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collaborative artists Jane and Louise Wilson show photos from their Sealander series, featuring raw and grandiosely abandoned spaces, at the Getty Museum in L.A.


FEBRUARY 17 Melancholic, harmonic Swedish singer Jens Lekman releases his fourth LP, Life Will See You Now.

FEBRUARY 17 Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum hosts Firelei Báez: Bloodlines, an exhibit by the Dominican American

FEBRUARY 24 From producer J. J. Abrams comes another film in his Twilight Zone–


artist whose paintings, drawings, and collages are inspired by black resistance to oppression.



FEBRUARY 10 Just in time for V-Day, the endless foreplay (interspersed, to FEBRUARY 8 be fair, with The work some sex) of artist known as the Raymond S Fifty Shades Pettibon, who T Y DE R F FI H A K E trilogy returns arose out of the S AR D to theaters with ’80s punk scene Fifty Shades Darker. (he designed the band Black Flag’s iconic logo), goes on view at New York FEBRUARY 14 City’s New Museum. Identical twins and

esque Cloverfield series, God Particle, about astronauts on a space station fighting for survival. It stars Gugu MbathaRaw, Zhang Ziyi, and David Oyelowo. FEBRUARY 24 Set during the odd times of the seventeenthcentury Netherlands— when men and women wore lace ruffs that looked like doily neck braces—Tulip Fever stars Alicia Vikander as an unhappy wife and Dane DeHaan as a painter with whom she has an affair. Plus: Cara Delevingne!

Clockwise from top left: Isaiah Trickey/Getty Images; Nicole Nodland; courtesy of Grand Central Publishing; Ellika Henrikson; Raymond Pettibon/courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures; NBC/Getty Images; Jeff Spicer/Getty Images; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

FEBRUARY 5 Uniting her fandom of Little Monsters with the equally otherworldly creatures known as football players, Lady Gaga takes the stage during halftime at Super Bowl LI.

FEBRUARY 7 contributor Alana Massey publishes All the Lives I Want, a collection of essays about the sex industry, mental illness, and the influence of pop-culture icons from ScarJo to Lil’ Kim.







Dua Lipa, whose 2015 synthpoppy single, “Be the One,” has 85 million– plus views on YouTube, puts out her long-awaited self-titled debut album.





It’s that time again… New York Fashion Week! Master of minimalism Raf Simons takes the reins at Calvin Klein, and Monse designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia make their debut at Oscar de la Renta.


Clockwise from top right: Willy Vanderperre; courtesy of the designers (6)


FEBRUARY 28 It’s the first day of Paris Fashion Week. Forgot to put your name on the waiting list for a pair of Pierre Hardy’s Alchemia Studio–inspired floral stilettos (1) from the designer’s debut Atelier collection? Get in line at his Palais Royal boutique before they go on sale on March 1.




FEBRUARY 14 This V-Day, put your latent fashion-design skills to the

FEBRUARY 15 To those in search of that 3 model-offduty look: Mother’s got you covered. Next up after the L.A.-based denim line’s successful collab with Candice Swanepoel: a range by Aussie supe Miranda Kerr (4).


got our eyes on this lethally cool barbed wire– inspired gold ring (2).


house, which is showcasing installations by Thom Browne and Jacquemus (5). While there, be sure to check out Ambush, the fine-jewelry line by music/ fashion power couple Verbal and Yoon (Japan’s answer to Jay Z and Beyoncé). We’ve already






FEBRUARY 8 Want a taste of the NYFW action? Visit Simone Rocha’s new SoHo boutique, then head to Dover Street Market’s open

test at insider fave Susan Cianciolo’s workshop on making sweet patchwork skirts, at the Brooklyn boutique Oroboro.


FEBRUARY 3 Artist-curators Olympia Scarry and Neville Wakefield take over the Gstaad slopes once more with their second Elevation 1049 installation (3), featuring high-altitude ephemeral sculptures and live performances.

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February 2017

It’s the Women in TV Issue! ON THE COVER 70


Amanda Fortini sits down with TV’s unstoppable twosome: Emmy winner Sarah Paulson and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy



The coolest way to wear microshorts, tattoo prints, and sweetheart straplesses: Opt for opposites!

107 This Is Us star Mandy Moore wears cotton dress, $8,280, silk skirt, $3,990, both, MARNI, collection at Totokaelo, NYC. Find more Moore on page 171.


Six pages of TV intel: What to watch, whom to follow (Regina King, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell—and that’s just the start)…Plus: George Saunders’s debut novel...and more!



Hairstylist Vernon François on the keys to great curls. By Megan O’Neill



Jean-Francois Campos

Topical marijuana and its active ingredients make their way into highbrow beauty. By April Long



In the midst of a volatile political and media landscape,


The FIREMAN’S COAT, 2016 Photographed by Steven Meisel #RLICONICSTYLE

aid organization (RED) on a trip to East Africa. By Brianna Kovan




Designer Christian Siriano outsmarts the critics by giving women what they really want. By Hal Rubenstein



Nirav Modi carats, YSL-proclaiming pumps, and sparklers to help you love the one you’re with




Eight emerging designers— from Rio to southern China—who will soon be shaping the way you dress




ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz stays calm—and accurate—in the storm. By Lisa Chase



In HBO’s Big Little Lies, a blockbuster quartet—Reese Witherspoon! Zoë Kravitz! Nicole Kidman! Shailene Woodley!—gives us more star power than TV has ever seen. Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski


Meet the execs, directors, and stars leading television into a more representative world. By Caryn James



Nashville chef Julia Sullivan adds familial flair to the Music City scene. Katy Lindenmuth reports



Relationship hell? E. Jean Carroll to the rescue!


Couch potatoes have never been chicer: Shopping cues from Westworld, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, and Stranger Things




Larger-than-life shapes fuel fashion’s imagination. Photographed by Paola Kudacki. Styled by Samira Nasr

News from the world of health and fitness




Outshine the winter blues in joyous brights. Photographed by David Bellemere. Styled by David Vandewal


Is manuka honey the magic elixir it’s cracked up to be? April Long investigates ELLENESS



In an excerpt from her new memoir, This Close to Happy, Daphne Merkin wrestles with the fallout from a damaging motherdaughter relationship




Writer Louisa Kamps takes a postelection healing lesson from the Danes



IN EVERY ISSUE 30 36 52 60 62 201


This month on Inspiring Stories, a video series in partnership with Rolex, spotlights game-changing women in sports, culture, and science. Tune in at



Introducing 15 smallscreen queens headlining Game of Thrones, Insecure, Westworld, and more. Photographed by JeanFrancois Campos



Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington on his first time and the cast’s go-to after-hours activities




Girls’ Allison Williams joins 42

Reese Witherspoon (left) wears a lace and sequin dress from Lanvin, a stretch-lace bra from Morgan Lane, a diamond and platinum ring from David Yurman, a gold, green sapphire and orange sapphire ring and a gold and diamond ring from Marc Alary. Reese Witherspoon (right) wears a beadembroidered jacket (worn as dress) from Giorgio Armani, a stretch lace bra from Morgan Lane, and a rhinestone and stud embellished belt from Shyanne. To get Witherspoon’s makeup look, try Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eyeshadow 5-Color Palette in Ivory Power, and Genuine Glow Blushing Creme for Lips and Cheeks in Peachy Keen. All, Estée Lauder. Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski (styled by Samira Nasr; hair by Lona Vigi at Starworks Artists; makeup by Molly R. Stern at Starworks Artists; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons). Zoë Kravitz wears a wool-blend knit dress and a stretch-viscose knit bra from Dior, black gold and diamond ear cuffs from Repossi, and her own earrings. To get Kravitz’s makeup look, try Couture Brow liner in Brun Dore, Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking in Deep Black, Blush Volupté in Rebelle, and Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in Le Nu. All, Yves Saint Laurent. Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski (styled by Samira Nasr; hair by Nikki Nelms; makeup by Kara Yoshimoto Bua at Starworks Artists; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons). Nicole Kidman wears a leather top and denim jeans from Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. To get Kidman’s makeup look, try More Than Mascara Moisture-Binding Formula in Rich Black, Double Wear Stay-in-Place Gel Eyeliner in Stay Onyx, Pure Color Envy Defining EyeShadow Wet/Dry in Ominous-Brilliant, and Pure Color Envy Hi-Lustre lipstick in Nude Reveal. All, Estée Lauder. Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski (styled by Samira Nasr; hair by Mara Roszak; makeup by Francesca Tolot at Cloutier Remix; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons). Shailene Woodley wears a knit top and leather trousers from Fendi and her own nose ring. To get Woodley’s makeup look, try Sumptuous Knockout Defining Lift and Fan Mascara in Black, Little Black Liner in Black, and Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Desirable. All, Estée Lauder. Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski (styled by Samira Nasr; hair by Marcus Francis; makeup by Kara Yoshimoto Bua at Starworks Artists; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons).

Clockwise from top left: David Bellemere; Felicity Ingram/; Devon Jarvis/Studio D (2); Jean-Francois Campos; Daniele Oberrauch/;; courtesy of the designer



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ELLE Magazine (US)

SASS ACT’s pop news guru R. Eric Thomas introduces himself

The Virgin Suicides, 1999

MTV Unplugged, 1993

Safe, 1995

Lost in Translation, 2003

Little Miss Sunshine, 2006


Costume designer Nancy Steiner has seen fashion change dramatically in the three decades she’s been dressing film stars (The Virgin Suicides), TV actors (Enlightened), and musicians (Kurt Cobain for his famous MTV Unplugged session). This month, she’s telling us about a project that’s at once quite nostalgic and very of-the-moment: Showtime’s Twin Peaks reboot. Read the full interview at How do you prepare for a project as highly anticipated as Twin Peaks? I felt a big

weight: I want to do right for the fans and for David [Lynch], of course.… Granted, we had a ton of new characters, and for the old characters, it was 25 years later, so I had some leeway. Where did you find the clothes? Twin Peaks had that ’50s influence in the ’80s, so I wove in vintage. Also, when you’re dressing characters who don’t really shop, you want used things. So I went to the L.A. costume houses. Even the contemporary stuff had been washed and worn.

“We may be two minutes from doomsday,” R. Eric Thomas wrote in a Facebook post this past June, “but thank the Lordt we still live in a universe where three world leaders can strut into a room like they’re the new interracial male cast of Sex and the City.” Those leaders— President Barack Obama, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto—were shown striding across a red carpet “looking like Tom Ford presents The Avengers.” The post captured a moment— and the attention of some 75,000 people, including Editorial Director Leah Chernikoff. A few weeks later, our regular “Eric Reads the News” column was born. Here, Eric captions his own history.

“I’m never not making a cake or thinking about cake. Here I am at age five doing my best Anne Burrell from Food Network impression by reaching directly into the flour. Also, I was probably 17 before I gave up on the idea that that wallpaper would taste like fruits and veggies.”

“Everyone else in this photo is engaged in a kindergarten foot race; I’m literally galloping and waving to my fans— unbothered, extra, not sportsing successfully, paparazzi-ready.” “My husband, David, and I got engaged in Black Butte, Oregon. Girl, he made me climb a mountain. I was like, Who do you think I am, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? My Fitbit thought I’d been kidnapped. I am still amazed by the things love enables you to do.”

BRA-LITICS Ask a woman when she last washed her bra, and she might just dodge the

question. This month, staffers are coming clean—literally. What happens when you actually take care of your underthings the way you’re told to? Is it really better to hand-wash, and how often? Plus: What’s the deal with sizing (and why are you a different size in every brand)?

This and more at


Clockwise from top right: courtesy of the subject (3); La Perla bra: courtesy of the designer; Photos 12/Alamy (2); Moviestore Collection/Alamy; Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Collection Christophel/Alamy; courtesy of the subject



Blackburn and Epel: Peter DaSilva/The New York Times/Redux; pills: Getty Images

This month on, Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, a pair of supercharged PhDs, share their secrets on how to eat, sleep, and meditate your way to a physically younger self—with techniques backed in cold, hard science In the fifth century b.c., Herodotus, the gossipy Athenian historian, wrote about a legendary Ethiopian spring that could reverse aging. Around the twelfth century a.d., Europeans believed that the mythic King Prester John ruled over a mystic land with a river of gold and an age-defying fountain. Legend has it that more than 300 years later, Ponce de León was looking for the so-called Fountain of Youth when he stumbled upon Florida. The idea of a magical elixir that lets us escape growing old has long captured the human imagination, but in the end, it was University of California, Berkeley, associate professor Elizabeth Blackburn who found it back in 1984. Kind of. What Blackburn, who holds a PhD in molecular biology, actually found, with the help of one of her graduate students, was a little more complex than magic water: It was telomerase (which ELLE has reported on periodically since), an enzyme that lengthens the protective DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, called telomeres (pronounced tee-lo-meers). A few years earlier, Blackburn and another scientist had discovered that telomere shortening, among other factors, causes aging. As newborns, we have about 10,000 base pairs (the unit of measurement for telomeres); by age 65, we have just 4,800. Blackburn’s discovery of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres suggested that the aging process could be reversed. Fountain of youth? Found. Nobel Prize? Won, with two teammates, in 2009. Now, three decades and multiple studies after her initial discovery, Blackburn has released The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer (Grand Central Publishing), coauthored by psychologist Elissa Epel, PhD, and chock-full of highly usable information previously accessible only through disparate articles in sci-


Make like Benjamin Button and roll back the clock with these research-backed tips

entific journals. The women met at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2001, where Epel was studying the physiological effects of stress on mothers with chronically ill children. “I asked if [Blackburn] would be willing to study whether chronic stress was related to telomere health,” she says. Blackburn jumped at the opportunity. The pair found that telomere length was directly correlated to the length of time each subject had been stressed and to how she perceived that stress. And that telomere length correlated not only with visible signs of aging, such as skin elasticity, but also with the risk of disease. For the past 15 years, Blackburn and Epel have been examining ways in which our actions influence the shortening or rebuilding of telomeres, and for the last two and a half, they’ve worked on synthesizing their findings into The Telomere Effect, which tackles everything from what to eat to how to optimize your mind-set. Epel is a longtime yoga devotee, while Blackburn, after having completed an intensive six-day mindfulness course, fits in what she calls “micro-meditations,” which she does periodically for a couple of minutes at her desk or, as a frequent flier, during liftoff when electronics are powered down. “This book is meant to be very empowering,” says Blackburn, now the president of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. The methods are designed to be manageable lifestyle additions that are, as she says, “based in a lot of knowledge rather than a hopeful quicker fix.” While there isn’t yet enough data to determine whether our ability to build new telomeres changes as we age, “there are studies

MICROBIOLOGY CLASS Blackburn breaks down the basics of telomeres, and why they’re (at least partially) responsible for what we know to be markers of old age, such as blotchy skin, gray or thinning hair, and deep wrinkles.


