The Linney Diaries: Raised on the Upper East Side, But Laura Was No Mrs. X

Actress Laura Linney was raised on the Upper East Side, but that doesn’t mean she was a natural to play the snooty mom-employer Mrs. X (whom she called “a mess—just a mess!”) in the film version of The Nanny Diaries. “It was one of those things where the clothes did so much for me,” said the chestnut-tressed Ms. Linney, 43, clad in a slim-fitting black Donna Karan frock at WASP bastion Swifty’s on Monday, Aug. 13, following the movie’s New York premiere ten blocks south. “I didn’t grow up in that world in particular,” she added, gesturing toward the front of the restaurant.”But I was around it, so I knew it pretty well. I didn’t have to do a whole lot of intensive research.”

Ms. Linney’s worst-ever job wasn’t nannying, but waiting tables. “From five at night until five in the morning, four nights a week, during the summers, when I was off of school,” she said. “I got thrown up on and groped and yelled at. Oh, it was nuts, so I don’t miss that!”

Starring in the title role is Scarlett Johansson, 22, whose work on Woody Allen’s current effort kept her in Barcelona on that evening. (Producer Harvey Weinstein conveyed her regrets.) So it was over to socialite Olivia Palermo, 21, for some bon mots from the youth contingent. “I thought it was so real,” Ms. Palermo gushed of the film, wearing a black Alexander McQueen tuxedo jacket and sitting with clothing and multimedia entrepreneur boyfriend Brad Leinhardt, 25. “I was an Upper East Side kid growing up with a nanny. I had one a very long time that I’m still very close with. She was very much a part of the family and very accepted.”

So what was her worst job ever? “I have not had a least-favorite job,” said Ms. Palermo, whose only job, in fact, has been an internship at the high-society glossy magazine Quest. “You know, there are challenges in life, but that’s what makes life exciting.” Indeed! The Linney Diaries: Raised on the Upper East Side, But Laura Was No Mrs. X