By: James Wolcott
In the quarter-century since Vanity Fair launched the Hollywood Issue, show business has changed in fundamental ways, as have magazines. But a star-studded, foldout cover remains a surefire thrill. This year’s portfolio goes inside the cover’s creation, which took place in L.A. and New York as Annie Leibovitz photographed 12 of film and TV’s most iconic actors—with a non-actor corralled for the shoot for his last V.F. hurrah.
The films and TV shows represented by the actors in this year’s Hollywood Portfolio—which for the first time offers a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot—took the #MeToo movement in stride, offering strong women in leading roles, as well as strong men supporting them. Here we have Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman summoning the women’s battle cry of Big Little Lies alongside Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the indispensable sidekick to The Post heroine Katharine Graham. There’s also Claire Foy and Gal Gadot, embodiments of their formidable characters, the Queen and Wonder Woman, and one possible future female president in the mix. Movies have always thrived on relevance, and this year’s cover stars don’t hesitate to make a statement about the times we’re living in and the changes that need to happen.
CLAIRE FOY, actor.
7 films, including Unsane (2018); 16 television shows, including The Crown, Season Two (2017).
Quintessential Englishness is the viola Claire Foy plays, usually in period costume. Foy was outfitted with the poshy title of Lady Persephone Towyn in the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs (BBC), lost her head as Anne Boleyn on Wolf Hall (BBC), and was reconstituted for greatness as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown (Netflix), contending with a moody husband, a lumbering Winston Churchill, a sprawling empire, and the deadweight of protocols and precedents—all while maintaining cameo-brooch composure. In royalty, as in theater, the show must go on.
Read the full article at Vanity Fair.