Thursday, February 2, 2012 | return to: columns, celebrities


celebrity jews

by nate bloom

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Romantic notes

Alexandra Hoffman
Alexandra Hoffman
A couple of weks ago, the New York Post reported that Oscar nominee Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”), 28, is dating Alexandra “Ali” Hoffman, 24, Dustin Hoffman’s youngest child. The report appears to be true: Hoffman was Hill’s date at the Screen Actors Guild ceremony Jan. 29. She is one of Dustin’s four children with his second wife, attorney Lisa Gottsegen Hoffman, 57. Dustin, 74, who was not raised with religion, credits her with making him moderately religious, and their children all had bar or bat mitzvahs. (His first wife was not Jewish.) When Hill was a teenager, he was friends with two of Dustin’s other children, and Hoffman offered him his first film role.

Actress Drew Barrymore, 36, is engaged to Will Kopelman, 33, an art consultant. His father, Arie Kopelman, 71, recently retired as vice chairman of the American arm of Chanel. Will’s sister, Jill Kargman, 37, is a columnist and novelist. His mother, Coco Kopelman, is from a distinguished Sephardi Greek family.

Barrymore had a chaotic childhood and family life, and I suspect she’s drawn to Kopelman’s stable and accomplished family. My guess is that they’ll wed in a Reform Jewish ceremony, but Barrymore, who has always been secular, won’t convert to Judaism. (As almost always happens, a tabloid published an invented story last week that she is converting. Her rep promptly denied the story.) It’s likely that her longtime mentor, director Steven Spielberg, 65, will have a role in the wedding.


Lavish ‘Smash’

Jason Segel
Jason Segel
The NBC musical drama “Smash” (10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6) revolves around a group of people who come together to put on a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. The personal and professional lives of these theater folk and their significant others form the backdrop of the series.

Spielberg produced, opening his wallet to recruit high-class talent, with top Broadway composers Marc Shaiman, 52, and Scott Witten writing the songs. “Smash” stars include Anjelica Huston (as Broadway producer Eileen Rand), Katharine McPhee (as Karen Cartwright, star of the “Marilyn” musical) and Debra Messing, 42 (“Will and Grace”). Messing plays songwriter Julia Houston.

In other theater news, Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the country’s oldest college theater group, has named actor Jason Segel, 32, its Man of the Year. The award (a pudding pot) will be presented Friday, Feb. 3, and Segel will be feted with a parade and roast. Actress Claire Danes was named the Woman of the Year.


Spooky stuff

“Chronicle” is a flick about three high school students who stumble on something that gives them superpowers. However, they’re unable to cope with these powers and their lives spin out of control.

The original screenplay is by Max Landis, 26, son of director John Landis, 61 (“Blues Brothers,” many others) and his wife, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, 60, an Oscar-nominated costume designer. Max Landis has written several short films, and in December Forbes magazine named him one of “30 Under 30” young people to watch in the entertainment industry. The film opens Friday, Feb. 3.

Daniel Radcliffe, 22, of “Harry Potter” fame, stars in the supernatural thriller “The Woman in Black” as a widowed lawyer who goes to a remote English village to sort out the estate of an eccentric woman. He eventually discovers what the whole town knows — that the house is haunted by a vengeful ghost. The screenplay is by Brit Jane Goldman, 41, a famous TV personality in the U.K. who has been married, since 1988, to Jonathan Ross, 51, an even more famous U.K. TV host. The film opens Friday, Feb. 3.


Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Posted by celebritycolumnist
02/03/2012  at  11:48 AM
Mistake and Addition

Hi, Nate Bloom here, the author of this column. Re Jonathan Ross, above—an awkwardly worded sentence in a UK Jewish paper made me think he is Jewish. Should have checked further (mea culpa). I am now virtually sure, with more checking, that he isn’t Jewish. On the plus side: I have confirmed that “Chronicle” movie director Josh Trank,27, is Jewish. “Chronicle” is the first feature film directed by Trank, who was born in L.A.

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