W magazine today unveiled its February, Movie issue and “Best Performances” portfolio, spotlighting a cast of actors for whom 2015 was a breakthrough year.
Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson, Carey Mulligan, Eddie Redmayne, Rooney Mara, and Saoirse Ronan are featured on W’s February covers, on newsstands January 12.
Inside the issue, the 34-page portfolio highlights the year’s breakthrough performers, including many newcomers, all handpicked by W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg, photographed by Peter Lindbergh, and styled by Edward Enninful. The stars featured include Amy Schumer, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Mya Taylor, Jacob Tremblay, Jane Fonda, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper, Seth Rogen, Samuel L. Jackson, and more (full list below).
W’s Best Performances portfolio in the February issue features:
-Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl
–Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
-Benicio Del Toro in Sicario
–Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl
–Bradley Cooper in Burnt and Joy
-Brie Larson in Room
-Bryan Cranston in Trumbo
-Carey Mulligan in Suffragette and Far From the Madding Crowd
-Cate Blanchett in Carol
–Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
–Domhnall Gleeson in Ex Machina, Brooklyn, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens
-Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl
-Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
-Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me and The Diary of a Teenage Girl
-Greta Gerwig in Mistress America
-Jacob Tremblay in Room
-Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw and Everest
-Jane Fonda in Youth
-Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa
-Joel Edgerton in The Gift and Black Mass
-Maika Monroe in It Follows
-Margot Robbie in Focus and Z for Zachariah
-Michael Caine in Youth
-Mya Taylor in Tangerine
-Paul Dano in Love & Mercy and Youth
-Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter
-Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind
-Rooney Mara in Carol
-Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
–Seth Rogen in Steve Jobs
-Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
Amy Schumer: “I have a crush on Christian Bale. Newsies was a really big deal to me. I haven’t watched it in a while, but maybe I’d still feel attracted to 15-year old Christian. I definitely wanted to have sex with him when he was emaciated in The Machinist. I’ll take Christian any way I can get him.”
Rooney Mara: “When I was 11, I was in love with Leonardo DiCaprio. It started with the TV show Growing Pains and went through What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? I didn’t have posters of him, but I definitely had some cut-out pictures. I would write my first name with DiCaprio as my new last name to see how it would look.”
Margot Robbie: “If I ever need to cry in a scene, I think of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack dying in Titanic. I would never tell Leo that. I’ll kill myself if he ever reads this.”
Carey Mulligan: “I don’t know if I believe in chemistry on a film. I know loads of people who’ve had quite sexy onscreen relationships with people they hate. I think chemistry might just be actors doing their jobs well.”
Jane Fonda: “On my 75th birthday—which was my favorite birthday—I had 150 people to my house, including several ex-husbands. It was December 21, 2012, which was, according to the Mayan calendar, the day there would be a major shift to a new paradigm and the world would change. I can’t say that I experienced any sort of turning point, but I had a good time. And the ex-husbands all got along.”
Charlize Theron: “My character Imperator Furiosa, in Mad Max: Fury Road, is missing an arm, but in the film we never explain how that happened—she just is. I don’t think the character would have the same gravitas if she wasn’t broken like that. Instead, she’s an entire human being who just happens to be an amputee.”
Mya Taylor: “Tangerine happened for me because I was in the right place at the right time. A very attractive person named Sean Baker walked up to me at the LGBT center in Hollywood, and we started talking. Our conversations about hustling and struggling with my gender transition became the basis for the movie.”
Alicia Vikander: “I was on a long-haul flight at night, and as I went down the aisle to the bathroom, I counted at least 14 screens that had Ex Machina on. I was walking past myself playing Ava, the android. I was tempted to go to the front of the cabin and look over my shoulder to the people watching her. I thought it would shock them to find Ava on their plane. There might have been screams.
Brie Larson: “I have always wanted to act. When I was around 7 I started auditioning, and I recall going up for a fish-sticks commercial. By then, I was completely committed to the craft of acting and had memorized a full monologue. The director was only looking for cute kids and wasn’t interested in hearing my speech. I started sobbing. ‘They won’t let me act!’ I wailed to my mother.
Jake Gyllenhaal: “I had no idea how to box before Southpaw. In an early sparring session, I got hit in the face and then in the body, and that first body shot dropped me. In my work, I try to get into the real space of my characters, but at that moment, I thought, What the hell am I doing this for?”
On the inspiration for the portfolio, W Editor-in-Chief Stefano Tonchi said: “In the age of the selfie, what makes a memorable celebrity portrait? That was the question in the back of my mind months ago when I started thinking about our annual Movie Issue. As I started doing visual research, I felt overwhelmed by the endless stream of Instagram images of dressed-to-the-nines (or barely dressed) celebrities. I felt the need to step back from all that glossy banality and return to the pure and simple drama of black and white photography. I wanted to allow the actors to be themselves, without props or pretense. The legendary Peter Lindbergh, whose authenticity I have admired for 30 years, was the man for the job, with his old-school approach to cinematic storytelling.”
For more check out: wmagazine.com
Photo credits: Peter Lindbergh for W magazine.