Celebrity jews

‘Entourage,’ continued

Jeremy Piven

“Entourage,” the HBO show that ended in 2011, returns as a feature film on Wednesday, June 3. The series ended with superagent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, 49) becoming a studio head. In the movie we find Ari risking his career by green-lighting a big-budget film starring Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), his most famous former client. The whole TV cast is in the film, including Emmanuelle Chriqui, 37, as Sloan (the girlfriend of Vincent’s business manager who was pregnant when the series ended); Scott Caan, 38, as Scott Lavin, a ruthless actor’s agent; and Martin Landau, 86, as Bob Ryan, a former top producer who still has irons in the fire.


Emily Ratajkowski

The series was noted for cameos of celebs playing themselves or, in a few cases — Seth Green, 41, and Bob Saget, 59 — playing weird versions of themselves in longer scenes. The movie has a busload of celebrity cameos, including Saget, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, 57, and supermodel Emily Ratajkowski, 23.

“Entourage” was created and largely written by Doug Ellin, 47, and he also directed the movie. While Ellin says he grew up celebrating just a couple of Jewish holidays, he is active now in speaking engagements before Jewish and pro-Israel groups around the country. I give Ellin props for creating one of the most recognizable all-Jewish TV power couples — Ari and his wife, Melissa. Mrs. Gold is played by actress Perrey Reeves, who isn’t Jewish. But aided by good writing, she does a great job depicting a Jewish woman who has a “Jewish persona” but is neither a stereotype nor just an appendage of her hard-charging husband.


Bar mitzvah with the stars

On April 29, James Corden, the new host of “The Late Late Show” on CBS, referred to singer-rapper Nicki Minaj’s appearance at a bar mitzvah and said his show would “try and top that.” He then said, “We’re asking you, parents, to send a video telling us how James, Reggie and all of ‘The Late Late Show’ can possibly help make your family’s bar or bat mitzvah one sure to make headlines.” Instructions on how to submit a video scrolled underneath.

This request got some publicity in the general media and Jewish press, but as of May 27, just three videos were submitted to YouTube — perhaps entries are going to the other approved platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr). But, clearly, you still have time to be considered — so go to YouTube and enter #CordenMitzvah. The results include a video of the original Corden appearance and all the instructions on submitting a video to your favorite platform. Bonus: If you win, you’ll be a Bay Area Jewish celeb worthy of a column item!


Variety has the scoop

Jill Soloway

Praise came in a May 19 Variety story about the appearance of the cast and crew of the Amazon series “Transparent” at the Paley Center in New York. Star Jeffrey Tambor, 70, who plays a transgender Jewish character, Maura, said he was “throw-up nervous” about the scene in which he came out to his daughter. He said he was thinking, “I need to do it correctly for the [transgender] community, because lives are at stake.”

The San Francisco native was much more upbeat about series creator Jill Soloway, 49, picking him for the role and the role itself: “Every daydream I had is coming true now. I’m very grateful.”

Meanwhile, Soloway explained the origin of the series: Her father (psychiatrist Harry Soloway) came out as transgender to her around three years ago in a phone call, and “about 10 seconds after,” Soloway said, “I was writing a show in my head.” By the way, former Olympian Bruce Jenner has seen “Transparent” and, Soloway says, “it helped Bruce feel more comfortable coming out.”

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

Nate Bloom

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