EAT THIS, NOT THAT The researchers’ food guide is pure peer-reviewed intel. For instance, some studies have found that increased vitamin D (in women more so than men) correlates with longer telomeres. Start stocking up on flounder and eggs!

Blackburn and Epel in Blackburn’s UC San Francisco lab

of people with breast cancer or prostate cancer where these mind-body interventions are helping them either increase their telomerase or stabilize their telomeres,” Epel says. “There’s a lot of hope that, at any age, we can still do things each day that improve our telomere health.” This month, let Blackburn and Epel help you improve yours by visiting each week. You have nothing to lose—except maybe years off your visible age.—Keziah Weir


PILLOW TALK These habits will help boost your body’s nighttime telomere maintenance: It’s a lot easier to leave your iPhone in the kitchen when it could mean the difference between waking up with dull or dewy skin.


GET IN YOUR HEAD Toxic stress can come from ceaselessly thinking about an anxiety-provoking subject. Train your brain, with Epel’s help, to focus deeply on the task at hand. Your body (and boss) will thank you for your increased productivity.


ROBBIE MYER S Editor-in-Chief ALEX GONZÁLEZ Creative Director EVAN CAMPISI Design Director

ANNE SLOWEY Fashion News Director

EMILY DOUGHERTY Beauty & Fitness Director

MARIA DUEÑAS JACOBS Accessories Director


JENNIFER WEISEL Entertainment Director

SAMIRA NASR Fashion Director

LAURIE ABRAHAM Features Director


JOANN PAILEY Market Director

LISA GRACE Acting Managing Editor

FASHION Executive Market Editor JADE FRAMPTON Senior Accessories Editor JENNIFER GACH Associate Market Editor JESSICA RAWLS Credits Editor CAITLIN MULLEN Accessories Editor CHRISTINA HOLEVAS Associate Fashion/Menswear Editor YASHUA SIMMONS Assistant Editor MAC WOESTE Assistants NATALIE BUCHANAN, KIA GOOSBY, CHRISTOPHER MACARAEG, STEPHANIE SANCHEZ FEATURES Senior Features Editors BEN W. DICKINSON, LISA CHASE, RACHEL BAKER Senior Editor AMANDA FITZSIMONS Senior Fashion News Editor ALISON S. COHN Senior Associate Editor SETH PLATTNER Fashion News Editor NAOMI ROUGEAU Associate Editors MOLLY LANGMUIR, KEZIAH WEIR Editorial Assistants DAJION DAVENPORT, BRIANNA KOVAN BEAUTY AND FITNESS Executive Beauty Editor APRIL LONG Senior Beauty and Fitness Editor MEGAN O’NEILL BULL Associate Beauty and Fitness Editor COTTON CODINHA ART AND DESIGN Deputy Art Director STRAVINSKI PIERRE Associate Art Director DANIEL FISHER International Coordinator MONIQUE BONIOL Deputy Managing Editor LAURA SAMPEDRO PHOTOGRAPHY Photo Editor MUZAM AGHA Associate Photo Editor ARIELLE LHOTAN COPY AND RESEARCH Copy Chief TERRI SCHLENGER Research Chief BRENDÁN CUMMINGS Copy Editor MARGARET WILLDEN Research Editor KELSEY H. MURDOCH PRODUCTION Production/Operations Director CHUCK LODATO Operations Account Manager DIANE ARLOTTA Premedia Account Manager CELESTE MADHERE Digital Imaging Specialist LEONARDO R. CELESTINO Editorial Business Manager CAROL LUZ Editor-at-Large RACHAEL COMBE Contributing West Coast Fashion Editor SARAH SCHUSSHEIM ELLE.COM LEAH CHERNIKOFF Editorial Director CHLOE SCHAMA SALLY HOLMES Executive Editor Deputy Editor MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY Editor-at-Large Social Media Director GENA KAUFMAN Senior Editor NATALIE MATTHEWS Senior Fashion Editor NIKKI OGUNNAIKE Senior Beauty Editor JULIE SCHOTT Culture Editor ESTELLE TANG Social Media Editor EMILY TANNENBAUM Associate Editor KRISTINA RODULFO Associate Market Editor JUSTINE CARREON News Writer MATTIE KAHN Assistant Editor ALYSSA BAILEY Contributing Editors CARLENE BAUER, BLISS BROYARD, NINA BURLEIGH, E. JEAN CARROLL, KATE CHRISTENSEN, KAREN DURBIN, AMANDA FORTINI, ANDREW GOLDMAN, LIZZY GOODMAN, JESSE GREEN, CATHI HANAUER, NANCY HASS, JOSEPH HOOPER, LOUISA KAMPS, DAPHNE MERKIN, HOLLY MILLEA, COCO MYERS, JESSICA PRESSLER, MICKEY RAPKIN, DANI SHAPIRO, LISA SHEA, LAUREN SLATER, REBECCA TRAISTER WORLD’S LEADING FASHION MAGAZINE • 46 INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS Argentina • Australia • Belgie • Belgium • Brazil • Bulgaria • Canada • China • Croatia • Czech Republic • Denmark • Finland • France • Germany • Greece • Holland • Hong Kong • Hungary • India • Indonesia • Italy • Japan • Kazakhstan • Korea • Malaysia • Mexico • Norway • Oriental • Poland • Portugal • Quebec • Romania • Russia • Serbia • Singapore • Slovenia • South Africa • Spain • Sweden • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • Ukraine • United Kingdom • USA • Vietnam PUBLISHED BY HEARST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. President & Chief Executive Officer STEVEN R. SWARTZ Chairman WILLIAM R. HEARST III Executive Vice Chairman FRANK A. BENNACK, JR. Secretary CATHERINE A. BOSTRON Treasurer CARLTON CHARLES HEARST MAGAZINES DIVISION President DAVID CAREY President, Marketing & Publishing Director MICHAEL CLINTON President, Digital Media TROY YOUNG Chief Content Officer JOANNA COLES Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer DEBI CHIRICHELLA Publishing Consultants GILBERT C. MAURER, MARK F. MILLER Founding Editor RÉGIS PAGNIEZ For information on reprints and e-prints, please contact Brian Kolb at Wright’s Reprints, 877-652-5295 or ELLE is published by Hearst Communications, Inc. All correspondence should be addressed to: 300 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. The ELLE trademark and logo are owned by Hachette Filipacchi Presse (France), a Lagardère Active Group company. ELLE® is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse. Copyright © 2017. Printed in the United States of America.


Senior Vice President, Publisher, and Chief Revenue Officer Associate Publisher BLAIR HECHT Associate Publisher, Marketing LIZ HODGES Finance Director MARGARET M. HEALY Associate Publisher, Luxury JUSTIN TARQUINIO ADVERTISING Senior Executive Director, Beauty ANNA ARAMAN Executive Directors, Fashion/Retail PAULA FORTGANG, STACEY CALLAHAN Executive Director STEPHANIE IPPOLITO Executive Director, Luxury Products CINDY BEESMER Beauty Director JILL SCHLANGER-SLIVKA Senior Account Manager HOLLAND CASEY BENT International Fashion Manager LAUREN CERAVOLO Direct Media Senior Account Manager ANGELA HRONOPOULOS Sales Coordinator NATALIA PAVLINA Assistants MAURA McLAUGHLIN, ARIELLE SILVERA BRAND DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATED MARKETING Senior Director, Brand Development LAUREN MUEHLETHALER Creative Services Director SARA ROBERTS Senior Director, Special Events KATIE CROWN Directors, Integrated Marketing HEIDI KELLNER, K. QUINN STUEBE Creative Directors TARA MOLLOY-AKSAR, ALICIA NICHOLS Associate Director, Integrated Marketing JACQUELINE STOREY Associate Art Director LUISA HUAYAMAVE Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing SUZANNE COLLINS Senior Manager, Brand Development LAURA EVELYN ELTON Managers, Integrated Marketing SAMANTHA STERN, CHARLOTTE MILLER Manager, Brand Development LAUREN CRESPO Creative Content Manager DANIELLE ROBLES Associate Manager, Special Events JESSICA HEINMILLER Assistant, Integrated Marketing and Finance KELLY M. O’NEILL ADVERTISING OPERATIONS Advertising Services Director MICHAEL NIES Associate Ad Services Manager MICHELLE LUIS CIRCULATION Director, Consumer Marketing HEATHER J. PLANT Vice President, Retail Sales JIM MILLER Senior Director, Retail Sales and Marketing WILLIAM MICHALOPOULOS ELLE DIGITAL GROUP Digital Marketing Director ALEXANDRA KEKALOS Digital Marketing Manager KAYLA A. KOMMER Digital Marketing Associate Manager KATHERINE DEWITT BRANCH OFFICES WEST COAST Executive Director SANDY ADAMSKI Assistant CAITLIN MORTON 3000 OCEAN PARK BLVD., SANTA MONICA, CA 90405. TELEPHONE: 310-664-2973. FAX: 310-664-2974 WEST COAST Executive Director ELLEN SULLIVAN Assistant STEPHANIE ASHTON 550 KEARNY STREET, FIFTH FLOOR, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108. TELEPHONE: 415-844-6381 MIDWEST Director COURTNEY CASEY Assistant MEGAN KELLY ONE SOUTH WACKER DRIVE, CHICAGO, IL 60606. TELEPHONE: 312-251-5371. FAX: 312-251-5369 DETROIT Director B BARNES, O AND Z MEDIA, 55465 ASHFORD COURT, SHELBY TWP., MI 48084. TELEPHONE: 248-542-7406 SOUTHWEST Managers LUCINDA WEIKEL, SUMMER NILSSON Assistant TORI DECLARIS 750 NORTH SAINT PAUL STREET, SUITE 1525, DALLAS, TX 75201. TELEPHONE: 214-824-9008 SOUTHEAST Account Managers DOUG MANDEL, RITA WALKER 3340 PEACHTREE ROAD NE, TOWER 100, SUITE 1550, ATLANTA, GA 30326. TELEPHONE: 404-256-3800 LAGARDÈRE ACTIVE Chairman and CEO Lagardère Active DENIS OLIVENNES CEO ELLE France & International CONSTANCE BENQUE CEO ELLE International Media Licenses FRANÇOIS CORUZZI SVP/International Director of ELLE VALERIA BESSOLO LLOPIZ SVP/Director of International Media Licenses, Digital Development & Syndication MICKAEL BERRET ELLE International Productions CHARLOTTE DEFFE, VIRGINIE DOLATA Deputy Syndication Team Manager THÉRÈSE GENEVOIS Syndication Coordinator MONIQUE BONIOL Copyrights Manager & Digital Syndication SÉVERINE LAPORTE INTERNATIONAL AD SALES HOUSE: LAGARDÈRE GLOBAL ADVERTISING CEO FRANÇOIS CORUZZI SVP International Advertising STEPHANIE DELATTRE ELLE SUBSCRIPTION CUSTOMER SERVICE: Visit The ELLE trademark and logo are owned by Hachette Filipacchi Presse (France), a LAGARDÈRE Active Group Company. ELLE® is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse. ELLEAROUNDTHEWORLD.COM

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Hearts Wild Sometime in the fall of 2008, as the Disney TV trilogy High School Musical was finishing its run, in the culture and in my house (and launching Zac Efron as a pec-flexing movie star), I received a screener for a new Fox show that also was set in a high school and featured cheerleaders/jocks/nerds/stoners/divas/desperates, and one pregnant girl, all bursting into song at appropriate, and really inappropriate, emotional crossroads. The Glee screener was passed around among ELLE’s editors like a bong in the basement of the kid whose parents were never home. Cocreator Ryan Murphy’s show was funny and piercing and cynical and utterly humane—all at the same time— and it blew up every high school trope: letting the Mean Girls be really mean—and get away with it; letting the football star have a hankering for show tunes; letting gay teenagers be fully formed human beings who romance—and kiss—one another, all on network TV. Glee deserved its 40 Emmy nominations. But it wasn’t until Murphy’s next series, American Horror Story (headed for its seventh season this fall), that we saw the full tilt of his fecund and radical mind—and I became convinced that he is one of the most subversive, and important, people working in TV. I was dying to talk to him. Still, on TV, however brilliant the writer, director, producer, or imagineer, he or she will always need a delivery mechanism in the form of a human being to interpret and deliver what are, after all, just keystrokes on an otherwise blank page. For Murphy, that person is Sarah Paulson, whose own brilliance matches his, and who brought to life, so beautifully and insanely, many of his most memorable AHS characters—particularly Cordelia Foxx in the Coven, and Bette and Dot Tattler, the conjoined twins in Freak Show. In this, our seventh Women in TV Issue, writer Amanda Fortini examines the relationship between Murphy and Paulson, artist and muse—or is that muse and artist?—as well as the impact the pair have had, not just on how women are perceived on television, but on each other. We’re big on that here at ELLE: examining how art and culture impact women, for better or worse. TV has, of late, come further along than many industries in employing women behind the scenes and in the scenes—celebrating and, crucially, normalizing women with power, women of color, LGBTQ women, older women, and, thank God, funny women! (Remember that tired debate?) TV has allowed women to take the cultural reins, writing and running their own shows—from Shonda Rhimes’s multiple and ever-multiplying hit dramas, to Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, to Issa Rae’s Insecure, to Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman’s hotly anticipated Big Little Lies, debuting on HBO this month. The latter two are our cover girls for this issue, of course, along with their show’s other stars, the equally talented and arrestingly beautiful Zoë Kravitz and Shailene


