Two decades—and three kids—after their first Hamptons excursions, actress and author Molly Sims and Netflix executive Scott Stuber reflect on parenthood, Hollywood projects and why summers in Wainscott will always be a priority.
From left: Navy stretch cotton shirt, $350, by Ralph Lauren Purple Label at Ralph Lauren, Southampton; rose gold and leather hybrid smartwatch, $275, at Michael Kors, Southampton; trousers, Stuber’s own. Tulle chemisier dress, $3,930, by Luisa Beccaria at modaoperandi.com; Luminus ring in white gold with diamonds, $16,250, Secret Garden ring in white gold with diamonds, $8,620, and Luminus earrings in white gold with diamonds, $14,940, all by Hueb at Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC; stacked rings, Sims’ own.
As a supermodel, Kentucky native Molly Sims walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, served as a spokeswoman for CoverGirl and graced many a swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated (once even clad in a $30 million diamond bikini). But her ultimate measure of validation came years earlier, upon an inaugural visit to the East End.
“The first time I went to the Hamptons was in 1995,” begins Sims, warm Southern charm exuding from her voice. “I had just joined Next Models and I did a test shoot in Quogue—and I thought I had made it.” Sims’ career quickly skyrocketed after her roommate at Vanderbilt University prompted her to send photos to a modeling agency, and from then on, there was no turning back. She spent six years working and living throughout Europe—in London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg and Munich—but it was Wainscott on which she was sold. “I bought there in 1999,” says Sims, extolling the Hamptons’ beaches and the area’s quaintness. “It was my first purchase ever in my life; my down payment was $60,000. I was 24, 25, and now I’m 45. I really haven’t left since then.”
Producer and film executive Scott Stuber—who in 1998 was a newly appointed senior vice president of production at Universal Pictures—first ventured to the Hamptons around this same time. “I was single, and I went with a friend of mine, and we’d heard all about it,” says the born-and-bred Angeleno, now 49. “We went to all the great clubs in Southampton, and we ran around and went to every clambake, every polo match, and we loved it. You know, because we were West Coast kids and we’d never seen it.”
The pair crossed paths briefly while in different places and other relationships, but they first connected on a meaningful level at a 2009 Golden Globes party in Los Angeles.
“It was in one of those moments when you do cocktail chatter,” recalls Stuber, who by then had overseen films like A Beautiful Mind and The Fast and the Furious as Universal’s vice chairman of worldwide production and had begun producing under his own shingle. “She asked me a couple of questions, and I told her things weren’t so good, and here I was in difficulties in a relationship. It was actually just a sweet, open and honest conversation.”
Printed organza shirtdress with pockets, price upon request, at paolosebastian.com; wool pinstripe suit jacket, similar styles at Ralph Lauren, Southampton; Baia black leather belt, $345, at IRO, NYC; Nudist sandals, $398, at Stuart Weitzman, NYC; earrings, Sims’ own.
Sims appreciated Stuber’s sincerity, and a year later, when they both found themselves single and in L.A., they went to dinner at Asanebo. Stuber was “smitten,” and following a year and a half of dating, they got engaged and married in September 2011 at a Napa Valley vineyard. “He is so great at wearing so many hats, but at the same time being real,” says Sims. “And it just struck a chord at that time in my life when I was really trying to figure out my lane.”
After hosting MTV’s model-centric House of Style, Sims transitioned into acting, playing the devious Delinda Deline on all five seasons of NBC’s Las Vegas. (“They were like, it’s only three episodes,” she recalls, “and then [it] was six years later!”) She’d also appeared in films like Starsky & Hutch and Yes Man—but as it happened, her focus shifted quickly to family. “Having kids later in life, there was a little bit of pressure,” says Sims, who froze embryos before her wedding but ended up not needing them.
