Every day is a great day to celebrate the small but mighty presence of Sephardic Jews in pop culture. And one of the proudest examples of Sephardic representation is actress Emmanuelle Chriqui. So let’s take some time to revel in the excellence that is Emmanuelle, shall we?
Here are 18 things to know about Emmanuelle Chriqui:
1. Emmanuelle Chriqui was born in Montreal, Canada, to Moroccan Jewish parents.
2. She grew up in a Sephardic Orthodox household. “But,” Chriqui added in an interview with the New York Daily News, “I wasn’t Orthodox [with] wearing skirts down to my ankles.”
3. Here’s an adorable photo of baby Emmanuelle and her dad during Passover, just because!
4. Her first language is French, of the Québécois variety! Here’s a video of her speaking it:
Oo la la! I personally have no idea what she’s saying, but it sure does sound pretty!
5. Emmanuelle first got started acting at 7 years old when she was cast as a baby ghost in a play called “Listen to the Wind.”
From there, she was hooked on acting and continue doing shows throughout her childhood and teenage years. Here are her extremely incredible headshots.
6. Emmanuelle portrayed Sloan McQuewick in HBO’s “Entourage” from 2005 until the show ended in 2011.
“Here’s what’s amazing about it: When I started this show, I had no idea that it would ever turn into this. It was supposed to be a 3-episode arc,” Emmanuelle told Harper’s Bazaar. “So I’m flattered, and it was beyond my wildest dreams that I played this character that resonated so loudly with people.”
Here she is with her co-star Kevin Connolly:
#tbt Though these pics were from the last day of the final episode, I am posting them because 15 years ago today was when #entourage first aired! Really doesn’t seem possible.. always grateful to you @mrdougellin @mrkevinconnolly for seriously one of the… https://t.co/AU7BV0RJGS pic.twitter.com/aBXod0mTS3
— Emmanuelle Chriqui (@echriqui) July 18, 2019
7. In 2008, Emmanuelle took on the role of Dalia, a Palestinian hairdresser, in Adam Sandler’s “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.”
“I’m French-Moroccan-Jewish, so I totally tapped into my ethnic side for this role,” Chriqui said in an interview with Women’s Health Magazine. “In essence, I just played my grandmother.”
8. Additionally, playing a Palestinian character affected Emmanuelle’s understanding of the Middle East.
“I have relatives in Israel,” she said. “When I was growing up, all I ever heard about was ‘the other side,’ and it was mostly negative. Through this comedy, you get to see our similarities as well as our differences — but how we can live together, too. We’re actors showing how the world should be, but it’s still real. We had both Palestinians and Israelis on the set. The conversations at lunch were heated and raw.”
9. Emmanuelle is in the habit of posting some #ShabbatShalom selfies on her Instagram! Here are some of our faves:
10. She has a huge extended family. See for yourself!
We <3 big Jewish families!
11. Emmanuelle has starred in many music videos throughout her career. Including:
Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel”:
Zac Brown Band’s “Whatever It Is”:
And Charles Perry’s “I Could Be The Best Time of Your Life”:
Rock on, Emmanuelle!
12. Emmanuelle’s best friend is dancer and actress Jenna Dewan. Here’s a video of them being cute BFFs with each other!
13. Emmanuelle is particularly fond of her family’s Moroccan mint tea recipe.
You can watch her share some with late night host Jimmy Kimmel below:
14. She never wants to get pigeon-holed into playing one kind of role.
“When I look at my career, I never want to see a straight line,” Emmanuelle told KGET-TV. “I want to see a wavy line. I always want to challenge myself and surprise the audience. As soon as they think I am one thing, I want to come out and do something else.”
15. Emmanuelle became a naturalized American citizen on September 20, 2017 aka the beginning of Rosh Hashanah:
Despite this, the Canadian-born actress stills describes herself as having “big Canada pride.”
16. During the most recent violence between Israel and Hamas, Emmanuelle posted an emotional video to her Instagram in which she said she was “praying for peace” and also spoke out against antisemitism.
Check it out:
17. She’s currently starring in the CW show “Superman & Lois” as Lana Lang. You can check out a clip from the show here:
18. You can catch Emmanuelle in the film “Die in A Gunfight” out July 16, 2021. Here she is in costume as Barbie, the larger-than-life girlfriend of a hitman:
You can watch the trailer here: