On Sunday night at
the Golden Globes, A Fantastic Woman, Chilean director Sebastián Lelio's contender for best foreign language film, did not win its category. But during its festival and awards season run so far, it's achieved another goal: to shine a light on the isolated, often desolate lives of women, especially transgender women—which its star, the newcomer Daniela Vega, happens to be. In the film, Vega plays Marina Vidal, a waitress by day and lounge singer by night (Vega, who mined her own life for her character's, is also a singer). Her life is thrown into turmoil after the death of her much older lover, Orlando. Treated like a criminal by the authorities and harassed by Orlando’s family, Marina must both cope with his death and figure out her life without him at the same time. There has been much chatter that Vega might be the first trans actor to be nominated for an Oscar— and she really could—but even if that doesn't come to pass, Vega has already become a talent to watch.
What was your first job as an actress?
Well, I started acting seven years [ago] in the cinema. [My first film] was a Chilean movie named The Guest was my first acting, and my first lead character in the cinema. I started to sing opera at eight years old. And then when I grew up, I decided to be an actress; I don't know. I’m not sure if I decide to be an actress. I take the way of my life, and [at] some point, I discover that I want to be an actress.
And did you have a moment where it came to you?
I think it’s more complex than this. I think it’s about my own transition. It’s about looking for answers. It’s about trying to survive to my own life and to the others’ life. And I think the arts work for me as an answer, as a key for the future.
Do you find that you act when you sing?
I think the most different situation when you’re singing, it’s you have to [evoke] emotions to the people with your voice, not with your gestures. And when you’re acting, you have to translate your emotion in [gestures]. So for that reason I think it’s very different.
A Fantastic Woman is somewhat autobiographical?
The movie, it’s about a young girl and an old man, they fall in love and [live] together. And one night he died and [his] family decide to separate [from] my character the funeral and all the rituals about death. And my character was very confused and lost in life, in that moment. And it’s a movie about love, death, and—
And courage, right. She’s a person and she know that—and defend that.
Which is very brave. She has a lot of odds against her.
Yeah, I agree. And maybe she’s love and vitality, you know. She has no vitality because she’s young. She has vitality because she know the time is gone. She fights against the moralism and against the old ideas about gender, about love, about life I think.
Daniela Vega and Robert Pattinson - Best Performances Covers
Vega wears Salvatore Ferragamo dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings; Gianvito Rossi shoes. Beauty: Covergirl. Pattinson wears Dior Homme tuxedo, shirt, and bow tie.
Photographs by Juergen Teller. Styled by Edward Enninful. Set design by Peter Klein at Frank Reps. Hair for Vega and Pattinson by Yusef for Rich Hair Care at Factory Downtown; Makeup for Vega, Pattinson by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists.
So how did the film come to you?
Well, in the beginning, the director was searching for the transgender people in Santiago. A friend in common told to him we have to meet; he called me one day and asked me if I want to meet him. And in the beginning, I was only a consultant. He was only looking for real stories about transgender people in Santiago, and then he discover that I can do the lead role. So he talked to me and asked me if I want to do that, and I said yes.
That must have been a big moment for you, right?
Yeah. I remember perfectly that situation. It was in my home at night, and I received the script. I read the script. I called him in Berlin because he live [there]. And I said, “You are completely crazy.” And he said, “No, I completely sure. You can do that.” And I thought, “Okay, okay.” And I take go to the party for three days, and then we start to work on the movie.
And what was the scariest part to you?
Scary? Oh, life is scary now. I think art, it’s not scary situation. Art, it’s a lovely situation. So for me, walking on the streets sometimes is scary, but singing and acting, it’s funny.
The scene in the police station, how hard was that for you to do?
Whoa. It was very difficult to do because I was naked. And well, to be naked it’s very normal and common and natural of course. But when you are naked because somebody is pushing you to say something, you know what I mean, it’s unfair, I think. And some people have the power to [do that] to somebody and say, “Take your clothes off.” “Why?” “Well, because I’m the law, because I’m the police.” And I think that's not fair.
And it’s humiliating.
Yes. And it’s very common, especially for the transgender community around the world. Were many of your stories that you told as a consultant incorporated into the film?
The movie, it’s about a big question. The movie, it’s about what we are doing with our empathy, what we are doing with our love, what we are doing in this moment in this little piece of the story, and what are you doing to fix the past and build a better future for the next generations.
So I’m going to ask some fun questions: What was your favorite birthday? Do you have a particular event on your birthday?
Yes, I always make a private party with no cellphones, no photos. I have no photos in my birthdays. And with a lot of beer and friends.
And do you do that every year?
