Ladies and gentlemen, I have something important to tell you: Jason Biggs isn’t Jewish. Shocked? A lot of people are, and Jason himself knows it. In fact, he’s made a career of playing Jewish people and he likes that you think he’s one of the Chosen People… but he ain’t.
“There’s not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t say to me, ‘Wait, what? You’re not Jewish?’ They’re totally shocked,” Biggs says on the phone from Los Angeles. This, despite the fact that his Twitter tagline is “The Jewiest Looking Non-Jew.”
But it’s more than just his looks, says the actor, who was raised Catholic in New Jersey and is of English and Italian descent. “I think there is a physical thing, obviously, I think I have a certain look – if you can say there is a Jewish look, I would certainly fall right into that,” he says. But, he adds, his characters have “a certain nervousness, a certain pathos, a certain everyman kind of quality,” which are identifiably Jewish traits.
“It goes back a long, long time – I’ve been playing Jewish characters almost exclusively since I was a little kid,” says Biggs, 36.
But why does he seem so Jewish? Did he grow up around it, like many East Coast kids?
“That’s the funny part. Where I grew up there were only two Jewish kids in my entire school,” he said. So, in other words, no. The only thing he can think of is that as a young actor, he traveled a lot to New York and played Jewish roles and had a window into that world. “I got to know and understand the religion and the culture more than most kids in my town.”
Well… cool? I mean, this is sort of a bizarre bit of cultural appropriation that you don’t often see – and that most people wouldn’t be so blatant about, but I don’t think Jason Biggs has ever tried to be anything other than obnoxious at best and downright insufferable at worst, so knock yourself out, bro.