Here’s a killer song to kick off an interview with: Deep Dish – Say Hello
[Press 'Play' to Say Hello to Noa with a song she herself requested]
What’s the biggest blockbuster so far this year? Iron Man 3. And just what is busting Iron Man’s block? What is the spark in his plug? What actress is responsible for his interplanetary success? You may think i’m too far gone but i’m still here to tell you it’s Noa Lindberg, who wore the coveted role of ‘Michele Cusick’ like a hot, tailor made suit.
As if all that weren’t enough, she’s one of the most gracious women i’ve ever had the pleasure of not really knowing and if you ask me how i know this i’ll tell you it’s because she agreed to do an interview right here in the Bar None. Go ahead and don’t believe me like you always do but stay where you are because if you keep on reading you’ll see me put my funny where my mouth is.
There i was, lost at the wrong end of a bad weekend in some backroom outside Havana, and when i say i was lost i mean i was lost in a poker game to some mustachioed señora card shark who wore tablecloths sewn together and sandals made from shoe boxes. i didn’t have enough money to cover my losses so i was about to become some communist’s bottom bitch when Noa Lindberg magically arrived out of the cigar smoke that parted like curtains when she sat down at the table.
Noa told me i looked spayed and it’s true i wanted to die-man, but she had a big heart and fought for me in that club. The house was full, i felt flush and she had a beautiful pair but unfortunately didn’t want to play “hold ‘em”, she just wanted to play her hearts out for me and i was lucky the others were higher than the stakes but even luckier that Noa had great hands that quickly led me out of the hole i’d dug myself into.
She collected me because i felt cashed and i begged her to let me interview her there in the front seat of the 1956 Chevy Bel Air she drove me away in. Gracious as she is talented, she said ‘Yes’.
Al K Hall: “Noa” is such a pretty name…
Noa Lindberg: Thank you very much, Al. Noa is an Israeli name that comes from the Bible.
Al K Hall: Not the guy with the ark?
[Noa has mad driving skills tearing through the back streets of Havana and i know they're the back streets because Havana has no front streets but this doesn't keep her from carrying on the interview.]
Noa: Noa was the youngest of Zelophehad’s 5 daughters, who are known as the first feminists in History. They petitioned Moses for their right, as women, to inherit property.
Al K Hall: And now you own my heart. [Note: She does not throw up at this. i repeat, she does not throw up.] You’ve come a long way, baby. Like Israel, where you were born. Is it as cool as it looks?
Noa: I have and will always keep a special place for Israel in my heart. It is such a beautiful, charming, diverse, multicultural and – hard to believe but true – peaceful country.
Al K Hall: Oh, i believe it. i’ve been to Detroit.
Noa: You can feel history in every corner of a street. Anyone who has the chance to visit, should not hesitate. Our house was facing the Mediterranean Sea. The waves were the first and last thing I would hear and see in the morning and at night.
Al K Hall: Sounds just like Yeamen. Except for the waves and beach. But i hear and see things all the time here, in the morning and the night. Which you probably did in France after you lived there, right?
Noa: I lived in Paris until I finished my Masters in Law and Business.
Al K Hall: Now i’m starting to see why you’re so good at gambling. But Paris must’ve been cool.
Noa: My favorite part of living there was probably having my Mom with me at all times! I also loved that everything was close-by and that in just a couple of hours I was in London or any other European capital!
Al K Hall: Or Miami? How did you wind up there? What does Miami have that Paris doesn’t?
Noa: The weather! Paris is great for education–to my opinion probably one of the best systems in the world. Europe in general has so much culture. But it was time to move on. I was born in a warm country, in a beach town after all. And Miami did it for me.
Al K Hall: Wow, i wish i was Miami.
[Speaking of the Maimi vibe, this is the song that comes on the radio during our daring Cuban getaway. Fragma - Tocas Miracle, which is Cuban for "The Virgin's face on my taco shell".]
