Orli Shoshan has her own line of fashion clothes, she models, she is a Jedi in the new Star Wars movies, she’s an action figure, she’s featured in comic books, and she’s constantly on the move! Orli is in the process of establishing a huge fan base ranging from sci-fi fanatics to people who love her clothing line. Citynet Magazine proudly presents this Israeli-born Australian-based talent!
Citynet Magazine: Information about you has been somewhat difficult to come by. We know the basics but nothing more… give us the scoop!
Orli Shoshan: I was born in Israel and raised on a moshav there. My parents are of Moroccan descent and I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters who live in Israel. I originally left to spend a few months working for the Israeli airline EL AL in Chicago and ended up staying there for 2 years! I then traveled through India and Thailand, ultimately ending up in Australia. [Editor’s note: A moshav is an Israeli cooperative village generally consisting of small separate farms. They are common in Israel.]
While in Australia, I went through the yellow pages looking for modeling agencies. I got work as a model and slowly built my portfolio.
How did you get into fashion design?
I always wanted to make my own clothes. When I was a kid I was very into sports, always running and I was into gymnastics. This lead to my interest in fashion and sportswear. I saw a gap in the market for really sexy sportswear and with the help of some friends who run clothing factories in Australia, I got started. My first fashion line came out two years ago. The thing is, you have to really keep up with seasonal styles and colors which is complicated so I’m going to try denim which is less complicated and more in demand since everyone wears jeans! For now you can find my clothes in boutiques and sportswear shops around Australia.
What made you go into acting?
I got into star wars through my modeling agency. They approached me and asked if I’d was interested in doing a movie. Star Wars was the first movie that came up!
In Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, you played Shaak Ti, an important Jedi Master. What was it like working on the set of such significant films?
Overall, I must say that I’m very happy to be involved with the Star Wars movies and franchise.
Something strange about your role as a Jedi is that they took this sexy model and covered your face so that you are barely recognizable! What’s up with that?!
I don’t know exactly why but I think that it may be because I have martial arts experience. My character required a lot of fight scenes. They liked how I did with a lightsaber and I didn’t need a lot of extra training. You don’t see a lot of fighting in the second movie due to all of the editing.
How bad was the make-up?
Each time I was on set it took 4 hours to prepare my character. The make-up consisted of building a mask which was then glued onto my face. The entire costume was heavy, with a long tail, 2 horns, and a long skirt. It was hard to move!
…and George Lucas?
I first met him to approve my costume. We had some small talks. He’s a nice guy. He liked my character and so wanted to do more than was originally planned.
Wasn’t Natalie Portman (Queen Amidala in the new Star Wars Trilogy) also born in Israel?
Ya, I think so. We didn’t have a chance to chat or anything.
You’ve been making the rounds at sci-fi, comic book, and toy conventions in the US and Japan. How’s that working out for ya?
It’s very flattering that people travel from so far to see me and get an autograph. I actually expected younger people, especially with all the toys and all. Based on own personal statistics, I’d say that most of the people who come to get my autograph are in the over 30 range. This really surprises me! In Japan I appeared at a toy festival but expected more kids and few fans speak English so it’s harder to communicate. My character, Shaak Ti, is an action figure and in Japan some fans had five of them. I would personalize at least one and I know some others are to trade (or sell!).
How does it feel to be an action figure and on the cover of a comic book?
Yes, I’m on the cover of a Star Wars comic book by Dark Horse (publishing company) and I’m a toy! Again, I was flattered to find out about these things. I really underestimated how significant it would be to get involved in the Star Wars world.
What’s up with Star Wars Episode 3?
I’m not allowed to say anything but I can tell you that my part has already been filmed in Australia.
Were you always a Star Wars fan?
I didn’t know nearly as much about the Star Wars universe before being in the movie, so I watched the old movies and got into it more during filming. Growing up we knew about Star Wars but we weren’t as fanatical as many of the fans I’ve met in America and Japan seem to be. Star Wars just wasn’t all over the place where I grew up so it’s a cultural difference. It’s a good surprise though.
What does it feel like to see people on the street wearing clothes you designed?
Flattering! The first time I saw people wearing my clothes was a little after the first New Year’s day after my line was released. I went to a party and saw 2 girls wearing my clothes. I was so excited to see them that I just had to go tell them that I was the designer! The girls went on and on saying ” we love them, we just love them…” That was one of the best things that has happened to me in my life.
Have people recognized you on the street based on your ‘celebrity status’?
Ya, in Australia people occasionally come up to me and ask if they’ve seen me here or there. Many of them recognize me from commercials. It’s nice.
What’s your greatest talent?
To be honest… Shopping! I know how to spend my money beautifully! I’m constantly shipping stuff to Israel and my mom says, “we have no more room so stop wasting your money!” In Australia they have garage sales so I sell samples of my clothing line and some of my better clothes that I decided I wouldn’t wear anymore. I use that money to buy new clothes!
What has been the best experience on the job?
Many good things have happened to me.
What has been the worst experience on the job?
I did a TV commercial for Beck’s beer that was aired in Australia. It featured a Survivor-type ad, with 6 of us on Magnetic Island (in the Great Barrier Reef region of Australia). It was supposed to be 6 survivors in a boat but it rained all week! The sun would come out for 5 minutes and then disappear. Each day we faced 10 hours of rain and by the time we started getting ready to shoot when the sun would come out, it would begin raining again.
Beck’s is a German company and their people came out for the shoot. The entire deal left the whole cast stressed. It ended up being re-shot and looked inconsistent, I got sea sick from sitting on the boat, people were bitching at each other, it was just a bad. On the other hand, money-wise it was the best job I’ve had!
What’s the most common question that people ask you?
“Where are you from?” Based on my accent and look, people tend to think I’m Brazilian, Spanish, and sometimes French.
What do you want the world to know about you?
It doesn’t matter how famous I get, I’m still the girl from the moshav. [Editors note: This is like J-Lo reminding us that no matter how big she gets, she’s just Jenny from the block!]
If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
To keep traveling and take in new cultures. Hopefully with my work as a designer I will be able to do so. It’s always nice to see the different fashions around the world. I was just in Japan where it’s so different from what I’m use to. It’s just great! I’d love to keep doing it and see every country in the universe! [Editor’s note: Spoken like a true Jedi!!!]
It’s12:01am. What are you doing?
I’m not a party animal so I’m probably on the sofa watching a movie and eating popcorn. I’m just a good girl and I don’t really like parties. Once in a while, but I don’t do it a lot.
Thong vs. regular undies?
I use both, but it depends on what I wear. Overall, I have no preference, although I have designed underwear!
I’m working on a new fashion label. I’m going to call it “Shoshan” and it will be for denim clothing. I’m currently looking into where is the best place to produce it. I will also be doing more signing events for the next 2 months.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I plan on having my clothes become International labels. Personally, I’d like to be married with kids.
I’m also really interested in acting on Israeli television. I’ve never actually approached anyone there up to now since I’ve been living overseas (in the US and Australia) since I began my acting career. So hopefully something will come up in the future.
Where are you from?
Currently residing in Sydney, Australia, although she continually travels around the world.