NEW YORK (AP) – An aspiring actor has quit a movie starring Natalie Portman because it outraged his ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious community, the actor said.

Rabbis “didn’t like the idea of a Hasidic guy playing in Hollywood,” said Abe Karpen, a Brooklyn cabinet salesman cast as Portman’s husband in the upcoming “New York I Love You.” The project, a collection of 12 short love stories, has been shooting in New York.

Karpen, 25, told the Daily News a rabbi raised objections after he filmed a scene with Portman on Wednesday.

“This is when I woke up and saw that I made a big mistake,” said Karpen, a father of three. “My community, where I live, means everything to me.”

Hasidism, a form of mystical ultra-Orthodox Judaism, traces its roots to 18th-century Eastern Europe. Followers live in tightly woven communities, wear traditional dress – for men, beards, dark suits and felt hats – and avoid television.

“We don’t go to the movies, so to be in a movie is the worst thing,” said Hasidic community activist Isaac Weinberger.

Executive producer Jan Korbelin said he regretted that Karpen’s role in the film had caused upset.

“This is the last thing this picture should be doing,” Korbelin said. “This film is about love and understanding between different people and communities.”


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