Noa: The U.S. is a country of opportunities. If you have the skills, talent, qualities, focus, a little luck, and of course you are willing to work, you can make it!
Al K Hall: That’s why i had to move to Yeamen. But before i make a fool of myself and beg you to run away with me, or at least not run away from me, any husbands / boyfriends i should know about?
Noa: All I will say is: He is my soul mate and my #1 fan!
Al K Hall: I’ll give you “soul mate”, but as for #1 fan…there’s a long line. He may have to take a number. What about tattoos? Any cool scars?
Noa: No tattoos, but definitely some badass scars! On the left corner of my left eye, my left eyebrow, my left knee, my left ankle… My right side is pretty intact though!
Al K Hall: And your left side isn’t doing so bad, either. When you’re not getting scarred up, what does a girl as talented and beautiful as you do in your downtime?
Noa: First of all thank you for all the compliments, I’m blushing! I’ve learned from past experience that it is important and healthy to take some time off, to clear the mind. I’m never bored, but a typical chill evening would involve my man, a blanket, a glass of wine, popcorn with extra butter and a movie.
Al K Hall: Sounds great! i’ll have to try it sometime. Just let me know the next time your man is free. Or maybe we could play poker for him?
Noa: You probably don’t want to play me at poker. No, you do not. Or just give me the money now, so at least the one thing you won’t lose is your time, ha ha. I also discovered a new hobby. I’m totally into Go-Kart now and I’m really competitive.
Al K Hall: So if i’m in Florida for a day, where would be a good place for me to ‘track’ you down? [Oh please, like you expect better from me.]
Noa: After a casting, I usually go to Dunkin’ Donuts, order my latte and toasted croissant with cream cheese, and sit down at my usual table by the window. If that table isn’t available, which happened only once so far, I’m totally lost!
Al K Hall: Next time just give me a call–i’ve got some smells that will clear anyone away. Other than Dunkin’ Donuts, what are you favorite vices?
Noa: Big Mac with extra Big Mac sauce and a Cuban Colada! I’m always loaded on Colada on set.
[AlKHallism: 'Colda' is not booze! True Story. It's the Cuban version of espresso and is what's fueling my rescuer as she careens out of the city.]
Al K Hall: Babe! Tell me something i don’t know?
Noa: I am pretty much addicted to South Park and can totally recite close to complete episodes of the show. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are completely twisted, pure genius.
Al K Hall: Was it Cartman who made you decide to try your hand, and all the rest of you, at acting?
Noa: When I was a kid, the energy at home was pretty heavy, so I started to watch comedian stand-up shows. After a couple of times, I would already remember the text. I gave a try at performing it to my family and it would make them laugh a lot. They seemed to forget about all the rest, the issues or tensions around. They looked happy and that would make me happy. So I kept on. I noticed that performing and acting would entertain the people around me and I loved the feeling of being a partial reason for their moment of happiness.
Al K Hall: i bet you spread happiness like bacon flavored peanut butter wherever you go, Noa. You have the gift.
Noa: I’ve always been very creative and willing to express it. There are so many decisions you can make when you get a script. You are the creator of the character. Every word, every look, every gesture has a purpose. Acting is lots of work. It’s Art, and it’s an Art I love!
Al K Hall: Speaking of art, your first role was in a French film called Vidocq, as a Virgin sold off by her parents. Was this typecasting?
Noa: Well, I was about 16 years old back then! I was indeed a virgin.
Al K Hall: Wait, what’s the opposite of TMI? NMI? Need More Information.
Noa: Hey, I was a good girl! I mean I am a good girl. Anyway, my mom would have never sold me.
Al K Hall: You were probably out of my price range anyway.
Noa: Actually, during the shoot, Pitof, the director, said that I should be particularly expensive and kept adding coins for the transaction scene. It sounds completely psycho, but wasn’t there a girl who sold her virginity for a million bucks on eBay or something?
Al K Hall: Careful, that’s my future wife you’re talking about–if the check clears. You also starred in the full length film Equal Strength. How did that come about?
