LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A second actress from the controversial anti-Muslim film “Innocence of Muslims” says she is concerned for the safety of her fellow actors amid the fallout over the project, which none of them realized was about Muhammad.
Lily Dionne says the film was one of her first projects as a new actress when she moved to Los Angeles from Washington state a year ago. On the set, there was never any talk of politics or religion, so she says she can’t believe how the movie turned out.
Of the filmmaker, who she knew as Sam Bacile, she says, “He was like the sweetest guy, made sure you were fed, comfortable.”
Dionne says she got the part after answering a Craigslist ad for a film called “Desert Warrior.” Her part was a small role in what she says was a low-budget, cheesy film.
She says the actors were not given much information about the film’s plot.
“The Middle East, that’s the scenes we were in, would be flashbacks,” Dionne said. “And it’s about this family, a doctor and his wife, who are over in the Middle East working.”
The actors wondered about a character named “George,” Dionne said.
“OK, who’s George, 2,000 years ago in the Middle East?” she said. “He was like the ringleader of these people in a village.”
Although Dionne taped a part with no lines, she says it was later cut out. When the project wrapped up filming, Dionne says she was asked to dub over the voice of another actress, and that other actors were asked to do the same.
“With this one actor I know, they asked him to say Muhammad,” Dionne said. “Cut and paste, they took that word ‘Muhammad’ and put it into the context of what he was saying.”
The filmmaker she knew as Sam Bacile is believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man linked to the anti-Muslim movie, which has led to protests around the world for its disparaging depiction of Muhammad, the prophet at the center of the Islamic faith.
“It’s just shocking,” Dionne said.
Dionne says she not only feels angry and betrayed; she can’t believe the friendly filmmaker she knew as Sam has put so many people in danger.
“Worried for my actor friends for their safety because they have a lot of dialogue in that,” Dionne said.
Dionne tells us she’s speaking out on behalf of her actor friends to let people know that their words were manipulated and they had had no idea about the filmmaker’s intentions.
She says as far as her career goes, she’ll ask more questions the next time a role comes around.