Among the countless nightmares averted by the last-minute budget deal: Robert Redford’s movie premiere was not forced to move.
The director commandeered a full downtown block Sunday evening for a red-carpet screening at Ford’s Theatre of his new Lincoln assassination movie, “The Conspirator,” starring Robin Wright as Mary Surratt, the boarding-house owner executed for her connection to the plot. Wright was there, in a fitted gray pantsuit; so too were co-stars James McAvoy (blue tie on black shirt, off-black cords), Alexis Bledel and Evan Rachel Wood (both so pretty, and now we can tell them apart!).
Kevin Kline (who plays Edwin Stanton) jumped from his sedan to greet fans cordoned off on the far side of the street; both he and Stephen Root said they’d done plays at Ford’s back in the day. British actor Tom Wilkinson said he’d had no trouble mustering a Southern drawl for his role: “I’ve got a fairly decent ear for American accents.”(Washington is played in the movie by Savannah, Ga., which apparently looks more like old-timey D.C. than D.C. can manage these days.)
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Among the guests who scored a ticket: Madeleine Albright, Eric Holder and Sharon Malone, Gary and Mona Locke, Joe Lieberman, Max Baucus, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dee Dee Myers and Todd Purdum, and VIP Obama staffer Kal Penn.
The historic spot would have been closed with a federal shutdown and the premiere moved to the Newseum, but the usually outspoken Redford declined to talk politics at length, other than to agree that “‘mess’ is a good description. But I’m not here to talk about that.” Okay, so the movie. Why this topic? “It was a story no one knew about, and it was tied to a story everyone knows about. Have you seen it yet? There’s a kick. There's a little surprise for you.” For us? Bummed we couldn’t stay — had to go write this story.