Every year. I celebrate every year. [ Laughs.] But I’m 28 now, and I put my energy in my job. So if I want to sing in the next day [ Laughs.], I have to take a rest.
Do you still sing opera?
In the shower?
Every day. Gal Gadot, Emma Stone, Margot Robbie and More Are the Best Performances of the Year
Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone
wears Dior dress; Dior Fine Jewelry earrings, and ring. Beauty: Dior.
wears Louis Vuitton dress. Beauty: L’Oréal Paris.
Gal Gadot and James Franco
wears Giorgio Gadot wears Giorgio Armani jacket; Fabergé necklace; her own earring. Beauty: Revlon.
wears Giorgio Armani jacket, shirt, and bow tie.
Daniela Vega and Robert Pattinson
wears Salvatore Ferragamo dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings; Gianvito Rossi shoes. Beauty: Covergirl.
wears Dior Homme tuxedo, shirt, and bow tie.
Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman
wears Louis Vuitton dress; Wing & Weft Gloves gloves. Beauty: Lancôme.
wears Dior dress; Wing & Weft Gloves gloves. Beauty: Neutrogena.
Tom Hanks and Mary J. Blige
wears Tom Ford suit; Emma Willis shirt; Hanks’s own jewelry.
Mary J. Blige
wears Versace dress; Chopard earrings; De Beers ring. Beauty: MAC Cosmetics.
Saoirse Ronan and Andrew Garfield
wears Chanel dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings; Jimmy Choo pumps. Beauty: Chanel.
wears Prada suit and top; Converse sneakers.
Gal Gadot in
"This year on Halloween, my daughter and I went trick-or-treating, and I had on this huge mask so I could see everyone but they couldn’t see me. Whenever I saw a Wonder Woman costume on a girl or a boy, it was so exciting. My daughter, who was dressed as a unicorn zombie, would run up to me and say, “Did you see that Wonder Woman?” They were everywhere!"
Gal Gadot wears Moschino Couture dress; Fabergé ring; Off-White c/o Jimmy Choo shoes.
Emma Stone in
Battle of the Sexes
"[Jennifer Lawrence] came to see
Cabaret and both of my contacts popped out of my eyes at the same time and my prescription is -900, which, if you know what that means, is like...I cannot see. So, they had to drag me off the stage in the dark and she came backstage afterwards and I was like, 'I couldn't see anything! It was garbage! It was a disaster!' And she was like, 'Enough, enough. I'm your dance mom. You need to calm down.'"
Emma Stone wears a Louis Vuitton dress; Cartier earrings.
Hong Chau in
"I am Vietnamese, and we don’t celebrate birthdays. My parents don’t actually know their birth dates—they just go by their signs. When somebody asks you how old you are, you say, 'I’m born this month in the Year of the…' I was born in the Year of the Sheep. Sheep don’t like to be the center of attention, and they don’t like being told what to do. That pretty much sums me up."
Hong Chau wears an Etro dress; Chanel Fine Jewelry earrings; Tiffany & Co. ring.
Gary Oldman in
"I’ve had a flirtation with Winston Churchill for years; there’s been a book of famous Churchill quotes on my bookshelf since childhood. To me, he was the man who won the war. And yet, when I was first asked to play the part, I thought, Don’t be ridiculous, and turned it down. But they came back, and it felt right. My wife said, 'Look, you get to stand in Parliament and say these great words. What have you got to lose?'"
Gary Oldman wears a Canali suit; Boss shirt and tie.
Sam Rockwell in
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
"I always joke that Jason Dixon, the character I play in
Three Billboards, is Barney Fife meets Travis Bickle. I spent a lot of time trying to perfect his southern Missouri accent. I did ride-alongs with a cop down there—he had a great twang. Accents should be practiced as if you’re drunk. Actors get a little tense when they have to do an accent. Drunkenness relaxes everything."
Sam Rockwell wears a Marni trench; Editions M.R shirt; Simon Miller T-shirt; Huntsman pants; Rolex watch; Church’s shoes.
Grace Van Patten in
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
"My character in
The Meyerowitz Stories is a sweet family girl, but when she sends films she makes in school to her family, you see her wild side. I’m naked in most of those films. I sat next to my dad at the premiere, and that was probably the most uncomfortable thing in my life. To see myself 75 feet tall and naked was not easy. I sank into my chair and heard my dad kind of laugh nervously. We pretended those scenes never happened." Grace Van Patten wears an Alberta Ferretti dress; her own jewelry.
Daniela Vega in
A Fantastic Woman
"Being an actress, for me, is about my own transition. It’s about looking for answers. It’s about trying to survive in my life and also for the lives of others who face similar challenges. Life is scary, but art is not scary."
