From opposite page,
left to right:
The cast of "Wanda
at Large," Jason Kravits
at lower right
Judd Hirsch: Helping
to bring up baby.
Grant Rosenmayer, center,
with Grant Shaud and
Wendy Makkena in "Oliver
Beene," premiering Sunday
The cast of "The Pitts,"
Lizzie Caplan second
with a variety of Jewish performers.
Moranis' wife in the Honey, I Shrunk ... movies,
Marcia Strassman is playing a single, independent
earth-mother type in a new series based on the
Tremors movies, about a desert town and its giant
"It's so much fun. It's running around, running
and screaming, and blowing things up," raves
Strassman, who loves that she gets to wear jeans and
boots and that she's newly hip in the eyes of her 16-
"I have never been a big science fiction fan," she
admits, but she loves action-fantasy, especially The
Lord of the Rings.
"I would see it again," she says of the film series,
"just for Viggo Mortensen.
Premieres 9:30 p.m. Sunday, March 30, on FOX
Playing the teenaged Faith in the cartoonish
adventures of a disastrously unlucky clan on The
Pitts is a step up for Lizzy Caplan, who started with
a one-line role on Freaks and Geeks a few years back
and has made guest appearances on Smallville and
Once and Again.
Somewhat older than her 16-year-old character,
Caplan got hooked on acting in a theater class at 15.
She was brought up in a Reform Jewish home, "had
a bat mitzvah, was confirmed and went to Jewish
That may not have prepared her for the terrors of
a pesky little TV brother, but growing up as the
youngest of three children certainly has.
"There was a lot of yelling and hair-pulling and
toy-breaking in my house," she says. ❑
TV Success Story
As midseason replacements seek spots
in the regular lineup, Michael Rosenbaum
is relieved to have landed on a hit.
ost men don't lose their
Western Kentucky University, did
hair willingly, but it's the
summer theater and pursued acting
best move Michael
Off Broadway and in independent
films after graduation.
The 30-year-old actor shaved his
He made his TV debut on The
blond locks to play villain-to-be Lex
Tom Show with Tom Arnold, co-
Luthor on Superman prequel
starred as Jack in Zoe, Duncan, Jack
Smallville and raised both his
& Jane with Southfield native Selma
Hollywood profile and sex symbol
Blair and appeared in such movies as
Rosenbaum thinks there's
more to Lex's appeal than the
physical. "I think viewers are
embracing this character
because he has vulnerability.
"He's dealing with his father,
his mother's death and being
bald as a kid, growing up hav-
ing no friends."
Ironically, Rosenbaum almost
didn't get the part, having
botched his first audition due
to illness. Once he had it —
thanks to a second chance —
he experimented with a bald
cap that made him look "like a
Conehead" before submitting
to the razor.
He's had to wear wigs for
movie roles he's landed since,
including the cross-dressing
Sorority Boys and Bringing -
Down the House with Steve
Martin, in which he plays "a
Michael Rosenbaum in "Smallville
cocky lawyer." The film opens
in area theaters today.
In the upcoming Poolhall Junktes,
Sweet November and Urban Legend
starring Chazz Palminteri,
He's now considering projects for
Christopher Walken, and the late
his Smallville hiatus.
Rod Steiger, "I play a pool hustler
Originally apprehensive about how
and musician. My brother is trying
the series would be received and
to keep me out of the pool hall, but
whether he'd be compared to Gene
I can't resist. I have my real hair in
Hackman's Superman movie Luthor,
Rosenbaum was quickly put at ease.
Born in Oceanside, N.Y., where
"The show and the characters get
he attended yeshiva, Rosenbaum
stronger and stronger," he says. "I
was raised in Newburgh, Ind., and
wanted Lex to have a vulnerability,
received private bar mitzvah instruc-
play it real and just trust the writ-
tion from a rabbi while he visited
ing. I got lucky."
his grandparents in the Catskills the
summer before he turned 13.
"I'm Jewish, I'm proud of my reli-
Smallville airs 9 p.m. Tuesdays
gion but not very practicing," he says.
5 p.m. Sundays on the WB.
Rosenbaum, who studied drama
in high school and college at