagafen.”
“Pesach” is Hebrew for Passover, and “borei peri hagafen” blesses the fruit of the vine in the blessing over wine.
Stiller followed his Na’vi tirade by saying, “that means, ‘this seemed like a better idea in rehearsal.’ It was between this and the Nazi uniform, but the show seemed a little Hitler heavy,” he said, referring to the nominations for WW II fantasy movie “Inglorious Basterds.”
Maybe Stiller, who is Jewish and often plays Jews, was channeling a prophetic impulse in his Na’vi rant? (Get it? Na’vi is Hebrew for prophet?)