Jewish vroom in Cars, Segals Bad role, New on TV …

Jewish vroom in ‘Cars’

“Cars 2” (opens Friday, June 24) is the sequel to the 2006 Pixar animated mega-hit “Cars”. This time the lead characters — in other words, the cars — compete in a world Grand Prix race. British Jewish actor Jason Isaacs, 48, has a large role as the voice of Siddeley, a state-of-the-art British twin-engine spy jet.

The screenplay was co-written by Dan Fogelman, 40, who also co-wrote the original “Cars.” Ten years ago, when Fogelman was writing blurbs for the TV Guide network, he also wrote something in his spare time: his first screenplay, a movie about a bar mitzvah.

“I thought there might be some agents who were Jewish who would like it,” he said. “It worked.” Indeed, he got an agent. That screenplay was never produced, but his agent helped get him a job co-writing “Cars” for Emeryville-based Pixar. His more recent scripts include the hit Disney animated films “Bolt” and “Tangled.” His live-action comedy, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” starring Steve Carrell, opens next month.


Segal’s ‘Bad’ role

“Bad Teacher,” a comedy opening Friday, June 24, stars Cameron Diaz as a foul-mouthed high school teacher who couldn’t care less about her job. She’s looking for a rich husband who will allow her to quit her job forever. She sets her sights on a substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake) who happens to be the heir to a big fortune, while also fending off the advances of a sarcastic gym teacher (Jason Segal, 31).


New on TV

The new USA network lawyer series “Suits” is about a young stoner and college dropout (Patrick Adams) who teams-up with a top corporate lawyer. Airing on Thursdays at 10 p.m., it started this week. The seasoned lawyer is played by Gabriel Macht, 38, a handsome and competent actor who has worked steadily but never found a real star breakthrough role.

His father, actor Stephen Macht, 69, has had a similar career. Almost every older TV viewer could recognize Stephen Macht’s face. However, he has never had a big-time star role. Stephen recently told a Las Vegas newspaper that he was raised with little religion (although his wife, Gabriel’s mother, is Jewish) — and it wasn’t until he was in his 40s that he became religious. He is currently in the chaplaincy program at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. “I have not graduated as yet,” he wrote in an email. “Am in the process and love every minute of the study.”

The older Macht said that if he was more religious back in the early ’80s he wouldn’t have been so full of himself, and would have realized that he was being a tuchus (his exact word) when he passed on the role of the starship captain in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Trek’s creator implored Macht to read for the role and almost guaranteed him the part. But Macht says he thought, at that moment in his career, that he could do better than playing a character who “talks to aliens with 10 heads.” Well, the role turned Patrick Stewart into a TV star.

“Falling Skies” started June 19 and can be seen on TNT (Sundays at 10 p.m.). The plot is fairly familiar: Space aliens invade Earth and a group of human survivors form a resistance movement. “Skies” co-stars Noah Wyle, 40 (“ER”). Wyle’s father is Jewish.

Brad Garrett, 51, stars in the TLC cable series “I Kid with Brad Garrett,” which starts Tuesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. The former “Everyone Loves Raymond” star does funny interviews with real kids.

Starting on Wednesday, June 29 at 10 p.m. is the USA series “Necessary Roughness.” It’s about a sexy female therapist for a pro team and co-stars Scott Cohen, 49.

Columnist  Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected].

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.