Woodley. This team’s incredible accomplishment is what Witherspoon calls “a seven-hour film”: television in which each episode has all of the production values, grit, independence, and, now, star power of an A-list Hollywood movie. A woman who’s running the show in an entirely different realm of television—the news—is ABC’s remarkable Martha Raddatz. The comoderator of the infamous Access Hollywood presidential debate, and cohost, with George Stephanopoulos (husband to one of our favorite women in TV, Ali Wentworth, featured in this issue as well), of the network’s Sunday morning show This Week, Raddatz is a reporter’s reporter in a medium where—more than ever—we need journalists committed to doing the hard work necessary to find, and to tell, the truth. A journalist’s job is not to take sides, but to understand and translate all sides in such a way that the citizenry can get a grasp on the people and institutions that steer our lives, sometimes without our permission. And Raddatz is one of the best. As she tells ELLE’s own excellent journalist (and editor) Lisa Chase, “I was tough on Hillary Clinton and tough on Donald Trump during the campaign. And I will continue to be tough and fair as I cover the new administration.” In our gorgeous TV portfolio, we celebrate 15 actresses whose roles range from Pittsburgh mom (Mandy Moore, This Is Us) and big-box– store manager (America Ferrera, Superstore) to robot (Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, Westworld) and freedom-fighter sisters (Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones). The various and chilling deprivations of Daphne Merkin’s childhood, as revealed in a gripping excerpt from her new book, almost read like fiction. If only. But what the longtime ELLE contributing editor has done with that pain is create a special kind of art, one in which she doesn’t flinch from the ugly truths about her mother yet also doesn’t deny the fierce love the two shared. Speaking of love, it’s February, home to the best pretend “event” day ever—Valentine’s! But we didn’t get ourselves in a twist trying to figure out the best bonbons and bons mots of romance for anyone other than you. I do particularly love our shopping pages this month, starting with a cruise down the aisle of hearts on page 92—including Hearts on Fire’s heart-shaped earrings and Dolce & Gabbana’s “I ♥ you” handbag—which we hope will make your heart swell with happiness or lust or whatever emotion you need to set you on your path each day: with glee.



Widely known as the most powerful woman in TV, Hammer oversees nine networks, including Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Esquire, and USA (thank her for Mr. Robot), all of which command a whopping audience averaging 113.5 million viewers a week. She’s also in command of two production studios, and 10 of the 16 senior execs reporting to her are women. A vocal advocate against ageism in Hollywood, Hammer is relaunching NBCUni’s public-service campaign, Bee Erase the Hate, which she introduced in the ’90s to combat racism, sexism, and the many forms of intolerance that were then—and now—pervasive in our culture. Leveling the playing field: “The first thing is being a role model, being proud of being a woman, and not trying to emulate someone else. Just being authentic gives a nod to other women to play to their strengths.” A little advice: “Sometimes being the quietest one in the room but having the one unbelievably smart summary sentence makes people turn their heads a lot more than being the one screaming from the sidelines.” 56



With the fastest-growing audience in late night, Bee—the only former female anchor from The Daily Show to get her own show— has a mission to expose sexism wherever she finds it (and she finds it a lot), combining outrage with a laugh-out-loud sense of the absurd. She’s reported on sexual crimes in the workplace and the restrictions on abortion clinics. She’s also staffed her show by taking blind submissions from writers. The result: a producing team that is a coalition of multiracial, varied-sexuality, and varied-gendered people. Why a diverse team matters: “It’s not just about hiring women. Where’s the fun if your staff is all upper-middle-class white women living in gated communities? You also have to hire women who are not carbon copies of you, who see the world differently.” Up next for Full Frontal: More of that truthto-power approach: “It’s not like we thought all our problems would be solved having Hillary in the White House, but I feel like we’re looking down the barrel of something really alien. There will be a lot of shock.”

DuVernay (Selma and the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time) has proved herself a revolutionary once again with Queen Sugar. She and fellow EP Oprah Winfrey put every episode of OWN’s hit drama series—which stars Dawn-Lyen Gardner as the wife of a disgraced NBA player who returns to Louisiana to help her family run their sugarcane farm—in the hands of a female director (and DuVernay handled the first two herself). Why women only: “For the same reason the showrunners of Game of Thrones decided to hire all male directors for their last two seasons,” DuVernay says. “Because they could and they wanted to. I wanted to hire all incredible women. And I could. So I did.” The big difference: “The female Gardner and




Queen Sugar

TVs: Marco Vacca/Getty Images; stills on TVs, clockwise from top left: Richard Cartwright/ABC; Jessica Miglio/TBS; Michael Parmelee/USA Network/ NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Paul Drinkwater/NBC; Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Merie Wallace/Amazon; Chuck Hodes/Fox; Annette Brown/Fox; remaining images, from left: NBC; Mike Pont/WireImage; Devin Doyle/OWN; courtesy of the subjects

We rounded up some of the most influential women in television and posed the big question: What are they doing to make the screen (and the world) more hospitable to women and girls? (Hint: A lot!) By Caryn James

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Her empire includes the Fox megahit Empire as well as Lee Daniels’s midseason project, Star, all of which have helped win the network an audience that is diverse and 50 percent female. Further, as head of the 20th Century Fox Television production studio, Walden fosters cross-network hits like NBC’s This Is Us. But here’s why we really love her: “There are executive vice presidents in this company who started out as my assistants,” Walden says, “and that was by design, to bring women in and put them on a path to leadership.” On playing the long game: “I’m proud of the relationships we’ve built with strong women behind the camera. Showrunners like Ilene Chaiken, who runs Empire, and Liz Meriwether, who runs and created New Girl. Lesli Linka Glatter, an executive producer and director of Homeland. Pam Williams and Effie Brown, executive producers on Star. These are talented forces we’ll be in business with for a long time.” Next steps: “We’re in partnership with Ryan Murphy’s Half, where his goal is to assign 50 percent of all director slots to women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.” (For more on Half, see page 70.)




on some of the more contentious issues confronting women today. On ScanMerkel dal’s last midseason finale, not only did Olivia get an abortion, but Senator Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) filibustered against a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, Kerry Washington—fresh off her home run as Anita Hill in HBO’s ConfirEleven mation—is following from Rhimes’s socially Stranger Things Dungey conscious footsteps by generating work for women with her own production company, Simpson Street. On the docket: a drama about female police officers in L.A., and a sitcom about a multicultural family.



Last year Dungey ascended to one of TV’s top jobs, becoming the first African American to run a major network. Now she’s in charge of all of ABC’s prime-time and late-night shows (even Shonda is a direct report!). On her agenda: “Male showrunners still outnumber female showrunners by a large margin— we don’t have enough women, especially women of color, in those positions. I’m doing everything I can to change those stats.” Mentoring essentials: “Sometimes women are afraid to be ambitious, as though there’s something bad about wanting the big job. I support causes like Step Up—I was a founding member and still serve on the board of the L.A. chapter—and Girls Inc., both of which empower girls to reach for education and careers.”



Besides being the only person in history to chant “Topple the patriarchy!” in Rhimes

Rhimes has given us fierce, smart, alltoo-human heroines for more than a decade—from the Grey’s Anatomy docs to Scandal’s fixer Olivia Pope (Washington) to Viola Davis, teaching us How to Get Away With Murder—and uses TV to shine a light



Daenerys Targaryen

an Emmy acceptance speech (for best director of a comedy series, Transparent), Soloway—who wrote for Six Feet Under before executive-producing United States of Tara—has put Amazon’s streaming service on the map; persistently creates believable, unconventional, unique TV women; and is a preeminent voice in the trans civil rights movement. Fun but relevant fact: Her production company is called Topple.




McKinnon’s hilarious and unlikely SNL characters—from a Russian peasant to Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Angela Merkel—pop off the screen with real heart as well as the zing of satire. Her affecting performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed in character as Hillary Clinton days after the election, got audiences weeping together—and brought SNL season-high ratings as well as 22 million views online. On the inspiration of comedy: “I’d like to think that by playing mostly women in business suits or dumpy clothes or lab coats or weird outfits, I’m subconsciously promoting the idea that women have value beyond being objects of beauty and delight.” On challenging industry clichés: “A lot of male-protagonist journeys involve trying to start a business, heal a friendship, find one’s place in the world. A woman typically ends in some sort of romantic partnership. I like to play women who are trying to succeed, trying to become the fullest version of themselves.”

SNL stills: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images (Merkel and Daenerys); Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images (Clinton and Eleven); remaining images, clockwise from top left: Michael Tran/FilmMagic; David Livingston/Getty Images; Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Merie Wallace/Amazon; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images (2)

perspective powerfully impacts everything we see onscreen,” Gardner says. “It challenges the norms about ‘who gets to’ in our industry.” The Queen Sugar effect: More series are following suit. Netflix’s Jessica Jones will have all female directors for season two, and four out of the five directors who’ll helm the 10 episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale are women.

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PISCES (FEB 19–MAR 20) In early February, clear away clutter and distractions. That way, you can manifest with intent when the Sun blazes into your sign on the 18th. Start by hewing ties with toxic friends (you don’t need them!) and deep-cleaning your physical spaces. Use the word no liberally with loved ones—it’s not selfish to set healthy boundaries. With a powerful pairing of Mars and Venus in your income house, your hustle brings financial gains all month. To boot, a hard-won personal victory arrives on the 26th with the Pisces solar eclipse, the final in a series that began March 20, 2015. ARIES (MAR 21–APR 19) Driven, desirable, and in demand: That’s you this month, Aries, as cosmic copilots Venus and Mars unite in your sign from the 3rd on. Focus your efforts like a laser beam, sharp and direct, and the 10th’s Leo lunar eclipse will usher in your 15 minutes (or more!) of fame. Romantically, February’s Venus– Mars merger gives you jungle-cat instincts. Pursue passionately where there be sparks. Jupiter turns retrograde in your relationship house on the 5th, reconnecting you to a lover in another port. Coupled Rams can revive the magic by traveling to a sentimental locale before June. TAURUS (APR 20–MAY 20) Ready to wow in the white-collar world and beyond? Pounce on career opportunities before the 18th, while the Sun jump-starts your ambitious streak—your initiative could garner praise and a raise. A glamorous pairing of Mars and Venus warms your winter calendar with cultural activities, fabulous people, and buzzy romance. Expect occasions to don a formal gown—but keep your gym bag within easy reach. With vital Jupiter pivoting to retrograde for four months on the 5th, boosting immunity with workouts and healthy fare is essential. 60

rua r y 2

Everything is illuminated for Aquarians as the radiant Sun beams in your sign until the 18th. Fete your birthday season by expanding your own horizons: Travel to a far-flung locale, or sojourn symbolically by signing up for a game-changing educational program. With Jupiter beginning retrograde on the 5th, you could revisit a seminal location or continue a course of study you’d previously abandoned. On the 10th, important relationships get pushed into the spotlight thanks to a Leo lunar eclipse, the first in a series that, over the next two years, will help you finesse the balance between “me” and “we.”

GEMINI (MAY 21–JUNE 21) Bon vivant Gemini, you’re in fine butterfly form this February, with Venus and Mars commingling in your communal eleventh house from the 3rd on. Find your place among the cultured cognoscenti before the Aquarius Sun activates your wanderlust after the 18th. The lunar eclipse on the 10th could banish a frenemy from your squad while also illuminating a BFFgrade kindred spirit. February’s closing frames bring a career-defining moment. With an ambitious solar eclipse on the 26th, you may be pegged as an influencer—or recognized by one who wishes to take you under her wing. b Fe

JAN 20–FEB 18





CANCER (JUNE 22–JULY 22) February’s heat map leads straight to your bedroom door—and things could get, uh, experimental. It’s equally as exciting in the boardroom: From the 3rd, power couple Venus and Mars unite in your professional sector, lunging you toward success. The lunar eclipse on the 10th could usher in an unexpected payout, like a raise or a promotion. And detach from family drama on the 5th, when Jupiter spins retrograde for four months— only time can heal this hurt. Your need to travel is sparked by the Pisces Sun on the 18th, followed by a solar eclipse on the 26th. Expect a love-laden voyage. LEO (JULY 23–AUG 22) Forget V-Day, Leo. How about Valentine’s month? With the Sun shimmering in your relationship houses, Cupid makes an early arrival and stars in a sequel. Whether you’re single or spoken for, emerge from your den and explore the world! An intrepid alignment of celestial supercouple Venus and Mars could bring a memorable, romantic getaway à deux. On the 10th, a lunar eclipse in Leo—the first in a two-year series galvanizing your sign—lights the path to personal fulfillment. You’ll advance rapidly, but there will be a learning curve. Humble thyself. Until 2019, change is a constant. VIRGO (AUG 23–SEPT 22) Get those wellness resolutions in gear by the 18th while the Sun pulses through your salubrious sixth house. The lunar eclipse on the 10th sanctions a quixotic escape—perhaps a beachside yoga retreat—and your body love brings secondary benefits: From the 3rd on, Mars and Venus entwine in your erotic eighth house, ensuring strong bedroom game. The 26th’s solar eclipse keeps moving the romantic needle in the right direction, so trust your instincts. This is the final installment in a two-year series of Virgo– Pisces eclipses, and by now you know what and who you want!

