At a female-empowering fete, award-winning actresses, directors and their dates gathered to honor groundbreaking performances at Elle Magazine’s Women in Television dinner at Sunset Tower on Tuesday night. The eclectic group of 125 well-heeled attendees ranged from Globe-winning director and producer Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) to 14-year-old actress Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”), the youngest lady in the room, who found her company to be “surreal.”
“It’s so cool that all women in TV are getting to celebrate together. It’s not a competition, it’s a celebration,” said Soloway, who recently gave Amazon Studios much to celebrate by taking home the first (and second) Golden Globe ever for the online streaming service.
Soloway said she is friendly with all of the women who were in her Globes category — so much so, that they even compared fashion choices. “Weeks leading up to [the Globes], we were all texting each other about what we were wearing,” she said. “There’s a feeling among women where it’s a little more natural for us to root for each other. When one person succeeds, it’s good for all of us.”
And they were all in good spirits: Sarah Hyland and onscreen mom Julie Bowen shared laughs about the next day’s shoot; Angie Harmon, Stana Katic, Jenna Elfman and Sasha Alexander clinked their glasses in toasts; and Jenna Dewan Tatum was excited to have a “girls night out” with Emmanuelle Chriqui. Other guests included Shonda Rhimes, Jaime King, Amanda Peet, Sarah Paulson, Brittany Snow, Nina Dobrev, Juliette Lewis and Regina King.
“’Sex in the City’ — I think every woman at one point has watched an episode, and it’s pretty much just created a statement that all women are fearless and fierce,” said King, who, on the heels of directing “Scandal,” is currently working on “American Crime,” which will premiere in the spring.
Over steak frites and sea bass, Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers saluted “Girls” star Lena Dunham. “It’s extraordinary to be able to watch a polymath at the start of what will be a life of incredible influence [as far as] the way women are understood and apportioned power,” she said of the brazen actress and show creator, seated next to her.
Myers also recalled the time when she appeared as herself on “Ugly Betty” and was asked by the director to say a line with which she wasn’t in accord. “Is this what happens every time you’re on television? It’s so stressful!” she declared to the room full of talent. “You have the most important jobs right now. What you do is you ‘show’ women, and you show them to be complicated, difficult, driven, ambitious, beautiful and most importantly, powerful.”
When Myers mentioned that Congress was comprised of only 18% women, Kate Walsh (“Bad Judge”) urged her table, “You gotta run. All of you!”
The night forged camaraderie as each actress introduced herself to and quickly bonded with her neighbor. A montage of powerful performances projected on a screen spurred much cheering, particularly the sassy concluding line from “Orange Is the New Black” (which could similarly serve as the night’s mantra): “I’m just getting started, b–.”
(Pictured: Sarah Paulson, Amanda Peet and Jill Soloway)