Cover Feature

Kim Or Azulay: Israeli Actress, Model and Influencer Shares What’s Next

Photographer: Tal Abudi

Ever since Kim Or Azulay was a little girl, she dreamed of being in the spotlight. But her journey to getting there is a bit more unconventional than you might expect. As a young teen, Azulay first began to gain popularity online in Israel by blogging and posting on Instagram.


“Acting has always been my dream,” Azulay said. “I remember myself as a young child watching TV shows and telling myself ‘they are great, but I want to be in their spot.’ I’ve been auditioning for as long as I could remember, but my career started a bit differently. Instead of getting a role, I started using a new app at the time called Instagram. I soon became one of the first influencers in Israel, when no one really understood what I was doing at the time. And then luck was on my side.”


As she continued to gain popularity online, mainstream media finally began to catch up, and her career began to take off.


“With time I started to get positive responses to auditions and now I am working a lot,” Azulay said. “Within my current career, I have gotten the chance to take part in 14 TV series and three movies; I have started my own brand and even collaborated with global brands. I feel very lucky.”


One of Azulay’s most recent television projects is a role in the upcoming new season of the Israeli drama series “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem.”


“‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’ was such a unique experience!” Azulay said. “Being a part of Season 2 when the cast all knew each other from Season 1 was intimidating at first. However, they welcomed me with open arms and a loving vibe. The role itself was special too. I play Amalia, who is a character of love. She will follow her heart no matter what and I really carried that over to my personal life as well.”


Currently, Azulay is also preparing for a spot on the upcoming season of the dance competition show “Dancing with the Stars Israel.”


“We just started rehearsals and it’s been exhausting!” Azulay said. “But, very satisfying and exciting all at once!”


Azulay will also be heading for the big screen, with a role in the feature film “Running in the Sand,” directed by Eder Shafran.


“‘Running in the Sand’ was definitely one of my favorite projects!” Azulay said. “Getting the experience to play a woman older than myself was amazing; being 20 and playing Neta, a 27-year-old, it really does take a lot to show the difference. I had to work on the inside of her personality to truly bring the character to life. I can’t wait to watch the results.”


While Azulay loves working on projects for both television and movies, experiencing the intricacies of filmmaking was especially fun for her.


“The difference between film and TV for me is timing,” Azulay said. “[For films], you spend so much more time filming every scene; it’s so intricate and amazing. You have time to think of every move. Time to try different angles and ways to act. I think because a film is on a big screen, and there are fewer scenes, every scene has to be perfect. The shooting, lighting and acting. Everything.”


In addition to her work as an actress, Azulay has also begun making a name for herself as a model, working with top international brands on their Israeli campaigns.


“Calvin Klein and Adidas have been family to me,” Azulay said. “[These are] brands that I have loved even before starting to work with them. Working with them is just a bonus. I feel like we have the same values and a lot of places to grow together.”


While Azulay’s time in the spotlight keeps her quite busy, she always manages to find time to give back to causes she cares about.


“I believe that I need to bring back to the world all of the love and support [that I can],” Azulay said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity in life to influence [others], to change something in peoples’ lives just by being me. It’s a power that I must use for the best.”


This year Facebook (Meta) and Israeli aid organization Latet partnered with Azulay and other top Israeli social media influencers and content creators ahead of Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day to launch this year’s “Sharing Memories” (Ma’alim Zikaron in Hebrew) project, an initiative that connects young people to the testimonies of the Holocaust survivors living in Israel today.


“With Facebook and Holocaust Remembrance Day it’s [particularly] special,” Azulay said. “My great-grandmother, who passed away exactly a year ago (right when Holocaust Remembrance Day was over), was a Holocaust survivor. She was very close to me, and I miss her every day. I feel it’s my duty in life to tell her story on and on and the whole story of this terrible war. I can’t believe there are people doubting it. It happened and this story must be heard! I also volunteer for other charities such as Nirim and Make-A-Wish. Basically, every time I can do good, I’ll hop on.”


Having experienced such great success in her home country, Azulay is now looking to expand her career even further, to the United States and beyond.  


“I’m very passionate about breaking into the US market,” Azulay said. “I want you to remember my name. I have such a big and different value to give you guys, to give to this market, and I really can’t wait for it to happen. I am grateful for the opportunity to be in front of [Mann About Town’s] audience. And I hope that they keep an eye out for me this year, as I am hoping to make waves in the US through various projects. I plan to continuously work hard to reach my goals and what I have been working on as I build my career.”


Azulay also hopes to inspire others like her to follow their wildest dreams.


“This is my message for you guys,” Azulay said. “Say it out loud. Scream it. Believe it. Believe in yourself and never give up. Dreams are made to be a reality. Work your way up and never give up. Whatever is yours will find its way to you.”


Going forward, Azulay continues to have big dreams of her own.


“My hope for the future is that I continue to work on projects and campaigns that not only push my acting and modeling but help me grow as a person,” Azulay said. “I have had the opportunity to work with some great brands and film/TV projects and want to continue that upward trajectory.”