BEST PERFORMANCES 2017

Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and More Are the Best Performances of the Year

Written by W Staff
Photographed by Craig McDean

In W‘s annual Best Performances issue, out this week, Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg–and resident Oscars soothsayer–selects the year’s best actors and actresses, a wildly exciting group that features Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Adam Driver, Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Joel Edgerton and Casey Affleck.

1
Casey Affleck and Emma Stone
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair for Affleck by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Hair for Stone by Mara Roszak for L’Oréal Paris at Starworks Artists; Makeup for Affleck by Peter Philips for Dior; Makeup for Stone by Rachel Goodwin for Chanel at Starworks Artists; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Stone wears Chloé tunic; Wolford leggings; her own rings. Beauty: Covergirl. Affleck wears Louis Vuitton jacket and shirt.

2
Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Portman wears Dior dress; Mish New York earrings. Beauty: Dior. Negga wears Carolina Herrera dress; Lalaounis earrings. Beauty: Laura Mercier.

3
Amy Adams and Matthew McConaughey
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Adams wears Prada shirt; Djula earrings. Beauty: Giorgio Armani. McConaughey wears Burberry shirt.

4
Viggo Mortensen and Adam Driver
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Driver wears AG T-shirt. Mortensen wears Alternative Apparel henley.

5
Michelle Williams and Joel Edgerton
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Williams wears Louis Vuitton dress and bodysuit. Beauty: Nars. Edgerton wears Burberry T-shirt; Rolex watch.

6
Mahershala Ali and Nicole Kidman
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Kidman wears Chanel dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings. Beauty: Chanel. Ali wears Simon Miller T-shirt.

7
Emma Stone
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair for Stone by Mara Roszak for L’Oréal Paris at Starworks Artists; makeup for Stone by Rachel Goodwin for Chanel at Starworks Artists. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

La La Land

“My real name is Emily Stone, but when I started acting, that name was already taken by another actress, so I had to come up with a different one. For a 16-year-old, picking a new name is an interesting prospect, and back then I said, ‘I’m now going to be Riley Stone!’ So, for about six months I was called Riley. I landed a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle, and one day they were calling, ‘Riley! Riley! Riley! We need you on set, Riley!’ and I had no idea who they were talking to. At that moment, I realized that I just couldn’t be Riley. So I became Emma. But I miss Emily. I would love to get her back.”

Sonia Rykiel sweater; Commando briefs.

8
Matthew McConaughey
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Gold

“I was attracted to Gold because it reminded me of my dad. He loved shady deals. He’d much rather do a shady deal with fun people than a good deal with a bunch of straight-asses. He invested in diamond mines in Ecuador, and there were no fucking diamonds there. It was a scam, but he loved that. That’s the spirit of my character, Kenny Wells. There’s a little poem we have in the movie—‘Bird With No Feet Sleeps in the Wind.’ And that’s it: If Kenny, or my dad, gets the money or not, does it really matter? Would he change? No. Not that guy. These are people who are going to con, finagle, and boot-scoot their way in the side door. They never had the front-door entrance to the American Dream.”

AG jacket; Current/Elliott T-shirt; Levi’s jeans; John Hardy bracelet (right); Ann Demeulemeester boots.

9
Amy Adams
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Arrival and Nocturnal Animals

“Tom Ford became my muse on Nocturnal Animals. My character, Susan, was very personal to Tom, and so I based my interpretation on him. Tom would ask on set, ‘Why is Amy using her hands like that?’ And I said, ‘I’m copying you, Tom!’ I used him. I used him up.”

Gucci shirt; Djula earrings.

10
Natalie Portman
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Jackie

“Playing Jackie Kennedy is scary. I was nervous at first, and I started by doing a lot of research. The biographies on her are all a little bit trashy, but the transcripts of her interviews with the historian Arthur Schlesinger were really helpful. He taped everything, and you can hear Jackie’s voice. Her intellect and her wit and what she’s bitter about are immediately apparent. At the same time, I was going to costume fittings and makeup tests. When I put on the Jackie wig, the physical and emotional sides came together. The hair itself is so iconic that once you have it right, you can start to see Jackie. I don’t really look like her, but I felt like I was in her skin.”

Equipment dress.

11
Adam Driver
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Paterson and Silence

Silence is the story of two Jesuit priests on a journey from Macao to Japan in search of their mentor, a priest who may have renounced his faith. When Martin Scorsese asked me to come to his house to talk about the movie, I already knew that for 28 years it had been his passion project. We talked about Silence, but when Scorsese starts a sentence, ‘When we were shooting Raging Bull…’ you can’t help but say, ‘Yeah, okay, tell me everything.’ So we talked for a long time, and finally he asked me if I would be willing to lose weight for the role. It made sense: How can you play a 17th-century persecuted priest while eating great meals? So I lost around 51 pounds. The weight loss was only bad in that, you know, I’d try to figure out how to play a scene and I had no ideas, because I was so damn hungry. Then I’d have a scoop of peanut butter and suddenly everything turned on!”

