Kumail Nanjiani at “Variety’s 10 to Watch” at the HIFF

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Kumail Nanjiani was in a heated conversation with Bob Balaban at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton. Without ever having met him before, the Silicon Valleystar named a character in his hit movie of last summer, The Big Sick, on Balaban, and so it seemed at Variety’s 10 to Watch brunch that only six degrees of separation, or intimacy, existed among the talented young actors present for this beloved program of the Hamptons International Film Festival.

Emily V. Gordon, Nanjiani’s wife and Big Sick writer sat beside Sunny Ozell,Patrick Stewart’s wife. Stewart was seated central table among the actors, including Hamilton Tony winner Daveed Diggs, Downsizing star Hong Chau,and Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya. Timothee Chalamet, born in Hell’s Kitchen, stands out in two new movies, Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird. He went to LaGuardia High School with Grace Van Patten, luminous in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Danielle Macdonald appears in Lady Bird as well as starring in Patti Cake$, homage to all outsider teenage girls. Her character happens to have the seriously out of control comedienne Bridget Everett play her mother. “There’s nobody like her,” says Macdonald. In her upcoming movieDumplin,’ Jennifer Aniston plays her mother, a very different mother.

Kumail Nanjiani will host Saturday Night Live next week, and as everyone was leaving the restaurant, he asked Alec Baldwin for advice. “Just follow your instincts,” said Baldwin. “They’ve brought you this far.”

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