When Sam Feuer was a boy, he fell in love with "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial" -- and with performing -- since he lived as an outsider in two cultures. Born in America to Israeli parents, the family moved to Israel when Sam was 9.
"Since I was a kid, one of my dreams was to be in a Steven Spielberg film," the now-31-year-old actor told The Journal at a Starbucks in Beverly Hills.
Hollywood is a place where dreams sometimes come true. Or at least it's the type of place where unlikely events are more likely to occur. For example, Sidney Pollack walks by the cafe -- not unusual because his office is nearby, but then again, he just passed on a film that Feuer's production company, Sixth Sense Productions, had sent Pollack. Another unlikely event: Feuer, after only three years in Los Angeles, got a part in a Spielberg film.
Not just a Spielberg film. "Munich," to be specific. Perhaps Spielberg's most controversial film, "Munich," which opens Dec. 23, tells the story of the revenge killings of those responsible for the Munich Olympic massacres in which 11 Israelis were murdered. Feuer plays a small but pivotal role as Yosef Romano, a 32-year-old weightlifter who was shot dead by the Palestinians in the village.
Although there are a number of Israelis in the film, Feuer is one of the few Angeleno Israelis in it -- and he's probably the only one without an agent.
"Maybe because I'm like an agent myself," said the crew-cutted, dark-eyed actor with all the confidence of the Israeli air force pilot he once was. Like many Israelis in America, Feuer has the gift of "scrambling": in other words, he's enterprising. Agentless, he got himself roles in TV series like "JAG," playing ... what else? An Israeli soldier.
"You come to Hollywood and you have to find your niche; you have to find something that will separate you from everybody else," Feuer said. In the beginning he auditioned for parts playing Italians, Greeks and Spaniards, but he wasn't getting called in. It was only when he started going for the few Israeli parts that he started getting booked. "I bumped into Israelis and they're like, 'So you're the one who got that part."
Now that he's in "Munich," Feuer hopes he'll finally sign an agent, and that the roles will keep on coming. Unlike many up-and-coming actors here, one doesn't get the feeling the self-confidence is just a veneer.
"I think a lot of people get the bug [for acting], but I don't think they sacrifice for what they want to accomplish," Feuer said. "If I went to the military and still come out wanting to be an actor, you know I really want to be an actor."