Best Performance

W magazine unveiled its February, Best Performances issue, which features six covers, spotlighting Emma Stone and Casey AffleckNatalie Portman and Ruth Negga, Amy Adams and Matthew McConaugheyNicole Kidman and Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen and Adam Driver, and Michelle Williams and Joel Edgerton.

Inside the magazine, the Best Performances portfolio features 29 stars, including Andrew Garfield, Taraji P. Henson, Dev Patel, Chris Pine, Naomie Harris, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Annette Bening, and more.

The stars of the Best Performances issue are handpicked by W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg. This year, W asked different couples—not real-life couples and not movie couples, but actors and actresses coming together specifically for the magazine—to appear on the cover, as a symbol of unity. In total, W’s February issue features 15 nominees of the 2017 Golden Globes, with 10 of them on the cover.

Photo credit: Craig McDean

Quotes from the portfolio include:

Amy Adams 

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.”

Photo credit: Craig McDean

Emma Stone

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 called 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.”

Natalie Portman


“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.”

Photo credit: Craig McDean

Ruth Negga 


“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.”

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