Dior Homme jacket; Rag & Bone Standard Issue T-shirt and jeans; Rolex watch. On model: Wolford  stockings.

12
Chris Pine
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hell or High Water

What was your first audition? My parents were both actors. I had just graduated from college, and my father had gone in for an audition for Gilmore Girls. He told the casting directors, “My son is back in town. Will you have him in for a reading?” So it was nepotism at its best. I can’t remember the role—maybe a boyfriend to someone? I got my start playing boyfriends, husbands-to-be, and princes.

In Hell or High Water you play a kind of modern Western antihero. You don’t speak much. When I read the script, the image that came to mind was of a man on a porch squinting through harsh sunlight into the distance, but not talking. I have a lot of similar memories of my father, where we are sitting next to each other and not saying much. Westerns have a stoic silence I’ve always appreciated. These days, we have so many distractions. I have minor ADD, so if anything grabs me and keeps me from petting my dog or collaging or just daydreaming, I immediately pay attention.

Brunello Cucinelli sweater; Sandro trousers; Loewe shoes.

13
Chris Pine
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Michael Kors henley. Model wears Araks robe; Stella McCartney Lingerie bra; Fifi Chachnil briefs; Falke stockings; Gianvito Rossi shoes.

14
Ruth Negga
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Loving

“When I auditioned for the part of Mildred Loving, I had to sort of disappear into her character. Usually, I don’t create a costume for an audition, but this time I wore a summer dress. I knew that coming in the door looking like this woman would have an impact. A year later, I learned I got the part. At the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, I walked up the steps of the Palais in full makeup, and I walked down the steps with mascara dripping. It was such an emotional experience. All I could think was that I needed to blow my nose before it dripped all over my frock.”

Prada top and skirt; Fabiana Filippi  top (underneath).

15
Taraji P. Henson
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hidden Figures

“I’m a pretty good actress. You could say that, right? Well, to play Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who figured out a way to get NASA astronauts into space, I had to be believable as a math expert—and I failed math in college. Precalculus looked like Chinese to me. Even with two tutors, I still failed. So God has an incredible sense of humor, because now I am playing a mathematician! Even on set, they would have a professor there to try and teach me. I said, ‘Show me what I have to write and I’ll memorize it, because I’m not gonna get it.’ Take that, math! I won: I became an actress.”

Monse shirt; La Perla bra; Forevermark by Natalie K earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.

16
Warren Beatty
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair and makeup for Beatty by Natalia Bruschi. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Rules Don’t Apply

“I never knew Howard Hughes, so I’m able to take liberties, to allow my imagination to go to work. I like to quote Henry Ford, who said, ‘History is bunk.’ I like to quote Winston Churchill, who said, ‘History will be kind to me, because I intend to write it myself.’ And, in Rules Don’t Apply, I quote Mr. Hughes himself. He said, ‘Never check an interesting fact.’ ”

Jeffrey Rüdes sweater.

17
Casey Affleck
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Manchester by the Sea

“I used to love movies that made me cry, and now all movies seem to make me cry. I don’t like that so much. I have my own things to cry about. I remember being young and sitting on the floor in my father’s apartment watching The Elephant Man on his black and white TV. When the Elephant Man did his speech—‘I am not an animal’—I started sobbing. That’s a tearjerker. That film made a superstrong impression on me. It set a certain standard in my mind of what was possible.”

Louis Vuitton pants; Falke socks. On model: Alexander Wang sweater.

18
Felicity Jones
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

A Monster Calls and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“Recently, I seem to be doing a lot of dying onscreen. Lizzie, my character in A Monster Calls, has cancer, and I became obsessed with the way someone’s voice changes as their body deteriorates, and how they change the way they hold their body. Cancer patients would tell me things like, ‘You become obsessed with painting your nails, because your body is out of control.’ It became harder and harder to play Lizzie. I don’t think I’m going to die anymore.”

Giorgio Armani dress; Djula earrings; Tacori  ring.

19
Marion Cotillard
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Allied, It’s Only the End of the World, and Assassin’s Creed

“It might sound weird, but I always cry at the end of Step Brothers. I’ve seen the movie 10 times, and it still touches me at the end, when Will Ferrell sings. You don’t expect to cry watching that type of comedy, but I always do.”

Burberry trenchcoat; Loro Piana sweater; Chopard earrings.

20
Jeff Bridges
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hell or High Water

“I remember doing an interview years ago and being asked if I was one of those actors who takes the part home with me. I answered, ‘No. Not really.’ My wife happened to be in the room, and she started to laugh. Apparently, I had been playing a terrible person—a killer or someone who buries people alive or something—and she definitely noticed. I wasn’t fun to live with.”

