Friday, July 31, 2015

Justin Baldoni is proud of his Jewish ancestry.

Justin Baldoni and Emily Baldoni
Jane the Virgin star Justin Baldoni has an out-of-the-ordinary interfaith background. “My mom was Jewish and became a Baha’i before she met my dad, and when they fell in love he became a Baha’i. When I was in my teenage years I became a Baha’i,” he relates. “But we celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas, as an ode to our grandparents. Baha’is have some amazing holidays and we did those too. It was a wonderful thing to grow up in an interfaith family.”

Baldoni explains that “In the Baha’i faith we believe that all religions are one so it’s important for me to know about everything—Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed. It’s a beautiful thing. Baha’is believe that we are known by our deeds—it’s not about what we say, it’s about what we do. So it’s all about our service to humanity.”

Now married to a Swedish woman, also Baha’i, he doesn’t celebrate Jewish holidays now but is proud of his Jewish ancestry. “My grandfather was in WWII and a lot of my family was killed in the Holocaust,” he notes. “One of my aunts was a survivor.”

Baldoni (Charmed, Everwood), who plays a rich hotel owner and inadvertent father of the mistakenly inseminated young woman of the title in Jane the Virgin, calls the new CW show “Kind of my comeback to acting. I took a break to start my production company, Wayfarer Entertainment. We create socially conscious, inspirational content. The project that we’re most known for is a series called My Last Days. I took two years and spent time with people that were dying from terminal illnesses. We wanted to tell their stories in a way to inspire others to live. It’s a show about living told by people who are dying. It’s the most-watched documentary series in the history of YouTube. Thirty million views.”

His next projects include TV and feature documentaries. “We’re developing reality content that we think is going to make a difference and inspire people to be the best version of themselves,” he says. “We’re all about being of service to each other. We have to use what we have to do good.”

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