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Hollywood Now: Bad Moms, Don't Think Twice, Ian Ziering & Engagement News

July 27, 2016

Bad Moms
Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis & Kathryn Hahn. Credit: Jon Pack

Comedic Relief

True to its title, the new comedy Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn opening July 29, is about overworked and underappreciated young mothers who act out a bit and embrace their imperfections. Kunis’ high-profile interfaith marriage to Ashton Kutcher (she’s Jewish, he’s not) has been well documented, but most people are unaware that Hahn, who was raised Catholic, is in one as well. She has been married to Jewish actor Ethan Sandler (The Bourne Supremacy, Crossing Jordan) since 2002.

Many people think Hahn is Jewish too, since she so often plays Jewish characters in such projects as Happyish, This is Where I Leave You and, most notably, Rabbi Raquel in Amazon’s Transparent, to which she’ll return in the series’ third season this fall. “Playing a rabbi on this show has changed me in so many ways I can’t articulate,” she has said. “It’s perfect timing for me in my life as a mom with two kids and wandering spirituality. That individual relationship with God is huge for me.”

Hahn, who is also currently on screen in Captain Fantastic and will star in Transparent creator Jill Soloway’s pilot I Love Dick, a love triangle comedy, says her kids, ages 9 and 7, have “never seen any of my work. [It’s] not meant for children.”

Don't Think Twice
Cast of Don't Think Twice. Credit: STX Productions

Don’t Think Twice is an excellent comedy-drama about a New York improv comedy troupe dealing with the closing of their theater, the breakout success of one of the members and all the disappointment, jealousy and personal crises that ensue. It’s from writer-director Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me), who stars alongside a talented cast including Keegan-Michael Key and Jillian Jacobs. Birbiglia, who was raised Catholic, has been married to Jen Stein, who is Jewish, since 2007.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t know who Jewish people were, what it was to be Jewish,” he has said. “I used to toy with a joke where I’d say, ‘I was raised Catholic,’ and people go, Catholic guilt… and then I married a Jewish woman, and it was ‘Oh, Jewish guilt!’ And I’m like, ‘Well, maybe people just have guilt… maybe that’s just human, maybe it’s not specific to religion.’”

Don’t Think Twice, playing in New York now, opens in L.A. on July 29 and elsewhere thereafter.


Ian Ziering. Credit: Justin Stephens/Syfy

Sci-fi on the Small Screen

The sci-fi horror movie series Sharknado returns to Syfy with a fourth installment called The 4th Awakens on July 29, with Ian Ziering reprising his role of shark hunter Fin Shepard. Best known for Beverly Hills 90210 before hooking up with the campy franchise, Ziering is Jewish, a Hebrew teacher’s son of Austrian and Russian heritage, and is in an interfaith marriage with his wife, Erin Ludwig, whom he met at a party in 2008.

“Erin was not raised with much of a religious background, which made it easier for her to embrace Judaism,” he has said. “I always thought Christmas trees were cool as a kid and was completely open to celebrating at home. Our Christmas is not a religious thing; it’s a holiday celebration combined with Hanukkah, of course, and the candle lighting.

“When we discussed how we would raise our kids,” said the father of daughters Mia, 6, and Penna, 3, “she suggested we raise them Jewish. I loved that but told her if she wanted to convert it was up to her and not a deal-breaker.” She did not, but they do belong to a synagogue and plan to send the girls to Hebrew school.

Mazel Tov!

Engagement news: Lizzy Caplan, who is Jewish, is engaged to British actor Tom Riley who is not Jewish. The Masters of Sex star and the DaVinci’s Demons actor met in London in 2015. Supermodel Miranda Kerr, who is not Jewish, is engaged to Jewish billionaire and Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel. Mazel tov to all!

Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hebrew and Yiddish for "good luck," a phrase used to express congratulations for happy and significant occasions. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation.
Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for, The Jewish Journal, Brain World, Lupus Now, and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv'at Brenner in Israel and attends High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.

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