Boss coat; A.P.C. jeans; the Frye Company boots.

21
Dev Patel
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Lion

“When I was cast in Slumdog Millionaire I was 17. At our first major screening, I walked the red carpet in my school shoes and a terrible suit I found on the high street, in London, with my mum. My costar, Freida Pinto, was very beautiful, very glamorous, and they said, ‘We can’t have this kid walking the red carpet with her! He’s spoiling the whole picture!’ So they gave me a new suit and fixed me up. It was a bit like Pretty Woman.”

Hermès sweater; Frame Denim jeans.

22
Hailee Steinfeld
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

The Edge of Seventeen

Where was your first kiss? My first kiss was actually onscreen. I was in a graduate-thesis film called She’s a Fox, and I had to kiss two guys in it. I think I was 12. I was very nervous. One of the guys was shorter than me, and he had to stand on an apple box… Awkward! He told me, “I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my mom!” I was pretty sure that’s not the thing you say before you kiss a girl, so I looked at him and said, “Okay, I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my dog!”

Where was your first real-life kiss, then? At my house, by my front door. Which kind of sucks, because every time I walk through my front door I think about it. The kiss was a little messy, and I looked at the guy and said, “No, no, you can do better.” That’s not what you’re supposed to say, but I said it anyway.

Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.

23
Hailee Steinfeld
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings.

24
Anya Taylor-Joy
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

The Witch and Split

You say you don’t like watching horror films—so what’s it like for you to act in them? I’m a real scaredy-cat. I’m not good at being frightened. But I do like acting in a horror movie, because I get to feel so intensely. You put yourself in these extreme emotional situations, and it wears you out in a great way. Afterward, I go home and get a good night’s sleep. The work chills me out: I’m a lot more stable since I’ve been in scary movies.

What frightens you? Revolving doors. I worry they’ll cut me in half. Strangers will see me tense up and hold my hand as I’m going through them. I’m constantly worried that I’m not going to make it through the door alive.

Gucci  jacket, shirt, and pants.

25
Michael Shannon
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Midnight Special, Elvis & Nixon, and Nocturnal Animals

“Doing a sex scene is just like having sex, except without any of the pleasure. The horror, fear, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness of sex is all there to enjoy—but none of the happiness.”

Saint Laurent jacket, shirt, and tie; Tiffany & Co. watch.

26
Andrew Garfield
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hacksaw Ridge and Silence

“The majority of my process in playing a priest in Silence was praying. I’d never really prayed before, and I developed a relationship with a power greater than myself—call it God, call it love, call it what you will. It became very natural to me, and I realized that we’re all praying all the time. There’s that human impulse to worship and to long for a connection to the divine. Unfortunately, in our culture we are driven to worship things that are false and empty. I had a year of exploring this idea of what we are truly longing for and how we actually go to the places that can feed that longing. We all get glimpses of eternity every day. It’s just a question of whether we’re looking up from our iPhones long enough to notice.”

Alexander McQueen jacket and pants; A.P.C. shirt.

27
Greta Gerwig
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Maggie’s Plan and 20th Century Women

What is your karaoke song? It’s the nerdiest one ever: “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel. It’s one of those songs that if you were a certain kind of teenage girl—me!—you thought knowing all the words would help you get a boyfriend. And then, about 30 seconds too late, you realize that it won’t. But it remains my song. I had the same thought about “Modern Major General,” by Gilbert and Sullivan. I thought guys were looking for a girl who could memorize a lot of names, but they didn’t care about that. They just cared about getting a hand job or something.

Do you have a cinematic crush? I would have to say Melanie Griffith in Working Girl—the first time she meets Harrison Ford at the bar. She’s all done up and she tells him, “I’ve got a head for business and a bod for sin.”And young Harrison Ford…what a dreamboat! But it’s her I truly love. She’s so compelling and funny. She’s sexy without being plastic. I think a lot of people miss seeing women that way.

Proenza Schouler dress; Guidi boots.

28
Naomie Harris
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Moonlight

Were you a dramatic child? Yes, I used to stand in front of the mirror and try to make myself cry. I would also try different accents. I was living in an imaginary world, usually with Michael Jackson. He was going to rescue me! I used to draw pictures of me and Michael getting married, and I would send them to his fan club. I would imagine Michael waiting for me at the gate of my school, eager to whisk me away to a happier world.

Why Michael Jackson? I imagined myself as a Peter Pan kind of character, and Michael represented that existence. He was my guy.

Miu Miu coat, sweater, shorts, and shoes.

29
Lucas Hedges
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Manchester by the Sea

“As a little kid, my first love was IMDB [the data bank for movies and television]. I would memorize the birthdays of child actors. I really wanted to be an actor, and I related to the kids in the industry. But now that I think about it, memorizing their birthdays is not cute at all—it’s a little serial killer–ish.”

