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GREAT KATE: To Kate Winslet, her nude love scenes in the film “The Reader” were the furthest thing from erotic. “I don’t think I looked very sexy,” said the best-actress Oscar front-runner at a luncheon in her honor at the Plaza’s Oak Room. Fans flocked, including Gayle King, Bob Balaban, Sandra Bernhard, Whit Stillman, Chuck Scarborough and actresses Stephanie March and Stephanie Block. Fresh from picking up awards at the BAFTAs, the SAGs, the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes for her moving performance as a former Nazi concentration camp guard, Winslet was finally back home in New York for a brief respite before the Oscars.
Dressed down in a fitted gray jacket and black pants, her hair pulled back into a ponytail, the star said she has a very sensible approach to red-carpet dressing: “It’s just about what’s comfortable, really,” said Winslet, who relies on stylist Jessica Diehl to sort through possible ensembles. “It wouldn’t be possible to figure it out otherwise.” As for the rigors of the red carpet itself, she said she doesn’t mind. “It’s great fun — the day I start saying it’s a drag is the day I should hang up my hat.”
And while Elie Weisel couldn’t make it to introduce Winslet and hostess Gloria Steinem, Mort Zuckerman was there to make a few remarks. “I’m the closest Jew in Peggy Siegal’s Rolodex who knows anything about guilt. Right after Weisel is Zuckerman,” cracked the honcho to guests.