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When fashion week takes over New York City, it’s easy to forget about such things as the presidential primaries, the Super Bowl and the Oscar race. On Friday at lunchtime at the 21 Club, however, the Oscar machine was in full throttle, thanks to Peggy Siegel.
A packed room greeted “Juno” star Ellen Page and director Jason Reitman — nominated for best actress and best director, respectively. Their film also garnered best picture and best original screenplay nods.
Page, fresh off a red-eye from Los Angeles where she had been doing more Oscar press, was surprisingly poised in the face of an onslaught of admirers, who included Paula Zahn, Alfred Taubman, Debbie Bancroft, Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden and three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver.
Her calm demeanor belied the fact she’d lost her luggage — including the bag with the dress she was intending to wear. “I have three bags because I’ve been traveling so much, can you believe it?” she said. Luckily, the petite brunette had a Yohji Yamamoto jacket with her, though the Japanese design at first proved a challenge. (A yoke that was meant to go around her neck was left dangling in front instead, until Page asked her publicist how she was supposed to wear it. After a quick conference at the table, she put it over her head.) Luckily, the Nova Scotia native (who’s about to turn 21) is heading home to get some rest until the Oscars.
And despite questions about the Oscar telecast due to the WGA strike, she and her stylist, Samantha McMillen, have been working on choosing a dress for the red carpet.
“It’s an extremely surreal feeling,” said Page of being nominated alongside Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Marion Cotillard and Julie Christie. “It’s funny. I just feel like I was given this massive gift as a young actor by [screenwriter] Diablo Cody — so it’s really all her fault. And Jason — it’s all his fault.”
Meanwhile, Reitman’s father, “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman, recounted a story in which a young Jason asked why he never went to the Academy Awards. “I had to tell him I was never nominated,” the elder Reitman remembered, to much laughter. “And Jason asked me, ‘If I’m nominated, will you go?'” said the proud pop, saying his son asked him to keep his promise on the day, years later, when he was nominated.