Drake finally wins a Grammy, Mayim Bialik stops nursing, Jewish ‘Downton Abbey’ heading for TV

The Canadian Jewish rapper Drake, seen here performing at the Sound Academy in Toronto in 2011, won his first Grammy Award, for Best Rap Album.  (Creative Commons)

The Canadian Jewish rapper Drake, seen here performing at the Sound Academy in Toronto in 2011, won his first Grammy Award, for Best Rap Album. (Creative Commons)

NEW YORK (6NoBacon) — For Drake at the Grammys, the 10th time was the charm. The Jewish Canadian singer finally picked up his first Grammy, winning for Rap Album of the Year on Sunday in Los Angeles, on his 10th time being nominated.

The indie pop band fun., which features a Jewish lead singer, Jack Antonoff, took home two awards at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, for Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

Drake was one for three at the Staples Center, winning with “Take Care” but falling short in his other two nominations: for Best Rap Performance in “HYFR” and Best Rap Song for “The Motto.”

Fun. claimed the statue for Best Song of the Year with its smash hit “We Are Young.” Antonoff thanked all the devoted fans after fun. as Best New Artist.

“We’ve been touring for 12 years and we haven’t made money for a very long time,” he told the crowd excitedly, extending a shout-out to girlfriend Lena Dunham.

The group also performed, playing its hit “Carry On” in a staged indoor rainstorm.

In his introduction of fun., actor Neil Patrick Harris said, “As legendary gangsta rap icon Katharine Hepburn once said, ‘If you obey all the rules, you don’t have any fun.’”

Other notable Grammy winners were the English folk band Mumford & Son’s, for Album of the Year with “Babel”; Gotye, whose hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” was the Record of the Year; and Adele, who captured her seventh Grammy for her live performance of “Set Fire to the Rain.”

Mayim Bialik finally stops nursing

Mazal tov to Mayim Bialik‘s 4-year-old son — he’s finally having real food.

The Jewish “Big Bang Theory” actress known for her controversial attachment parenting style has finally weaned her boy Fred, Bialik wrote in a blogpost for Kveller.

“Well, nay-sayers, prepare to be proven wrong. All of you snarky mamas who glared at me nursing my 3 1/2-year-old on the NYC subway, prepare to be amazed," Bialik wrote. "And to all of my family and friends who wanted to chastise me about nursing a walking, talking, thinking, laughing little man named Fred, thanks for holding your tongues. Because we did it. Fred isn’t going to nurse on his way down the wedding aisle or at his high school graduation.

"I didn’t need to break him of a ‘habit’ and teach him ‘who’s in charge.’ I didn’t need to set boundaries you thought I should have set when I didn’t want to set them. Because we did it: Fred weaned,” the 37-year-old actress wrote.

Bialik said she weaned Fred around Thanksgiving, days before she officially filed for divorce from husband Michael Stone. Although she admits she “had difficulty nursing both of my boys,” Bialik believes nursing provides “the best nutrition, nurturing and bonding ever.” In case anyone cares, Fred “typically nursed from both sides since I was prone to clogged ducts for most of our nursing relationship,” she said.

Jewish version of ‘Downton Abbey’

After numerous complaints about the hit PBS show “Downton Abbey” not having any Jewish characters, Downton makers Carnival Films has confirmed it is developing a similar show with a Jewish family, U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reports.

The new show will be based on Francesca Segal’s book “The Innocents,” which is loosely based on Edith Wharton’s classic novel “The Age of Innocence.”

The book, which won the 2012 Costa First Novel award and the 2012 National Jewish Book Award, is set in modern-day, upper-crust Temple Fortune, a tight-knit Jewish community in northwest London. The book opens with a scene during Kol Nidre and follows 28-year-old Adam Newman, who is destined to marry his girlfriend of 12 years, Rachel Gilbert, but ultimately succumbs to the attraction of her younger cousin, Ellie Schneider.

James Franco’s bizarre art exhibit

Actor-turned-everything-else James Franco has a rather interesting art exhibit showing in Berlin until March called “Gay Town,” E Online reports.

If the name of the exhibit isn’t indicative of how obscure the art is, the news release reveals that the paintings, drawings and sculptures on display were made in “hotel rooms, makeshift studios and other temporary locations whilst completing other projects, mainly motion pictures” — sort of sounds like his artwork was made in haste while Franco was busy with other stuff. 

