Abe Karpen, 25, a married father of three, was cast as [Natalie] Portman's husband in "New York I Love You," a film composed of 12 short stories about love in the five boroughs.
"I am backing out of the movie," said Karpen, a kitchen cabinet salesman. "It's not acceptable in my community. It's a lot of pressure I am getting. They [the rabbis] didn't like the idea of a Hasidic guy playing in Hollywood.
"I have my kids in religious schools and the rabbi called me over yesterday and said in order for me to keep my kids in the school I have to do what they tell me and back out," Karpen said.
While news of Karpen's withdrawal sent waves of disappointment through the movie set, the Hasidic community was up in arms over Karpen's acting gig - forcing him to flee for the weekend, a friend said.
Just Wednesday, Karpen was strolling along the Fulton Ferry State Park under the Brooklyn Bridge alongside Portman, 26, who sported a dark head-covering and a coat.
"They wanted me to hold her hand, but I said 'no way,'" said Karpen, who proudly stood his ground. "It's against our religion. You can't even hold your wife's hand on the street."
Then came the howls of protest about his unorthodox job.
"This is when I woke up and saw that I made a big mistake. My kids mean everything to me and my community where I live means everything to me," said Karpen, who comes from a prominent Williamsburg, Brooklyn, family.
His longtime friend Levi Okunov said the Karpens had to flee the city for the weekend. "The community wants to kill him," he said.
Hasidic community activist Isaac Weinberger said Karpen should have known better.
"We don't watch television. We don't go to the movies, so to be in a movie is the worst thing. It's a shame for any Hasid," he said.