Prada sweater; Brooks Brothers  boxers.

30
Nicole Kidman
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Lion

What was your favorite birthday? When I turned 40, my husband, Keith [Urban], drove me up to the top of this small hill in Australia and sat me down. He had put together this huge fireworks display. It was just for the two of us! It was sexy.

What is your pet peeve? When people say they will do something and they don’t. And I know it’s terribly demanding, but I don’t like it when my husband doesn’t answer his phone. I have to keep calling and calling, and I get anxious. Does that make me high-maintenance?

What movie has made you cry? Last year I saw Room, and I was absolutely devastated by it. I’m raw as I get older. I have to be careful what I let in.

Where was your first kiss? This is crazy: We were playing hooky from school. I had my first kiss while watching The Shining. Is that not weird? And we did a few things other than kiss too! I didn’t see a lot of the movie.

Chanel sweater, dress, shorts, and shoes; Bulgari earrings.

31
Mahershala Ali
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Moonlight and Hidden Figures

“Juan, my character in Moonlight, dies off-camera. The audience never learns how or why. My father died when I was 20. He lived 3,000 miles away, but we were extremely close. I didn’t miss him right away—it took me three years before I went through my mourning. In Moonlight, it’s the same with Juan: His disappearance lingers in your mind.”

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci tank top; Cartier watch; Tiffany & Co. ring.

32
Dakota Fanning
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

American Pastoral

“My character, Merry, is very dark. There’s a sequence in the film when she is at her lowest, and I couldn’t wait to do those scenes! Inevitably, because I started acting so young, people have preconceived notions regarding who I am and what I’m capable of. I’ve learned to let that go, because it would drive me crazy and cause me to make choices for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, perception follows people. We put people in boxes without knowing them. I’m guilty of that too, but I try to curb it because I know how it feels. That said, my sister, who knows me better than anyone, was horrified when she watched American Pastoral. Merry really upset her—and shocking my sister was really exciting.”

Marc Jacobs dress; Chloé shorts; Djula rings; Leg Avenue socks; Miu Miu shoes.

33
Alden Ehrenreich
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Rules Don’t Apply and Hail, Caesar!

When did you meet Warren Beatty, who wrote, directed, and starred in Rules Don’t Apply? It was in 2009, when I was 19. I was about to go to college. We met for five hours, and I guess it was an audition, although I hadn’t seen the script. For the next five years, I kept auditioning. During that time I got to ask him everything I ever wanted to know about movies and all his experiences.

Did you eventually read the script? Yes, but you never audition for Warren. You just have a meal and talk. Two or three years in, we had dinner and I asked him to read one of the scenes. Warren was kind of tired, and I really pushed him. We ended up playing the scene together nine times. I remember feeling that if this movie never happens, or if I don’t get cast, I’ll always have the memory of me and him in his kitchen in the middle of the night acting together.

Coach 1941  jacket; Acne Studios jeans.

34
Viggo Mortensen
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Captain Fantastic

“I think women often make better actors than men. Historically, they have had to act out of self-protection and play roles in a world run by men. The best male actors, like Marlon Brando, are comfortable with their feminine side. It’s what makes them great.”

Boss jacket and sweater. On model: Giorgio Armani dress.

35
Annette Bening
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

20th Century Women

“I love emojis. I like the thumbs-up. I’m also big on the heart. I really like the woman in the red dress—she appears quite often in my texts. I also use the blue spiral and the namaste. I learned about emojis from my children, and often now, I almost prefer not to use words, just emojis. In the past few days, for instance. I’ve been using that loudspeaker one. It means I’m making noise about something.”

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci dress; Harry Winston earrings; Falke tights; Jimmy Choo shoes.

36
Annette Bening
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci dress; Harry Winston earrings; Bulgari ring; Falke tights; Jimmy Choo shoes.

37
Joel Edgerton
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Loving

“I was surprised to learn that most Americans didn’t know about the Loving case, how it made interracial marriage legal in this country. The names Mildred and Richard Loving are not on the civil rights time line that is taught in schools. Somehow, this major victory was not as big as a bomb exploding or someone being shot at a lectern. Instead, it was a quiet revolution that deserves a loud conversation.”

Burberry T-shirt; Saint Laurent jeans; Lucchese Bootmaker boots; Dior Homme jacket (on chair).

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Michelle Williams
Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Manchester by the Sea

“What are they doing to kids? Why does somebody always have to die in an animated children’s movie? The films are all so depressing. There is plenty of time for that. Me and my daughter—we’re done! From now on, only classic romantic comedies and musicals for us. I don’t want to be sad.”

Louis Vuitton top, pants, and boots.