The Shmooze

4 Actors Who Had Nothing Better To Do Than Star in 'The Red Tent'

By Anne Cohen

What do you get when you combine Brody’s wife from “Homeland,” that guy from “Game of Thrones,” Minnie Driver in some kind of linen robe and the writers from the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”? Lifetime’s adaptation of “The Red Tent,”, a two part-miniseries set to air December 7 and 8.

Anita Diamant’s best-selling novel from 1997 tells the story of Jacob and Leah’s daughter Dinah, who only gets one sentence in the Bible (SPOILER ALERT: There was no rape of Dinah. It was actually all a big misunderstanding. Oops). Most of the action takes place in the eponymous red tent, where the women of Jacob’s tribe tap into their inner Sascha Fierce and dance to “All the Single Ladies” — or some Bible time version of that.

The trailer promises a lot: blood, sex, sandals — there’s something for everyone. But much like the trailer for “Exodus,” starring a very spray-tanned Christian Bale as Moses, I am left with one question: Why are these people all white?

Jacob, Leah, Rivka, Rachel — all nomadic desert folk. Joseph (as in technicolor dream coat) spends decades in Egypt all while retaining a pretty milky skin-tone. Once again, we seem to be in for the trope that white = good, while dark = shady and suspicious (I’m looking at you Simon and Levi).

In any case, the two-night event promises to be fun for those of us who enjoy watching talented actors slumming it on TV. Just because you star in a Oscar-winning movie or Emmy-nominated show, doesn’t mean you don’t have bills to pay.

1) Morena Baccarin as Rachel

Jessica Brody has moved on to better things. At least this guy isn’t a confused sometimes-terrorist who’s in love with a CIA agent.


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Mandy Patinkin Loves Model Trains

By Anne Cohen

Mandy Patinkin’s beard (and its owner, I guess) was the star of last night’s 60 Minutes profile with Bob Simon. The best part? When Mandy — sporting a pretty rockin’ purple bandana — showed off his massive toy train collection (Skip to 9:20). Shenanigans ensued, and apparently the production team ended up playing choo-choo well into the night.

They also talked “Homeland,” but come on — trains!

[h/t Vulture]

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Fox vs. NBC Fight Heads to Holy Land

By Anne Cohen

Breaking news: Fox is mad at NBC. Again.

This time, the network has taken the fight to the Holy Land, calling Israel a “third-world country without clear regulations,” because the country’s willingness to fund NBC projects over Fox ones.

According to Haaretz, NBC will receive up to 22 million shekels ($6.4 million) in funding from various government agencies,while the Fox’s funding request was turned down. So obviously, rule of law must have broken down completely.

NBC is scheduled to start shooting “Dig,” a six-part series about an FBI agent investigating the murder of an archeologist (the idea came from Keshet CEO Avi Nir), in Jerusalem in the coming months.

Fox is currently filming “Tyrant,” a series about the life of an Arab dictator written in cooperation with Homeland creator Gideon Raff. Though the pilot was filmed in Morocco, the set was moved to agricultural land near Kfar Sava. According to Haaretz, production costs on “Tyrant” are estimated at $30 million, with about 1,300 people providing services on and off-set.

Which one is better for Israel’s image, archeological thriller or Arab despot? Apparently, Fox thinks the latter.

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How to Give a Speech Like Mandy Patinkin

By Anthony Weiss

(JTA) — Mandy Patinkin has done Shakespeare and Showtime, Sondheim and “Oyfn Pripetchik,” but one thing he does not do is a dull after-dinner speech.

The legendary veteran of Broadway and screens large and small let it all hang out when he accepted the Yitzhak Rabin Peace Award recently from the dovish Americans for Peace Now on whose board he serves.

Over the course of 25 minutes, the famously intense Patinkin:

  • Quoted Psalm 137 (“If I forget thee O Jerusalem”)

  • Paused mid-speech to sing, from start to finish, a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen.”

  • Told a story of attending a Soviet Jewry rally in 1982 with his baby son and getting “bad vibes” from a man who turned out to be Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Handed APN founder Mark Rosenblum blank white drawing tablets (representing “endless possibilities”) to hand to the governments of Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States, and to the writers’ room of “Homeland.”

  • Proposed that, if the peace process doesn’t advance, “Homeland” should do a season (or a spin-off) about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • Wrapped things up by leading the audience in a sing-along of the peace anthem “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu.”

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A Newly Beardless Mandy Patinkin Sings Yiddish

By Masha Leon

An ebullient Mandy Patinkin cool in a black V-necked sweater, cargo pants and sneakers, now the beardless former acting CIA director Saul Berenson on Showtime’s hit series “Homeland,” bounded up the stage at the Center for Jewish History at the YIVO-Institute for Jewish Research December 8 tribute to Yiddish ethnomusicologist Chana (Eleanor) Mlotek who died at 91 last month.

“If you asked me to pick one blessing that means the most — other than my wife and children — I would choose Zalmen Mlotek and [his parents] Chana Mlotek and Yosl Mlotek teaching me my [articulation] lessons so we could make a CD called “Mamaloshn.”

