You might call them Marilyn-and-Arthur for the tween set. Today, a gossip rag called The Jerusalem Post brings news that teen heartthrob Gregg Sulkin, 17, who stars in the Disney Channel series As The Bell Rings:
• Is a British Jew;
• Can currently be found in Israel playing for the British soccer squad in the 2009 Maccabiah Games; and
• Is dating teen mega-star Miley Cyrus!
Most of the article concerns Sulkin’s experience on the team and with Israel. (It’s his second trip; his bar mitzvah was held at the Western Wall) But let’s face it, you don’t want to hear about that stuff. You want to hear him say, “”If she wasn’t that busy, I’d love to persuade her to come to Israel.” We’d love that too, Gregg! And it gets better. We did some digging, and it turns out that, according to PopCrunch, Cyrus, 16, began her relationship with Sulkin while still dating 20-year-old underwear model Justin Gatson (who we suppose is the Joe DiMaggio of this little tale). Moreover, we learn from Sulkin’s IMDB page that Cyrus’s father, musician Billy Ray Cyrus, had at one point urged his daughter to stick with Underwear Boy—apparently to no avail. To his credit, he now seems onboard the program: according to the Post, Billy Ray “has offered to help Sulkin further his acting career.”
In fact, the Post reports that Sulkin is heading directly to Los Angeles for callbacks after the Games. We definitely recommend that Sulkin take Billy Ray up on his offer. Sulkin may feel at home among his own people in Israel. But the aid of a country-music singer from Tennessee will definitely come in handy as Sulkin tries to make it as a Jew in Hollywood.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.