Daniela Vega wears a Max Mara dress; David Webb earrings; Piaget necklace; Chanel Fine Jewelry ring (right hand); Tiffany & Co. bracelet and ring (left hand); Gianvito Rossi shoes.
Nicole Kidman in
The Beguiled and The Killing of a Sacred Deer
"My husband is an artist, but he still has a hard time watching me sometimes. During
The Killing of a Sacred Deer at the Cannes Film Festival, he was both hypnotized and shattered. When he hears me scream or cry from a certain place in my soul, it’s almost like it goes straight into him. His brain and heart don’t discern between acting and real life."
Nicole Kidman wears a Prada top and skirt; Chanel Fine Jewelry ring; Jimmy Choo pumps.
Where was your first kiss?
This is going to sound like a murder story, but it was in the woods, outside of a baseball park. I had lost my turtle. Curtis, the guy I kissed, found it.
Was that your first pet?
No, it was a schnauzer named Ozzie. He hated us so much. He never wanted to be in the same room with us.
So what’s your porno name—first pet plus first street name?
What was your favorite Halloween costume?
A picnic table. My mom wouldn’t let me be a witch or a ghost or anything demonic, so I cut a hole in a plastic cloth and went as a picnic table. The problem was I had a crush on this guy named John, and I was so pumped for Halloween because it was our chance to interact. And then I put my face in the tablecloth and was like, “Hi, John. Are you my boyfriend?”
Jennifer Lawrence wears a Dior dress; Dior Fine Jewelry earrings and ring.
Daniel Kaluuya in
"When I first read the script for
Get Out, I thought, Are you allowed to do this? Are they really going to let this black guy kill all these white people? I think the most fascinating art pieces come at a price to the person making them. And this movie took a risk. On opening night, I went to see it in a theater in the hood in Atlanta. The crowd clapped, they cheered, they yelled, 'Get out, man! Yo—get out!' It was all the stuff that we hoped the audience would say." Daniel Kaluuya wears a Gosha Rubchinskiy x Adidas Football sweatshirt and sweatpants; ’47 hat; Gucci socks; Kaluuya’s own sneakers.
Brooklynn Prince in
The Florida Project
The Florida Project when I was 6. I’m 7 now. It was really fun because during shooting I got to eat ice cream! I want to start my own YouTube channel, and the name of it will be I Am Crazy for Ice Cream because I am crazy for ice cream. I’m also so into fashion. I wear shorts in the movie, and they were so short. It was a struggle getting them on. Now, I’m like, 'Mom! Where are my skirts? No more shorts!'”
Brooklynn Prince wears a Baby Dior dress; La Coqueta shoes.
Harris Dickinson in
"I’m naked quite a lot in
Beach Rats, and it’s a little strange to act when you’re naked. When the boom operator is standing over you, and you’re not wearing anything, it’s awkward. But, in the end, I didn’t find it difficult. I’m pretty comfortable with my body. Not in an 'I’m happy to flaunt it for £5' kind of way, but it does go deep into the psychology of someone trying to figure out their own sexuality, and their identity." Harris Dickinson wears a Calvin Klein 205W39NYC shirt, pants, and boots.
Diane Kruger in
In the Fade
"As an actor, people put you in categories. It’s 'Oh, she has an accent,' or 'She doesn’t have an accent,' or 'She can do this accent,' or 'No, she can’t.' They’ll say, 'She’s a pretty blonde, so I don’t know if we can see her in a comedy.' So I know that for Fatih Akin to pick me was a big risk because he’s very well known in Germany as a director who casts unknowns or people he discovers who are not actors at all. In the beginning, he got a lot of backlash for it. And, in truth, I don’t think I could have played this character five years ago. Now I’m ready to shed any beauty look. I want to be stripped of any pretense, of any glamour."
Diane Kruger wears a Rosamosario romper; Christian Louboutin shoes.
Ben Stiller in
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
"When I was 14, I auditioned for an Off Broadway play. The scene was about a bris, the Jewish tradition of a child having the tip of his penis snipped off. Being the nice Jewish kid that I was, I did not know what a bris was, and I decided to pronounce it
brie. Bris as brie. So I did the monologue, and, at the end, the director said, 'Thank you very much, and it’s pronounced bris.' I did not get the part."
Ben Stiller wears a Gucci coat; Olatz pajamas.