LIBRA (SEPT 23–OCT 22) Hit the brakes! On the 5th, venturesome Jupiter—which has been powering through Libra since last September—slips into a four-month retrograde. TBH, this will be a relief. Devote this window to fine-tuning all the rapid developments Jupiter ushered in this past autumn. As you integrate the old with the new, this hybrid will spawn success by early June. Your ruler, Venus, joins her dance partner Mars in your house of committed unions from the 3rd on, sparking a V-Day prequel. Talk terms and make your merger official. Single Libras could be swayed by a promising prospect before the 18th. SCORPIO (OCT 23–NOV 21) In February, you’ll finally find your little patch of peace as the Sun nests in your cozy fourth house until the 18th. Feather Château Scorpio into a sacred oasis—and dinner-party central. Vibrant Venus and motivator Mars hold court in your wellness zone from the 3rd on. This planetary pairing makes you quite industrious, so promote thyself, because a status-boosting lunar eclipse on the 10th pegs you as a force in your industry. St. Valentine arrives slightly late, with the Pisces Sun on the 18th. But his magic lingers for four weeks—and a swoonworthy solar eclipse on the 26th refreshes your romantic status in exhilarating ways! SAGITTARIUS (NOV 22–DEC 21) February’s playful, passionate star map shuttles you from cave to cultural scene, with the Aquarius Sun bringing a popularity spike through the 18th—but you must scrutinize. With your ruling planet, Jupiter, in retrograde from the 5th until June 9, your “cray-dar” won’t be the sharpest. Valentine’s celebrations begin on the 3rd, as Venus and Mars conjoin in your fiercely romantic fifth house. Shoot your love arrows instead of waiting to be wooed. Domestic matters demand attention near the solar eclipse on the 26th; this lunation promises a successful real estate transaction. CAPRICORN (DEC 22–JAN 19) February’s stars get your feet on terra firma and your financial statements back to black. On the 5th, enterprising Jupiter turns retrograde in your career zone, so play it safe until early June and consistently bring your A game. From the 3rd, cosmic canoodlers Venus and Mars snuggle up in your domestic sector. Hibernate freely, reserving time for household projects and family bonding. A casual connection may become much more exclusive during the 10th’s Leo lunar eclipse. Time to opt out? A second eclipse, on the 26th, hastens your departure. Remember: Every goodbye is also a hello. For your daily reading from the AstroTwins, go to

Xavi Torrent/Getty Images


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Favorite show:


Alexi Lubomirski


Binge-watching: Years of Living Dangerously Listening to: ’90s R&B on Spotify Bucket list: “To go back to the Sahara Desert with my kids once they are a little bit older.” First job: “Shooting a surf-shop campaign. I was working at a pub on the beach next door and was paid in board shorts.” Valentine’s Day: “I’m a nonbeliever in Valentine’s Day. I celebrate our ‘Monthiversary’ with a poem, a rose, and a pearl.” Beyoncé

Peter Stevenson


“If you would like to know about my messy suburban life, it’s currently being broadcast on my wife Sarah Dunn’s new ABC sitcom, American Housewife. The actor who plays me is taller, slimmer, and funnier than I am, and I’m okay with all of that.” 62

The Crown





Keziah Weir


Binge-watching: “I got HBO Now so that I can watch Westworld.” Bucket list: “I really always wanted to skydive, but I’m really terrified of it. I think I would cry the whole time. But I want to do it.” First job: Counselor at a circus camp Valentine’s Day: “My college boyfriend gave me a beer holster. I don’t drink beer, but for some reason, I really loved that present.” Listening to: “The American Honey soundtrack on repeat.”


Clockwise from top left: courtesy of the subject; Gino Depinto; courtesy of the subject; John P. Johnson/HBO; courtesy of the subject; Raymond Boyd/ Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Robert Viglasky/Netflix


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Williams plays educational games in Nairobi; Kigali, Rwanda (left and below); the actress at Nairobi’s Little Green School; and with a Rwandan peer educator

ics, schools, and orphanages supported by the organization’s efforts. Here, a breakdown of the actress’s itinerary.



When not onscreen, Allison Williams is calling for action in East Africa. By Brianna Kovan Last October, Allison Williams joined (RED) on a four-day trip to Nairobi, Kenya, and Kigali, Rwanda, to meet with local health workers and peer educators who are working to eradicate HIV and AIDS in their communities. Williams’s activist streak began during her undergrad years at Yale, where she took classes focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and spent a summer in Ghana working with Theatre for a Change, a performance troupe dedicated to raising awareness about HIV. (Indeed, the fight is far from over. One staggering stat: In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls account for nearly 80 percent of all HIV infections—giving this demo-


Check out three organizations that are fighting AIDS— and its stigma 66


graphic the power to stop the disease’s transmission to the next generation.) “If women and young people are protected and informed, it’s not going to keep spreading,” says Williams, who currently costars as Marnie Michaels in the sixth and final season of HBO’s Girls. Founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, (RED) has already contributed more than $360 million to fight AIDS in Africa (via the Global Fund, a public-private partnership that distributes the funding) and assisted more than 70 million people. “Buying (RED) products and giving money to (RED) doesn’t go into a vacuum,” says Williams, who toured clin-

By partnering with brands that donate a percentage of their profits to the Global Fund, (RED) uses our rampant consumerism for good.


The Cape Town–based nonprofit employs HIVpositive mothers to lead one-on-one and group counseling sessions in seven African countries.

started her trip in the Kenyan capital, where she visited health worker Dotty Nyambok and the Embakasi Health Clinic, which offers testing and lifesaving antiretroviral drugs to the community. The next day, Williams joined teenagers at a youth center in the rural town of Gilgil as they watched MTV’s awardwinning soap opera Shuga, which mixes AIDS-centric story lines with the daily drama of teenage life—and at one point starred Kenyan powerhouse Lupita Nyong’o. “It uses the same strategy as Theatre for a Change,” Williams explains. “The facilitators’ work is to break the fourth wall and create more engagement in the content.”


In Rwanda, Williams met with groups of female sex workers, whose HIV infection rate currently hovers around 40 percent (compared to a general-population rate of 3 percent).


Founded in 1986, the UK nonprofit creates and distributes AIDS information, addressing both the scope of the disease and individual preventive measures.

At a “hot spot”—a converted hotel that offers blood testing and informational sessions by day, and where women can take clients at night—Williams observed, “There are all kinds of reasons their johns don’t want to use condoms—comfort, conspiracy theories—so a lot of the sex workers use female condoms,” which allow women to negotiate condom use. She also visited the Women’s Empowerment Collective in western Rwanda, which offers free sewing classes to former sex workers. “It’s scary to leave something that you know you’ll be able to make a living doing. You might lose income in the process but gain options—i.e., learning how to be a seamstress—which they want these women to have.”

Clockwise from top left: Ralph Arend/NowThis; Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images; iStockphoto/Getty Images; Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images; Ralph Arend/NowThis (2); courtesy of the organization (3)



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Sources: Media Radar, October 2015-September 2016; The NPD Group, Inc., 2015. Participating magazines include: Cosmopolitan, Dr. Oz THE GOOD LIFE, ELLE, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, and Town & Country.

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The creative partnership between television mastermind Ryan Murphy and actress Sarah Paulson has birthed some of the most boundary-pushing work on TV. It’s also really fun to watch. By Amanda Fortini


ITTING ALONE in my idling rental car on the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles, I observe a woman in a black-and-white houndstooth skirt and top—the sort of wasp-waisted getup a female character might have worn in a Douglas Sirk film—emerge from a chauffeured black sedan and briskly click her way toward me in high, high heels. I am 15 minutes early, an eternity in Hollywood, and as I sit there gathering my belong-


ings and thoughts, I am not expecting her to come up to my car, peer in the driver’s-side window, and say, with crisp, disarming matter-of-factness: “Are you doing this?” Meaning, of course, our interview. The woman is Sarah Paulson, in whose film and television work I’ve been steeping for weeks, yet I had momentarily not recognized her. Possibly because her manner is so straightforward and unvarnished, more like

a no-nonsense female surgeon than a Hollywood actress—you’d expect the latter to float past you and into the building, avoiding you until the appointed time. Or maybe because she’d just come from a press conference and was thoroughly done up, in orange-red lipstick and vintage Valentino, as though from another era. “I didn’t want you to think I’d overdressed. I mean, I’d dress for you, but not like this,” she joked as we walked up a short

Beau Grealy (styled by William Graper; hair by Bridget Brager at the Wall Group; makeup by Adam Breuchaud at TMG LA for Chanel Makeup; grooming by Lauren Kaye Cohen for Chanel Ultrawear Foundation; fashion assistant: Elizabeth Carvalho)

Cotton top, $250, skirt, $2,800, both, MARC JACOBS, visit

flight of stairs. Or maybe because she’d recently chopped her streaky blond bob into a gamine pixie cut to play Audrey, the actressy actress in Roanoke, this season’s American Horror Story. Mostly, though, I’m convinced I didn’t recognize her because, in spite of her distinctive features—those sculptural cheekbones and that full, ripe-fruit mouth—Paulson is the kind of performer who disappears completely into whatever character she’s playing. You never glimpse the actress slipping out from behind the fiction; the convergence is always total, seamless, complete. On some level, I suppose I thought I’d be interviewing Lana Winters, the canny, muckraking lesbian journalist from American Horror Story: Asylum; or Hypodermic Sally, the reckless, amoral ghost-junkie from AHS: Hotel; or perhaps especially Marcia Clark, the earnest, infamous, real-life prosecutor from American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Paulson, who is 42, has been acting professionally for more than two decades, ever since graduating from Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (aka the Fame school) in 1993. She has memorably inhabited roles such as Nicolle Wallace, senior adviser to the McCain campaign and frustrated tutor to Sarah Palin, in HBO’s 2012 film Game Change; and Harriet Hayes, the devout Christian comedian on NBC’s short-lived 2006 series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But it is her recent work with TV impresario Ryan Murphy that has brought her the most acclaim, including five Emmy nominations in six seasons on American Horror Story and an Outstanding Lead Actress win for American Crime Story’s Marcia Clark, all on FX. Paulson talks at a quick clip, often gesturing with her hands—she turns her palms up in front of her, like she’s holding a bowl—to underscore a point. She unequivocally credits Murphy with her current success. “By continuing to employ me and continuing to throw enormous acting challenges at me, he has made me find my confidence, and I did not have that before him,” she says, with touching earnestness, as we settle into a sofa in Murphy’s loftlike offices to wait for him. To the left of us hangs a black-and-white portrait of a young Faye Dunaway. To the right, a black-and-white portrait of ’60s-era Warren Beatty. As we talk, they look over us, silent and eerie, like the patron saints of bygone Hollywood.


began watching AHS, my life has felt haunted. Curtains blowing in the breeze of an open window start to freak me out. And when Laurie London’s cheerful rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” comes on the radio during my 4 a.m. drive to the airport, I am certain it’s foreshadowing my imminent demise, as happy ’50s music always does. It’s surreal to be sitting with the mind behind the horror, watching him do something so mundanely human as eat a cookie. “What are you eating?” Paulson demands. “Is that an Oreo?” “It’s a delicious lard Oreo,” Murphy deadpans, since we are in fatfree, gluten-free, dairy-free Hollywood. Murphy, 51, has a cool, detached air about him. He does not fill silences to make you feel at ease. But he is also wryly funny, with a drollness glinting from behind his serious facade. I’m reminded of the peculiar, delightfully capricious tone of American Horror Story, which has the same dark hilarity roiling just beneath the surface, always threatening to erupt. Ryan Murphy, for the four people who haven’t seen one of his wildly popular shows, is a witty provocateur with a penchant for camp, a pusher of boundaries whose taste is sometimes called into question. He’s as transgressive, as distinctive, and as vital a voice as exists on television today, and he’s also something of a social crusader. He and his creative partner, Brad Falchuk, were the arch masterminds behind FX’s sharp and often graphic plastic-surgery satire Nip/Tuck, which brilliantly skewered American vanity and our cavalier attitude toward carving ourselves up. They also created Fox’s teen musical Glee, the a cappella–style after-school–special series that toppled age-old high school hierarchies, making theater nerds cool and bullying forever unfunny. The show dealt with a host of incendiary issues, from homophobia to teen pregnancy to eating disorders, reminding viewers that teens, at life’s most fragile inflection point, are grappling with heavy shit, too. And though it irked many critics, who found it increasingly preachy and maudlin, always sounding its moral principles with church-bell clarity, it was beloved by fans. Murphy’s next series, the genuinely frightening American Horror Story, was a direct response to the cheerful, earnest rectitude of Glee. As Murphy once said, “I was like, ‘I can’t write any more nice speeches for these Glee kids about love and tolerance and togetherness. I’ll kill myself.… I’m going to write a show about anal sex and mass murders.’ ” American Horror Story, an anthology series whose plotlines change but whose tone is as consistently sinister and morally murky as Glee’s was lighthearted and morally unambivalent, just completed its sixth season. It’s a clever mash-up of genres (horror, fantasy, Gothic melodrama, slasher) that wields its black humor like a sharpened knife. Along similar lines, there’s Fox’s Scream Queens, another dark comedy, this time about a group of sorority sisters being stalked by a killer. Murphy has called it “bubblegum splashed with blood.”

