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Hollywood Now: New Star Wars, Baby News from Hathaway & Zuckerberg, Plus a SNL Cast Reunion

December 7, 2015

Star Wars director Abrams on his interfaith family

JJ Abrams and Harrison Ford Star Wars
J.J. Abrams and Harrison Ford. Credit: Walt Disney Pictures for Star Wars

 
Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has been in an interfaith marriage to public relations executive Katie McGrath since 1996. The Jewish hitmaker (Star Trek, Alias and Lost to name a few) has said that his family wasn’t religious. Abrams says, “But I’m very proud of my heritage. My wife is Irish Catholic and it’s a fascinating thing having married someone who’s of a different religion, because you get to understand and see and respect another way of growing up and believing. That to me is interesting and healthy. I do consider myself Jewish, and I take my [three] kids to services on holidays because that is something really important to me.” The highly anticipated Star Wars sequel opens December 18. 
 

Baby News from Hathaway and Zuckerberg

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway. Credit: John Shearer
 
Anne Hathaway is expecting her first child with Jewish husband Adam Shulman. Hathaway played a mom in The Intern which is out on DVD next month. Her next role is as the White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass, which will be released in May. 
 
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Credit: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

 

Talk about tzedakah! When Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is intermarried to Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their newborn daughter Max (on Facebook, of course), they also pledged to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares (now valued at $45 billion) to charitable causes. 

SNL Cast Reunites in Sisters

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Credit: Universal Pictures

Maya Rudolph
Maya Rudolph. Credit: Evan Agostini
On December 18, Maya Rudolph rejoins her Baby Mama and Saturday Night Live pals Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in their latest comedy collaboration Sisters, playing the childhood friend of the sibling pair. Rudolph, the daughter of a Christian mother (the late singer Minnie Riperton) and a Jewish father, is herself in an interfaith marriage with director Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom she has four children.

Rudolph will continue to have a high profile in 2016. She’s in the upcoming movies CHiPs, We Don’t Belong Here and joins Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride to voice the titular flock in the animated Angry Birds, which hits theaters in May.

A Don’t-Miss CBS Special on Interfaith Families

Since nearly 30 percent of couples today are married or living with a partner of a different faith, the CBS special Marriage, Religion & Modern Life is particularly timely. Airing December 13, the program features religious leaders from the Interfaith Family Project (IFFP) of Greater Washington in Washington, D.C., discussing why more families are raising their children with an understanding of both traditions, and other experts weighing in on the changing culture of marriage (particularly among young people). Historians also explain how marriage—and attitudes toward it—have evolved over the centuries. The special will be posted online at www.cbsnews.com/religion-and-culture after the airdate.

 

Hebrew for "righteousness," it usually means "charity" or "righteous giving." In Judaism, it refers to the religious obligation to do what is right and just, including giving to those in need.
Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for MNN.com, The Jewish Journal, Brain World, Lupus Now, Scholastic.com 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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