Hollywood Now: Zac Efron’s Latest Movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s New Baby and More

By Gerri Miller

August 20, 2015

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Zac Efron’s Latest Movie

Zac Efron
Zac Efron. Credit: Zac Efron/Warner Bros. Pictures

Zac Efron plays a young man chasing his dream of being a successful DJ and finds romance with the sister (Emily Ratajkowski) of his mentor (Wes Bentley) in We Are Your Friends, opening September 28. Efron, who found success on the big screen after the High School Musical movies made him a teen heartthrob, has Jewish roots on his father’s side: His paternal grandfather was Jewish. The busy actor has several movies coming up, including Dirty Grandpa with Robert DeNiro, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates with Anna Kendrick and he’ll team up again with Seth Rogen in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the sequel to their 2014 hit Neighbors.

New Dad Joseph Gordon-Levitt 

Jospeh Gordon-Levitt is a new dad. The Jewish actor and his tech exec wife Tasha McCauley welcomed a son over the August 15th weekend. Gordon-Levitt and McCauley have been in an interfaith marriage since December. He’ll soon be seen in a pair of biographical movies, playing highwire walker Philippe Petit in The Walk and Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone‘s story of the man who notoriously leaked CIA secrets.

Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner Take a Road Trip

Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner
Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner. Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Newcomer Julia Garner, who has had a recurring role on The Americans and has appeared in The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Martha Marcy May Marlene, stars opposite Lily Tomlin in the road trip movie Grandma as a teenager whose grandmother helps her raise the money for an abortion. The 21-year-old New Yorker, who identifies as Jewish, is the product of an interfaith marriage: Her artist father is Protestant and her Jewish mother is a therapist and former comedian who starred in a Saturday Night Live-like sketch show in her native Israel back in the 1980s.

Jake Weber
Jake Weber. Credit: Linda Kallerus/Broad Green Pictures

Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley star in Learning to Drive, a movie about a Sikh instructor who not only teaches Clarkson’s character to drive, but also bonds with her over their crumbling marriages. Jake Weber (Medium, Dawn of the Dead), plays the ex of Patricia Clarkson. The London-born actor is one-quarter Jewish: His mother has Sephardic roots on her father’s side. His Danish-English father, from a wealthy family, was a racecar driver.



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About Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for The Jewish Journal, FromtheGrapevine.com, Brain World, HeathCentral.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.