ATER THAT AFTERNOON, Murphy arrives. He is waist-deep in directing his latest show, Feud, an anthology series about famous squabbles, and he’d hosted a Democratic fundraising event (President Obama attended) at his Beverly Hills home two days earlier. Paulson and I follow him down a hall to a conference room decorated with tasteful, muted midcentury-modern furniture. Paulson points to a tan leather chaise longue. “What’s this for?” she says. “A Freudian session every time someone has a breakdown?” THE MURPHY-PAULSON OEUVRE “It’s my fainting couch,” Murphy dryly replies. Having spent the better part of a month watching American Horror Story through the cracks in my fingers, I genuinely believe he might need one. Murphy is a deft conjurer of atmosphere and mood—whether that’s the spooky Victorian-style Briarcliff asylum with its grisly medical torture chamber, or the Art Deco Hotel Cortez MARCIA CLARK, AUDREY TINDALL, with its bloody glam-rock decadence—and ever since I ACS: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON, 2016 AHS: ROANOKE, 2016



From left: Byron Cohen/FX; FX; Prashant Gupta/FX

“She and Ryan together, it’s like watching two people dance. They really know how to get the best out of each other.”

From left: FX; Michele K. Short/FX; Michael Yarish/FX

“I have the dream, and then I let her in on the dream, and then we let other people in on the dream,” Murphy says, “but she’s the one I tell first.” If there’s a unifying theme to all of Murphy’s projects, it’s that he places the outsider at center stage, introducing mainstream America to characters they don’t often encounter on television, and maybe not in their daily lives: gay and transgender characters, older women, women of color, disabled characters, those with Down syndrome, interracial couples—all of whom appear on Murphy’s shows. On AHS: Freak Show, perhaps the starkest example of this principle in his oeuvre, viewers follow the behind-the-scenes goings-on of a 1950s-era circus troupe of differently abled characters as they confront various killers. Murphy received his share of criticism for that season, since professional actors played the main roles (Sarah Paulson was a pair of conjoined twin sisters; Evan Peters, a man with lobster-claw hands; Jessica Lange, an amputee). But he is also rare among directors in casting disabled actors at all, including British performance artist Mat Fraser; Jyoti Amge, the world’s smallest woman; the late Ben Woolf, who had pituitary dwarfism; and the late Rose Siggins, who had sacral agenesis. It’s also no small thing to show that people with disabilities dance, drink, gossip, work, fuck, and live just like so-called “normal” people, that they are no more “freaky” than anybody else. Murphy does not shy away from exploring the thorny contemporary topics that arise when confronting difference—from sexism to racism to fat shaming to aging to disability—and, at least on American Horror Story, these subjects are not always treated delicately or with reverence. As viewers, we may feel shocked, confused, annoyed, bewildered, scared, unsettled, or flat-out offended, but, as is always the case with Murphy’s work, we are guaranteed to feel. We are never bored. Last year, as an executive producer on the Emmy-winning American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Murphy proved, as he had with the earnest HBO movie The Normal Heart, that he also has another, more traditional mode, one that’s neither soapy nor campy. The series, for which Murphy directed four episodes, was a smart, subtle portrayal of the O.J. Simpson trial that slyly shone a light not only on the racism and sexism of the whole spectacle (the detective with the swastika collection, the media’s unfairness toward Clark) but of our current cultural moment. Murphy is now prepping for the second and third seasons of American Crime Story, which will look at Hurricane Katrina (“the ultimate American crime, which wouldn’t have happened to rich white people,” he says) and at Andrew Cunanan’s murder of Gianni Versace (“Versace was his fifth victim, and he got away with it basically because of homophobia”). The plan is to do “more social examinations than tabloid examinations,” he says, meaning no JonBenét or Menendez brothers. And then there’s the eight-part first season of Feud, set to air on FX in March. Feud will focus on the decades-long rivalry between



Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, the pair of aging divas who starred in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the camp classic about a former child star turned fading Hollywood actress who holds her paraplegic sister hostage in an upstairs bedroom. The series stars Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis, as well as a host of other Hollywood deities: Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland, and Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page. Hollywood legends, particularly of the female variety, are Murphy’s specialty. “No one loves a lady Oscar winner more than Ryan,” Murphy’s (female) boss, Dana Walden, chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group, told me. Like the small-screen equivalent of Pedro Almodóvar, another director known for camp, melodrama, operatic gestures, and a love of grand-dame actresses, Murphy has his roster of favorites: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy, Connie Britton, Angela Bassett, Lady Gaga, and Chloë Sevigny have all appeared on multiple seasons of his shows. But also like Almodóvar, whose best-known muses are arguably Carmen Maura and Penélope Cruz, Murphy has his favorites among favorites. Until the two most recent seasons (Hotel and Roanoke), Lange had a leading role in every reboot of AHS, but there has been only one constant throughout, and that has been Paulson, who has emerged, with American Crime Story, as Murphy’s closest collaborator.


O, HIT IT,” Murphy says, all business, turning to me. I ask whether Paulson is his muse. He thinks for a minute. He is uncannily still, his legs crossed and his cheek resting lightly in his hand. “He sits there, and he’s like a really still ocean,” Paulson tells me later. “I wouldn’t say ‘lake’—it’s too small. And it can be unnerving, because he can be inscrutable, and you don’t know exactly what he’s thinking.” “It’s a very lopsided term, muse,” he says thoughtfully, after a few beats. “Inspirational for only one person.” He holds forth for a bit about the history of famous director-actress pairings, those mysterious, intense relationships that have given birth to so many magnificent films. He points out that many times the relationships were “infused with a kind of caregiver thing, or sexuality.” He mentions Bette Davis and William Wyler, who made three films together, most famously Jezebel, for which Davis won the Oscar for Best Actress. “A lot of that work happened off-camera because they were sleeping together, so there was a trust there, and also a fear of being exposed,” Murphy says, noting that the male director often treats the female actress “like a doll.” He wrinkles his nose. “That’s like a weird puppet master thing, like, ‘Move your chin and let me fix the bow.’ ” By contrast, Murphy and Paulson have “a really modern relationship,” he tells me. “It could only have happened in this place and time, with both of us being where we are as adults,” he says. “Twenty years ago, would I have been out of the closet? Maybe not. Would Sarah have been forthright about her choices? Probably definitely not.” What he means, I realize, is not only that their relationship is platonic, but that it stems from that adult place most people reach in their late thirties: an I-don’t-give-aLANA WINTERS, fuck honesty about your desires and your choices. Murphy AHS: ASYLUM, 2012

Continued on page 198 75




toonish persona complete with crowd-pleasing catchphrases like “Fierce!” and Right and below “Hot tranny mess!” (Runway right: The host Tim Gunn nicknamed designer at his NYC him “Woody Woodpecker.”) atelier Siriano grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of two teachers who divorced when he was five. He loved musical theater, and studied ballet alongside his older sister until he became more taken with the costumes than dance itself. By age 13, he was designing clothes, a passion that intensified in high school at Baltimore School of the Arts. After being rejected by FIT, he moved to London, earning a degree in fashion design at American InterContinental University while interning at Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. In New York after graduation, he made wedding dresses for private clients and briefly interned at Marc Jacobs. A friend told him about Runway. “I figured, I had no money; I just needed a job, so why not audition?,” he says. “People did warn me about the stigma attached to reality shows, but winning got me on Oprah, and Amy Poehler played me on Saturday Night Live. That was fun. But I also realized quickly that this wouldn’t last, so I decided early on to figure this thing out for myself.” When Siriano, then 21, “walked in to audition, my first reaction was, ‘He’s just out of design school, not fully baked, so why are we seeing him?’ ” Gunn recalls. “He was in the room for half a minute when I turned to the judges and said, ‘I’ve been teaching for 30 years and have never met a fashion prodigy until today.’ If I had any worries, it was that Christian came equipped with such confidence he could have turned into an egomaniacal diva.” On that count, Gunn is “delighted but not surprised to be wrong.” At Siriano’s no-nonsense, sketch-lined workrooms in New York City’s Chelsea, the designs-in-progress are neither directional nor needle-moving. But what they lack in editorial urgency is made up for in an effusive love of


This past July, Leslie Jones was preparing to make the leap from Saturday Night Live cast member to legit movie actress, costarring alongside comedy’s biggest names in the hotly anticipated Ghostbusters. Jones should have been elated. Instead, she was stressed out. Not only was she under a daily siege of highly publicized, baldly racist attacks by social media trolls, but about two weeks before the movie’s premiere���the single most photographed night of her career—she had nothing to wear, and no prospects in sight. In desperation and disgust, Jones took to Twitter, calling out designers for not offering to help. Surfing above the hate mail came a reply: two “waving hand” emojis from Christian Siriano—his way of saying, “Come over here, girl. I’d love to dress you.” (Her response: “yaaaaaassssss.”) At the premiere, Jones stepped onto the ectoplasm-green carpet in a regal, off-the-shoulder red Siriano. The designer Instagrammed her photo with the hashtag #prettywoman. Jones raves, “We are now friends for life! I love this man. He saw the beauty in me, in every woman.” Fourteen days later, at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama—the best thing to happen to American fashion since the Singer sewing machine—strode onstage to deliver the most stirring speech of her political life in a simple, cobalt-blue full-skirted dress. Its designer? Christian Siriano. Finally. It has taken nine long years for the arbiters of fashion to give in to the indisputable reality that Christian Siriano—the hair-gelled, finger-snapping alum not of Parsons or FIT but of Project Runway, season four—has the talent, focus, and obviously the perseverance to be a viable and, for a rapidly growing circle of women, welcome force in American fashion. It’s not as if Siriano has lacked for recognition. But fame, especially for a reality TV star, does not equal respect (see: Kardashians, Hiltons, Bachelorettes, et al.), and in an industry in which sharpeyed insiders often compete for the self-satisfaction of anointing unknown talent, Siriano’s instant, unmistakably mass appeal following his Runway win was long cause for disdain. You can’t claim credit for “discovering” someone millions of viewers already chose. It didn’t help that the show’s sly editing had shaped Siriano into a car-


Designing superglam clothes for women of every shape and sensibility, Christian Siriano has won the hearts of celebs—not to mention those of shoppers everywhere, from Payless to Neiman’s. Skeptics, eat your hearts out. By Hal Rubenstein

Siriano: Tyler Joe (2); wedding: Instagram (2); Blair: Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for De Re Gallery; Jones: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images; Lopez: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Hendricks: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Knowles: Gary Gershoff/WireImage



color, an obsessive workmanship, and a knack for the kind of camera-ready glamour that elevated Grace Kelly to a screen goddess—all in line with the designer’s ultimate goal of, as he puts it, becoming someone “all women can trust in when they want to be beautiful.” Recent red-carpet arrivals indicate that stars as varied as Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga, Coco Rocha, Ariana Grande, Tina Fey, Shailene Woodley, Sia, and Angela Bassett are believers. As are Neiman Marcus shoppers, who snap up his petal-appliquéd and floral-printed gowns for $3,000-plus. “I didn’t care for his attitude on Runway,” recalls Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing. “So when we decided to look at his collection after two seasons, I wasn’t superexcited to meet him.” Downing soon learned that “he’s nothing like what was presented on air,” but rather “an intelligent, engaging young man” who happens to “fill an amazing niche in event and gala dressing.” Says Downing, “I have customers who fly in from all over the country to his trunk shows.” They’re not there because of Project Runway. “For them, it’s all about his success on the red carpet and how easily those dresses can translate to cocktail parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs.” One more thing, Downing notes: “Unlike some designers who get more press and praise, 99 percent of what Christian sends down the runway ends up at retail. His clothes are designed to sell.” And sell they do. Siriano’s company is worth between $10 and $20 million. In addition to his high-end range—up to 60 percent of which

“Christian makes you happy to show yourself off,” says longtime fan Christina Hendricks. is sold in the Middle East, including Harvey Nichols outposts in Dubai and Kuwait—Siriano rakes in $30 to $50 million annually from multiple licenses: You can buy his faux-fur throws at Bed Bath & Beyond, his “New York Butt Lifter” shapewear on Amazon—and finish it all off with a spritz of Silhouette by Christian Siriano, his floral fragrance. Not to mention the millions of pairs of shoes women have snapped up since Siriano inked a deal with Payless soon after Runway. Despite the lure of blinking dollar signs, such an offer might have scared the Japanese denim off a more rarefied designer. But Siriano, perhaps cannily sensing from the get-go that the cool-kid card was not his to play, also knew that “my celebrity moment could be just that,” he says. “Payless put me in stores where millions of women saw my name. Ask any young designer. Nothing threatens our survival more than cash flow. Meanwhile, I always have money to pay for the fabric I want to make clothes for Neiman’s because of that check from Payless.” Despite having been in that enviable position, Siriano admits that the morning after the First Lady’s appearance “was as if someone threw a switch. Newspapers who’d overlooked us, magazines that had never shot a single dress, asked for interviews. Specialty stores and shopping websites I didn’t know existed called.” As for the collective surprise that Obama’s dress had been so classic and sophisticated: “Well, that’s always been our brand and customer. Where were they before?” Siriano says. But it’s a question he voices with more humor than snark. “I can’t think that way. People wake up when they wake up. In the meantime, we’ve built a good business, making choices that have worked for us.” Perhaps the most significant choice Siriano made early on was not to slavishly hew to high fashion’s size 2 ideal. “My mother was a size 16. But my sister is a 0,” he says. “I’ve never wanted to leave any woman out of Boogieing at his 2016 my sight. I want to dress them all.” wedding Actress Christina Hendricks, now a with Brooks and, below, close friend, recalls that despite Mad Hendricks Men’s early critical success, in 2010, “no designer would dress any female cast member for award shows, no matter what any of us looked like. They hadn’t heard of us. Some even asked if I was wearing prosthetics. But this is my body, and I like it!”