“We got pregnant on our honeymoon. Then we were like, ‘OK, we wanted a second.’ And then—happy surprise—we have a third!” recaps Sims, mother to Brooks, 6; Scarlett, 3; and Grey, 1 (whom she had at 43). She now documents her health, home, style and entertaining tips on her lifestyle blog and YouTube channel, and published two books with HarperCollins, for the aspiring “everyday supermodel” whose home is “everyday chic.” A third book is definitely on her mind—“We’re toying with ‘Everyday Healthy,’” the best-selling author hints—as is a return to acting. “I just recently went out for my first pilot after many years, and it’s hard because most things are not shot here, and for me it’s a game changer.”
Maintaining a work-life balance is a challenge they share. “We both strive really hard to do things well—probably sometimes too much,” Stuber admits. “But we both really find ourselves to be lucky.” The producer, behind hits like The Break-Up, Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West, split with Universal after 21 years last March to become Netflix’s head of original films. “We’re trying to tell stories that are unique,” he says of Netflix’s upcoming projects—which feature actors like Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock and Timothée Chalamet, and filmmakers from Martin Scorsese to Amy Poehler, who is making her directorial debut.
Dress, $2,030, similar styles at jilsander.com; tulle skirt, price upon request, at vitorzerbinato.com.br; suede pumps, $595, by Jimmy Choo at Hirshleifer’s, Americana Manhasset; ruby and diamond earrings, $76,000, emerald-cut red zircon ring, $7,250, and pear-shaped pink tourmaline ring, $5,500, all by Norman Silverman Diamonds at London Jewelers, East Hampton; belt, stylist’s own.
But what the Los Angeles-based pair will always make time for is summers in the Hamptons. “It feels so big, but yet it’s so small… it’s just a feeling,” describes Sims, while Stuber forgoes any business talk to “decompress and enjoy life.” The couple frequented Sims’ East Hampton home while dating—“I was happy to show him something that’s meant so much to me, like my little jewel box,” she says—and in 2012, they upgraded to a five-bedroom shingle-style abode with pool, wine cellar and chef’s kitchen. “We bought it because of the kitchen,” jokes Sims, who worked with Dan Scotti on simple yet comfy decor. Every room is a different color; Scotti filled a bookshelf with National Geographic publications as art, and Sims picked child-friendly fabrics: “It looks good aesthetically, but you also feel good living there and really feel like the kids have fun.”
Over the years, Sims and her crew have found a few beloved spots. “I think our number-one haunt would be Candy Kitchen,” she says. Other food favorites include Dopo La Spiaggia (for pasta—and off-menu flatbread), Duryea’s and The Crow’s Nest in Montauk, Levain Bakery, Breadzilla and the options in Amagansett Square. Nili Lotan and Clic are Sims’ shopping picks, and for some sun, the family will head to Georgica Beach.
Appearing in Hamptons’ 40th anniversary issue feels like a milestone for four-time cover star Sims, who’s been going to the Hamptons for almost half her life. “It’s great to be invited to the party, because I feel like I’ve been such a part of it,” she says. Sims has been working with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for 20 years, often cohosting the Super Saturday shopping benefit that moves to NYC this September, and supporting Paddle & Party for Pink. However, Sims can also stay right at home and have “the best time,” she says.
“I don’t think the Hamptons have changed, I think we’ve changed,” she decrees. “You had to go to the best restaurant, and now it’s more about our company than where we’re going.”
Stuber, whose favorite activity is taking his kids to LT Burger and walking by the boats, agrees. “Everything in your life changes over time—you find happiness in different things,” he says. “Last night Molly was in the bed with all three kids, and I just looked over, and I was like, ‘That is my whole heart in one bed.’”
Or perhaps that’s Sims, having truly made it.
Photography by: Photography by Justin Coit; Styling by Jeff Kim at The Only Agency; Hair by Kristin Heitkotter at TMG-LA using Oribe Hair Care, Laced Hair Extensions and T3; Makeup by Joey Maalouf at The Only Agency for The Glam App