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Talking ‘Barbie’ & ‘The Idol’ at Chanel & Tribeca’s Women’s Luncheon

On Friday, June 9, the intersection of West Broadway and Thomas Street in New York City held more star power than a Marvel premiere. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood—Katie Holmes, Hari Nef, Stephanie Hsu, Taylour Paige, Zazie Beetz, Dianna Agron, and Greta Lee among them—had assembled at The Odeon restaurant in Manhattan for Chanel and the Tribeca Film Festival’s annual women’s luncheon. Hosted this year by Jane Rosenthal, Paula Weinstein, Lee, A.V. Rockwell, and Patty Jenkins, the luncheon celebrates Through Her Lens, a New York-based mentorship program that provides industry support, artistic development, and funding to emerging self-identifying women and non-binary filmmakers. The event is also a chance for the most prominent creatives in the industry to get together for a bite and a catch-up.

“I’ve had a couple of premieres at Tribeca, and I’m on the jury this year,” Beetz told W on the step and repeat outside the restaurant, looking totally chic in a baby pink Chanel tweed jacket and wide-leg jeans. “My first film I was ever in premiered at Tribeca. So it feels kind of full circle.” The actress, who is best known as the character Vanessa on the groundbreaking FX series Atlanta, has plenty of projects in the pipeline, including a lead part in Joker: Folie à Deux alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga. So what was it really like, filming with Mother Monster?

“She has such a huge persona on stage, and in how she presents herself to the world,” Beetz said of Gaga. “But on set, she just felt like a human person. Maybe this isn’t surprising, because in interviews, she’s always very grounded. When we were filming, she wasn’t the character of Gaga, but instead, she was Stefani.”

Agron, meanwhile, said she’s currently spending her time seeing as many movies as she can, both at the Tribeca Film Festival and on her own time. (“I’m very excited to see the new Yorgos Lanthimos film,” she said. “And the new Wes Anderson film—I’m seeing that next week.”) This is the Glee actress’s second year on the TFF jury; for 2023, she decided to take a different approach when watching young filmmakers’s projects. “Last night, I watched Hey Viktor!, and I had no idea what I was in for. I didn’t want to know what I was going into,” she said. “That was a fun discovery. I really liked not reading the summary ahead of time. The film is crafted in such a genius way, and if you see it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.”

As for her own upcoming works, Agron said her dream role at the moment is “something that sits in a more fantasy-based world. It’s fun to be taken out of your daily life. Last year, doing both a horror film about women’s issues and going into a supernatural world with El Elegido, they both had very real human emotion and the characters were grounded, but the worlds that we operated in were abnormal.” She stressed, however, that “we are in a writers strike, so things are on hold in substantial ways. It’s very necessary—I’m happy to be sitting on my hands.”

Hari Nef

Nef, who is experiencing something of a moment after participating in two of the most-hyped projects of the year, The Idol and Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film Barbie, was in a jolly and upbeat mood ahead of lunch. She wore a maroon Chanel suit with huge black sunglasses decorated in gold detail—a look that her Idol character, a fictional Vanity Fair journalist named Talia, surely would have liked.

“Playing Talia was definitely informed by my time in New York, moving in and out of media,” Nef said. “I don’t really hang out with Hollywood people, I hang out mostly with writers and artists. I was drawing from my friends and trying to bring this idea of a New York woman who knows what’s going on among all of these L.A. power players, in their own little game with their own delusions.”

“Talia probably has her own visions of grandeur, but I wanted to bring the New York version of that, with the no-makeup makeup and the black leather bag, when everybody else is contoured and lip-linered down,” she added. “New York representation is important, and representation matters.”

Playing Doctor Barbie in the upcoming film starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling brought Nef to brand-new territory—especially when it came to interacting with Mr. Ken Doll himself.

“I ran into Ryan at the gym one day, going into my pilates session—he was lifting weights and we had started to bond on set,” she recalled. “Sometimes, you meet another actor where the weird in you sees the weird in him. He’s really shy initially, but my style is not to bother number one and number two on the call sheet when I’m in an ensemble piece. I’m not stand offish, but I mind my own business. And he had a lot on his plate so I wasn’t trying to bug him. But he approached me and he was like, ‘Hey Hari, I woke up today thinking about how funny you are.’ I thought that was really sweet.”

“He’s the funniest actor I’ve ever worked with,” she added. “He acts the fool in this movie—in the most disciplined, specific, hilarious, and informed way. He’s a clown! I don’t know if people realize this about him, but he’s a goofball. The combination of sexy and goofy is unbeatable. I don’t want to call the movie sexy, but we definitely look good. And you can get away with being really goofy if you look good.”

Source: W Magazine

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