Ben is Back, and we’re keeping him

by Debbie Bancroft Photographed by Paul Bruinooge/PMC
Friday, November 30, 2018

In the mad flurry of pre-Oscar screenings and events, aimed at wooing awards voters and influencers, some moments stand out.

Such was the evening we spent with the Hedges family, at the Cinema Society’s screening of Ben is Back. Tears trickled and bosoms heaved, as Mary Louise Parker, along with Joe Mantello lovingly introduced her friend and drama school pal, Peter Hedges, who wrote and directed. Peter took the mike and emotionally introduced his son, Lucas Hedges, the star of the film (oh right, Julia Roberts was pretty outstanding, too). His described his other son, as handsome, in finance, and single–which was duly noted by all mothers in attendance. Mom, Susan Bruce rounded out the family affair. I think it’s fair to surmise, it will be a happy Christmas at the Hedges’ Brooklyn home, this year.

Variety calls Lucas “the busiest actor in Hollywood”. He’s also currently on Broadway, where he is starring in Waverly Place alongside the great Elaine May. In spite of this frenzy, he was gracious, warm and a whole lot nicer than some of the un-notable, blah-blah bankers we know. And the film is brilliant, produced by our very own Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Productions (yes, as in Steve).

The charming and intimate Whitby Hotel, was the perfect venue, and those agreeing included:  Rachel Bay Jones (from the film), who was joined by her Dear Evan Hansen co-star, Ben Platt, Mamie Gummer, Jay McInerney, Beth Stern, Carole Radziwill, Eleanora Kennedy, Candy Pratts Price, Hal Rubenstein and David Nickle, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Mary Snow, Daniel Benedict, Andrew Saffir and Jessica Joffe.


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