During the weekend of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, it’s usually media organizations that take center stage with lavish parties and dinners radiating Hollywood star power.
This weekend, Dom Pérignon also tried to grab a piece of the action with a dinner Friday evening cohosted by Hollywood talent manager Eric Podwall at Fiola Mare in Georgetown that drew a number of entertainers who then attended the actual dinner Saturday at the Washington Hilton — Patrick Stewart, Matthew Morrison, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeremy Irvine and the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, as well as Beltway lifers like Qatar Ambassador Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari.
Morrison, from TV’s “Glee,” and Irvine, who broke out in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” both attended the Correspondents’ dinner as guests of Fox News.
It was the first time for Irvine, a Brit, originally from a small village in Cambridgeshire, who said he came to inspect the theater of the American political process up close.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and American history. I wanted to see where it all happens,” said the young actor, who also has a key role in the new Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman film, “The Railway Man.” He’s no stranger to politics, though — he has been well trained in the art of public speaking by his mother, a member of the Liberal Democrat party back home.
“Be sure and confident of what you’re saying,” he said of the lessons he’s learned from her.
This was Morrison’s fourth time attending.
“It’s nerd prom for them. I feel like a normal person. The attention’s on them, not me as an actor. I can look at things from the other side,” he said. Morrison had just returned from another event that mixed politics with entertainment, a fund-raiser for the Clinton Foundation. He performed “Singin’ in the Rain” for “Bill and the two future presidents, Hillary and Chelsea,” he said, acknowledging his hopes for future runs by the former Secretary of State and her daughter. Morrison then couldn’t help but to humble-brag, “And I’ve performed for Obama like six times.”