updated 06/12/2014 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/12/2014 AT 2:15 PM ET
They were there to accept distinguished prizes. But the honorees at Women in Film’s 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday still got to glam it up and have some fun. And for one famous new mom, a rare night out.
In her first public appearance since giving birth to daughter Isabelle in May, Kerry Washington let out a heavy sigh upon reaching the podium to accept her Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Scandal boss Shonda Rhimes.
“ ‘I’m out in public,” she said, sounding almost surprised to be back on the Los Angeles social circuit.
Earlier on the red carpet, Washington, 37, said, “it’s been a while” since she’d been able to play dress-up. “But it is really fun.”
Oscar winner Cate Blanchett was presented the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film by longtime pal Laura Dern, who said the two met over a shared passion for frozen yogurt. Looking out at the expansive ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, Blanchett, 45, said, “This is really big bigger than I realized. I don’t know what I thought we’d be doing quilting or something.”
“I didn’t know this was such a big deal, either,” Eva Longoria added moments later in accepting the Humanitarian Award. “I feel like my extensions are going to pop out right now.”
The Desperate Housewives alum, 39, was honored by her pal Lake Bell, whose very pregnant belly prompted Longoria to joke, “If it wasn’t for her recent weight gain, I’d say she’s perfect.”
Having lent her name to over 30 charities in the 10 years since Housewives premiered, Longoria spoke at length about her sister Lisa, who is mentally challenged.
Lisa “sees things in life very simply,” Longoria said. “I remember at the Golden Globes she called to tell me my dress was ugly. She was like, ‘Purple, nooo.’ And then recently I just introduced her to my new boyfriend [Jose Antonio Baston] and she goes, ‘Another one’ – in front of him! And I was like, ‘She’s kidding.’ ”
Longoria got big laughs by sending up her fellow honorees, beginning with Washington, whom she called “my sister the black Eva Longoria. We were twins separated at birth. Every week, Kerry makes us feel like sleeping with the president who just killed the Supreme Court justice is okay.”
Longoria then playfully chided Blanchett for making her peers feel “so inadequate as actors.”