NEW YORK (6nobacon) — Big week in the world of Jewish celebrities. The 84th Academy Awards show was Sunday in Los Angeles and, as usual, it generated a ton of material for the Semitic-minded celeb watcher.
The main Jewish headline was that the Israeli entry, Joseph Cedar’s “Footnote,” lost to the Iranian film “A Separation” by Asghar Farhadi. But the most shocking piece of news came to light after the show: Natalie Portman got married!
Portman’s appearance with fiancee Benjamin Milliepied on the red carpet Sunday wasn’t supposed to be extraordinary, except for one very small (yet very expensive) detail: the two were wearing wedding rings without telling anyone they got married. Assuming they did marry, which we still don’t know for sure.
According to People magazine, jeweler Jamie Wolf, who is Millepied’s dance pal, confirmed that she designed the pair’s wedding rings. Portman got two diamond rings that fit on either side of her engagement ring. Millipied got a platinum band. “Both baubles are eco-friendly, made with recycled metals and conflict-free diamonds,” Wolf said.
Here are some other Jewish highlights from the show:
- Sacha Baron Cohen got the nod from the Academy to show up dressed as General Aladeen from his upcoming movie “The Dictator.” In the run-up to the show, rumors were rife that the Academy was going to ban Baron Cohen out of fear that he would show up dressed like a Middle Eastern despot and shenigans would ensue. In the end, that’s exactly what happened. Baron Cohen strutted around with two Ghaddafi-esque female bodyguards and a golden vase carrying the “ashes” of the late Kim-Jung Il. TV host Ryan Seacrest was in complete shock when the Dictator spilled those ashes all over his tux.
- Billy Crystal tried to stay relevant with not-the-most-daring turn as host. He tried to not offend too much (unless you’re a black woman) and with jokes that while funny (“Puppets, acrobats, we’re a pony away from a bar mitzvah!”) still have a feel of being stuck somewhere in the 1980s. But hey, at least he was in a scene with Justin Bieber.
- Woody Allen again was a no-show. The winner of the original screenplay award for “Midnight in Paris” chose not to accept his third Oscar. Angelina Jolie accepted it on his behalf.
- Others in the Jews-who-didn’t-win category: Steven Spielberg (“War Horse”), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”), Bennett Miller (“Moneyball”), and Agnieszka Holland (“In Darkness”). Allen was also up for best director for “Midnight in Paris.”
- The night’s biggest winner, “The Artist,” did its part to salvage Jewish pride. French-Jewish director Michel Hazanavicius won best director and producer Thomas Langmann accepted the best picture award.
Two Jews in ‘Dancing with the Stars’
On Tuesday, ABC announced the contestants for the upcoming 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” Among them there are two Jewish celebrities, though you may have to wrack your brain to recall them.
The where-are-they-now spot is being filled by Melissa Gilbert, best known as the child star who played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1970s show “Little House on the Prairie.” Gilbert, a former president of the Screen Actors Guild, is the adopted daughter of Paul Gilbert and Barbara Crane and grew up Jewish. She is the sister of Sara Gilbert of “Roseanne” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
The quien-eres-tu (“who are you”) spot belongs to William Levy, aka “the Brad Pitt of Mexico.” Levy, a Cuban-born actor of Jewish ancestry, is a Spanish soap superstar well known to viewers of Telemundo and Univision for his appearances in “Los Teens,” “Pasion” and “Cuidado con el Angel.” He also stars in Jennifer Lopez’s video “I’m Into You.”
Other notable stars: Jaleel White, aka “Family Matters” mega-nerd Steve Urkel; Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers; “General Hospital’s” Jack Wagner; and tennis legend Martina Navratilova. The show is set to return on March 19.
Here’s a surprise — Jonah Hill loves beer
Apparently the only thing that blocks Jonah Hill from getting a six pack is, well, a six pack. “I tried to be healthier. I still drink beer — that’s my Achilles’ heel I think. I went to a nutritionist and I said, ‘I’ll lose weight, I’ll eat healthier and whatever, but figure out how I can drink beer,’ ” he told the "Kyle and Jackie O" radio show.
Hill lost about 40 pounds at the beginning of last year. ”It’s so annoying because if I don’t drink beer I get really thin, and then when I drink beer I get a little bigger,” he said. “You should try beer, it’s really good.”
Interesting things happened to Hill since the weight loss. He earned an Academy Award nomination for “Moneyball,” but both his movie “The Sitter” and his FOX animated series “Allen Gregory” were flops.
Conventional wisdom is that Hill is funnier when he’s fatter.
Jason Alexander has beef with Romney
During the GOP debate in Arizona last week, Mitt Romney spiced things up by dropping a “Seinfeld” reference. As Romney basked in applause after making a short statement, the candidate chuckled and let loose with this: “As George Costanza would say, ‘When they’re applauding, stop.’ ”
Romney quickly found himself in a double pickle: the quote, according to Buzzfeed, is not even George’s, but Jerry’s from episode 172, “The Burning”:
JERRY: Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off.
Then Jason Alexander, who played Costanza, tweeted about the comment.
Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character. I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he’d embrace that again, he’d b a great candidate.
Matisyahu sings with sick kid
Matisyahu made headlines last week by granting a wish to a sweet little boy named Luke Weber.
Luke, who is fighting cancer, ascended the stage at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York to sing “One Day” with Matisyahu. And he rocked it.
It seemed pretty appropriate for the two to perform “One Day,” a song about hope when things don’t go the way people plan. The duet was pulled off with help from Chai Lifeline, a Jewish organization with the mission to “restore the light of childhood to children whose innocence ended when life-threatening or lifelong illness was diagnosed.”
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