Emilia Clarke, Gal Gadot and more TV, movie stars honoured at AFI Awards. See pics | Hindustan Times
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Emilia Clarke, Gal Gadot and more TV, movie stars honoured at AFI Awards. See pics

American Film Institute’s annual luncheon saw attendance from some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

hollywood Updated: Jan 06, 2018 18:16 IST
Actor Emilia Clarke poses at the AFI AWARDS 2017 luncheon.
Actor Emilia Clarke poses at the AFI AWARDS 2017 luncheon.(REUTERS)

With the American Film Institute’s annual luncheon Friday recognizing the best in film and television, Hollywood’s awards season is officially underway.

The schmooze-y celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel brought together the casts and creators of 2017’s most celebrated movies and TV shows, many of which are also in contention for the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

“Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins led the honorees in a toast, during which she quoted former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (who is played by Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” an AFI honoree and best picture nominee at the Globes.)

“To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun?” Jenkins said. “We love what we do. It doesn’t always matter — and often it doesn’t — but sometimes it does, so it’s always worth it to try.”

With winners announced in advance and no trophies to accept onstage, the AFI Awards are an opportunity for collegial confabulation.

“This is a place to be together as a community,” said AFI president Bob Gazzale, “to consider the compendium and feel proud.”

Actors, writers, directors and executives embraced the chance to chat, with superstar mashups spontaneously erupting throughout the room.

Insecure creator and star Issa Rae greeted Universal Pictures chief Donna Langley. Jenkins was part of a woman-power trio, chatting with Reese Witherspoon and Lady Bird writer-director Greta Gerwig. Witherspoon and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot shared a mutual admiration moment, with Gadot telling Witherspoon, “I’m such a big fan.”

Actor Tom Hanks poses at the AFI AWARDS 2017 luncheon in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (REUTERS)

Guillermo del Toro made Spielberg laugh. Saoirse Ronan met Master of None writer and actor Lena Waithe. Tom Hanks posed for a photo with “The Big Sick” screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, who playfully gave him posing tips.

Sterling K. Brown rearranged place cards at the This Is Us table so he could sit next to costar Chrissy Metz. Sam Rockwell did the same thing at the table for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” moving himself closer to actor Sandy Martin, who plays his mother in the film.

Actors Armie Hammer (L) and Timothee Chalamet. (REUTERS)

“Call Me By Your Name” stars Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, both awards-season newcomers, stood together as they took in the celebrity-filled room.

Besides Wonder Woman, The Post, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Big Sick and Call Me By Your Name, AFI named The Florida Project, Get Out, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water as its top films of 2017. Most are also up for best picture at the Globes.

Actor Saoirse Ronan. (REUTERS)

AFI’s TV picks also overlap with Globes nominees. Besides Insecure, This Is Us and Master of None, AFI chose Big Little Lies,The Crown, Feud: Bette and Joan, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Place, and Stranger Things 2.

Actor Reese Witherspoon. (REUTERS)

Many luncheon guests will see each other throughout the weekend at the various events leading up to the Globes. Some went straight from the AFI lunch to the HBO Luxury Lounge, also at the Four Seasons, where celebs could load up on freebies.

Producer Judd Apatow (R) poses with actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon. (REUTERS)

Among the takers were Ever Carradine of The Handmaid’s Tale, who snagged an $880 UPPAbaby luxury stroller, Modern Family star Julie Bowen, who investigated her family tree with an onsite Ancestry.com historian, and Veep star Matt Walsh, who picked up a timepiece from Watch Gang to wear to Sunday’s ceremony.

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