Jason Isaacs: How Gaza rockets allowed me to be there for my mother’s death
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jason Isaacs: How Gaza rockets allowed me to be there for my mother’s death

Harry Potter star reveals how the 2014 war with Hamas halted filming of a TV series in Israel, allowing him to be with his mother before she passed away

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs has revealed he was able to be with his mother in her final moments due to a chance disruption in his filming schedule.

The Harry Potter star’s mother died in 2014 in Israel, where she had moved from the UK some years before, of complications related to cancer and dementia.

He told the Marie Curie podcast that by chance he had been filming a television series in the country but production was halted after rockets were fired across the border with the Gaza Strip.

This meant Isaacs, 57, and a number of his three brothers were able to be with her before she died.

Speaking to podcast host and grief expert Jason Davidson, he said: “Bombs started going off in Israel, rockets started coming across from Gaza.

“This was 2014, and the production I was shooting obviously shut down. The insurers shut it down.

Actor Jason Isaacs

“They sent everyone home and I got to stay just at the moment my mum moved into this place.

“She was there for months, fading away, not quite understanding why she wasn’t getting better but, you know, continually talking to doctors and stuff, and everybody around knew, not because we had a diagnosis, but because it was clear that she was fading.

“I got to be with her there, and various brothers flew in at various stages, and my wife and kids flew out for a little bit, until she died and we buried her.

“Then I got a phone call saying, ‘The show’s back on. We’re shooting in Croatia’, and I got back on a plane and I went and carried on filming.

“So there was this gap appeared in my, frankly, over-busy life, I wouldn’t have been able to accommodate it otherwise, where I got to be there every day, and it was just, I’m not a believer, but it was a godsend. It was a miracle.”

Isaacs described his mother as “of that generation of women who didn’t work, but she could have run a country – she could have run a planet.

“Instead, she poured all of her slightly disturbed energy into trying to save everyone everywhere.”

A rocket fired from Gaza during the 2014 conflict

The British star, who played Lucius Malfoy in the boy wizard film series, grew up in Liverpool in a Jewish family.

He said of that time: “I’ve listened to some of these podcasts and people have open, vulnerable and honest conversations, but my family aren’t like that.

“We’re not a family that has those profound conversations – when we do, we’re very cynical and cut it short.

“We’re from Liverpool, so every time you open your mouth it ought to be a gag or it ought to be making fun of someone else, or else it’s a wasted word.”

Jason Isaacs’ On The Marie Curie Couch episode is available on all major podcast platforms.

You can also listen at www.mariecurie.org.uk/talkabout/podcast.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments