AT THE MOVIES/ON TV Opening on Friday, Feb. 23 is Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman, 36,…
Hollywood’s Celebrity Jews: At The Movies And On TV
AT THE MOVIES
How to Talk to Girls at Parties is a sci-fi film based in part on the writings of our Brit landsman, super-star fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, 57 (Gaiman recently played himself in a small but important part on The Big Bang Theory). Adding to Gaiman’s work was Parties script co-writer John Cameron Mitchell (who had a co-starring Jewish character in his most famous work, Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
Elle Fanning co-stars in Parties as a 1970s teen who sneaks out of her house to attend punk parties. One night, she and other friends meet up with a particularly cool group of teens — who are really from another planet. Romance and other stuff ensues. Opens May 31.
ON TV, STREAMING OR NOT
The new David Letterman talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, on Netflix, began its premiere season with a rare interview with President Obama. It ends its first season with “royalty”: talk-show host Howard Stern, 64. Stern has long dubbed himself the “King of All Media.”
If you have only caught bits of Stern’s most shocking or raunchy schtick through the years, you might not be aware that Stern is really smart and quite articulate. He is also a strong and pretty informed supporter of Israel (although I doubt that topic will come up). I don’t believe I have ever heard or seen Stern be the guest (and not the host) for a full one-hour interview. It will be interesting to see if Letterman, with a lot of time, will be able to explore some issues in depth. Certainly, the topic of President Trump will come up. Stern interviewed Trump many times from 1993-2005 and asked him many more questions, collectively, than any other interviewer (including Fox News personalities). It was on Stern’s show in which then-businessman Trump made two remarks that are constantly brought up: That avoiding STDs in the ’70s was his (Trump’s) Vietnam — and that he (Trump) would date Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter. Begins streaming on May 31.
The TVLand series Nobodies features three real-life comedians who are trying to make the big time. The series’ gimmick is that they run into many showbiz people and solicit their advice or help. Every episode has a well-known guest star playing himself. Steven Spielberg, 71, is the guest star in the season finale episode first airing on May 31, at 10 p.m. (many encore showings). One of the three Nobodies, Larry Dorf, may be Jewish, but there is very little biography available on him.
The History Channel marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy with a documentary about his life featuring new interviews with family members. (First airs on June 4 at 10 p.m.). Worth noting here is the death of Richard Goodwin, age 86, on May 20. He was a speechwriter for President Kennedy, President Johnson and RFK (and husband to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin). He wrote the groundbreaking and incredibly powerful anti-Apartheid speech that RFK delivered to South African students in 1966. In the ’50s, Goodwin investigated TV quiz show scandals for the federal government. He was played by Rob Morrow, now 55, in the very good movie Quiz Show (1994).