Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Paul Rudd: A Big Movie Star Today, He Got His Start As A Bat Mitzvah Disc Jockey

Paul Rudd helps Gabrielle Birkner blow out the candles in 1992.
Paul Rudd is big news in Hollywood, having starred in Clueless, I Love You, Man, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and most recently, Dinner for Schmucks.  But what does a nice Jewish boy, from a family that changed its name from Rudnitsky, do while he's waiting to be discovered?  Work as a DJ at Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs, of course!

Born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1969 to Jewish immigrant parents from England, Rudd was raised in Overland Park, Kansas and eventually made his way to Los Angeles.  But the Bar/Bat Mitzvah gigs were a step along the way to stardom.

Writing yesterday in the Jewish Daily Forward's blog The Sisterhood, Gabrielle Birkner reminisced about her Bat Mitzvah in 1992, when 23-year-old Rudd was doing everything -- playing music, supervising limbo dancing, challah cutting, even helping the Bat Mitzvah girl blow out the candles.
The soft-spoken aspiring actor whom my mom and I met on the hunt for bat mitzvah DJs — I took an immediate liking to Rudd — turned out to be the perfect choice for the event. Rudd, donning a yellow tuxedo jacket, a ruffled shirt, shorts and Doc Martens, ably and energetically led us through all of the bat mitzvah staples: Candle-lighting, Coke & Pepsi, Toasts, limbo, “Hands Up,” Challah-cutting and “YMCA.” And as the “Today” show-themed bat mitzvah party came to a close, he invited my friends onto the dance floor to sing a moving rendition of “That’s What Friends Are For.”
Now Rudd is working on three new films, How Do You Know, with Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon,  My Idiot Brother, with Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones, and Wanderlust, with Jennifer Aniston.

Here is the video of Birkner's Bat Mitzvah with Rudd in the middle of everything.  Enjoy!

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