‘Beauty and the Beast’ star visits Israel, tours Tel Aviv and ignores social media scrutiny

Actor Luke Evans is not letting negative comments from Israel-haters get in his way. 

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Evans is touring Israel with his boyfriend Fran Tomas and his friend, Israeli producer and real estate agent Eliad Cohen, who has brought many influencers and celebrities to Israel in recent years, according to the Hebrew news outlet Mako. The actor’s social media posts about his time in Israel have garnered some negative comments from Israel haters, but Cohen told Mako that the Murder Mystery star does not let the criticism bother him.

“[Luke] told me that when you are a public figure, you get mixed reactions, including expressions of hatred for many of the things you publish,” Cohen said. “Unfortunately, this is also true in relation to publications that concern Israel. In the end, his visit is not a political matter, but a trip of friends with the aim of getting to know the country.”

Evans landed in Israel the same day that a car-ramming attack took place in Tel Aviv, in which one Italian tourist was killed and at least five others were injured. Cohen said that night he took Evans to a Shabbat dinner at a friend’s house “because we wanted him to experience this authentic moment of the feeling of togetherness, disconnection from the noisy environment and gathering of family and the friends, and it was a special experience for him.”

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“After the meal, I heard about the terrible attack and I immediately shared it with him,” Cohen told Mako, while walking in Jerusalem with Evans and Tomas. “We shared the terrible shock and pain of the young man who lost his life, and we talked about how sad it is that we live in such a reality.”

During his stay in Israel, Evans will also take a bicycle tour in Tel Aviv and visit historical sites in Jerusalem. Cohen said they will end their trip in southern Israel, where Evans will “be able to take in the unique desert landscape of Israel, through the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, Masada and several other hot locations.”

Late last year, Evans starred in the Apple TV+ show Echo 3, based on the Israeli series When Heroes Fly. In an interview with Mako at the time, Evans hinted about visiting Israel in the spring. He told the publication, “I have never visited Israel, but I have a good friend who invited me … told me that March is a better time to visit, and I hope to do that.”