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My interview with Bern Cohen

My interview with Bern Cohen

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Published by Tom Matlack
Bern Cohen spent his life turning around NYC's toughest high schools. At 62 he retired and became an actor, finding his niche as a man of age and wisdom in films like 27 Dresses. This weekend his biggest film yet hits the national stage. He plays the rabbi who tries to convince two of his Brooklyn boys to stop impersonating Hasidic Jews in order to smuggle
ecstasy into the US.

Here is the trailer to the film: http://holyrollersfilm.com/
Bern Cohen spent his life turning around NYC's toughest high schools. At 62 he retired and became an actor, finding his niche as a man of age and wisdom in films like 27 Dresses. This weekend his biggest film yet hits the national stage. He plays the rabbi who tries to convince two of his Brooklyn boys to stop impersonating Hasidic Jews in order to smuggle
ecstasy into the US.

Here is the trailer to the film: http://holyrollersfilm.com/

More info:

Published by: Tom Matlack on May 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/17/2011

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 The Teacher 
Bern Cohen
stars as Rebbe Horowitz in the 2010 Sundance Festival selection,
 Holy Rollers
, which premiered May 21
st
nationwide.
 Holy Rollers
is the story of a youth froman Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who is lured into becoming an ecstasydealer by a pal who has ties to an Israeli drug cartel.Bern’s other principal film roles include
Tickling Leo
with Eli Wallach,
27 Dresses
withKatherine Heigl,
 Fallen Star 
(formerly
Goyband 
) with Tovah Feldshuh, and
 Brooklyn Rules
with Alec Baldwin.Bern grew up in the Al Smith Projects in New York's Chinatown and attended AdelphiUniversity on full scholarship and started his New York professional acting career whilestill in college.By age 26, Bern had decided to leave acting in favor of a more involved role in parentinghis two children. He went into education, teaching and eventually becoming anadministrator, where he became known for an ability to turn failing schools intosuccessful schools with demanding academic models and supportive behavior remediation.After taking early retirement to return to acting studies with Penny Templeton and Ruth Nerkin, Bern rejoined the New York acting corps.
 
 --MATLACK: Tell me a little bit about the film and your role.COHEN: Sure.
 Holy Rollers
is taken from a real crime case that took place about six or seven years ago involving a group of young Hasidic Jews from New York City,who realized, after getting off a plane, that—you know, when they get off a plane,and they're praying, and they're being very religious or spiritual, and thanking Godthat they just landed safely and all that—they realize that the customs people never inspect them, because the customs people would never go and say, “Hey, you, stop praying, I want to search you.” So, one of them got the idea that they just smuggledrugs. And it's a story about how this guy lured other young Hassidim into drugsmuggling without telling them, actually, that they were couriers. They were toldeither that, in some cases, that they were bringing in medicine that was gottenwholesale, and that's why they have to smuggle it in.

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