Keri Russell seems as happy as ever with a bun placed just so on top of her head during the Gen Art screening of Leaves of Grass, held Thursday at NYC’s Sunshine Cinema. The 34-year-old beauty spins through photographs effortlessly yet intently, gazing into the lenses with her air of mystique.
When Edward Norton’s rep starts placing demands making his time seem too precious, I gladly decline. After all, I don’t want to miss a moment with the Golden Globe–winning star of Felicity and The Mickey Mouse Club, who seems to be trailing seconds behind.
Group photo time!
The married mom of 2-year-old son River mugs with the cast of the comedy crime thriller. She hugs co-star Lucy DeVito and exclaims, “Oh, my god, you look beautiful!”
Surely, she is coming back. After all, this is Keri, who has been so gracious and friendly at her premieres for Waitress and August Rush. I never missed an episode of The Mickey Mouse Club growing up — I had a 5:30 p.m. appointment with the kids’ show every night — and was introduced to her by then-boyfriend Tony Lucca at a Buzzfly concert when Felicity was big 11 years ago. There’s no way she would pull a disappearing act like this.
Alas, minutes later, we’re told, “She doesn’t want to take away from the stars of the film by doing press.”
Wait, she is a star of the film — unlike Leelee Sobieski, who is just here to enjoy a free movie.
The personal-drama flags are raised. What could be going on with dear Keri that she doesn’t want to answer our light questions like, “What is your relationship like with Susan Sarandon?” (they’ve starred in several films together, including this one); “Do you wish you went to college?” (in the film, she plays a wise woman who bypasses academia in favor of the gentler rhythms of life); “Would you let your son be on The Mickey Mouse Club when he gets older?” “What is your relationship like now with The Mickey Mouse Club cast? Do you see a reunion in the future?” or even “Would you like to have more kids?”
Even one question about the movie shared between the dozen-ish reporters hoping to get time with Keri would suffice.
Oh, well. Perhaps Keri is over the fame game nearly 20 years after she became a sensation and is putting all of her energy into being a mom.
According to co-star Josh Pais, Keri has become a great friend, and he and his wife frequently get together with her and her husband.
“She’s a totally hands-on mom,” he tells me. “She brought River down to Shreveport [where we filmed], and he is an awesome little guy. We all went out on a boat together, and he’s a great guy. She’s right there, and being a mother is something that’s very important to her.”
In fact, he doesn’t think she has a nanny.
“I’m sure she has, at times, babysitters, but it’s not like she has full-time help,” he says. “She had a big party at her house, and there was no nanny. River would get up trying to come down to the party, and she was like, ‘No.’ They’re very hands-on.”
What is Keri really like?
“Keri’s awesome,” Josh says. “She is so delightful. She’s so gentle and down-to-earth and funny and so game to having a good time. She’s nothing but good.”