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September 2007

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Monday, September 3, 2007
The Jewish Paparazzi: Greg Grunberg, Jason Isaacs, and Brad Garrett

This is part of our Sep/Oct 2007 issue.

The Disappearing Hero: Greg Grunberg
Heroes fans will see less of Greg Grunberg this season, but not of his character Matt Parkman, who in fact has received a promotion to detective. Grunberg has lost 35 pounds and two inches from his waist on Weight Watchers and a workout regimen that includes a half hour on the exercise bike every morning, while his wife does her Pilates. "We've got this competitive thing going," says Grunberg, who surprised his better half with an unexpected trip to Paris and London over his hiatus. "I feel really good. I've got more stamina for playing the drums in my band."

Aptly called Band From TV, the group includes Desperate Housewives' James Denton on guitar, House's Hugh Laurie on keyboards, and on vocals, Bob Guiney (The Bachelor) and Bonnie Somerville of the upcoming series Cashmere Mafia. All proceeds from live appearances go to charities including Save the Children, Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

Next year, Grunberg will appear in the drug trafficking movie Fast Glass, also featuring past AJL coverboy Bill Goldberg. "I play a government official whose team is trying to stop the drug runners."

Busiest Jewish Actor of the Month: Jason Issacs
Whether he's playing a hero, anti-hero or an out-and-out villain doesn't make a difference to Jason Isaacs, for whom the script takes precedence over all. "It's no fun playing a badly written guy. That's when you really want the big bucks," observes the British actor, who is equally adept at portraying love-to-hate types like Col. Tavington in The Patriot and Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies as he is as the protagonist of the acclaimed BBC miniseries State of Play or the antiheroic gangster Michael Caffee in Showtime's Brotherhood, which has the character recovering from a brain injury as the second season begins Sept. 30.

The Liverpool-born actor has a "parallel life" in Providence, RI with his wife and two daughters while shooting on location, and reports, "My five-year-old is speaking like a Rhode Islander."

On two occasions, Isaacs flew from Providence to Hungary to film the movie Good, a drama starring Viggo Mortensen set in 1930s Germany. "I play his best friend, a Jewish psychiatrist. The world gets a lot smaller for me as 1933 turns into 1938 and 1941," observes Isaacs, who studied Holocaust material and watched documentaries of the period for research. "There I was in Hungary, recreating Germany of the '30s and there were swastikas all around and people dressed as German guards and in pajamas with yellow stars, and Kristallnacht. It was an incredibly intense, overwhelming experience." The movie is due out next year.

The Candy Man: Brad Garrett
With a few months off from his Fox sitcom 'Til Death, divorced dad Brad Garrett spent much of the summer traveling with his kids. "We went to Orlando and New York and Atlantic City. It's the first time that I really took off," he says. He has had children -- not only his own -- in mind when selecting his most recent movie roles, the voiceovers he did in Ratatouille and Underdog. "With kids, it's all about the animated shows,” says Garrett. That goes for goyish ones too: he’ll next be heard in the animated holiday musical Christmas is Here Again, due in November.

As for his appearances as a green M&M in a series of print ads, "I'm a little bit of a candy junkie," Garrett confesses, and the free bags the company sent don't do much for his will power. "I go up and down," he says of his weight. "I love food, but I'm trying to keep it off." Perhaps fortunately, the M&M stash isn't a lifetime supply. "No," says Garrett. "Who lives that long?"

-- Text by Gerri Miller / Photo by Mitchell Haaseth.

This is part of our Sep/Oct 2007 issue.
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