Margot Robbie in
"When I was 6, my favorite film was
Robin Hood: Men in Tights. It’s got a lot of adult jokes, and it was really inappropriate for a child to see. In school, they asked us, 'If you were to make a potion, what would you put in it?' Even then, I could recall lines of movies, and I said, 'The testicles of a newt!' I got called up to the front of the class and was asked why I put testicles in my potion. I had no idea what testicles were—I just loved the film."
Margot Robbie wears a Dolce & Gabbana top, shorts, and shoes.
James Franco in
The Disaster Artist
"I was late to the game on
The Room, which is considered by many to be the worst movie of all time. For years, I would see this billboard in L.A. that Tommy Wiseau, the actor and star of the movie, had paid to have up on Highland Avenue. It was a picture of him, sort of glaring down at you, with the words THE ROOM and a phone number. I was like, 'What is this? Do you call the number and this crazy, weird, vampirelike guy can be in your movie?' But then I started reading The Disaster Artist, which was written by one of the other actors in the movie, and before I was halfway through, I just knew it was such an incredible, bizarre story, unlike any other in Hollywood, about outsider artists trying to achieve their dreams. I was instantly drawn to Tommy. It’s almost like we were made for each other."
James Franco wears a Balenciaga shirt; his own pants.
Jessica Chastain in
"To play Molly Bloom, I thought about what women have to become in order to find power in a society where men are making all of the rules. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh—the Kardashians are an incredible example of women who have their own sense of entrepreneurial power.' And in real life, Molly looked a lot like them. For research, I actually watched Kim’s tutorial on face shading and contouring. As the movie goes on, Molly transforms into this idea of what a woman has to be in order to be heard: The heels get higher, the necklines are lower, the hair is longer. It was quite a departure for me, physically. And the strange thing is, I don’t look like myself at all in this film, and so many people have said to me that I’ve never looked better."
Jessica Chastain wears an Oscar de la Renta dress; Sophie Buhai earrings.
Saoirse Ronan in
"Until I read the script for
Lady Bird, I had never encountered a female heroine who very much sees herself as a female heroine. In films, you rarely see young girls who love themselves. Lady Bird takes the self-confidence thing to a new level. She knows she’s going to be someone. And she has something to say, even if she doesn’t quite know what it is yet."
Saoirse Ronan wears a Chanel dress.
Michelle Williams in
All the Money in the World
Did you have an audition outfit back when you were starting out?
I had multiple outfits. Much like a costume box. I would change between auditions. I remember changing in the car on the freeway. I’m still a fast changer. And discreet. I have a talent for taking my clothes off quickly.
What was your first favorite film?
The Sound of Music. It was very influential. And I got to meet Captain von Trapp while filming All the Money in the World [Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey after Spacey was pulled from the project]. We were about to be in this movie together, and I thought, How soon is too soon to ask Christopher Plummer to sing “Edelweiss” into my phone for my daughter?
Michelle Williams wears a Louis Vuitton dress.
Tom Hanks in
"I play real people a lot. And it is a huge responsibility. Anytime you are playing somebody who was alive, for good or for bad, that performance becomes a version of an official record of what happened: what motivated them, what obstacles they faced, and how they got through their particular struggle. There’s a degree of leeway that you can allow yourself as long as you’re not turning good guys into bad guys, or knowledge into ignorance. Having said that, it’s a little easier playing someone who’s no longer living. Because then you don’t have to meet them."
Tom Hanks wears a Tom Ford suit, vest, and shoes; Boss shirt; Rolex watch.
Salma Hayek in
Beatriz at Dinner
"I had a successful soap opera career in Mexico, but I left my fame and my comfort and I moved to Los Angeles because I wanted to make films. I was very, very famous in Mexico, and in the States I was working as an extra. People thought maybe I was running from the police. Why else would I leave everything I had to play a maid? I told them, 'This industry is going to change. We are too strong of an economic force to be ignored forever.'”
Salma Hayek wears a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello dress; Cartier earrings.
Timothée Chalamet in
Call Me by Your Name
"I was loosely attached to
Call Me by Your Name for four years. It never seemed like it was coming together, and then it did. Now I’ve spent nearly two years promoting it. So, in many ways, it will be the project of my youth. When I’m older, I’ll look at this film and remember what it was like to not be jaded, old, and washed up. I’ll look back and say, 'Oh, when I was young…'”
Timothée Chalamet wears a Sandro jacket and pants; Schiesser tank top; Sermoneta Gloves gloves; Calvin Klein 205W39NYC boots.
Andrew Garfield in
"My first kiss was at a party, when I was 12 or 13, during my first term at a coed school, so, you know, hormones were raging. A girl named Dora had this party when her parents were out of town, and it was literally a bacchanalia for 13-year-olds. No one was having sex, but it was just like, 'Oh, we all get to kiss each other.' And there were around 200 people there. It was about five hours of everyone going, 'Have we made out yet? No? Let’s go!' To this day, my friends and I will be in a pub or at dinner and say, 'Remember Dora’s party?' and sigh. It was an awakening."
