In Fauda, Nurit is the only woman in the elite all-male squad. While the story centers on Doron (played by Lior Raz), Nurit, played by Israeli actress Rona-Lee Shimon, has captured our attention. (And yours, too, if you googled “hot actress Fauda” to end up on this article. Hello!)
Should we dive into 18 things to know about this star?
1. Rona-Lee was born in Ramat Gan, Israel in January 1983.
2. Her sister, Sivan Noam Shimon, is also an actress. Here’s her family:
3. When she was 3 years old, she started taking ballet lessons. At age 12, she joined Israeli dance troupe Bat Dor (בת דור). “I danced almost all day long. That was my refuge and how I expressed myself. It’s what I knew,” she explained.
4. She didn’t join the Israel Defense Forces; instead, she chose to pursue her career in dance. When she watched professional dancers in Germany and Holland, she says, “I remember just being in such awe. I’ve never seen such beauty in my life… I just cried for three hours. I knew, on the one hand, that I had to continue pursuing my dream, even if the very thing itself was going to make me compromise my Israeli identity. And it was so hard to tell my family and friends that’s what I’m going to do.”
5. After graduating high school, she attended the Royal Ballet Academy in Amsterdam on a full scholarship. She then returned to Israel to dance professionally.
6. In 2005, she was a contestant on the Israeli version of So You Think You Can Dance, called Born to Dance (נולד לרקוד).
(Yes, she also sings!)
7. In 2006, Rona-Lee joined the cast of Our Song (השיר שלנו), a musical Israeli soap opera, as Shiri Gold, a singer in a military band.
8. She took her talents to the stage, performing in plays and musicals in Israel. Notably, she played Anita in West Side Story in 2016. Here she is in the play Stempenyu, a Sholem Aleichem play:
And here she is performing “All That Jazz” from Chicago in Jerusalem (HER VOICE!!):
9. In 2015, she was cast in Fauda as Nurit, the sole female member of the unit. She believes the show has helped build a bridge, explaining, “The situation we’ve been in for many years has been one of divide. I think it’s hard to humanize the people on the other side for some people, and I think that’s what the show has done. It kind of opened a window to a way there. Of course, we wrote it, and we’re Israelis, and it is from our point of view. But it gave a lot of room that wasn’t there before and just pushed the conversation forward in that sense.”
10. As an actress, she doesn’t mind being the only woman in the room. “We bonded really quickly. I think there are very few moments where I felt like ‘the woman’ with the guys,” she explained. “They tell dirty jokes all the time; we just had a lot of laughs. I know that by now if I call each one of them at like two in the morning and say, ‘I need you, come help me,’ they would. I earned five really amazing big brothers.”
11. Posing with her first billboard, Rona-Lee wrote, “I’M DYING” (she was so excited).
12. Here is Rona-Lee interviewing Conan O’Brien on the set of Fauda. It’s pretty delightful:
13. Her brother, Almog, taught her how to shoot a gun for Fauda. Here she is in rehearsals for season one:
She also learned Krav Maga for the show:
14. She was in a play with Yael Grobglas (of Jane the Virgin fame)!
Yael commented on that Instagram, “Wow!! Nostalgic! ;)” (Yael still likes a bunch of her Instagrams, so it seems like they are friends!)
15. Have we mentioned how good she is at dancing?? Seriously. Watch Rona-Lee perform dance of the sugar plum fairy:
16. In 2020, she was featured in the Netflix TV show Messiah as Mika Dahan, a recurring character. (It was canceled after the first season.)
17. Here is Rona-Lee very casually riding a horse on the beach, a photo that Gal Gadot liked on Instagram:
18. Honestly, on that note, let’s end with some gorgeous photos because DAMN RONA LEE- SHIMON you are beautiful!!
Legs. For. Days.
Many thanks to Grace Yagel and Lior Zaltzman for Hebrew translations. Image of Rona-Lee Shimon in header by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.