It’s beginning to look a lot like … that other holiday
For anyone who has felt bad that Jews haven’t been included in cheesy holiday rom-com marathons, the Hallmark channel is here to help. Known for its Christmas movies, Hallmark has premiered “Love, Lights, Hanukkah!” starring Mia Kirshner as Christina, who finds out that her biological mother is Jewish (a fictional plot that has definitely happened in real life). “I feel very lucky to have gotten to do this film. I’m very proud of my Jewish culture and heritage and it’s really a pleasure for me to share that with a larger audience,” Kirshner told the L.A. Jewish Journal.
Two new Jews on the final frontier
David Cronenberg, director of “The Fly” and other legendary movies that straddle horror and science fiction, is making a comeback, but it’s not as a film auteur. Instead, he’s got a new recurring role on “Star Trek: Discovery,” currently streaming on CBS All Access. The director, who hasn’t made a film since 2014 and has spoken about difficulties in getting his pictures funded, plays a shadowy interrogator. Another Jew joining Cronenberg on the show is Israeli actor Oded Fehr, who as a recurring role this season as Admiral Charles Vance, the commander in chief of Starfleet. The 50-year-old has done a slew of genre movies but is best known in the U.S. for “The Mummy.”
A whole lotta galas
Debra Messing hosted an online gala for the Anti-Defamation League on Dec. 6 that celebrated “the stories of ordinary people who performed extraordinary acts of courage, compassion and strength when confronted by hatred and bigotry.” “ADL In Concert Against Hate” included musical performances by musicians such as Adam Levine and dramatic re-enactments of the stories by actors such as Bebe Neuwirth. Meanwhile, StandWithUs held its own gala with guests such as Gene Simmons.
A girl and her horse
Zosia Mamet is into horses. The actress has been doing interviews for her current TV show “The Flight Attendant,” and each one manages to get around to her equine obsession. In the New Yorker, she feeds a peppermint to her horse, Ten, while telling the magazine how she’s always been “a full-on horse nerd.” She admits to Vulture that with her TV co-star and fellow horse-girl Kaley Cuoco, “We were texting about, you know, soft tissue in a horse’s hoof.”
Eight days of rock and rap
Grammy winning producer Greg Kurstin has roped in his musician buddy Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) to cover eight songs by Jewish artists for the eight days of Hanukkah, from Drake to the Beastie Boys.
In other covers, check out Orthodox rapper Nissim Black’s new cover of “Hava Nagila.” Always a rapper, he converted to Judaism in 2012 and moved to Israel in 2016, where he currently lives with his wife and six children while still making music.
Actor named as abuser
Shia LaBeouf has been sued by his ex-girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs, for abuse, including sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. Several other exes also have made claims publicly in line with those in the lawsuit. The singer alleges he was violent and tried to destroy her emotionally. “I have a history of hurting the people closest to me,” the actor told the L.A. Times. “I’m ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say.”