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  • Richard Gere on channeling his ‘inner schlub’ in new movie

    (JTA) — Richard Gere is sexy, suave, tough. He’s been the star of a constellation of films, from “American Gigolo” to “Pretty Woman,” “An Officer and a Gentleman” to “Primal Fear.” At 67, the onetime People magazine Sexiest Man of the Year (1999) still has the looks and charm of a leading man. So what…

  • Jessica Biel discovers that she’s a little bit Jewish

    (JTA) — The celebrities who appear on genealogy shows are almost invariably in for a surprise, like a criminal in their family tree or a British royal in their web of relatives. Some, like Dustin Hoffman — who broke down in tears on “Finding Your Roots” last year — delve into their Jewish ancestry deeper than they…

  • Jessica Chastain on playing a Holocaust heroine in ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

    (JTA) — Strong women are right in actor Jessica Chastain’s wheelhouse. There’s Maya, the fictional CIA agent in “Zero Dark Thirty,” whose work led Seal Team Six to Osama bin Laden; Melissa Lewis, the heroic mission commander who refuses to abandon a teammate in “The Martian,” and Elizabeth Sloan, the accept-no-prisoners Washington lobbyist who takes…

  • Try not to cry during this Oscar-nominated film about a Holocaust survivor and his violin

    (JTA) — Filmmaker Kahane Cooperman hasn’t written an Oscars acceptance speech yet, but she likely will before the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28. Not to jinx things or appear overconfident, Cooperman told JTA in a telephone interview, but “on the chance it happens, for fear of leaving someone out.” Her film, “Joe’s Violin,” is up…

  • Josh Radnor, beyond ‘How I Met Your Mother’

    (JTA) — Josh Radnor is starring these days in Richard Greenberg’s off-Broadway play “The Babylon Line.” For the 42-year-old actor, it is the latest in a long and impressive list of credits. However, the odds are that no matter what else he accomplishes in life, for most people he will always be Ted Mosby, the…

  • This former nebbish can help you become super popular — like him

    (JTA) — To give you an idea of how uncool Jon Levy was as a kid, know this: His first kiss was in first grade, when he was a student at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His second kiss? Well, that happened during his freshman year in college. Now, however, Levy…

  • Comedian Nick Kroll is serious about being funny

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Nick Kroll is serious, which is a tad unusual for a man who has largely made his living by being funny. But being funny for reporters isn’t his job, he tells JTA in a telephone interview. “My job is just to answer your questions,” Kroll said. “Trying to be funny is…

  • Ewan McGregor’s biggest challenge: Philip Roth

    (JTA) — Which is braver: Riding a motorcycle across the length of Africa, or taking on an adaptation of a Philip Roth novel for your first directing gig? For a second, actor Ewan McGregor is stumped by the question — but he quickly recovers. “I think this [‘American Pastoral’] was more dangerous,” he told JTA,…

  • Anger becomes comedian Lewis Black

    (JTA) — Remember Pixar’s 2015 film “Inside Out?” It was about an 11-year-old girl, Riley, and the five primary emotions raging inside her: Joy and Sadness, Fear and Disgust. And Lewis Black. Sorry. We meant there was Anger. It’s an easy mistake to make. From railing against AT&T (“it’s a [phone] carrier in the same way…

  • What’s a nice Jewish boy like Daniel Radcliffe doing playing a neo-Nazi?

    (JTA) — In his new film, “Imperium,” Daniel Radcliffe plays FBI agent Nate Foster, who goes undercover to take down skinheads planning to set off a dirty bomb. The film, which opens Friday, is taut and exciting. It is also a movie the former “Harry Potter” star doesn’t want his 93-year-old Jewish grandmother to see. (More…