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Show creators defend casting Steve Carell as Jewish therapist in ‘The Patient’

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JTA — The flames of the “Jewface” debate have been fanned for years, but the conversation hit a new level of prominence last fall.

Kathryn Hahn’s casting as the outspokenly Jewish comedy pioneer Joan Rivers in a TV series (which was eventually dropped) and photos of Bradley Cooper wearing a prosthetic nose to play Jewish conductor Leonard Bernstein in what should be a blockbuster film have added fuel to the discourse over whether non-Jewish actors should be cast as Jewish characters.

The latest who could get caught in the crosshairs? Steve Carell.

The non-Jewish actor plays a Jewish therapist in the upcoming psychological thriller “The Patient,” which premieres Aug. 30 on Hulu. In the 10-episode series, Carell’s therapist character, named Alan Strauss, is kidnapped by a serial killer named Sam Fortner, played by Domhnall Gleeson. Sam seeks out Strauss to cure him of his desires to commit violence.

The show was created by Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, the producers of the hit drama “The Americans” who both grew up in Jewish homes. On a virtual panel on Tuesday during the Television Critics........

© The Times of Israel

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