Noa: Equal Strength was a fabulous experience. It was indeed the very first feature film I had the lead role in. I remember I almost didn’t go to the casting because I didn’t have an up-to-date résumé and headshot back then. I followed my guts, and I went and did a cold read as the sides were given directly at the audition. After my performance, I apologized for not having my headshot and résumé, but Ika Santamaria, the director of the film, said, “Don’t worry, I’ll remember you.”
Al K Hall: To be fair to the rest of the world, i bet you hear that a lot. But you killed the audition, basically.
Noa: I felt confident and left. I was requested to the callback, and was booked as Eva Williams! It was a very special project called “Movie Painting”, as the film was created with brainstorming and written along the shooting. When we started, we did not necessarily know where the story was going, which made it even a bigger challenge.
Al K Hall: Sounds like my sex life.
Noa: I love the result.
[Speaking of my sex life, here's a song called 'Silence' by Delerium (featuring Sarah McLachlan) that comes out of the mono speaker on the Chevy's dash as we hideout next to a dumpster behind a tequilera. Strangely enough, it also happens to be a song Noa digs.]
Al K Hall: Wait–what?
Noa: The team became family. And Brent Battles, who plays my uncle in the movie, became one of my closest friends.
Al K Hall: Oh, right, the movie. How was the film received?
Noa: Equal Strength won a few awards in the US at the Women’s International Film Festival and the Palm Beach LDub Film Festival. The movie is currently in re-editing in order to be submitted to Cannes Film Festival.
Al K Hall: Speaking of “Cannes-Do”, you have the role of “Michele Cusick” in Iron Man 3. How did you get the part?
Noa: To avoid crowds and fans requiring more security and possibly slowing down the shooting, the biggest projects usually have a nickname title. So when I was cast for Iron Man 3, I had no idea that’s where I was sent because it was called “Caged”.
Al K Hall: Like they used the title “Get Al Laid” for Mission Impossible?
Noa: Even agents are sometimes not entitled to reveal the information. But actors can have days so overbooked with castings and shootings, they cannot make it to them all and have make decisions and selections. So, I was hesitating about that one, but my agent insisted and ended up telling me privately, “You have to go, it’s for Iron Man 3!”
Al K Hall: And like one of Zelophehad’s daughters with property, you owned it. Who is Michele in the film?
Noa: Michele Cusick is an attendee of the Millenium New Years Eve party and Science Conference in Bern, Switzerland. Michele is flirting with Happy Hogan–aka Jon Favreau–while having a drink with her boyfriend who she ends up trading by midnight for an older (really older) wealthy man.
Al K Hall: Wait, that’s a thing? ‘Cause i’m a ‘really older’ man. Not wealthy, but what i lack in ‘wealthy’ i make up for in ‘really older’. Was it a fun shoot? More fun than this interview?
Noa: My most enjoyable moment was actually when a sweet lady, one of the extra talents that worked on the set, came to me and said: “I’m sorry, I don’t want to bother, aren’t you the main actress in… that movie… Equal Strength!?” I simply hugged her and smiled, it made me very proud to do what I do! Overall, fabulous experience.
Al K Hall: That must have been so cool. Imagine someone who knows your name and they’re not even carrying a warrant! But wait, your scene was a party scene? You must’ve got buttloads of free booze!
Noa: Free booze? Well, as it was a party scene, champagne was ginger ale, white wine was apple juice and red wine was flat coke and water. The second day, I almost thought of bringing booze to make my own “fake but not so really” drink, but I forgot to take it in the morning, as I had only slept 4 hours in between the shoots.
Al K Hall: “Fake but not so really”, awesome! Like “kind of a virgin” cocktail. What did you “kind of” steal from the shoot?
Noa: All the pins they had to stick in my hair!
Al K Hall: And, barring any arrests for that, have you got any upcoming projects?
