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Hollywood Now: Spend the Summer with Zac Efron, Alicia Silverstone and James Franco

Hit the Beach with Dwayne & Zac

It’s back to the beach on May 25, with the movie reboot of the ‘90s TV series Baywatch. It stars Dwayne Johnson, taking over the David Hasselhoff role, and Zac Efronas new character Matt Brody, a cocky former Olympic gold-medal swimmer with a bad boy reputation (think Ryan Lochte). The two lifeguards clash, but have to work together to foil a drug smuggling plot. Efron, who is Jewish on his father’s side and has identified as such, wasn’t allowed to watch Baywatch as a kid, but is thrilled to be a part of it now. “I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing it back,” he says. Coming up, Efron will star opposite Hugh Jackman in the P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman, due out Christmas Day.

Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott in Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott. Credit: 20th Century Fox

No Wimpy Moms Here

In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth movie in the comedy franchise series,Alicia Silverstone plays mom to two boys in a story about a bumpy road trip to visit grandma for her birthday. Silverstone, who was raised Jewish by her Jewish father and a mother who converted to Judaism, is the mother of one son in real life with her husband, musician Christopher Jarecki, who is not Jewish. The comedy, opening May 19, is the first of several projects for Silverstone. She has several independent films coming up and she’ll star in the 1970s-set TV Land series American Woman as a struggling single mom of two—daughters this time. Mena Suvari and Jennifer Bartels play her best friends.

James Franco. Credit: 20th Century Fox

Come for the Previews, Stay for James Franco

Plan to get to the theater on time to see Alien: Covenant, or you’ll miss James Franco’s brief but pivotal appearance as the spaceship’s captain. Franco, who reconnected with his maternal Jewish side after having a belated bar mitzvah in 2015, appears in the prologue to the sci-fi horror film, which is set 10 years after Prometheus but 20 years before Alien. It hits theaters May 19.

Two men in tuxedos walking hand in hand down a church aisle.
Jim Pasons and Todd Spiewak. Credit: @therealjimparsons/Instagram

Wedding Bells at the Rainbow Room

Congrats to The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and his longtime partner Todd Spiewak, who were married on May 13 at the Rainbow Room in New York City. While we can’t confirm that Spiewak is Jewish (Parsons is not), the couple said their vows under a chuppah, the traditional canopy at Jewish weddings. Mayim Bialik, Parsons’ BBT girlfriend (his character Sheldon proposed to her in the season finale) was a guest at the ceremony and called the canopy “hands down, prettiest chuppah ever” on Twitter. Parsons met his art director husband on a blind date at a karaoke bar in 2002.

Banner Photo Credit: Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Paramount Pictures

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