When Siriano adorned Hendricks for that year’s Golden Globes in tiers of peach satin, then–New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn quoted the decree of an unnamed stylist: “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress.” The comment sparked a backlash that only fueled Siriano’s rise. And the dress was a social media hit. After that, Siriano says, Hollywood stylists “were quicker to pick up on what we were doing than editors were,” since they needed clothes that looked good on real bodies. When Danielle Brooks, aka Orange Is the New Black’s beloved Taystee, met Siriano, “he threw me at first, because in person he was kind of quiet and reserved—until it was time to create a dress, and then he turned magical,” she says. “I wish Christian had a bigger ego, so more people would know how talented he is.” Brooks even sang at his wedding—another 2016 highlight—to longtime boyfriend, music producer and singer Brad Walsh, at their country house in Danbury, Connecticut (the blackclad grooms were encircled by an all-female wedding party, each in a white Siriano gown). Last year, Brooks served as the face of the designer’s Lane Bryant capsule collection of dresses, tops, shoes, bags, and even key chains—now in its second season. “My mother shopped at Lane Bryant,” Siriano says. “I know who’s shopping in America, so why pigeonhole myself?” To that end, he also has a new line of wedding dresses for Kleinfeld’s bridal empire. “Christian is the kind of American designer I champion,” Gunn says. “One who sees fashion through the lens of commerce. If people aren’t buying it, who cares what you make?” “Of course, I get a rush every time I see one of my dresses on a tall, statuesque model. That’s what you dream about as a kid sketching away,” says the designer. “But I have one customer who has never missed a show since my first season, and her buy—I’m not kidding—is bigger than all my stores combined. She’s a 14. The look on her face when she wears our clothes is what drives me.” “People forget,” Jones says, “that many of us on the red carpet are really normal, even kind of boring, when we’re not on display. I see life just like you do—an obstacle course. We all need help. Christian is awesome because he loves me as I am, sews me into something amazing, and sends me out the door reminding me to celebrate the moment. But what he also reminds you is that there are still really good people out there.” 77

FASHION Hair by Lucas Wilson for Bumble and bumble; makeup by Aya Komatsu at Bridge for Chanel Beauté; manicure by Nori at ArtList NY; casting by Sisi Chonco at Zan Casting; model: Emma Surmon at Elite Model Management; fashion assistant: Dara Prant

First up: Isabel Marant’s date-night outfit: Nailed it!

Here, a fail-safe plan for striking a perfectly cool balance between hard and soft, sexy and not-too-sweet—whether you’re in the mood for love or not PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEROME CORPUZ STYLED BY YASHUA SIMMONS EDITED BY JOANN PAILEY

Lambskin top, $2,145, skirt, $1,900, both, ISABEL MARANT, at Isabel Marant, L.A. Leather jacket, SCHOTT NYC, $625. Freshwater pearl and marquise earring, SONIA BOYAJIAN JEWELRY, $575. For details, see Shopping Guide.





PERSONAL Explore more at





As a style savant, you’re a professional at

Give a hint: Suggest a couple’s weekend away to enjoy some ice skating and fireside dining. While packing, subtly mention a certain necklace that will help you remember the trip—and that perfectly suits your style.

adding a little panache to any and every situation. So this Valentine’s Day, why not take the reigns and give your loved one a few subtle hints to ensure the date, the memory, and the PANDORA piece are perfect.

PANDORA Pairing: Large Floating Locket ($125) with Love Feelings Petite Charms ($30)

RESERVE A TABLE FOR TWO Give a hint: Casually mention the new restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Tell him you have the almost perfect ensemble; all that’s missing are a few sparkly statement bangles. PANDORA Pairing: Sparkling Bow Bangle ($125); Sterling Silver Bangle ($65) with Wonderful Love Charm ($70) or Ribbons of Love Charm ($40)

ENJOY A COZY NIGHT IN Give a hint: Plant a few hints on your social feed, and set the stage for the perfect date night at home with images of your favorite Hollywood movies, great wine, and the PANDORA pieces you love sprinkled into the mix. PANDORA Pairing: Stackable Rings ($45 – $115)

The season’s rose-tattoo florals are a long way from naïve Liberty prints

A Top Gun–worthy floral bomber Silk jacket, COACH 1941, $995, at select Coach stores nationwide


Lace trim adds a girly touch to tomboy board shorts.

Boardroom-ready board shorts Wool-blend shorts, KIT AND ACE, $168, visit

Classic moccasins add to the unexpected mix Suede moccasin, MINNETONKA, $43, visit


Wool jacket, $1,095, silk blouse, $495, wool and lace shorts, $525, leather moccasins, $795, all, ALEXANDER WANG, at Alexander Wang, NYC. White gold, black rhodium, and diamond chokers, all, JACK VARTANIAN, $4,400–$8,400 each.

Hair by Lucas Wilson for Bumble and bumble; makeup by Aya Komatsu at Bridge for Chanel Beauté; manicure by Nori at ArtList NY; casting by Sisi Chonco at Zan Casting; model: Emma Surmon at Elite Model Management; fashion assistant: Dara Prant; stills: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D (styled by Anita Salerno for R.J. Bennett Represents)


Tkers Jacquard jacket, $2,195, sweater, $765, jacquard shorts, $880, rubber belt, $245, all, PRADA, at select Prada boutiques nationwide. Carnelian, diamond, and rose gold earrings, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, $6,950. For details, see Shopping Guide.


The secret to pulling off supershort: Keep things supercovered on top.

Who wears short shorts? With the help of tailored separates to dial down the big reveal, you do!


The most classic of fabrics keeps it innocent Gingham jacket, ALTUZARRA, $1,795, collection at

...while mix ’n’ match prints make it playful Lambskin shorts, ISABEL MARANT, $1,825, at Isabel Marant, San Francisco

Demure, dressed-up loafers seal the deal Crystal-embellished satin loafer, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN, $750, visit


Lambskin dress, calfskin boots, both, LOUIS VUITTON, prices on request, at select Louis Vuitton stores nationwide.

Leather adds racy sophistication to a debutante-beloved silhouette



Pretty in Pink is back…in black Python dress, OLIVIER THEYSKENS, price on request, visit olivier

Bubblegum pink + snakeskin-esque scales = a match made in fashion heaven Python-embossed leather ankle boot, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE, $528, visit


Forget strappy sandals: Coolgirl boots are the strapless’s new best friend.

Hair by Lucas Wilson for Bumble and bumble; makeup by Aya Komatsu at Bridge for Chanel Beauté; manicure by Nori at ArtList NY; casting by Sisi Chonco at Zan Casting; model: Emma Surmon at Elite Model Management; fashion assistant: Dara Prant; Zadig & Voltaire boot and Guess jeans: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D (styled by Anita Salerno for R.J. Bennett Represents); RedValentino top and bralette: Jeff Harris/Studio D (styled by Gabriel Rivera for R.J. Bennett Represents)

A sleek choker adds a bold counterpoint to a sweetheart neckline Gold and diamond necklace, ANA KHOURI, price on request, collection at Barneys New York


The most romantic of fabrics gets a street-smart edge STYLIST’S TIP

An opaque bandeau puts a sporty spin on sheer lace.


Chandelier earrings keep things swinging Viscose tassel earrings, SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, $595, at Saint Laurent, NYC

A superfemme, Stevie Nicks–worthy top Nylon top, $395, cotton bralette, $225, both, REDVALENTINO, at RedValentino boutiques nationwide

Tulle top, $3,200, viscoseknit bralette, $900, denim jeans, $900, all, DIOR, at Dior boutiques nationwide. Leather boots, PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI, $990. For details, see Shopping Guide.

Winter-white jeans: crisp and unexpected Stretch-cotton jeans, GUESS, $89, visit



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TIPPING THE SCALES Snakeskin offers an exotic update to triedand-true neutrals EDITED BY MARIA DUEÑAS JACOBS

Svend Lindbaek (prop styling by Peter Tran for Art Department); for details, see Shopping Guide

Python handbag, TOD’S, $4,825, at Tod’s boutiques nationwide Python ankle boot, LOUIS VUITTON, price on request, visit


MISSION STATEMENT These logo-laden pumps make being a walking advert surprisingly chic

Leather pump, SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, $995, at Saint Laurent, NYC


Svend Lindbaek (prop styling by Peter Tran for Art Department); for details, see Shopping Guide

Cotton ribbon pump, DIOR, price on request, at Dior boutiques nationwide


Paired with heavymetal hardware, lush chinoiserie packs serious on-trend punch Chinoiserie handbag, LOEWE, price on request, similar styles at

Jade, cabochon ruby, diamond, gold, and platinum necklace, DAVID WEBB, price on request, at David Webb, NYC

Svend Lindbaek (prop styling by Peter Tran for Art Department); for details, see Shopping Guide

MatelassĂŠ jacquard handbag, GUCCI, $1,790, visit



This Valentine’s Day, wear your heart on your sleeve... or bag, or sneakers


Leather handbag, DOLCE & GABBANA, $2,945, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide D


Diamond and white gold stud earrings, HEARTS ON FIRE, $2,500, visit hearts

Leather sneaker, ROGER VIVIER, $895, at Roger Vivier, NYC

Gold and turquoise pendant necklace, JENNIFER MEYER, $975, collection at Barneys New York

Patent leather pump, VALENTINO GARAVANI, $1,345, at Valentino boutiques nationwide

Leather clutch, LONGCHAMP, $135, visit


Runway: Courtesy of the designer; Saint Laurent sunglasses: Devon Jarvis/Studio D; Valentino pump: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D; for details, see Shopping Guide

Sunglasses, SAINT LAURENT, $420, visit

©2017 L’Oréal USA, Inc.

Yellow and white diamond and white and yellow gold earrings, NIRAV MODI, price on request, at Nirav Modi, NYC

Supreme source material: The Taj Mahal

WATCH THE THRONE Even if the name Nirav Modi doesn’t ring a bell, chances are you know the designer’s handiwork: say, the diamond cascades that dangled from Kate Winslet’s lobes at last year’s Oscars, or the equally showstopping drops Kate McKinnon wore on the cover of ELLE’s own debut Women in Comedy Issue. Impressive headway, so to speak, for someone who started his business on a lark less than a decade ago. The 45-year-old Indiaborn, Antwerp-raised jeweler founded his namesake house in Mumbai in 2010 after creating a pair of bespoke earrings for a friend—it didn’t hurt that he came from a family of established diamond suppliers—and opened his first U.S. store 94

on Madison Avenue in 2015. Today he reportedly boasts a $2 billion jewelry empire and is known as the “Diamond King” in the Indian press, thanks to his use of rare stones such as “pigeon blood” rubies and near-flawless, gem-quality pink diamonds (so scarce that the industry mines just enough of them annually to fill a champagne flute). He’s also patented three stonecutting techniques, including the petal-like Mughal cut inspired by the architectural style of the Taj Mahal. But no matter how precious his materials, Modi’s approach is refreshingly laid-back: “Jewelry is meant to be worn,” he says. “Many people just keep it in a safe—it makes no sense.”

Pink and clear diamond and white and pink gold ring, NIRAV MODI, price on request, visit

Diamond, ruby, and white and yellow gold necklace, NIRAV MODI, price on request, visit

Clockwise from top left: Getty Images; Govind Parle (3)

India’s Nirav Modi shows us just how he earned his regal nickname

CLEAN SLATE With their streamlined silhouettes and utilitarian leanings, spring’s freshest crop of new designers makes a strong case for fuss-free fashion with a capital F. By Alison S. Cohn and Naomi Rougeau


by Antonio Haslauer da Costa AGE: 51 PROVENANCE:


by Kate Wendelborn AGE: 36 PROVENANCE:

Milwaukee CV: Still dreaming of the cloudlike cable-knit sweaters that this University of Wisconsin and FIT grad created as the designer of Protagonist, the in-house label of The Line? You’re in luck. After departing the industry-favorite shop, last fall Wendelborn launched her own collection of luxe knit underpinnings— and now there’s more. Come for the cashmere tees; stay for the silk jumpsuits, slipdresses, and track shorts.



by Chloé and Parris Gordon AGES: 29 and 26 PROVENANCE: Toronto CV: Walking the line between masculine and feminine, hard and soft, the Gordon sisters’ appropriately named line (French for “handsome girl”) was a breath of fresh air at New York Fashion Week. Clean-lined silhouettes topped off with dramatic, flamencoesque flourishes managed to avoid feeling costume-y, while shoulder- and backbaring tops looked pulled together rather than overexposed.

This page: Ampersand Heart: Vicente de Paulo (2); remaining images: courtesy of the designers. Opposite page: Sid Neigum runway: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG Fashion (2); Sid Neigum portrait: Luis Mora; remaining images: courtesy of the designers

Rio de Janeiro CV: Inspired by denim’s democratic heritage and its intersection with the world of high fashion, creative director Antonio Haslauer da Costa unites independent denim designers with indigo-dye artisans to create capsule collections of workwear-inspired ready-to-wear that run the gamut from Rosie the Riveter– worthy chambray jumpsuits to bombers with intricate latticework panels.


by Marina Moscone AGE: 29 PROVENANCE:

Vancouver CV: “Don’t you have anything else to wear?” So is Peter Som known to tease his former design director, referring to the ultraversatile double-breasted blazer dress/cape that has become the Parsons alumna’s signature. Her line, launched last fall, infuses classic Italian textiles with subtle femininity.

SID NEIGUM by Sid Neigum AGE: 28


Drayton Valley, Canada CV: Speedy delivery! This Yigal Azrouël alum and FIT grad, who founded his label in Toronto in 2011, got his big break this past September when he showed at London Fashion Week as a winner of DHL Exported, the shipping company’s competition that assists emerging designers in growing their businesses internationally. Neigum’s sculptural garments, which take shape through the addition of strips, ties, and knots, are now available on Farfetch.


by Tommy Zhong and Jenny Nelson AGES: 26 and 24 PROVENANCE:

Dongguan, China, and Kent, England CV: Zhong and Nelson have blended their respective Eastern and Western heritages to stunning effect. The result: experimental tailoring, subtle asymmetries, and exclusive fabrics—for spring 2017, the duo enlisted fine artist Tess Williams to create this digital jacquard weave, which mimics a painted canvas.






