One of the actors in "Innocence of Muslims" spoke with CNN yesterday in what may be the first mainstream media interview of a cast member from that film. Lily Dionne had just arrived in Hollywood a week earlier when she answered an ad on Craigslist for roles in a movie called "Desert Warrior," a B-movie desert opus about a man named "George" who lived in Egypt 2,000 years ago. She didn't have any lines in the original movie, but after shooting she was called in to dub lines.
"They brought the actors in in post (production) and had them say specific words. Like 'Mohammed,' for example. It was isolated. It wasn't in context," she said. "They'd say 'Say Mohammed,' and they'd (the actors would) say 'Say Mohammed' why?"Watch the full story here:
When the film was complete, it was no longer a desert adventure about a man named George but rather an anti-Islamic movie about Prophet Mohammed.
"He knew what he was doing. He was playing us all along," Dionne said.
Dionne said she was literally "shaking" when she found out what the film was really about. She also saw producer "Sam Bacile"--better known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula--several times during the shoot, and never heard him say anything about politics or religion.
My heart goes out to Dionne and the other cast members. No thanks to Nakoula's deceit, they may have to look over their shoulders for a long, long time. Seen in that light, Dionne is truly brave to come out publicly and speak out on the record.
CNN offers another new wrinkle to this. Apparently Dionne and the other actors weren't the only ones Nakoula lied to here. He may have also lied to the Screen Actors Guild.
A production staff member who worked on the film in its initial stages told CNN that an entirely different name was filed on the paperwork for the Screen Actors Guild: Abenob Nakoula Bassely.This raises an interesting question--what did Nakoula tell the SAG about the film? While it wouldn't be entirely surprising if Nakoula indeed lied to them--we are, after all, talking about a convicted fraudster--I wonder if the SAG has any recourse here.
He believed the filmmaker was a Coptic Christian and when the two spoke on the phone during production, the filmmaker said he was in Alexandria, Egypt, raising money for the film.