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Hollywood Now: Amy Schumer, Paul Rudd & More Stars Heat Up Summer Screens

Amy Schumer & Judd Apatow
Amy Schumer & Judd Apatow. Credit: Mary Cybulski/Universal Studios

Amy Schumer’s name may not be household famous yet, but with the July 17 release of the buzzed-about comedy Trainwreck, which she wrote and in which she stars, that’s about to change. The standup comic and writer (Inside Amy Schumer) turned movie star grew up in an interfaith family in New York, the daughter of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, and was raised in her father’s Jewish faith. Voted Class Clown and Teacher’s Worst Nightmare in high school, she was able to find comedy in a life that wasn’t always funny: Her father’s furniture business went bankrupt, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and her parents divorced. “I love to laugh. I seek laughter all the time,” Schumer said on CBS Sunday Morning. “I think that’s something that also comes with having a sick parent. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I want to experience all I can and make as many memories as I can.”

Trainwreck was directed by Judd Apatow, known for such blockbuster comedies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This is 40 and the Anchorman movies. Raised in a Jewish but not religious family, he’s married to actress Leslie Mann, who is not Jewish, and appears in many of his films. The couple has two daughters, Maude and Iris, who have played their mom’s children in Knocked Up,Funny People and This Is 40.

Hollywood Infestation

Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd. Credit: Walt Disney Studios


Corey Stoll
Corey Stoll. Credit: Michael Gibson/FX

Paul Rudd, who frequently stars in Judd Apatow’s movies, is on his own this summer, front and center in the title role in Ant-Man, opening July 17, in which he plays an ex-con whose superhero power is shrinking himself down to insect size. The New Jersey native, who first earned renown in Clueless 20 years ago, is from a Jewish family (his surname was Rudnitzky before his grandfather changed it). He’s been married to Julie Yaeger (who is not Jewish, as far as we know) since 2003, and they have a son and daughter.

Playing Rudd’s nemesis Yellowjacket in Ant-ManCorey Stollwill be seen as both hero and villain this month. His FX drama The Strain, in which he plays a doctor trying to save New York from a vampire epidemic, returns for its second season on July 12. It’s an exciting time for Stoll, whose resumé includes Law & Order, House of Cards and Homeland on TV and the movies Midnight in Paris, This is Where I Leave You, Non-Stop and The Bourne Legacy. The Jewish New Yorker married actress Nadia Bowers (Orange is the New Black), who is not Jewish, last month, and they’re expecting their first child, a boy. Mazel tov!

Summer Screen Time

Josh Charles
Josh Charles. Credit: Justin Stephens/CBS

Shockingly killed off The Good Wife last year, Josh Charles is alive, well and quite busy this summer: In Season 3 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex, he’ll play the recurring role of a perfume entrepreneur who seeks Masters and Johnson’s advice on an aphrodisiac he wants to market (it premieres July 12, but he’s not in the first two episodes). Later this month, he’ll Join Paul Rudd and a host of A-list stars in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (a series prequel to the 2001 movie) that begins streaming on Netflix July 31. Charles, who also recurred in Inside Amy Schumer, identifies with his father’s Jewish faith. He’s married to former dancer Sophie Flack, whose mother is Jewish. They welcomed their first child, a son, in December.

Nat Faxon, Judy Greer, Jenny Slate and Paul Reiser. Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

The FX comedy series Married returns to FX for its second season on July 16, starring several Jewish actors. Nat Faxon, who was raised with both Christianity and Judaism, now identifies with his mother’s Jewish faith. He is in an interfaith marriage himself, and teaches his three kids about Jewish traditions. The cast includes Jewish actors Paul Reiser, Jenny Slate and Brett Gelman as friends of the central couple, played by Faxon and Judy Greer.

Stanford Prison Experiment—Ezra Miller, second from right. Photo courtesy of Steve Dietl

In 1971, Professor Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University recruited and randomly assigned college students to play prisoners and guards in a simulated jail environment to study the psychology of authority and the abuse of power. Based on Zimbardo’s book The Lucifer Effect, the movie The Stanford Prison Experiment chillingly chronicles this exercise in fear, intimidation and dehumanization. Opening July 17, the talented cast includes Billy Crudup, Thomas Mann andEzra Miller, who is best known for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Miller, the son of a Jewish father and German-Dutch Christian mother, identifies with his Jewish side. You’ll see more of him soon: He’ll play The Flash both in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice next year and in a planned Flash flick in 2018.

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