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Napa Valley Film Festival Honoree Nancy Meyers Lauds Women for Speaking Out

Director/writer Nancy Meyers discussed the revelations of sexual assault coming almost daily out of Hollywood during a celebrity tribute to her at the Napa Valley Film Festival on Thursday.

“My mind is blown, I didn’t know,” Meyers said. “I really feel for these women and they are doing something amazing for all of us.”

She received the Charles Krug Legendary Filmmaker Award. Others honored were Michael Shannon with the Trailblazer Award, Spotlight honoree Michael Stuhlbarg, Ian Somerhalder & Nikki Reed, who are receiving the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch Humanitarian Tribute, and Tessa Thompson, who will be honored with the JCB Collection Trailblazer Tribute.

Hollywood is filled with people who say women got ahead because “she slept with someone, she’s his girlfriend,” Meyers said. The main reason she was left alone to direct was because of her former partner and husband Charles Shyer.

Meyers, who has helmed top comedies from “Private Benjamin” to “Something’s Gotta Give,” “What Women Want” and “It’s Complicated” had high praise for her leads Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Mel Gibson.

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While admitting Gibson had his issues, she said, “Mel Gibson was this beautiful movie star who would ask, ‘Is this OK?,’ ‘Is this how you want it?,'” after takes.

“He kissed me on the last day, not in the way you read in the New York Times,” she added to laughter from the audience at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. “He has his issues, but he was sweet with me.”

Meyers was introduced by her daughter, filmmaker Hallie Meyers-Shyer, who called her “the little romcom engine that could.”

“Access Hollywood’s” Natalie Morales interviewed husband and wife Somerhalder and Reed, who were honored for their humanitarian work with the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch Humanitarian Award.

Reed and Somerhalder talked of their independent childhoods when they rescued cats, dogs, raccoons and alligators. “Animal advocacy is not just helping critters, it’s forming a community,” Somerhalder said.

While actress Thompson was unable to attend due to her work schedule, Stuhlbarg said watching his film clips was like”watching my life flash before my eyes.”

“I stand on the shoulders of the people who took an interest in me since I was a kid,” Stuhlbarg said.

Shannon talked of his decision to enter showbiz. “I was in high school and that wasn’t going very well,” he said. “Then I did a production of ‘Harvey,’ I did Dr. Chumley and that was it.” He was bitten by the acting bug.

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