How is Golda’s story taught, and what is taught about her in the schools in Israel?
Golda was a face on a 50-shekel bill. In the school system, it was kind of a shame to talk about her as the leader, the founder mother of our time, because she was the scapegoat of this war. They blamed the woman in the room. It was very convenient.
And so, she wasn’t somebody that you needed to learn about. It’s like Nixon, in a way. But guess what? Ten years ago, all the declassified documents came out because it was time. And suddenly, when we saw what went down there, we understood she was not the one to blame. There were a lot of dysfunctional commanders around her that did her wrong and led her to a debacle. She was honest enough to take responsibility and said, “It’s on me.” Show me a leader that will do it now. She resigned. But the narrative has changed. And this film is celebrating a new narrative on Golda.
I’m very, very impressed with the makeup job. It does not seem to interfere with Dame Helen’s performance.
I know. Isn’t she amazing? I’m going to just praise my actress, my main actress here. This 78-year-old wonderful woman woke up at 4 a.m., At 4:30, she was in the trailer when all the crew, the director, and everyone was asleep in our nice hotel. She finished the makeup, becoming Golda, the transition, at 7:30 a.m., when we just ate our breakfast, and she was ready to go. When we went home around 10 or 11, she went back to the trailer and took all the make-up off, becoming Helen again. And that took another two hours. And not one inch of complaint. She was just a force of nature, this woman. And I was like, wow. I did not see her as Helen throughout the 35 or 37 days of shooting. I told her, “I forgot what you look like because you are so Golda to me.”
One day I really felt terrible. I had a stomach ache, and I was sick. And I tried to hide the fact that I didn’t feel good. And I sat in front of the monitor, and I played like business as usual. And suddenly, I feel this soft hand on my shoulder, and I look up, and I see Golda. And she said, “Guy, dear, I’m going to go Golda on you right now. Are you drinking? Are you eating enough? You look pale. You look sick.” I said, “Who are you? What?” And she said, “Do you want my assistant to bring you something? Are you okay?” And I was like, this is bizarre. This is surreal what’s going on right now. So, yes, she was Golda, 100 percent and more with all of us. Because Helen and Golda are both very human, very compassionate about other people, both the grown-up in charge. And she was the grandma of our production.