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Famous Mothers, Daughters, and Sisters at the "Evening" Premiere

Jenny Peters
June 12th, 2007 @ 11:19 AM - New York

It was completely appropriate that a plethora of well known mothers, daughters and sisters lit up the red carpet at the "Evening" premiere at New York's Chelsea Theater on Monday night, for the film is based on Susan Minot's popular novel of the same name that's all about those relationships.

Grand dame Vanessa Redgrave (the film's leading lady) led the way, arm-in-arm with her sister Lynn. But Natasha Richardson, Vanessa's daughter and co-star - she plays her daughter in the movie, too - was a no show, as was Meryl Streep, who lights up the screen as Vanessa's best friend in the flick.

But Meryl's three girls were there in force, with her eldest daughter Mamie Gummer taking center stage, as she makes her film debut in "Evening," with the daunting task of playing her mother's character as a young woman.

"It was really coincidental," the 24-year-old beauty explained at an earlier press day for the film. "None of it was really premeditated at all."

She's been headed toward this moment since she was born, it seems.

"I've been doing it forever and ever, all through school," Gummer recalled. "And then I went to Northwestern and was a theater major there, and studied. I think that if there was a defining moment, it was my first play there at school, at college, where I sort of projected myself through the audition process and the possibility of rejection and sort of being able to take that step. And I have just been going straight ever since."

Her sisters Grace and Louisa met up with Claire Danes on the red carpet; Claire plays Vanessa as a young woman in the film, and Mamie's best friend, a fictional relationship that has become a reality.

"We're real life friends now," Danes grinned. She made another "friend" during the shoot in actor Hugh Dancy, who plays her lover in the film and is now her real-life boyfriend, a situation that leads to some sizzling chemistry up on the screen.

But according to Dancy, that steam has nothing to do with the fact that the pair was falling in love as they shot the movie.

"Screen chemistry, it's never actually as simple as it may seem," he explained, after refusing to comment on their off-screen relationship. "I mean, it's a nice tag, but the reality is that chemistry, or any kind of relationship between two characters on screen, is something that's worked on by actors and a good script, in my opinion."

Glenn Close also appears in the star-studded film, and she added to the red carpet family theme by bringing her grown-up daughter Annie Maude Starke. The men of "Evening" came along for the screening and after party at the Bowery Hotel, too. Actor Patrick Wilson, director Lajos Koltai, and screenwriter Michael Cunningham made the scene, as did plenty of other famous faces.

We spotted Edie Falco, Felicity Huffman, Christy Turlington, Bernadette Peters, Molly Shannon, Sam Waterston, Virginia Madsen, Ron Livingston, Rachel Weisz and clothing designers Donna Karan and Narciso Rodriguez in the glittery crowd. "Evening" opens everywhere on June 29.

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