Friday, May 19, 2006 | return to: celebrities


Celebrity Jews

by nate bloom

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Splish splash

Opening last week to mixed reviews was "Poseidon," a remake of the 1972 hit "The Poseidon Adventure." Like the original, this version is about a small group of passengers finding their own way to safety after their ocean liner capsizes. However, the re-make has new characters, including Richard Dreyfuss as a despondent gay man and Emmy Rossum, 19, as one of a pair of young lovers.

Rossum, the star of "The Phantom of the Opera," has a great singing voice and is now making her first pop album.

The young actress says that she liked making "Poseidon," but being wet for months was difficult. In this respect, she is like Jewish comic Red Buttons, 87, who appeared in the original version but avoids "Poseidon Adventure" fan conventions because he has bad memories of being wet during most of the film shoot.

Baseball bits

Add Ian Kinsler to the names of Jewish major leaguers. A reader gave me a lead on the Texas rookie second baseman. My friend Shel Wallman, editor of Jewish Sports Review newsletter, ran with the lead and contacted Ian's Jewish uncle. He told Shel that Ian, his brother's son, had no problem being listed as a Jewish athlete in the Review even though Ian's mother isn't Jewish and Ian wasn't raised in a faith. ... Two non-Jewish major leaguers with names that make Jewish fans smile — Texas' Kevin Mench and Seattle's J.J. Putz.

Piven's peaking

Actor Jeremy Piven, 40, finally has "cool status" in Hollywood by virtue of his brilliant performance as a pretty nasty Hollywood agent in the HBO show "Entourage." His character's signature shtick is to reconcile with a client he has offended by saying, "let's hug it out, bitch," and then hugging the client.

Early this month, Piven was at film festival to promote the bar mitzvah movie "Keeping Up with the Steins," which he stars in. Piven gleefully told the festival crowd that he's "peaking" and that "I just got to call Barbara Walters a little bitch on national television!"

Piven explained that he went on "The View" to promote "The Steins" and greeted Walters with: "You want to hug it out, you little bitch?" Fortunately, Walters saw the humor in the greeting and embraced Piven.

Adding up

David Krumholtz
celebrates his 28th birthday this week just as his math-oriented CBS series "Numb3rs" ends its second hit season (Friday, May 19 at 10 p.m.). Krumholtz can also kvell about his show being named the 2006 winner of the prestigious Carl Sagan Award for the Public Understanding of Science (named in honor of the late Jewish astronomer Carl Sagan).

But there's more: A few weeks ago, Krumholtz was cast as the star of a yet-unnamed Woody Allen movie, and he has a supporting role in "Knocked Up," the upcoming film by Judd Apatow ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin").

"Knocked Up" stars "Virgin" supporting actor Seth Rogen as a kind of nebbishy guy who has a one-night stand with a beautiful girl and she ends up pregnant. Playing his buddies are Krumholtz, Jason Segal ("Freaks and Geeks") and Paul Rudd. A 2007 release date is planned.

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