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Jeff Goldblum decided he wanted to be an actor while studying his bar mitzvah Torah portion

(JTA) — Jeff Goldblum learned a lot from Hebrew school: how to fight back against bullies, and that he enjoyed performing in front of a crowd.

As he revealed in Tuesday’s episode of “Finding Your Roots,” the PBS celebrity genealogy show, Goldblum had a rough time at Hebrew school as a kid. He was bullied by a kid named David Schwartz.

So Goldblum’s mother told him, “You have to learn to fight.” She taught him the “element of surprise,” which Goldblum said he eventually used to punch Schwartz in the face.

Later, while preparing for his bar mitzvah, he first felt his “professional calling.” He recalled the time he spent learning his Torah portion fondly and that his mother lauded his performance.

Goldblum decided he liked performing as well, and the rest is Hollywood history.

Read more about the full episode, which delves into Goldblum’s Jewish family history, here.