In “Jewtopia,” which opens Friday, Sept. 20 exclusively at Harkins Valley Art, Ivan Sergei plays a man who, desperate to keep the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Love Hewitt), turns to his best friend (Joel David Moore) to teach him how to “act Jewish.” However, his friend has problems of his own with a fiancé (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) pushing him closer to a mental breakdown as their wedding approaches.
Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment” and Phoenix Movie Examiner's full interview with Lovitz by clicking on the image in the upper left-hand corner of this article. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the actor discusses what attracted him to “Jewtopia,” keeping in character amidst ridiculous comedy and his co-star with whom he was most impressed.
“‘Jewtopia’ was a very successful play. I had never seen it but it was very well known and my manager had told me about it. I met with the director Bryan Fogel, we talked about the style of the movie and I said that I would like to do it - I think just because of its reputation. The play is just hilarious and the script was very funny. Just the premise of the movie of a non-Jewish person wanting to be with a Jewish woman, saying, ‘All of the stuff that drives you nuts, I love.’
“You have to focus on the part. If you laugh, it ruins the joke. It is a basic in acting called breaking character. You try to not laugh but sometimes it is so funny that you just start laughing. So sometimes it is hard not to when what you are saying is so ridiculous. But to say something ridiculous and deliver it as if you are really angry can be very funny. You know, when your kids are doing something that you don't want them to do, they are disappointing you or you are concerned about them. I played it a lot like my own father in certain scenes.
“I didn't know Joel David Moore or Jamie-Lynn Sigler. They were all great but Jamie was just really funny and as good as any comedy actress that I have ever seen. I knew who she was from ‘The Sopranos’ but she was just hysterically funny. So that was really exciting to discover somebody that you knew of but didn't know they had that talent. She was just amazing.” - Jon Lovitz