Celebrity Jews

At the movies

Stephen Dorff

“Zaytoun,” an Israeli film directed by Eran Riklis, 58, stars Stephen Dorff, 40 (“Blade,” “Somewhere”), as Yoni, an Israeli pilot shot down in 1982 over Beirut and taken prisoner by Palestinians. Among his captors is Fahed, a boy whose father was killed in the bombing raid in which Yoni participated. Fahed’s father’s greatest wish was to plant his prized olive tree in his home village in Israel. Fahed realizes he can use Yoni to get past the border and fulfill his father’s wish, and their journey begins. Dorff learned Hebrew for the role and consulted with Israeli air force pilots. The film opens in Berkeley, San Francisco and San Rafael on Friday, Oct. 18 and plays at the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival in Palo Alto on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

 “Carrie,” which opens Friday, Oct. 18, is the third film based on the Stephen King horror novel about a teen girl with telekinetic powers. The popular 1976 version starred Sissy Spacek as Carrie and Piper Laurie, now 82. She was Oscar-nominated for her performance as Carrie’s wacko religious mother, Margaret. The new version stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie, with Julianne Moore as Margaret. Handsome newcomer Ansel Elgort, 19, co-stars as the “nice boy” who takes Carrie to the prom. Elgort’s father is fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, 73.

The new version is directed by Kimberly Peirce, 46, who directed and co-wrote “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999).


What is ‘sexy’?


Esquire magazine named actress Scarlett Johansson, 28, its “Sexiest Woman Alive” for the second time (the first was in 2006). Though some may not consider her classically beautiful, Johansson glows with an appealing energy and intelligence that transmutes into that elusive quality of “sexiness.”

Johansson is on the October cover of Interview magazine and is interviewed by director Darren Aronofsky, 44 (“Black Swan”). They cover everything from her SAT scores to politics to her upcoming films. In short, it’s a smart interview, and on a level unattainable by many other celebs. No wonder smart directors are bowled over by Johansson.


Wedding news


Seth Meyers

“Saturday Night Live” star Seth Meyers, 39, wed his longtime girlfriend, human rights lawyer Alexi Ashe, 30, on Sept. 1. (Meyers’ paternal grandfather was his only Jewish “grand”). Ashe’s mother, Joan Ashe, is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. Her father, Tom Ashe, spoke to Jewish chef and cookbook author Joan Nathan in 2010 about how he and his wife cook together on holidays: “Since I am a convert, each holiday brings back memories of when I was in my mid-20s and chose Judaism,” he said. “They are definitely my holidays, too, and I look forward to the foods, the smells and the traditions.”

Meyers disclosed some of the wedding details last week on David Letterman’s show. He said the rabbi his wife “grew up with” presided at the wedding. Before the big day, he and the rabbi conversed via Skype — combining something “very old and something very new.”

Josh Charles, 41, who co-stars as Will Gardner on the hit show “The Good Wife,” wed his longtime girlfriend Sophie Flack, 30, on Sept. 6. Flack is a performance and visual artist, novelist and former dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Last year, Charles told the Hollywood Reporter that during his 1998-2000 stint on the HBO program “In Treatment,” which was based on an Israeli TV series, he was “very proud of” his work — and that the therapy on the show echoed therapy that had helped him. Also, “The fact that it’s something that started in Israel gave me, as a Jew, a tremendous sense of pride. … There’s such great creativity coming out of that country, and a lot of times we don’t always hear about that.”


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

Nate Bloom

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