The five honorees at Variety’s Women in Power luncheon, held at Cipriani 42nd Street on Friday afternoon, collectively hold many accomplishments. Among them: seven Golden Globes, four Tony Awards, four Emmy Awards, two Academy Awards, and come May 5th, a book of selfies.
This wide range of accolades collided with all five women — Glenn Close, Rachel Weisz, Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Kardashian West — in attendance to pick up their newest trophy.
Beyond the honorees themselves, the luncheon attracted a number of high profile women including Colbie Smulders, Jennifer Morrison, Emmy Rossum, Dascha Polanco, Robin Marchant, Jenni Konner, Audrey Gelman, Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer.
Kardashian West, in an all-white Narcisco Rodriguez look, spent an uncharacteristically generous amount of time speaking to reporters, touting her charity at hand, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. “I’ve been involved with them for years,” she told WWD. “A friend of mine’s child was sick and I went to go visit, and I just fell in love with the facility. After becoming a mom, you just become so passionate for parents taking care of their children, and some parents can’t be there because they have to work in order to pay for the care of their children being there. Just spending time and bringing a little joy, even if you’re just there to bring them a small gift or hang out with them a little bit, it’s heartwarming to see how something really small can brighten their day.”
The reality star spent a portion of the lunch sharing iPhone pictures of daughter North West with seatmate Joe Zee, but named her own mother as the most powerful woman in her life. “She is always been a really strong influence on my life,” she said.
Dunham agreed with the sentiment. “I’m sure that’s the typical answer,” she rightfully predicted. “But really she introduced me to the concept of feminism, she’s a working artist in New York in a male-dominated art world. She takes on every project and aplomb and she always looks great doing it.”
The ‘mom’ theme was carried over into the acceptance speeches themselves, with Close delivering the event’s most poignant speech, talking about her family’s history with mental illness and her subsequent work with the BringChange2Mind, a US campaign the actress founded to eraasethe stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. When speaking about her mother, who passed away late February, the actress appeared visibly choked up. “Go on, Glenn, you got this,” Goldberg shouted in the audience by way of support.
Close responded to her friend: “Whoopi, I feel Robin [Williams] here today,” she said, of their mutual friend who suffered from depression himself. “He would’ve been whispering in my ear, ‘A few jokes could help.’”