1 . 87 7. A S K . E F F Y

First up: Chanel’s retrofuturistic It Bag is ready to do your bidding

NOW SCREENING From code-cracking paranoiacs (Mr. Robot) to Wild West androids (Westworld ), TV’s

hottest cult shows deserve a starring role in your wardrobe


Plexiglass, strass, and metal handbag, CHANEL, price on request, call 800-550-0005. For details, see Shopping Guide.


GET WITH THE PROGRAM Style cues from your favorite small-screen heroes WESTWORLD

Lace top, $1,450, silk and linen skirt, $1,300, both, ZIMMERMANN, visit zimmermannwear .com. Leather belt, PAIGE, $129, visit

Printed-fabric wooden clutch, EDIE PARKER, $1,695, visit

Lace ankle boot, BROTHER VELLIES, $1,395, collection at Fwrd by Elyse Walker, L.A.

Gold-plated bracelet, AURÉLIE BIDERMANN, $235, visit






Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores Abernathy


A tiered prairie skirt lets musthave statement boots take center stage.

GAME OF THRONES Sterling silver choker, KHIRY, $1,195, visit

Leather jacket, TOPSHOP UNIQUE, $650, at Topshop, NYC


At once ornate and austere: understated flats with ultrafemme lacing.



Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen




Lace and cotton dress, BOSS, $1,695, at Hugo Boss stores nationwide


Calfskin ankle boots, THE ROW, $1,090, collection at

Patent leather and metal handbag, RACHEL COMEY, $380, at Rachel Comey, NYC

Westworld: John P. Johnson/HBO; Game of Thrones: Helen Sloane/HBO; runway (2): Daniele Oberrauch/; stills: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D (styled by Anita Salerno for R.J. Bennett Represents); for details, see Shopping Guide








Felt hat, STETSON, $269, visit


3,2, 1...done! Eva Longoria



©2017 L’Oréal USA, Inc.


It’s a “tuxedo” even Zuck would love! Keep the hoodie slim, and choose a razorsharp blazer.


Metallized-calfskin clutch, CHANEL, $950, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide





UNDER $50 Cap, TOPMAN, $40, at Topman, NYC Sequin skirt, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, $698, visit

Rami Malek’s Elliot Alderson

Leather platform, PROENZA SCHOULER, $1,050, visit Cotton and cashmere sweater, KATE SPADE NEW YORK, $248, visit


Sparkly, interchangeable belt buckles = the new (old) emoji.

UNDER $100 Cotton-blend skirt, GUESS, $69, visit Suede and calfskin belt strap, $110, silver and amethyst buckle, $880, both, PAT AREIAS, at Pat Areias, NYC

Fashion Credit, BRAND NAME, $0,000, at Store, Location tk. Fashion Credit,








Winona Ryder’s Joyce Byers

Nylon windbreaker, LU + MEI, $280, visit

Leather sandal, KATE SPADE NEW YORK, $358, similar styles at

Silicone watch, SWATCH, $60, at Swatch stores nationwide

UNDER $100

Mr. Robot: Nadav Kander/USA Network; Stranger Things: courtesy of Netflix; Chanel runway: Alessandro Lucioni/; Marc Jacobs runway:; stills: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D (styled by Anita Salerno for R.J. Bennett Represents); for details, see Shopping Guide



Fitted blazer, DKNY, $498, at select DKNY stores nationwide. Cotton-blend hoodie, HANES, $15, visit

THE WAY WE WORE ELLE Fashion Director Samira Nasr

is feeling ’90s paper-bag waists, restructured vintage, and itsy-bitsy bags In the ’90s, I used to borrow my brother’s Levi’s 501s and Girbaud jeans and cinch them to create a paper-bag waist. I was excited to see the look return at Stella McCartney and Bottega Veneta. These versions have built-in ties—just throw on a fitted top or bodysuit and a midheight heel for a sleek finish.

Clockwise from top center: Yashua Simmons; Alessandro Lucioni/; Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; (3); Yashua Simmons; courtesy of the designer (2); Daniele Oberrauch/; Alessandro Lucioni/

Nasr wears a reconstructed vintage U.S. military cotton twill jumpsuit, AS EVER, $325, visit Leather boots, GIANVITO ROSSI, $1,625, at Gianvito Rossi, NYC


I was shopping in Brooklyn when I spotted a woman in an electric-pink mechanic suit. I was like, “Hello, where did you get that?” Turns out her name is Astrid Dahl. She and her husband, Mark Kolski, make one-of-a-kind items (including my fateful jumpsuit, left) for their line, As Ever, using reworked vintage pieces, hand-dyed and stitched on a 1951 Singer. DM them to place an order @asevernyc.


Denim top, $945, trousers, $685, both, STELLA McCARTNEY, at Stella McCartney, NYC. Leather handbag, $1,145, suede handbag, $1,945, both, VALENTINO GARAVANI, at Valentino boutiques nationwide


Some might say the season’s Lilliputian bags are impractical—and, okay, you won’t fit much beyond a few Altoids Smalls in Hermès’s gorgeous necklace bag—but that’s what pockets are for. These studded Valentino cross-bodies have ample room for lip gloss, keys, and a credit card—what else do you really need to be toting around?






















Pearl-embellished pink suede slingback, NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD, $795, visit Goatskin slingback, CHANEL, $900, call 800-550-0005

I have about 30 pairs from Falke and Maria La Rosa, the Italian goddess of socks. They’re little mini investments. Off-White, Givenchy, and Saint Laurent showed socks with strappy heels, a brilliant styling trick I plan to use this spring. When you have nice socks, why not show them off?






Robby Klein/Contour by Getty Images

Because the platinum age of television just keeps shining on, we bring you 2017’s small-screen superstars, the women in front of and behind the camera who, like the magnificent Regina King, set our hearts racing (or reeling), make us roar with laughter, and truth-tell on TV.

This force of nature stars in both ABC’s American Crime and HBO’s The Leftovers, has taken home two Emmys (for American Crime), and is shaking up the small screen as a director, to boot. ELLE: What have you learned by directing episodes of shows like Pitch, Scandal, and The Catch? The psychology of dealing with people. You’re not part of [an established show] from its conception, so you come in like the new kid at school. You could have an actor who likes to get a note, one who needs an “Attaboy!” at the end of every take, and another who couldn’t care less. As the director, you have to take time for those little moments, even when you’re moving fast. ELLE: With more women of color in lead TV roles, do you feel we’re approaching a new normal? We’re moving in the direction of an all-inclusive world. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mindy Kaling and Issa Rae are übertalented women. I’m sure you know plenty of Mindys and Issas in your life, so why wouldn’t that be the case in television? ELLE: Jerry Maguire just had its twentieth anniversary. What’s the lasting impact of Marcee Tidwell? We had the opportunity to show this black family, who are together and make sacrifices for one another. I was married; Cuba was married. We knew that existed, but we didn’t get to see it that much in film. The reaction was bigger than just our community. I still get “Show me the money!” A beautiful thing about my career: characters who follow me around. ELLE: One last thing: Did Emmy number two feel as good as number one? I got the most amazing e-mail from Kathy Bates: She’d just caught up on American Crime and said, “I would have walked up and handed you those Emmys myself.” I started crying right there.—Brianna Kovan 107




At this point, it’s a fact: There’s too much TV out there for a mere mortal to consume. To make matters more daunting, a pilot rarely captures a series’ full essence—or its potential greatness—so it’s hard to know what’s worth watching. We tapped Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, founders of ATX Television Festival (June 8–11 in Austin), to create this 12-hour sampler. They zeroed in on episodes that get at the crux—the characters, the plot, the emotional drama—of the most of-the-moment shows (as well as one classic) to help you decide whether to commit or cut bait. Either way, it’s all great TV.




File under: Sexy Russian Spies Covert Russian operatives learn their teen daughter is a covert Christian. Talk about work-life balance!



File under: How Power Really Works As POTUS (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) weighs the VP pick, her chief of staff [Anna Chlumsky] spews a careermaking monologue.



File under: How Power Ideally Works President Bartlet mourns a mentor and manages his health crisis...without a single Twitter rant. Hail to the chief!

See page 171 for more Mandy Moore



File under: Waterworks Go deep on Pearson family drama just before they hit you with a twist. Sappy, yes, but artfully constructed.



File under: Bad Roommates Mom and daughter move in with uncle. They’re all dating—but don’t worry, not each other!



File under: Sex and the Symphony Gael García Bernal’s crazy-magnetic orchestra conductor seduces donors and nubile cellists alike. And you’re next.



File under: Love and Pro Basketball The LeBron James– produced, critic-beloved dramedy about an NBA star and his family is full of laughs while tackling ageism, racism, and—in this case—one epic squabble along the way.

This page, clockwise from left: John Lamparski/WireImage; Patrick Harbron/FX; Patrick Harbron/HBO; NBC via Getty Images; David Lee/Amazon; Quantrell D. Colbert/Starz; Ron Batzdorf/NBC; Greg Lewis/Hulu. Opposite page, clockwise from top right: Christopher Patey/Getty Images; Myles Aronowitz/TBS; CBS via Getty Images; Vivian Zink/NBC; Van Redin/HBO; courtesy of Netflix; Patti Perret/ OWN; John P. Johnson/HBO; Justin Lubin/FX; Anne Marie Fox/HBO; Neil Jacobs/USA Network

Some aspects of Ali Wentworth’s new comedy series may seem a little familiar: It chronicles the behindthe-scenes antics of a late-night talk show in which Wentworth, 52, stars as talent booker Staci Cole. And yet Nightcap, which premiered this fall on the Pop TV network and has already been picked up for a second season, comes off as wholly fresh, and even a little radical. For one thing, it sticks it to the lie that shows about—and made by—women of a certain age can’t find an audience. And then there’s the comedy: It’s incredibly bawdy, and, to borrow a phrase, fucking hilarious. Each episode is peppered with cameos by the actress-comedian’s real-life friends, such as Kelly Ripa, Whoopi Goldberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who serve up knowing caricatures of themselves. Wentworth’s husband, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, also makes an appearance. Take, for example, a dressing-room encounter with a gloriously Goop-y Gwyneth: “Do you have an outlet? I need to steam my vagina,” asks the leggy Paltrow, her deadpan as spot-on as her blow-out. There’s also something satisfying and new about a real Hollywood insider directly taking on just how egomaniacal and sycophantic the whole showbiz thing can be. And certainly Wentworth, whose credits include In Living Color, Jerry Maguire, and Seinfeld, has plenty of material to draw from. “One time [in the ’90s] when I was on the Tonight Show, there was a rock star there who was supposed to go on in five minutes. But the greenroom door was locked, and he was in there with his publicist doing, um, interesting things. The producers were like, ‘Ali, you might have to go out first!’ And I thought, ‘This is great; this is the show.’ ” —Amanda FitzSimons



File under: What Would Oprah Do? Ava DuVernay directs a pilot that’s the rare series road map: An L.A. hotshot moves home to Louisiana; sexy, soapy, tear-jerky family dynamics ensue.



File under: Hot for Robots In a Wild West theme park, androids mingle with humans. This ep is where the line between them starts to blur.



File under: So Real It Hurts Actress/single mom Pamela Adlon’s autobiographical show (the “female Louie”) tracks three generations of feisty women.



File under: Kids’ Shows You Shouldn’t Show to Kids Has Winona lost her marbles, or is she really talking to her lost son through Christmas lights? And what is the deal with that freaky chick Eleven? By episode 3, you’re irrevocably hooked.

See page 170 for more Issa Rae



File under: Justin Theroux, Y’all The bad news: 140 million people just disappeared. The good news: This guy’s still here, and in this episode he’s thrown into the world of the undead!





File under: My Two Moms This sweet-spirited small-town sitcom follows (straight) female friends (who sometimes dress like men) who move in together to raise a baby.

File under: Awkward and Delightful You know when you’re buying underwear at Rite Aid because you’re not going home tonight, and you run into your boyfriend? So does genius star/creator, Issa Rae.



See page 174 for more America Ferrera



File under: Party on Aisle Three The pitch-perfect America Ferrera-led ensemble really sings when they’re all locked in the store and throw a karaoke-fueled sleepover. Shoppingcart obstacle course, anyone?


File under: What to Watch With the Under-12s and Over-65s Modern Family devotees, cozy up to the zany Shorts as James Brolin adopts a tiny, testy horse.


File under: Jon Stewart Who? Watching Bee and team incisively interview RNC delegates is painful in retrospect—but that’s the point.




