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Vice President Biden took the microphone during the star-studded dinner at Frederick P. Rose Hall overlooking Central Park to give an impassioned speech centered on the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon.
“America just went through a very tragic week — a week of violence, a week of senseless bloodshed,” he said, adding: “What I was reminded of was something more profound: that was the response of the people of Boston, the response of the American people. They showed not just their resilience but their calm. … And in their response, they proved that no act of terror can ever really weaken us.”
Biden, who made Time magazine’s 10th annual list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World, went on to say: “The terrorists know that they don’t have the might to ever occupy American cities or the force to overthrow the government. They can’t defeat us physically because we’re the most powerful military in the world, our first responders are second to none. … The terrorists can only win if we yield to our fears. And last week, last week we stood together. We stood by our values.”
To loud applause, he intoned: “I promise you, next year’s marathon will be the biggest, the most significant, the most attended marathon in history.”
At the schmooze-y cocktail party beforehand, Mia Farrow — wearing a Boston Red Sox T-shirt underneath a black jacket — introduced herself to former Arizona congressman Giffords, another of Time‘s list-makers. “I’m Mia Farrow!” exclaimed the actress-humanitarian, who kissed Giffords’ hand.
Meanwhile, in another corner of the room, Dunham posed for photos with Claire Danes, Danes’ actor-husband Hugh Dancy and Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, which owns HBO, which broadcasts her dark comedy Girls. Sporting a glittery gold dress, Dunham was instantly surrounded by admirers suchas Farrow, who told THR: “She’s, I think, the great auteur filmmaker of her generation. If she couldn’t direct, even if she couldn’t write, just as an actor — she’s superb!”
Meeting Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi for the first time, Dunham gushed: “You’re amazing! You. Are. Amazing.” The multi-hyphenate wunderkind introduced the statuesque TV host to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson while Barbara Walters mingled with Arrested Development‘s Jeffrey Tambor. Day-Lewis greeted partygoers with his Lincoln director, Steven Spielberg, and Harvey Weinstein — one of the first to arrive — worked the room.
“I can tell you when I don’t feel the most influential: when I sit around with my four kids — now five — and whatever because I’ve never won a battle yet at the breakfast table,” said the movie mogul and father of four daughters who welcomed his fifth child, a son named Dashiell, on April 11.
Asked whether he’s happy to have a boy, Weinstein — who’s married to Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman — answered: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding me? I’m loving it. I try not to over-show it so my daughters don’t kill me.”
Also clinking glasses and exchanging air-kisses: Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s Scandal, Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, singer Miguel, fashion designer Michael Kors and proud CNN boss and Jon Stewart target Jeff Zucker, who told THR he feels most influential when he “can’t do any interviews. I’m not doing any interviews.”
Jimmy Kimmel, who landed on the Most Influential list along with late night’s other Jimmy (Fallon), said: “There are people who are working on a cure for cancer here. And I’m making jokes about Justin Bieber.”
Kimmel chatted with fellow Time 100 honoree Cranston as well as Ricky Gervais and Amy Poehler, who were there as guests. Spotting Fallon, her former SNL co-star, Poehler enthused: “There’s my boy, Jimmy Fallon. … He’s the best!”
Fallon, slated to replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show next year, told THR: “I’m excited to go in (to the dinner). I got a fun table. I got (Justin) Timberlake to my left, Joe Biden to my right. I mean, that’s the party table.”
As for his upcoming Tonight gig, Fallon said: “It just seems like I’ve been in the minor leagues and NBC called me up to the majors and I’m excited.”
Moments later, at the “party table,” Fallon and wife Nancy Juvonen dined alongside Timberlake (also a list-maker) and Jessica Biel, who wed the “Suit & Tie” singer last October. Spotted nibbling on pot roast and mushroom soup: R&B It Boy Frank Ocean; Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer; Kentucky senator Rand Paul and satirist Bassem Youssef, known as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart,” who praised the Comedy Central host as being his inspiration “in a totally non-sexual way.” (Paul’s inspiration? Henry David Thoreau.)
Grabbing the mic from Paul, Kimmel seized his moment in the spotlight to toast Dunham for teaching him “not to be ashamed of my own breasts,” Fallon for motivating him to be his best and Biden for being “the funniest out of all of us.”
With that, Kimmel and Fallon both downed their whiskies, and when Christina Aguilera hit the stage to belt such hits as Lady Marmalade, Fallon and Timberlake jumped up from their seats and began dancing and making each other laugh. Looking out into the audience, Aguilera confessed to wanting some of the Chivas Regal whiskey that had been served earlier in the night, saying: “I was so jealous, I was like, ‘I have to perform.'”
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