18 Things to Know About Jewish Actor Alden Ehrenreich

The "Cocaine Bear" actor, who also plays Han Solo in "Solo," was discovered by Steven Spielberg when he acted in a bat mitzvah video.

This week, a tweet promoting an upcoming movie went mega-viral because of said movie’s absolutely bananas premise. We are, of course, talking about the movie “Cocaine Bear,” which is about a wild bear that eats so, so much cocaine and goes on a murderous rampage.

Just watch this trailer:

Did we mention it’s based on a true story? (Loosely, we imagine.)

Directed by Jew-ish actress and creative Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” features a stellar cast, including Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, O’Shea Jackson Jr., the late Ray Liotta and Jewish actor Alden Ehrenreich!

Here are 18 things to know about Alden Ehrenreich.

1. Alden was born on November 22, 1989 in Los Angeles to a Jewish family.

2. He was named after “Field of Dreams” director Phil Alden Robinson, who’s a family friend.

3. Alden has Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, with ancestors coming from Austria, Poland, Hungary and Russia!

4. He was raised in Reconstructionist Judaism and attended congregation Kehillat Israel in LA!

5. He had a bar mitzvah!

6. Alden has always loved film and cinema.

“I grew up watching movies. I was a big film buff as a kid. That’s the joy of it for me,” he told the Jewish Chronicle.

7. Alden was discovered by Steven Spielberg in a bat mitzvah video!

“It’s a piece of shit,” he jokingly told Rolling Stone. “It’s a video that this girl asked us to do. I mean, there wasn’t a script: We would go and just film whatever made us laugh. I’m this 14-year-old, skinny little kid with long hair. I break into her house, try on her clothes and make up a song. All of this is just us literally taking a camera and going like, ‘Okay, ha ha, do this.’ We showed it to our parents — ‘We’re gonna play this at her bat mitzvah!’ — and they were like, ‘You look like an idiot in this. I don’t think you should really do that.’ We didn’t care.”

8. Listen to him very endearingly talk about his first kiss:

What a sweetheart!!

9. He graduated from Crossroads School in Santa Monica and then went on to study acting at NYU, but he never finished his degree.

10. His first film role was in “Tetro,” directed by his favorite director, Francis Ford Coppola.

Bonus: For his audition, he read a passage from the book “The Catcher in the Rye.”

11. In August 2009, Alden and friend/actress Zoë Worth began The Collectin, a group of New York City-based actors and creatives.

12. In 2016, he gave a fantastic (and, arguably, breakout) performance in the movie “Hail, Caesar!,” including this laugh-out-loud scene with Ralph Fiennes:

Would that it were so simple!

13. It was also special for Alden work on “Hail, Caesar!” because of the Jewish directors, the Coen Brothers.

“They as filmmakers had a huge influence on me growing up,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “They make the kind of films that I always wanted to be a part of.”

14. In 2017, he starred in “The Yellow Birds” alongside Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette.

15. In 2018, he played Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

16. And check out his reaction to being surprised by the OG Han Solo, Harrison Ford, during an interview:

17. The people of Twitter are already loving his acting chops in “Cocaine Bear.”

18. In 2023, Alden will star in the movie “Oppenheimer” as Jewish physicist and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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