The release says “Gay Town” explores the themes that are important to Franco’s artistic persona, with issues that relate to “stereotypes and other societal concerns such as society’s preoccupation with celebrity,” but according to some of the photos surfacing on the Internet, the art just looks bizarre. Some pieces include a painting of Spiderman that reads “Fuck Spidey”; a topless abstract portrait of the artist with the tag line “James the thinker Franco”; and some chicken scratches of paint on cardboard. 

ScarJo reveals she bombed Les Mis audition

She may have rocked the leather jumpsuit in “The Avengers,” but Scarlett Johansson revealed this week that when she auditioned to portray Fantine in the 2012 blockbuster “Les Miserables,” she failed miserably.

“I sang my little heart out,” ScarJo told Broadway.com about trying out for the part that went to Anne Hathaway, for which she won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress. “I auditioned with laryngitis. I did everything I could to, like, not have laryngitis. And I think looking at the film now, there’s no possible way I ever could have topped that performance [by Hathaway]. It was perfect and I think fateful and meant to be.”

ScarJo was listed as a possibility for Fantine when the film was announced in 2011, with Lea Michele, Samantha Barks, Taylor Swift and Evan Rachel Wood as alternatives. But Hathaway landed the part.

It wasn’t the first major role for which ScarJo didn’t get the call. In the decision to cast Lisbeth in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” director David Fincher told Vogue he considered ScarJo for Rooney Mara’s part, but found her too sexy, noting that “the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.”

SNL cuts Chuck Hagel, Israel-loving skit

"Saturday Night Live" made a hilarious skit poking fun at Israel-loving politicians coming down on Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense. 

The C-SPAN spoof showed Republicans one-upping each other about who is more pro-Israel. Notably, the John McCain character asks, “What if Benjamin Netanyahu calls and he says to you, it is vital to Israel’s security that you go on national television that night and perform oral sex on a donkey — would you do that for Israel?”

The skit was cut but surfaced on the web earlier this week.

Dustin Hoffman reveals his red carpet drink

What’s the best way to handle Oscar season? Lots of drinking, says Dustin Hoffman.

“It’s not me, it’s the Patron,” he told Bon Appetit Magazine about his ability to rock the red carpet. “I can’t eat before the ceremony, but I drink to steady my nerves. I become very friendly, particularly with reporters that never get any action."

Hoffman says his drink of choice “used to be a Greyhound” before he switched to “gin and tonic” and “now it’s tequila.”

And while he’s doing lots of partying before the awards ceremonies, Hoffman says he prefers to ditch the after-party.

“We never go to parties after awards ceremonies. We go to In-N-Out — in the limo, all dressed up — and eat hamburgers all the way home. It’s better than any post-Oscar party you could think of.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt agrees to remove porn from porno film

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has agreed to cut most of the graphic sex scenes out of “Don Jon’s Addiction,” his Sundance film about a porn addict that will hit theaters this summer.

Gordon-Levitt’s film contains plenty of porn scenes, but he has agreed to cut most of them to have the film qualify for an R rating, SlashFilm.com reports.

“Yes, we expect we have to do that, and I’ll be getting started on it as soon as I get back,” Gordon-Levitt said at a news conference at the Berlin International Film Festival. “I think it is important that those images are in there, but what precisely you see isn’t that important. What’s important is the rhythm of the film, the repetition of what the Don Jon character does, over and over.”

The film stars Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson. And although the film is primarily about porn, he stressed that it about an “actual love story.”

Babs is back in the director’s chair

For the first time since 1991, Barbra Streisand is returning to the director’s chair.

Aldamisa International, a Los Angeles-based sales and financing company, says it struck a deal with Streisand to direct some new projects, although no titles have been confirmed, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“We are thrilled to provide underwriting for a filmmaker of her vision, stature and accomplishment,” said Nadine de Barros, Aldamisa’s president of international sales and acquisitions.

Babs’ film career hasn’t been so noteworthy of late. Her most recent film, “The Guilt Trip,” barely grossed $37 million and also happened to score 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The last film she directed was the 1991 romantic comedy”The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

Lena Dunham says who she’d kill on ‘Girls’

If Lena Dunham had to kill anyone on her HBO show “Girls,” it’d have to be Shoshanna.