Karen Leon

Crediting Oscar Hammerstein with the line from “Carousel” — “As long as there’s one person in life who remembers you — it isn’t over,” Patinkin said: “I will forever see Yosl and Chana Mlotek celebrating life and raining joy on all of us.”

Accompanied on the piano by Paul Ford, Patinkin sang a favorite of Chana Mlotek “Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern” (“Beneath your white stars”). Patinkin noted that: “Chana and Yosl will be with us forever…in every song they preserved, every life that they touched, and we are blessed to have them in our lives and it will never end.”

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Bid Adieu to Mandy Patinkin's Beard

By Anne Cohen

Who are you and what have you done with Saul?

“Homeland” star Mandy Patinkin stunned his fans this week when he showed up on “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” without the beard that has almost become a character in its own right.

“How can I run my fingers through your facial hair?” cried Kelly (raise your hand if you also have this urge). To which Mandy responded: “You can pretend it’s there.”

Apparently, the actor just couldn’t wait to shave it off. RIP Saul’s beard. We’ll miss you.

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'Homeland,' the Musical?

By Anne Cohen

As of today, it’s T-minus three days until we finally reunite with Mandy Patinkin’s beard — let’s face it, it’s almost its own character at this point — as “Homeland” premieres its third season on September 29.

Just to get you in the mood (as if you weren’t already), comedian Eliot Glazer has put together his version of the award-winning show. But with songs. Songs.

Try not hum along during the premiere Sunday night. We dare you.

h/t [Heeb]

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'Homeland' Could Run for Years

By Reuters

“Homeland”, the post-9/11 American psychological thriller which has swept television awards including at Sunday’s Golden Globes, could run for years more, one of its Israeli co-creators said.

Now two seasons old, “Homeland” won the Golden Globe for best drama and best actor honors for Damian Lewis, who plays a returning Iraq veteran turned by al Qaeda, as well as a best actress award for Claire Danes in her role as a bipolar CIA officer.

Gideon Raff, whose Israeli television drama “Hatufim” inspired “Homeland” and who has co-written the U.S. show, said the Danes character could generate several more seasons.

“I know that the fact that ‘Homeland’ has at its centre a CIA analyst and her boss could allow it to continue for a good number of years more. It would always be possible to switch cases when a case ends,” Raff, speaking from the Los Angeles, told Israel’s Army Radio on Monday.

“As long as we somehow keep our finger on the pulse of the spirit of the times in America, in terms of what interests the audience, I believe it will be okay.”

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'Homeland' and 'Girls' Get Directors Guild Nods

By Reuters

The directors of hit television dramas “Homeland” and “Mad Men” were among those nominated for Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards on Wednesday.

They were joined by Lena Dunham for her coming-of-age HBO series “Girls” and actor Bryan Cranston for ABC’s “Modern Family” in the comedy category.

AMC’s “Breaking Bad” director Rian Johnson and Greg Mottola, director of HBO’s “The Newsroom,” rounded out the drama category, in which network television series were shut out.

Showtime’s terrorist-hunting thriller “Homeland” scored nominations for two separate episodes - one directed by Michael Cuesta and another by Lesli Linka Glatter.

Jennifer Getzinger garnered a nomination for boozy workplace period drama “Mad Men” on AMC.

The DGA honors the directors of individual episodes of TV shows, unlike the Emmy and Golden Globe awards that honor series as a whole.

Cranston, star of “Breaking Bad,” received his first DGA award nomination. Mark Cendrowski drew honors for geeky CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” and comedian Louis C.K. for his FX show “Louie.”

Beth McCarthy-Miller, a two-time DGA winner for her television work, was nominated for Tina Fey’s NBC comedy “30 Rock,” which will finish up its seven-season run on Jan. 31.

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Gilad Shalit Visits ‘Homeland’ Set

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

In what was a surrealistic scene, former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit, smiling and in dark shades, visited the set of “Homeland” in Israel. The Showtime series, about CIA agents working to prevent American Iraq War POWs suspected of being turned by Al-Qaeda from committing terrorism, is based on the Israeli TV show “Hatufim.” The show’s creators have said that Shalit’s saga had been an inspiration for their work in creating the series.

Shalit got to meet actors Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, who play Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, respectively, as they were filming some scenes for the series’ second season on Yefet Street in Jaffa. Shalit, who was accompanied by family members and some reporters, also met Gidi Raff, the show’s co-creator and executive producer.

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Claire Danes: Tel Aviv is a ‘Party Town’

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Claire Danes surprised TV talk show host Conan O’Brien by telling him what Tel Aviv nightlife watchers already know — that it’s “a party town.”

She told O’Brien that she learned this when she went to Israel to shoot the pilot for her psychological thriller Showtime series, “Homeland”, which is based on the Israeli series “Hatufim.” “The big reveal, the big surprise, for me was that Tel Aviv was the most intense party town I have ever been to,” she said.

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