Actress Says Maker of Anti-Muslim Film Lied to Cast

PHOTO: Actress Cindy Lee Garcia, in an interview with ABC News.
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An actress who starred in an anti-Muslim film that stirred extremists to protest across the Middle East claims she was tricked by the filmmaker, who she says lied to the cast about his own name and the true intentions of the movie.

"They put words in my mouth that were not in the script and I never said," said Cindy Lee Garcia, who told ABC News that after she and the other actors had finished shooting their scenes their dialogue was crudely dubbed over with incendiary attacks on Islam and the prophet Mohammed that were not in the script.

"Now, I'm sick that people died over this. I'm exhausted and really hurt and angry," she said of the riots that have roiled the Middle East.

A clip of the film, "Innocence of Muslims," translated into Arabic and picked up by Mideast satellite television networks, helped stir crowds in Egypt, who on Tuesday stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, replacing the American flag with an Islamic banner. Extremists who attacked an embassy in Yemen and a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, may also have been inflamed by the movie.

The low-budget film, shot on a California soundstage with limited sets and props, depicts Mohammed as a blood-thirsty fraud and pedophile.

Garcia said she knew the filmmaker to be a man named Sam Bacile, whom she says identified himself as an Egyptian American. "Sam Bacile" has since been revealed to be a likely pseudonym.

No one with the name Sam Bacile appears in any public records.

A man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, however, told the Associated Press Wednesday that he was involved in the film's logistics. Nakoula said he was not Bacile, but a phone record search by the AP found that Nakoula owned the mobile phone associated with "Sam Bacile"

The man calling himself "Sam Bacile" initially told reporters Tuesday that he was an Israeli Jew. Nakoula, however, told the AP that he is an Egyptian Christian, or Copt.

Calls made by ABC News to several phone numbers believed to be associated with Nakoula were not immediately returned.

Police were called to his home this morning because he feared for his safety, according to law enforcement sources.

One prominent Christian extremist has told the media that he served as a consultant on the film. Another says he agreed to help distribute the film. Both men have ties to organizations that have been listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The leader of a third group made up of Copts has also said publicly that he was involved in the film's planned distribution.

Garcia said she spoke to "Sam" on Wednesday and that he revealed to her that "Sam" was not his real name. She did not ask what his real name was, however. She said Sam told her to clear her name in public and blame him for the backlash the film has caused.

Garcia and another actor contacted by ABC News describe production on a low-budget film shot in Duarte, Calif. Most scenes were filmed in front of a green screen.

"The movie was a complete mess. Totally amateurish," said another actor on the film who requested anonymity.

Garcia said she was contacted about the role by her talent agency, and was told the film titled "Desert Warriors" was "based on life from 2,000 years ago."

According to both actors and confirmed by excerpts of the script obtained by ABC News, the name Mohammed is never mentioned. Instead, the character is called "Master George," a name that like Mohammed has three syllables, which seems to have dubbing easier.

Similarly, though Jews and Christians are mentioned by name in the script, it also includes the invented word "Bossaic." It was later replaced with "Islamic."

Garcia, who played the role of a mother turning her child over to "George," the Mohammed stand-in, delivered a line in the script that said, "Is your God a child molester?" She said there was a brief discussion on set about the question, but delivered the line anyway. In the finished version, the line was overdubbed to say, "Is your Mohammed a child molester?"

Garcia described herself as a Christian, but said she did not believe cast members were selected for their religious beliefs.

"I was just there to do a movie," she told ABC News. "Now people are dead. It's not my fault."

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