James Cromwell at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. (Aaron Leitko/ the Washington Post)

Setting: National Museum of Women in the Arts

Event: A benefit for union-boosting American Rights at Work.

Bona fides: Oscar nominee (“Babe”), Hollywood’s favorite stern dad/sinister patrician; longtime lefty activist (nuclear issues, Native American rights); performers’ union advocate; vegan.

How he looked: Very, very tall. Dark suit, gold watch. Noshed on some gazpacho.

How he sounded: Surprisingly mellow (“Hey, man”) but wound-up and garrulous once our colleague Aaron Leitko got him going on the issues.

Quote: “I’m a noisy guy; I have a lot of opinions about things. It ruffles feathers.”

Who we passed up for him: Prince Edward (the Queen’s youngest) promoting youth empowerment; Jackson Browne at the Center for Democracy in the Americas, seeking a closer U.S.-Cuba relationship.