Thugs disrupt filming of Israeli-directed series starring Natalie Portman, threaten to shoot ‘someone’

Baltimore street gang threatens to shoot the cast and crew of TV show starring Natalie Portman, demands $50,000 for filming to continue.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A Baltimore gang threatened to shoot the cast and crew filming an Israeli-directed TV series in their neighborhood unless they were paid $50,000, causing production to come to an abrupt halt last week.

Israeli director Alma Harel’s project, the Apple TV series Lady in the Lake, stars Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman as a housewife investigating a 1966 murder in Baltimore.

But the threat of a real-life murder during the filming became a real possibility after members of a street gang approached the show’s crew.

“Locals threatened the producers…that if they didn’t cease production, they would come back later…and shoot someone,” a Baltimore Police Department spokesperson told local news outlet WJZ.

“The locals then told the producers that if they paid them, they would allow the production to continue,” a department spokesperson said.

The Baltimore Banner reported that the gang demanded $50,000 for filming to continue without a violent disruption.

“Friday afternoon… a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then they fled the location,” the show’s studio, Endeavor Content, said in a statement.

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“We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing. The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured. Production will resume with increased security measures going forward.”

Representatives for Endeavor Content and Portman did not respond to a request for comment on the incident made by the Banner.

Tel Aviv native Harel, the show’s director, first rose to fame as a music video director. After being chosen to direct Airbnb’s first ever video advertisement, Harel was awarded the 2014 Clio Award for Best Cinematography and the 2015 Wood Pencil Award for Best Cinematography.