San Ramon native Klein and wine movie

Like young wine

I meant to see “Bottle Shock,” the Napa-wines-are-champs film, when I was vacationing in Monterey. But the timing wasn’t right.

Had I gone, I would have seen 1993 San Ramon Valley High grad Hal B. Klein — although I wouldn’t have recognized him since we’ve never met face-to-face.

Klein plays Shenky, good buddy of Bo, who is the son of the man who owns Napa Chateau Montelena, site of most of the film. It was shot primarily in Napa and Sonoma.

“My career’s going in the right direction, which is nice,” Klein says in a phone interview from the New York apartment where he lives with his Italian greyhound, Lucy.

“I tend to play a lot of regular guys with kind of a twist; guys who are kind of quirky.”

“An awkward kid from New York,” Klein and his family moved to Danville when he was 14. He took up drama to meet people, he says, and eventually graduated to roles at the Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, in shows such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” as well as several youth musicals.

Klein’s next movie, “Nobel Son,” is due in theaters Nov. 14. Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman, Danny DeVito and Eliza Dushku star.

Klein plays “the coffee-shop guy, the Tully’s guy,” he says. “There’s a little poetry involved, too. He gets to recite a poem to someone.”

He says the movie — about a mean-spirited Nobel Prize-winning chemist whose son is kidnapped when the father leaves to pick up his prize — is a blend of dark comedy and action.

Klein expects to start shooting a new film in mid-November, but it’s not etched in certainty.

Also on his agenda is putting together a TV cooking show targeting guys ages 21-35.

In the meantime, he planned to visit the Bay Area to join his parents, Blackhawk residents Bart and Sally Klein, for the Sharks opener.

You can catch him at

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