“I think about it all the time,” Dunham told Garage magazine. “I don’t want to kill Jessa off because it’s too obvious. She seems like the person who’s going to drive off a cliff or contract a horrible, life-threatening disease through bad behavior — or she’s going to eat something weird and get something strange. The implications of Marnie dying would be too insane for Hannah. Which only leaves the option of Shoshanna.”

Shoshanna is definitely a favorite character for Jewish fans, perhaps because she is the show’s token Jew. Played by Zosia Mamet, Shoshanna has a hilarious innocence: her “baggage” for the debut season was keeping her virginity, she spends a lot of time talking about how much she loves Camp Ramah, and it takes her several weeks to realize her boyfriend is living with her.

Israeli singer to perform at United Nations

Israeli-Iranian music sensation Rita Yahan-Farouz will perform at the United Nations for a peace event next month, Rita’s team confirmed to JTA.

The event at the General Assembly Hall will be called "Tunes for Peace" and aim to “build bridges, foster intercultural dialogue, and connect people to people.”

Rita is immensely popular in Israel, and as JTA reported in late 2012, she has gained a significant following in Iran, where her music is purchased on the black market. 

“The songs on my album in Farsi are the soundtrack of my childhood,” she said. “My mother had a beautiful voice and was always singing these traditional songs to me, even when we were in Israel, so there was always a piece of Iran in me.

"There’s more to the region than violence, bombs and darkness, and I want to share the rich culture I am a part of.”

Mariano Rivera is the main man for N.Y. rabbis

Add Man of the Year to the accolades for Yankees’ pitcher Mariano Rivera. The New York Board of Rabbis said it picked the all-time saves leader and five-time world champion for the award for his philanthropic efforts and the extensive relief work he does for Panama through his church.

The interdenominational group will give Rivera the official title at an upcoming ceremony and Rivera will go to Israel later in the year, the board’s executive vice president, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, told JTA. The group is still deciding on the date and location of the event.

“Mariano is a very religious person who is deeply committed to doing good, and is a strong supporter of Israel,” Potasnik said. “We will be doing a family trip after baseball season and the Jewish holidays later in the year.”

Ron Jeremy is feeling better

Ron Jeremy wants you to know he’s feeling much better — well enough to take a photo with his nurse. The Jewish porn star is recovering from surgery for an aneurysm. 

He’s gathered up enough strength to tell TMZ, “Thank you ALL for the concern & well wishes, I’m doing very well thanks to modern technology!”

Jeremy, feeling chest pains, drove himself to the hospital.

Duff Goldman stands up for gay marriage

Celebrity baker Duff Goldman, who starred on Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” has agreed to make a free wedding cake for a gay couple after hearing that a bakery in Oregon denied the request of the couple due to their sexual orientation.

Goldman, who is Jewish, reached out to the couple via Twitter after The Huffington Post wrote about Gresham baker Aaron Klein, who said he’d “rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained.”

Goldman told HuffPo,“I saw this story and I was like, ‘Wait, I can do something, there’s injustice involving a cake!’” He said he told the couple, “If you guys want, I will make you a cake for free, drive it up to Portland — no charge — just to right this wrong.”

“For a cake decorator to really feel like he really needed to take a stand … it just makes absolutely no sense,” said Goldman, who owns the Baltimore’s bake shop Charm City Cakes. “It’s petty, it’s small … this man has wrapped up his hatred in the cloak of religion.”

Jason Segel was a nobody to girlfriend Michelle Williams

He’s cute, funny and super tall, but when Michelle Williams first laid eyes on Jason Segel, she had no idea who he was.

“I didn’t actually realize who he was before I started dating him,” Williams, now Segel’s girlfriend, told InStyle Magazine. “I mean, I saw ‘The Muppets’ movie, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cute,’ but the truth is I didn’t realize he made a lot of very popular, funny movies or was on a TV show.”

Segel has made the rounds throughout Hollywood, starring in “The Muppets,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “How I Met Your Mother,” but those stints were still not impressive enough to leave an impression on Williams. They’ve been boyfriend and girlfriend since last March. 

(For more Jewish entertainment news, visit 6nobacon.com, the illegitimate child of JTA.)

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