The young Israeli television actress has come to the world’s attention as a result of her role as Segen in Brad Pitt’s labour of love, World War Z.
Daniella Kertesz as Segen-Coisas Judaicas
Segen, like the majority of characters in the movie, didn’t exist in the book in name. That’s the thing about the book. There are so many people’s stories that it leaves you thinking about everyone who was affected, and somewhere in that mass of people in Jerusalem would have been a young, inexperienced female soldier named Segen.
Daniella Kertesz as Segen
Daniella Kertesz gives a standout performance in this movie. She’s tough in a way that’s uniquely Israeli. The nation’s conscripted armed forces, where women are front line warriors alongside their male comrades, are at a constant state of war and surrounded by enemy nations who have made it part of their foreign policy to wipe the smaller nation of the map. She may be young, and she may be female, but she’s no stranger to war.
However this is a new war, and it’s through Segen’s eyes we see the reaction of an ordinary soldier to the horrors of the Zombie War. I’ll admit it took a good while before I realised she was a woman, the first time we saw her I thought she was a man. A young man, not much more than a boy, but not a woman.
Her character could have been a man and none of the script would have had to change. This wasn’t a woman who needed to be protected by the protagonist long enough to get to the end of the movie, this was a young soldier who, after the initial horror, gets on with doing what needs to be done. She’s one of the best female characters I’ve seen in an action movie in a long time.
I was surprised to learn she hadn’t done her 2 years of mandatory conscription as she plays the soldier so well, but as she says in an interview with the Times of Israel “you don’t expect someone to have a law degree to play a lawyer”. It’s easy to see why Brad Pitt cast her. If he’s the everyman civilian of the film, she’s the everyman soldier.
Brad Pitt as Gerry with Daniella Kertesz as Segen
It’s difficult to find information about her. IMDB.com only lists her as being born in Israel in 1989, and being fluent in English, French, Spanish & Hebrew.
Her television credits include:
2003 – Adumot
2007 – Screenz
2007 – Mishmoret
2008 – Loving Anna
2008 – Ha-Emet Ha’Eroma
She has two upcoming movies, Mivtza Hamaniya in 2013 and AfterDeath in 2014.
Mivtza Hamaniya is an Israeli/French film about Israel’s development of her nuclear option in the 1960′s. AfterDeath is a British horror film about five young people who wash up dead with the tide, and realise they might be in a version of Hell.