Stars mixed and mingled at the TIME 100 Gala cocktail party in New York City on Tuesday night.
Mia Farrow, a TIME 100 alum and Twitter activist, wore a Boston Red Sox T-shirt underneath her blazer to honor Bostonians in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. “We’re all with Boston,” she said. “It’s been a harrowing week for the city, so if I’m going to a party during this horrific week, I just decided to wear something in solidarity with [Bostonians] instead of something more chic.”
(PHOTOS: Scenes From the TIME 100 Gala)
Farrow also noted she was disappointed that TIME did not include Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert on the 2013 list because “their incomparable wit just helps us process news more easily.” She hoped to run into another favorite television star Lena Dunham, creator of HBO’s Girls, whom she considers the next “Charlie Chaplin.”
Sure enough, Dunham waltzed in, having just posed on the red carpet with R&B singer Miguel and pop star Christina Aguilera. When she found out she was one of the TIME 100, “I called my dad because he was a layout editor at TIME in the 1970s, so I was super psyched, and I wanted to tell him that I was making good in his former institution. I heard there was a drinks cart when he worked there.” (Sadly, the cart no longer exists.)
Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington then came over to her. ”Hey, can you hold my jacket? Is that OK?,” Dunham asked a photographer who wanted to snap the two of them. She seemed equally thrilled to meet fellow Oberlin alum Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “I do actually know who are you,” she told him. “I don’t want to say anything inaccurate about what you do, but I have a general sense, and I just want to say I’m impressed. Do you have a business card or something?”
Imagine if one of the characters on Girls showed up, TIME asked. Dunham rolled her eyes. “It would be a disaster,” she said. “First, she would get drunk. Then she would say something culturally insensitive to an activist who fights for that culture. Then she would vomit. Then she would sleep with someone who she thought was Miguel, but it wasn’t.”
Some of the honorees said they heard they were on the list from someone else. Minecraft developer Jens Bergensten said he found out when his father-in-law congratulated him. Even Steven Spielberg, the legendary director of the likes of Lincoln and E.T., said he “got the news after everyone else had heard about it.” He was looking forward to meeting any of the influencers in science and technology. Standing next to him, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who won Best Actor at this year’s Oscars for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg’s Lincoln, said he was “more than mildly astonished” that he had made the cut.
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel had a similar reaction, explaining that he experienced several stages of “disbelief, rage, confusion, and then acceptance.” Why rage? Because TIME had “forever tainted the list” by including him. Then he got distracted when he saw actor Bryan Cranston, and put an arm around him, introducing the Breaking Bad star to TIME as his “son’s little league coach.”
Fellow late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon chimed in: “If I’m going to be on the same list as Pope Francis and Kim Jong Un, then that is a party I want to go to!”
Cranston quipped, “Yeah, I think you’re right in between those two!”
MORE: Meet the 2013 TIME 100