Noa: I am currently working on writing 3 screenplays, 2 feature films, and 1 TV show pilot (and full season if the project works out). I am finishing a drama, starting a comedy, and wrapping up the show project. I am also planning on writing, directing and performing a dramatic short film and a series of shorts. Yes, that is a lot of writing!
Al K Hall: Cool. i hope you’ll give us a shout here when that stuff starts coming out. You know what i mean. If a real professional (and not just “an interviewer but not so really”) person is reading this, what’s the best way to contact you?
Noa: To movie directors and casting agents, you can join me by contacting my agent, Elissa at Boca Talent: elissa [at] bocamodels.com, or check my contact information on my IMDb pro. In case of urgent or last minute matters, I always recommend Facebook private messages.
Al K Hall: In all the minutes of exhausting research i did during a Resident Evil marathon, did i blow over anything too quickly? Anything you got coming up you’d like us to know about?
[A music video starring our girl]
Al K Hall: Iggy Pop!? No way! He and I are going to hook up sometime if he ever finds out i exist.
Noa: Iggy is really sweet and we talked a while in between rolling cameras. He is a legend in the music culture and knows a lot about everything. So when he said, “You look like a Hollywood star”, you can only imagine how great it made me feel!
Al K Hall: You wanted to call the cops? Because that’s what girls do when i say they look like Hollywood stars. Anyway what message do you have for Iggy and your bajillion other fans?
Noa: Thank you so much for your support, comments, likes and interest. I always take the time to respond, so feel free to write me. Here’s my official page:
Al K Hall: Well, i hope you’ve had your shots, and if you need more, i got your back because it’s time for the infamous Bar None Questionnaire. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
Noa: Really? Do I have to pick? Alright, let’s have a tasting of them all and I’ll pick after!?
Al K Hall: OK, but you’re paying. Who’m i kidding? You’re a woman and i’m the owner so you drink free. But be careful… When was the last time you had a hangover?
Noa: Let’s just say this morning I’m moving pretty slow after Sunday-Funday in Miami…
Al K Hall: How cool are you! Do you smoke?
Noa: “Smoking is bad, mmkay? And if you start smoking at an early age, mmkay, it’s gonna be bad, mmkay?” Mr Mackey.
Al K Hall: From South Park. Good impression, babe. What’s your favorite swear word?
Noa: Lately, it’d be “balls”.
Al K Hall: Are you positive? HIV positive? More South Park. You really are addicted. And while we’re on that subject, you know i’m in AA…what’s your opinion of teetotalers?
Noa: I admire people who do not feel any social pressure, because after all, drinking is, to my opinion, a social phenomenon. In the Entertainment Industry, you get to go out to events or festivals pretty often, you are always exposed to that pressure, people insisting on getting you a drink. If you refuse, even though you really don’t feel like having a drink at all, it can look unsocial. So I just tend to constantly hold a drink to avoid all this.
Al K Hall: Finally, what’s your favorite thing about me, Al K Hall?
Noa: Taking the time to preparing a FUN interview! Thank you so much! Now let’s all cheers to the Bar None readers!
Al K Hall: From your lips to Google’s ears.
And that’s the way it goes because that’s the way she went. i know i don’t need to tell y’all that Noa and i, regrettably, never met face to face during a wild escape from Cuban card sharks or anywhere else on God’s grey earth. The whole interview was done through e-mail and i goofed around with my parts to make it look like she and i were together, but her answers were kept exactly as she sent them to me.
i really want to thank Noa for putting up with my ridiculousness and for investing herself so deeply in the interview. She was always right there with the answers and she generously shared all of the candid shots you see up there, because she just wanted to be close to you booze hounds and barmaids. If the world needs a next superstar, the world could do a lot worse than Noa Lindberg. Truth.
[Another song Noa likes, hand picked from Intouchables, one of her favorite movies: Eart, Wind and Fire - September]
If y’all are interested in the other The Booze Talkin’: Exclusive Interviews, just click on the link.