Winona Ryder dressed in black with a "Stranger Things" sign behind her
Winona Ryder attends the Premiere of Netflix's "Stranger Things" in Los Angeles, July 11, 2016. (Photo/JTA-Alberto E. Rodriguez-Getty Images)

A reckoning for Mel Gibson; a film for the ‘fifth Beatle’; Kushner’s advice for Russell Crowe; etc.


A reckoning for Gibson?

Winona Ryder is coming out swinging. She has opened up about the fact that Mel Gibson once asked if the North Bay-raised actress was an “oven dodger,” a slur also reported by Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter for “Basic Instinct” and “Flashdance.” He said Gibson repeatedly called Jews “oven dodgers,” “Hebes” and “Jew boys” in his presence.


Time for the fifth Beatle

The “fifth Beatle” is getting his due with a biopic. A new film, “Midas Man: The Brian Epstein Story,” is in the works, and will cover the ups and downs of the man who discovered and signed the Beatles. Epstein grew up in Liverpool in a Russian Jewish family who owned a store that sold, among other things, musical instruments and records. Epstein was in his early 30s when he died of a drug overdose in 1967.


Superhero science

Mayim Bialik is working on a series of comic books teaching kids about science. DC Comics heroes like Superman and Batman will, rather than doing dashing stunts, use scientific facts to show kids how interesting the world can be. This all makes more sense when you know that Bialik, an observant Jew who starred on the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,”  has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.


Bowing out

Ida Haendel, a Polish violinist whose family fled to Britain as World War II began, died at 96 on July 1. The flamboyant soloist was most associated with the music of Sibelius, but in fact she changed her name from the original Hendel by adding an extra “a” in honor of Handel.


Nonstop Daveed

The filmed version of the original cast production of “Hamilton,” the smash hit Broadway musical, has come to Disney+, so you can watch Bay Area native Daveed Diggs set a record for fastest rapping in Broadway history. The man is nonstop: His experimental rap group, Clipping, also released an EP on June 19 called “Chapter 319,” about the Black Lives Matter movement. All proceeds (from the EP, not the Disney show) go to racial justice organizations.


Jared to the rescue

Russell Crowe just revealed to Variety magazine that Jared Kushner gave him tips for playing Fox News commentator Roger Ailes. Crowe appeared as Ailes in the 2019 Showtime miniseries “The Loudest Voice,”  based on the book by Gabriel Sherman. According to Crowe, Kushner “had a very direct relationship with Roger over their presidential campaign. Phone calls every Sunday. So it gave me that contemporary insight that the book could not give me.”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.

Rebecca Landau
Rebecca Landau

Rebecca Landau is the editorial assistant at J.