The Tandem of Peggy Siegal and Bob Balaban

By Richard Horgan Comment

TheMartianTeaThe headline for Alex Williams’ profile of this legendary (and still very active) New York film publicist is a clear winner. It reads: “Peggy Siegal, Best Hostess in a Supporting Role.”

Just how does Siegal continue to beat out competitors in an increasingly crowded field? Well, you’ll have to read the article for the full answer. But here is just one example of the majesty of her 68-year-old M.O.:

She casts each lunch, or tea, or dinner, like she’s casting a movie. For a lunch for The Danish Girl, Tom Hooper’s film about a transgender artist, she invited Larry Gagosian, Rob Pruitt (the post-conceptual artist) and Françoise Gilot, the 94-year-old French painter who once dumped Pablo Picasso. For a screening of the Hungarian Holocaust film Son of Saul, she lured the survivor and author Elie Wiesel — “and all Jews want to meet Elie Wiesel,” Ms. Siegal said.

Even so, just as Martin Scorsese keeps going back to Leonardo DiCaprio for his films, Ms. Siegal tends to traffic in some familiar faces: Charlie Rose, Barbara Walters and Martha Stewart in media; Michael Douglas, Darren Aronofsky and Sofia Coppola in film. The actor Bob Balaban is such a frequent guest that he may as well be her mascot.

No doubt, whenever Siegal’s unofficial mascot is part of the mix, the conversation often turns to the complexities of gun control. The actor, two years’ Siegal’s senior, is passionate about that topic and recently wrote a related essay for the Daily News:

We gun-control advocates are going to have to realize that in many parts of America guns are essential to the average person’s survival. So we’d better let our gun-toting neighbors know we don’t want to do anything that will endanger their safety. And our anti-gun control neighbors in return are going to have to show us bleeding heart liberals they’re ready and willing to work with us to find meaningful solutions to help stop the violence. Because if we centrists on the left don’t start joining forces with the centrists on the right, the extremists on both sides will win. And then everyone loses. And we can’t let that happen.

Meanwhile, with regards to awards and Oscars, can you remember the film Balaban was nominated for by the Academy? If not, that separate answer is here.
 
[Image via: peggysiegal.com]

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