As the U.S. television hit "Homeland" visited Israel this week for some location shooting, the cable series about a fictional American prisoner of war who comes home got a visit on the set from real-life captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was released by Palestinian militants last year.
Shalit, who spent more than five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip, has kept a low profile since his release, but his ordeal has made him one of Israel's most recognized faces.
It turns out that Shalit, 25, has become a fan of both the U.S. TV show and also "Hatufim" ("Prisoners of War"), the Israeli drama that "Homeland" is based on, according to Israeli media.
During filming Tuesday in the port city of Jaffa, Shalit's surprise appearance temporarily stole the spotlight from "Homeland" stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. Shalit joked with the crew and cast but declined an invitation to make a cameo appearance. Asked if there was anything he'd like to see happen on the show, the lanky, shy soldier reportedly shrugged and said no.
-- Edmund Sanders
Photo: Gilad Shalit, shown meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year, made a surprise visit Tuesday to the set of of the U.S. TV series "Homeland," which is filming on location in Israel. Credit: Moshe Milner / Israeli government handout