Yesterday’s Nelson Mandela Day lunch at the Four Seasons–underwritten by Coca Cola and Time Magazine–was quite the revelation for actor Morgan Freeman. He was thrilled to meet Nikki James, the newly minted Tony Award winner from “The Book of Mormon,” who told offered the Oscar legend her house seats for the sold out show this weekend. Freeman immediately accepted. Freeman told me he was very pleased with his recent AFI Lifetime Achievement award dinner but was sad that both Jack Nicholson and director Mike Nichols couldn’t make it. (Nicholson has been publicly AWOL for some time.) The lunch was full of A listers, from Hoda Kodb, Ann Curry, Lester Holt and Al Roker to actors Anthony Mackie, Marisa Berenson, S. Epatha Meckerson, Ruben Santiago Hudson and Richard Belzer, Fox5’s Rosanna Scotto, Billie Jean King, Bob Jamieson, Barbara Walters, “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, Brian Williams, and Time magazine’s editor in chief Richard Stengel who introduced Freeman and spoke eloquently about the 93 year old Mandela and his impact on his own life and on the world.
PS Freeman is busy shooting the new Rob Reiner film, “Summer at Dog Dave’s,” in upstate New York. “It’s a family film,” Freeman explained.