Mike Bloomberg toasted Teddy Schwarzman Wednesday night at a party for the Imitation Game producer thrown by his father, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman and stepmother, Christine Hearst Schwarzman. It was a cozy Champagne affair in the Park Avenue triplex once owned by John D. Rockefeller, whose walls are crowded with Picasso, Matisse and their ilk. The crowd on the floor included Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy’s co-producers on the $14 million biopic about Alan Turing. It’s up for five Golden Globe awards on Sunday, including Best Dramatic Film, and is certain to play a major role in next week’s Oscar nominations.
Also attending from the film were director Morten Tyldum, screenwriter Graham Moore and cast members Allen Leech, Matthew Beard and Alex Lawther. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were not in evidence.
Stopping by to lend support and cadge the curried chicken, seared tuna and other teeny tidbits presented on silver trays passed through the crowd by white-gloved hands were Robert DeNiro & Grace Hightower, Jane Rosenthal, ICM’s Boaty Boatwright, Google’s Eric Schmidt, actress and human-rights activist Trudie Styler, Broadway producer Daryl Roth, Charlie Rose and Gayle King.
Father introduced son, who paid tribute to the creatives involved in taking a chance on telling the story of Turing, the genius credited with breaking the Nazis’ Enigma code, bringing World War II to a faster end; inventing what would become the computer; and paying for it all with a tortured post-War life that included his arrest for indecency because he was gay, leading to his eventual suicide. We may think of The Imitation Game as a big-studio film distributed by the Weinstein Company, younger Schwarzman said, but the filmmakers were indie all the way.
The former Gotham mayor addressed Teddy, saying “I’ve known your father longer than you have,” and complimenting him for “overworking and underpaying” the folks who labored for him, which drew some laughs.
“It’s people like Turing who make the sacrifices, and he may not have understood what he was really doing by existing,” Bloomberg continued, waxing a bit more thoughtful, “but if it wasn’t for somebody like that, we wouldn’t have gone one step and we need to keep going steps and have to have people willing to be themselves, whether it’s their sexual orientation, or their political beliefs or their religious beliefs, and those are the ones that let us keep advancing.”
Tyldum spoke of his own passion for the film: “I think it is impossible to not be fascinated and intrigued and outraged when you hear the story of Alan Turing. I thought I knew history very well,” he said. “And then I find out I knew nothing, when I read the script. This man was one of the most important men in the last century, one of the big thinkers, and has sort of been erased from history and pushed to the shadows because he is a gay man…Alan Turing’s spirit has been looming over this project from its beginning. You better get this right, he deserves it. We’re very proud of this movie.”