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Hollywood Now: Alyson Hannigan, Jewish Male Actors, Fall Features

Alyson Hannigan on HIMYM’s Last Season

Alyson Hannigan
Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

On September 23, How I Met Your Mother will begin its ninth and final season, which will play out over Robin and Barney’s wedding weekend. Alyson Hannigan, who has played Lily for the last eight years, will be sad to see it end. “It’s very bittersweet. I’ll miss the people and going there every day,” she says, noting that she has her eye on “some pretty great props” to take home as a souvenir.

Thinking about her next move, she wouldn’t mind jumping into another TV comedy, especially if it’s filmed before a live audience. She’ll also have more time to spend with her husband Alexis Denisof (who will appear on Grimm this season) and their two daughters, Satyana, 3, and Keeva, 1. Hannigan, whose mother is Jewish, says that growing up in an interfaith family “wasn’t that big of a thing. Neither [parent] was all that religious.” But she did celebrate major Jewish and Christian holidays, a tradition she’s continuing with her own family. “We’ve gone to friends’ houses to celebrate,” she says.

Jewish Actors in Interfaith Relationships

Seth Green
Credit: Dana Juan Rico/Fox

What do Andy Samberg, Adam Levine, and Seth Green have in common? Besides being good-looking, witty and having high-profile TV shows with premieres this month, they’re all Jewish guys with wives or fiancées who are not Jewish. Saturday Night Live alumnus Samberg, who stars in Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, premiering September 17, as a hotshot, smartass cop, got engaged to Joanna Newsom in February (he’s mum on the wedding date). Levine, returning as a coach on The Voice on September 23 alongside banter buddy Blake Shelton and original coaches Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green, proposed to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo in July. And Green, starring in Fox’s Dads as a video game designer whose estranged father moves in with him (September 17), has been married to Clare Grant for two years.

“I dated all kinds of girls,” says Green. “My goal and intent was to find somebody that offered me understanding, comfort and unconditional love, that I enjoyed spending my time with and to that end I didn’t discriminate.” Before the wedding, “We absolutely discussed all of our theological beliefs and concerns,” he adds, including how they might raise future children. “But we have no plans to have kids right now.”

Grey’s Anatomy  Premiere

Sandra Oh
Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Longtime Grey’s Anatomy viewers will recall that Christina Yang, played by Sandra Oh, revealed she was Jewish in season two: She converted to Judaism after her Korean mother was remarried to a Jewish oral surgeon and converted.

This 10th season of the ABC hospital drama, which will have its two-hour premiere September 26, will be her last. No word yet on how she’ll be written out of the plot.

Fall Film Features

Credit: Warner Bros.

In the movies, Jake Gyllenhaal, whose mother is Jewish screenwriter Naomi Foner, stars opposite Hugh Jackman in the vigilante thriller Prisoners, opening September 20. He plays a detective on the case of two missing girls and the father (Jackman) who takes matters into his own hands.

Ruffalo & Paltrow
Credit: Anne Joyce
Dianna Agron
Credit: Jessica Forde

Gwyneth Paltrow, daughter of actress Blythe Danner and the late Jewish writer-producer-director Bruce Paltrow, stars in the romantic dramedy Thanks for Sharing, opposite Mark Ruffalo. Also opening September 20, it’s about people who meet at a 12-step program.

Glee star Dianna Agron, whose father is of Russian-Jewish heritage and whose Christian mother converted to Judaism, has a big screen comedy coming out this month called The Family. Due in theaters September 13, it’s about a Mafia family in the witness protection program struggling with the crucial anonymity rules. Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer play Agron’s parents.

As for Glee, the Fox musical series returns for a fifth season September 26.

Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller wrote and reported from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for The Jewish Journal, The Nosher, Hadassah and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv’at Brenner in Israel and attended High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.


Author: Gerri Miller