By Bennett Marcus, Vanity Fair
Photograph by Fairchild Archive.
Jeff Zucker might be a broadcast-industry titan as the head of CNN, but what would he really love to do? "I secretly wish I could sing on a Broadway stage," he told VF Daily at the premiere of Girl Rising, in which girls who have overcome hardships share their stories. Inspired by the film, we asked attendees at Wednesday's premiere, at the Paris Theatre in Manhattan, what we'd learn in a documentary about their lives. And Zucker told us that he's also a big Broadway fan. "I love Broadway. It would probably surprise people how much I love Broadway," he said, but sadly declined to name his favorite musical, number, or a performer whose career he admires. Use your imagination.
Another newshound, Connie Chung, said she changed majors about 10 times in college and had no idea what she wanted to do. Her path to TV news started like this: "I worked for a congressman on Capitol Hill, who was corrupt, but a former newspaperman, and he got me interested in writing," she said, laughing. "And that's the beginning and the end of the story." But Chung never got a chance to report on this man's corruption scandal. "He got out before they got him," she said. "He was a smart corrupt congressman."
Blue Bloods actress Sami Gayle got to live Zucker's dream, her first time at bat. "I flew up to New York from Florida to go on an open call for Gypsy with Patti Lupone at City Center, and I got it," Gayle said. The show later moved to Broadway, and Lupone took home a Tony Award. But that was Gayle's first gig, at age 11, and her 13-year-old brother got her the job, as well as the three after that. "I had no agent, no manager, nothing," Gayle said. "He was just my brother, and he looked it up, and found an audition, and that was it."
Lauren Bush Lauren became a vegetarian at age three, thanks to the farm-to-table movement. "We went to sort of a restaurant-farm situation," Lauren explained. "You sort of fall in love with the animals, and you go inside and order them, and it didn't sit right with me."
After that, her mom, Sharon Bush, would hide meat in her food. "You know, we were in Texas, and that's a barbecue state, and I would hide it because her grandparents were very worried that her bones wouldn't develop," said Sharon, who was Lauren's date at the premiere. "And she would pick out every little piece of meat with her chubby, little three-year-old hands." Now 28, Lauren is still vegetarian. "It stuck," the FEED founder said.
Allison Williams revealed her irrational fear. "I'm really scared of ventriloquist dummies," she told VF Daily at the after-party, at Tao. "Really scared of them," she added. "Because I expect them to move. I expect them to animate at any moment."
The Girls star has not yet experienced that phenomenon. "If I were to walk into a room in a house I've never been to before, and there was a ventriloquist's dummy sitting on, like, a chair or something in a corner, I would not be able to be there," Williams said. "I blame R. L. Stine--I think it goes back to reading Goosebumps."
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