Editor’s note: Meital Dohan was in town earlier this fall, and we had the opportunity to speak with her in person; Jeff Jetton was up for the challenge, so the two of them had subway and Starbucks adventures, aka the most cultural day in NYC EVER. Here he talks to her about growing up in Israel, her singing and acting career, and whether or not she’d bone Romney or Obama. ENJOY!
J: So tell me a little bit about the new song.
M: “On Ya,” featuring Sean Kingston. Well, it’s a great song. It’s really beautiful.
J: It’s out on MTV, right?
J: How was that working with Sean Kingston?
M: It was fabulous. Sean’s very sweet. He’s a very nice guy. Creative, hard worker.
J: Okay, so you live in LA?
M: Yeah, and New York.
J: Where in New York when you’re here?
M: Battery Park City.
J: I’ve been there. I just moved here.
M: Oh yeah? Where did you move from?
J: Washington, DC.
M: Wow, did you like it?
J: I was there for ten years, so it got old, but it was awesome. It was a good place to live.
M: Do you like it here?
J: So far, yeah. I live in Brooklyn. So you’re from Israel?
J: How was it growing up in Israel?
M: I grew up really Orthodox.
J: What do you think about the Hasidic Jews here?
M: I just grew up in a small village. I was a shy kid. It was a very magical place. It’s kind of like the blend of heat and spirituality and war and aggression and happiness and sex in the air. All of that at once. It’s very intense. Israelis are very special people, but they also really like to live.
J: So you were shy growing up. When did that change?
M: When I was 17, when I moved to Tel Aviv. I bought a pair of high heels, and that was it. My dad sprayed my hair a little bit to get the sun.
J: And then you came out of your shell?
M: And then I became a hot commodity.
J: Do you ever get nervous?
M: Nervous? Yeah, a lot. It’s not really the nerves, it’s more like life. Warhol said it in the best way, he said we’re all slaves in our own lives, something like that.
J: Where do you get your jewelry? It’s awesome.
M: Thanks! This is a Chanel, it’s just a random…
J: Is dating when you’re famous – I think the guy from The Streets said it best: When you’re famous it seems like you have to date famous people. Is it a whole different world?
M: No, I mean I had famous boyfriends in Israel. I used to date this guy who was really famous. It was nice, but it doesn’t really matter if they’re famous or not.
J: You like, meet people at the supermarket? Is it different?
M: Yeah, you meet people here and there. In that sense, I feel like everyone else. You can be ready for love, but you don’t know when it’s gonna come, when it’s gonna hit you.
J: So Pitbull, is he hot or not?
M: Who, the singer?
M: Depends if he has his glasses on or not.
J: Are you into politics?
M: Politics is part of life, but I can’t tell you that I read the papers every day.
J: If you could vote, would you vote for Romney or Obama?
M: Who do you think? I think it’s kind of clear. I’m not gonna say it.
J: Who’s hotter, Romney or Obama?
M: Obama’s hotter, right? I would do him.
J: Not Romney though?
M: Depends after how many glasses of wine. Anything could happen, you know? Tell him he still has a chance. I wanna be on him.
J: You too?
M: You like Obama? What would you prefer? He helps the people.
J: What do you think of Romney?
Old lady on train: No, he would kick us out.
M: Darling, they can’t kick you out.
Old lady on train: He’s going to give us a little bit and take the rest.
J: He’s a 1 percent, huh? So what’s your favorite part of the New York Times characterization when they said a younger, prettier, blonder Rosanna Arquette?
M: I love Rosanna Arquette. I think she’s beautiful, so as long as I’m more beautiful that’s all.
J: For cats or dogs?
J: That’s a cat. So cats.
J: Do you have any pets?
M: I have a tiger, Charlie.
J: A real tiger?
M: Sometimes he gets really angry and needs to be careful.
J: So you’re working with the producer of LMFAO, is that right?
M: Yeah, he’s one of the producers who I’ve been working with on my album. He produced one of the “Yummy” remixes.
J: There’s two “Yummy” things?
M: There’s “Yummy Boyz,” and then there’s “Yummy.”
