For Cicely Tyson And Kerry Washington, Roles Of A Lifetime

Source: Philip Galanes / New York Times


It was the meal where nobody ate. On a recent Sunday morning, Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington — one an Oscar nominee in 1972 for “Sounder” and a Tony Award winner this year for “A Trip to Bountiful” (which ends its Broadway run Oct. 9), the other a 2013 Emmy nominee for “Scandal” and a newlywed after her marriage this summer to the San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha — met for brunch in the dining room of the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side. As soon as Miss Tyson entered the room and greeted Ms. Washington with a tight embrace and the words “Don’t get up, don’t you dare get up” to their third table  companion, the two began an animated, breakneck conversation about race, role models, overcoming parental disapproval and why Olivia Pope wears so much white.

As the gathering broke up about an hour later, with Miss Tyson heading to the theater for that day’s matinee and Ms. Washington off to another engagement, it suddenly became clear that brunch had passed without any actual food being served: a bottle of Pellegrino for the table and a cup of hot water and lemon for Ms. Washington.

On the way out, the maître d’ was asked why no one had come by to offer food (or even menus) to this table of three. He replied: ““Whatever you had going on, I didn’t want to interrupt it.”

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