Andrew Garfield wears a Shrimps coat; Michael Kors sweater; Sunspel sweatpants.
Mary J. Blige in
"The goal for this film was for me to disappear. I was absolutely petrified, and I cried the first day of shooting. I just couldn’t pull Mary J. Blige away. It was a huge undertaking. I had to get rid of myself. But afterward, when I saw the film, I was not Mary J. Blige—I was Florence Jackson."
Mary J. Blige wears a Versace bodysuit, leggings, belt, and sandals; Atelier Swarovski by Christopher Kane earrings; De Beers ring.
Jim Belushi in
"Woody Allen shoots very fast. He’ll tell you, 'Do what you want, whatever feels comfortable to you.' So Kate [Winslet] and I look at each other, and we do the scene. We think we’re great, that we’ve never acted better. Woody goes, 'Cut,' and Kate and I are like, 'Yeah, we nailed it.' Then Woody says, 'That was the best example I’ve ever seen of apathetic acting. If I put that take in the movie, people would be in the lobby in three minutes. Try talking like, uh, normal people.'"
Jim Belushi wears a Tom Ford coat; Berluti sweater; Boss pants; Church’s shoes.
Richard Gere in
"I loved the script for
Norman, but I wouldn’t have cast myself in this film. Norman is a schlub. And it’s not that I can’t play that type of person, but there are many, many guys who have more schlubbiness in them. So, to increase my schlubbiness, I let everyone try various costumes, makeup, and hair on me to alter my appearance. There were mustaches and beards, and they’d change my hairline or add bushy eyebrows. Nothing worked. Finally, I just put little plastic pieces behind my ears to make them stick out. And we all went, 'Whoa—that’s Norman!'"
Richard Gere wears a Giorgio Armani shirt.
Robert Pattinson in
"Growing up, I was pretty much a dork. I really liked playing Warhammer, but I never actually figured out the rules. I just made up my own. So I never played with anybody else, because I was playing by my own rules. I was alone a lot."
Robert Pattinson wears a Burberry coat; Dior Homme sweater; Berluti pants; Rolex watch; the Frye Company boots.
Allison Janney in
"My part in
I, Tonya was written for me by my former classmate and close friend Steven Rogers. Whenever someone showed interest in producing or directing the film, he would tell them, 'You have to be okay with Allison Janney playing Tonya’s mother, LaVona, the most horrible, atrocious mother on the planet.' It’s not the most flattering role, but I think he knew that I would have fun—that I would be able to embrace her and give her some humanity, because she’s really a monster."
Allison Janney wears a Fendi dress; Hermès bracelets; Kurt Geiger London boots.
Jake Gyllenhaal in
"My dad always told me, 'The job of an artist is to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.' That’s always in my mind. It’s why I’m attracted to projects that are maybe going to illuminate something to you about yourself. It’s always a little frightening because you don’t know what you’re going to discover."
Jake Gyllenhaal wears a Pringle of Scotland jacket; Frame T-shirt.
Creative Consultant: Bernhard Willhelm
Hair by Yusef for Rich Hair Care at Factory Downtown
Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel
Set design by Peter Klein at Frank Reps
Men’s Wear Editor: Sam Walker
Photography Assistants: Karin Xiao, Dean Podmore
Postproduction: Catalin Plesa at Quickfix Retouch
Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Hair for Stone and Kidman: Mara Roszak at Starworks Artists; Hair for Lawrence by Jenny Cho at Starworks Artists; Hair for Blige by Randy Stodghill at Opus Beauty; Hair for Kaluuya by Christopher LeNeo at Criterion Group; Grooming for Hanks by Barbara Guillaume at Forward Artists; Grooming for Stiller by Natalia Bruschi; Makeup for Stone by Rachel Goodwin at Streeters; Makeup for Lawrence by Genevieve Herr; Makeup for Robbie by Pati Dubroff at Forward Artists; Makeup for Blige by D’Andre Michael; Fashion assistants: Natalie Shemian, Aisha Rae, Nadia Beeman, Hema Persad, Chandler LaFee, Johanna Andersson; Producer: Emanuele Mascioni; Local Producer: Ilona Klaver; Production coordinator: Nicole Prokes; Production assistants: Aaron Rochlin, Spencer Chase, Nabeer Khan; Special thanks to Milk Studios L.A., Chateau Marmont, LA Loft, Love Catering.