J: What do you think about “Gangnam Style”?
M: It’s cute, I like the video.
J: Can you do the dance?
M: [imitates Psy] It’s funny.
J: So your album’s gonna be called I’m In Hate With Love? And when’s that coming out?
M: We don’t know yet when it’s gonna be ready.
J: Have you been working on it for a while, amongst making movies and being in plays?
M: Yeah, I started like two years ago.
J: Since you were 17 and weren’t shy anymore, did you always wanna do music, or started out with acting?
M: I started out with acting when I was 13, but I did it because I loved it. It was kind of like [afternoon...hard to decipher]. So that was fun, and the singing thing really came like two years ago.
J: Did you know you had a voice for it? It didn’t just come out of the blue, have you always been singing, like in the shower?
M: I’ve been singing like in movies and if I do a show, the soundtrack and stuff. But the singing stuff really came out of a spiritual guide telling me to start. I was in Israel doing Dancing With The Stars, and I had a spiritual guide that is ruling my life.
J: Do you still have that?
J: Spiritual, what does that mean?
M: I love her, she’s so smart. She’s not a psychologist, I don’t call her a median, she’s not a healer. I don’t know what to call her, it’s just a spiritual guide.
J: Like a shaman.
M: Yeah, exactly. Should we go to Starbucks, my favorite place in the US, and Europe too?
J: I think they have it everywhere, right? Not in Iran…
M: In Israel they don’t like it. They’re like ‘This fucking coffee, fucked up, tastes bad.’
J: I don’t think they have it in Iran either.
M: The dull taste of peace [laughs].
J: We were talking about your spiritual shaman advisor…
M: So she told me to start doing the music. Today I wanted to call her and say, what the hell, look what happened now…
J: It’s not Scientology right? Just a spiritual advisor?
J: Do you meet a lot of Scientologists out in LA?
M: A get a lot of letters in the mail about something, I think it might be it, but I’m too scared to answer those letters.
J: Do you have someone who opens them for you, and they give you the best ones?
M: Yeah, if I have any good ones. If it’s not an atomic bomb. Usually I open the bombs and everything.
J: How do you know? Do they tick?
M: Yeah, it’s usually bigger sized.
J: What do you get at Starbucks?
M: It tastes like berries.
J: So you were at MTV this morning?
J: Did you see Carson Daly?
M: Carson Daly?
J: No I’m just kidding. What happened to him? He’s got his own show, yeah. I gotta start watching TV. I love TV, but I just never watch it. Like when I take JetBlue they have 1000 channels on there and I’m like ‘Oh my god, TV is so amazing.’ And then I get home and I’m like ‘I don’t watch TV.’ I flew Spirit Airlines yesterday, it was the worst experience ever. I don’t know how they can pack so many seats into one plane. There was a 6’3 guy sitting next to me, and he had to turn sideways because his legs wouldn’t fit in. It was horrible.
M: Do you have a normal photo, where I don’t look like a drag queen? That’s a good one.
J: So the world’s about to find out what you get when you go to Starbucks.
M: I know, so embarrassing…
J: That little old lady was awesome.
M: I know, she was so cute.
J: She hated Romney. So what kind of music do you listen to?
M: All kinds, I like old singers and Nina Simone.
J: There’s this Israeli musician who just did an album with the son of Ali Farka Toure, Vieux Farka Toure. It’s supposed to be really amazing, you must’ve heard of him. I’ll look it up after I’m done. Do you listen to a lot of pop music?
M: Yeah, I don’t know so much about pop.
J: Like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, that kind of stuff?
M: When I exercise, but then it’s more like Radiohead, Coldplay, I don’t know, Deadmau5. Quiet music like Air, Portishead…
J: Did I see that you’re gonna be at Winter Music Conference or were at Winter Music Conference?
M: I performed last year.
J: How was that?
M: It was great.
J: Do you like Miami?
M: I’m trying to remember…
J: I don’t remember much of the last time I was there. So where do you live in LA?
M: Hollywood Hills.
J: You ever run into the Entourage guys out there?
M: I don’t think so, but I’m like the last person. I don’t know anyone, I don’t know names, nothing.