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Meryl Streep proved that no matter how many Academy Awards one has, no one is immune to Los Angeles gridlock. “I’m so late,” she said breathlessly, as she walked a rather empty red carpet at Women in Film’s eighth annual pre-Oscar soiree. “It just took forever to get here. The goddamn traffic!”

It was an hour-and-a-half into the three-hour cocktail party, held at West Hollywood’s Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, and speeches were already underway inside. Still, the Oscar perennial stopped long enough to discuss her thoughts on the state of gender equality in entertainment.

“Female support is important, but male support is extremely important because they have three-quarters of the power. So that’s who we need on our side. [Women are] always going to back each other up,” she said, adding, “I’m looking forward to seeing some people, if I get in there before it’s over.”

Streep’s grand entrance didn’t go unnoticed. As the organization’s president Cathy Schulman led a toast, heads turned. Camera phone flashes popped.
Even “Selma”’s Carmen Ejogo was elated. “It’s a big deal. She’s like the queen,” she said. “I was really impressed that she even remembered my name when I met her the other day. It’s like, ‘The Queen remembered my name?’”

Earlier in the night, Best Actress nominee Rosamund Pike reflected on what it meant to be a multi-tasking mom during Oscar weekend. “My son just threw all his cars in our swimming pool. And I found myself promising to dive in and retrieve them all. There must be about 52,” she laughed. “[So I’ll be up] early tomorrow morning. That’s going to be the morning wake-up call. It’s kind of funny — the discrepancy between this and the image in the pool.”

Other actresses at the Max Mara-sponsored event included Laura Dern, Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan, Emily Ratajowski, Lake Bell, Jamie Chung, Patti LuPone, Peter Fonda, Karla Souza, Kate Walsh, and Jennifer Hudson, who admitted she’s still reeling from her 2007 Oscar win. “As many times as I’ve been back to the Academy Awards, it’s always still very surreal,” she said. “It’s a dream.”

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