Poehler, Lyonne find ‘Zero Motivation’ for small screen
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Poehler, Lyonne find ‘Zero Motivation’ for small screen

The comic actresses purchase rights to produce the Israeli army dramedy film with BBC America

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Dana Ivgy is Zohar, the sour paper-pusher at the heart of Talya Lavie’s IDF comedy ‘Zero Motivation.’ (courtesy: Match Factory.)
Dana Ivgy is Zohar, the sour paper-pusher at the heart of Talya Lavie’s IDF comedy ‘Zero Motivation.’ (courtesy: Match Factory.)

If comic actresses Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne bought the rights to Talya Lavie’s film “Zero Motivation,” does that mean we’re in for an updated “Private Benjamin”?

Could be.

Poehler is known for a range of film and TV work, including a long stint on “Saturday Night Live” and TV series “Parks and Recreation,” as well as a string of comic movies and voiceover work for several films.

She and Lyonne, who plays Nicky Nichols in the female-led comic prison drama “Orange is the New Black,” purchased the rights to the Israeli comedy with BBC America for development as a TV series, reported Variety.

Comic Amy Poehler bought the rights to the Israeli comedy 'Zero Motivation' for possible development as a TV series (David Shankbone/CC BY 3.0)
Comic Amy Poehler bought the rights to the Israeli comedy ‘Zero Motivation’ for possible development as a TV series (David Shankbone/CC BY 3.0)

The two would be producing it with “Zero Motivation” filmmaker Talya Lavie and the film’s producer, Elon Ratzkovsky. The project also involves writer Tami Sagger, who has contributed to millennial hits “Girls” and “Broad City,” (which is executive produced by Poehler).

The black comedy, which stars Dana Ivgy as an Israeli army recruit working a boring desk job at a remote base in southern Israel, was one of the most successful Israeli films of 2014. It premiered on international screens at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, where it received two awards, and was nominated for 12 Ophir Awards, winning six of the Israeli version of the Oscars.

Poehler, now a veteran of the small and large screens (she recently co-starred with her friend and fellow Second City Chicago and SNL alumnus Tina Fey in the comedy “Sisters”), has executive produced several TV shows, including Netflix’s “Difficult People.”

Actress Natasha Lyonne grew up in an Orthodox Jeish family and lived briefly in Israel (Dominick D/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Actress Natasha Lyonne grew up in an Orthodox Jeish family and lived briefly in Israel (Dominick D/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Lyonne, a former model who migrated to acting, has more of a familiarity than Poehler with the Israeli army, having lived in Israel as a child for a short while with her Orthodox family. She then returned to New York where she attended the Ramaz School, before moving to Miami and attending another day school and then returning to Manhattan.

The two comic actresses worked together on “Old Soul,” a 2014 TV movie about a young woman working in an old age home.

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