She created a hit YouTube show (Twenties), was a producer of a critically acclaimed movie (Dear White People), and now brings her savvy as the dryly hilarious, straighttalking Denise in Netflix’s Master of None, which follows an actor (cocreator Aziz Ansari) trying to make his way in New York. On why art has to be more ardent than ever: “I’ve very recently been reminded of the role artists play, particularly black artists—and then I’m also a black queer artist. If you’re in this business, a lot of people don’t look like you—executives, producers—and sometimes that makes you think, I’m not going to be too combative. But now I’m saying I need to stand up, to be heard. I don’t agree that all black characters need to be good. We deserve characters as flawed as Don Draper or Nurse Jackie. For me, it’s about making characters feel honest and real, because art plays a huge part in changing the way we look at each other. In the second season [of Master], I cowrote an episode that’s about my character coming out, and I’m really proud of it. Maybe, after someone sees it, if they pass a black lesbian couple on the street, they’ll be a bit more knowing. We as a society are at our best when we see ourselves in one another. That’s what art should do. And now in particular, it’s about doubling down, being blacker than ever, gayer than ever.”—Molly Langmuir

Take the ATX TV Festival founders’ weekend-long TV challenge, and emerge fluent in the most-talked-about shows on the tube. Find it at




She’s the writer, director, cocreator, and occasional cast member who turned her cult-hit Web series, High Maintenance—which follows a nameless NYC weed-delivery guy (Ben Sinclair) as he’s welcomed into the houses, homes, and disparate inner lives of his clients—into a halfhour HBO darling. On what it means to hit the big time: “My role on the show [as Becky] is so supporting—maybe that’s how I am in life. I’ve always been the person to push other people forward. And I’ve had so much support around me between our executive producer [Russell Gregory], who’s my best friend, and my creative partner, Ben, who’s also my life partner. The key to our relationship is having truth on every level and respect for each other artistically. It’s our secret sauce. Ben and I aren’t really traditionally masculine and feminine. Because we’re one man and one woman and such equal partners, it’s gone a long way toward keeping the show feeling human. We’re really just interested in normalizing behavior and people who might not fit into the mainstream. It wasn’t our goal to normalize pot smoking, but that was part of it—and that began to extend into types of people and other kinds of behavior. We’re not going out of our way to try to identify what’s ‘weird’ and then make it normal, but it’s always in the back of our minds—to present a nonjudgmental view of whomever we’re telling a story about.”—Cotton Codinha


what they say: You’re only as good as your costars. We gathered a handful of A-game TV actresses to sound off on the strength and savvy of their past and present scene mates. 110

Season five, 2016

As Lena Dunham’s brainchild begins its final season, Keziah Weir also bids adieu to a sprawling chapter in her own life As everyone I know who is over 40 or doesn’t live in Brooklyn has pointed out to me, my life is a lot like Girls. For one thing, Lena Dunham’s fictional comrades are my literal coevals: I met my three best friends when we were freshmen at our insular liberal arts college. We rent apartments with DIY wall alternatives and go to parties in the Brooklyn neighborhood where Shosh once accidentally did crack. Between the four of us, we’ve worked at a glossy magazine (like Dunham’s Hannah), in an art gallery (Allison Williams’s Marnie), at a café (Zosia Mamet’s Shosh), and as a babysitter (Jemima Kirke’s Jessa). And, as with Jessa and Hannah, Hannah and Marnie, and Marnie and Shoshanna, there has been occasional overlap in the people we’ve dated and/or kissed. Five years ago, when Girls came blasting onto the television landscape in a glorious

RUTINA WESLEY (now starring in Queen Sugar ) on TRUE BLOOD costar ANNA CAMP

“She’s hilarious, and this woman that she created [True Blood’s Sarah Newlin] is just insane. I remember being on set like, ‘Is she always this funny?’ We always talked about how we couldn’t wait to work together again someday.”

blaze of confusing romantic entanglements, fractured friendships, and awkward sex, I was as thrilled as any TV-watching feminist. In a small-screen world that did not yet include such fellow trailblazers as Orange Is the New Black, Transparent, or Broad City, it felt almost transgressively satisfying to watch female characters this unvarnished. Until, suddenly, it didn’t. By the second season, I had to stop watching. Not because I was bored, or because I thought the show was getting millennials, or young women, or young Brooklyn, wrong. Because it was getting them— us—too right. From afar, I could still appreciate that Girls was detonating norms, not just onscreen but in the culture at large, about the way young women are supposed to look (and feel about the way we look), not to mention how we think, talk, and play naked ping-

ANNA CAMP (now starring on Good Girls Revolt ) on UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT costar ELLIE KEMPER

“Ellie and I would run lines in the hair and makeup trailer, so when we got to set we’d be on point and could explore and have more fun. She’s just a ray of light, genuinely sunshine on set.”


“My sister Carrie was actually a writer on The Office, and she wrote an episode that heavily featured Melora, who was so gracious to my sister. She loved writing for Melora because she disappears into whatever character she’s playing, and I don’t know if you can teach that.”

Opposite page, clockwise from top right: Mark Schafer/HBO; Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic; Neilson Barnard/Getty Images; Matthew Eisman/Getty Images; Bennett Raglin/Getty Images. This page, clockwise from center: Mark Seliger/HBO; Maarten de Boer/Getty Images; Todd Williamson/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage (2)

pong—game-changing plotlines I knew kind of embarrassing early-career desperaabout because I continued to devour the tion, I identified with Hannah’s emotions, countless recaps and think pieces that each but not her specific situation. Imagine finally episode spawned. (Much in the way that, getting what you’ve always wanted—in Hanfollowing a devastating fight with one of nah’s case, becoming a published author— those aforementioned best friends, I didn’t and then finding out that because something speak to her for more than a year, but I did terrible happened to someone else, you no become intimately acquainted with her longer got that thing. Despite Girls’ hipster trappings, the emotions and impulses its digital footprint.) Why, then, couldn’t I watch it? Freud characters cycle through are far from limithad this one figured out decades ago. In a ed to young Brooklynites. They just happen 1960 essay called “Psychopathic Charac- to be the ones that “real” adults often affix ters on the Stage,” he wrote that “it is only to youth in general, and millennials in particin the neurotics that a struggle can occur ular: selfishness, narcissism, jealousy, laziof a kind which can be made the subject ness, entitlement. With a little temporal disof a drama.” Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the tance, I could enjoy the show without feeling example Freud gives, but Hannah and Co. indicted (or exposed) by it. Since then I’ve watched (and rewatched) all also apply: In exhibiting the impulses we’ve been taught to repress, Freud writes, they five seasons. So I can say, with authority, that demonstrate “not merely an enjoyment of while so many good shows take a plunge in the liberation but a resistance to it as well.” quality in latter seasons, Girls just kept getting Basically, their bad behavior fascinates us by better—in part because it was such a relief to letting us live vicariously through them while watch the characters grow into women. Abraalso serving up something to judge. A perfect- sive and self-absorbed women, yes, but also ly enjoyable form of entertainment so long as, authentic and mostly well-intentioned, with say, the neurotic prince (or would-be writer) the occasional cringe-inducing backslide. One doesn’t hit too close to home. Just as my mar- forward leap came last season, when Hanried colleague couldn’t stomach the bedroom nah’s old frenemy, Tally (Jenny Slate), reappears. A lit-world Insta-darling malaise of HBO’s now-canceled we hadn’t seen since season Togetherness, my classical-musician parents aren’t into Moone, Tally was an antagonist zart in the Jungle, and plenty of prone to pronouncements like early-aughts thirtysomethings “I just water-birthed my flushed with shame when Cartruth.” So when, in that early episode, Hannah’s handrie Bradshaw made everyone Season one, 2012 some former professor tells else’s problems about herself. Nobody likes listening to a recording of her her that “Tally’s a shitty writer, and you’re a good writer,” it feels like a true triumph. But own voice. But then, on a flight early last year, I gave by season five, Hannah Horvath’s priorities Girls another shot. The two episodes avail- are different (as are, I expect, Dunham’s—and able were from season three, when Hannah’s mine, it turns out), and rather than compete e-book editor dies and she uses his funeral as with Tally, she spends the day with her in an a networking opportunity. I found that my encounter that is emotionally honest and muformer scorn for Hannah’s perpetual foot- tually beneficial. Plenty of viewers probably in-mouth disease had been replaced by an wouldn’t think that a day spent eating fancy almost big-sisterly empathy. I was no longer hot dogs, stealing a bike, and smoking weed cringing, thinking, That is so me, because with a former frenemy could serve as a sign by then it was not me at all. A cou- of maturity…but that’s just how right ple of years past the point of that Girls gets us women.


“So much of acting is giving and receiving, and Gaby is so unwaveringly receptive to whatever I give. I want to be there to catch the ball as committedly as she does, because she is ferociously protective of the truth. And if it’s not resonating real to her, then she fights for that to happen.”


“Jay [Duplass] and I are always baffled and amazed by how Amy can do anything. I’ll read a line and be like, ‘Wow, that’s got to change. Nobody can sell that.’ And Amy will come in and kill it. She’s so loose that everything is available to her at any second.”


“I wish I had more experience with Kristen. I once had a freakout on [the House of Lies] set, and she was very helpful in buoying me. When you see a beautiful, famous woman and know she’s also a kind, great person, it feels good. In Frozen, I’d say to my daughter, ‘She’s so cool!’ ”



She’s played a teenager moonlighting as a scrappy private investigator (Veronica Mars), a mentally unstable mutant (Heroes), a smart, crafty management consultant (House of Lies), and, now, a morally questionable saleswoman who, after getting hit by a truck, is just trying to do right in the afterlife (The Good Place). Oh yeah: She was also the voice of Gossip Girl and has rocked in smash-hit films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen, and Bad Moms. In other words, there’s not much Bell can’t do. On her (cast of) characters: ”On social media, I’m still referred to as Veronica Mars, but Eleanor [her The Good Place role] is creeping in. For a while, it was Sarah Marshall. I try to start every character with an authentic part of me. I have a lot of Eleanor’s nasty, sassy dialogue running through my head—I just don’t say it. I’m similar to Veronica in that I’m prickled by bullies and I fight for the underdog. Even with Sarah Marshall, who was not a good person, I understood why she was a little bit misunderstood. And I rooted for her.” On typecasting: “I think there’s value in understanding what the public likes to see you do. I could play dark, brooding characters, but if that’s not what people want, then who cares? The audience is a mandatory part of this equation. People want to see me be snarky, and I have to respect that.” On the laugh track: “There’s something unique about being on a comedy set. The content is funny; the mood is light; the actual lighting on the set is brighter. It’s a little bit like working on a playground.”—Brianna Kovan

next big series, I Love Dick, she’ll (finally) be a bona fide star, too When actress Kathryn Hahn says, “I’ve been pretending to be normal for so much of my life,” one can’t help but think, What a waste! Over the past five years, Hahn has become a sort of stealth TV icon, the kind of woman you’re thrilled to see pop up in whatever amazing show you happen to be watching—Girls, Transparent, Parks and Recreation— because you know you’re in for something wildly hilarious, totally lacking in vanity, deeply human, and occasionally weird. (She’s worked that skill set to strong effect on the big screen, too, most recently in last year’s Bad Moms, in which she matter-of-factly demonstrated how to handle an uncircumcised penis—using a hoodie-wearing Kristen Bell as her facsimile.) We meet at a café near the L.A. lot where she’s filming the first show in which she’ll be the unequivocal star, the upcoming Amazon half-hour series I Love Dick. “Working, I can be my truest self. I don’t know how healthy that is,” she says, letting out a quick snort as she pushes banana bread around her plate. “My therapist is like, ‘Why haven’t you seen me?’ ” Hahn’s best is also her most shambolic—her lips stained red with wine during an epic meltdown near the end of the 2013 film Afternoon Delight, or as Transparent’s empathic rabbi, Raquel, who endured an epic spir-


itual crisis late last season. Raw, vulnerable moments bring out Hahn’s incandescence, so much so that fans of the Emmy-winning series are already in a kind of pre-mourning, worried that her technically tangential but soulfully crucial character (incidentally, the least narcissistic one on the show) has esI LOVE DICK caped the Pfefferman clan for the last time. “She hasn’t died,” says Hahn, who, for the record, has been touched by the concern. Transparent isn’t the first time Hahn started on a project as a mere planet but became its sun. For 14 years, she’d been stealing scenes as a character actress in comedies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Step TRANSPARENT Brothers. Then, six years ago, director-producer Jill Soloway spotted her at a farmer’s market and tapped her for Afternoon Delight and Transparent. (Hahn didn’t learn until later that she’d been noticed, but guesses she was on line for pupusas—now a Transparent in-joke—at the time.) That slow-burn radiance is also why Girls crePARKS AND RECREATION ated a season-one character (the mother of Jessa’s two babysitting charges) specifically for her. It’s why, way back at the beginning of her career, her guest role as a quirky grief counselor on the medical procedural Crossing Jordan was expanded to recur (no doubt there are GIRLS Hahn completists out there who have watched all six seasons). Frankly, most shows on television would be better with Hahn in them, but for now the Soloway-produced Dick has dibs. Playing the role of Chris Kraus, a real-life feminist author drawn into an obsessive, cerebral affair with the seCROSSING JORDAN ries’ titular academic (Kevin Bacon), is a revelatory part for Hahn, who earned rhapsodic reviews when Amazon posted the pilot this past summer; the full first season is due in May. “It’s incredible to be able to show a woman’s emotion and desire without apology,” she says of playing Kraus, a New York filmmaker who moves to Marfa, Texas, after her husband, Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), gets a fellowship at the fictional Marfa Institute. The resulting performance is at once utterly relatable and convincingly unhinged—a Hahn specialty, to be sure: “She’s everything that I would be: rash, self-hating, contradictory, brilliant.” Careerwise, in general, “I feel like I’m getting away with something because I haven’t been pigeonholed one way or another,” she says. “[But] Jill saw something in there and kind of busted open this door. I just feel worked for the first time in my creative life. I feel investigated. It’s why I got into this mess in the first place.” And for that, we are grateful.—Phoebe Reilly

Hahn: Jesse Dittmar/Redux; stills, from top: Patrick Wymore/Amazon; Jennifer Clasen/Amazon; Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; JoJo Whilden/HBO; Dean Hendler/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Kathryn Hahn is among the most watchable, wonderful players on TV. And with Amazon’s

As usual, you saw that coming. There are a lot of things that are easy to see coming, like man buns and homemade kombucha going out of style, but some things are a little harder to detect. Like that pedestrian unexpectedly jaywalking. That’s why Toyota Safety Sense™ P,1 including a Pre-Collision System2 with Pedestrian Detection,3 comes standard on the new 2017 Corolla.

Toyota Safety Sense™ Standard

Prototype shown with options. Production model may vary. 1. Drivers should always be responsible for their own safe driving. Please always pay attention to your surroundings and drive safely. Depending on the conditions of roads, vehicles, weather, etc., the system(s) may not work as intended. See Owner’s Manual for details. 2. The TSS Pre-Collision System is designed to help avoid or reduce the crash speed and damage in certain frontal collisions only. It is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors, such as speed, driver input and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for details. 3. The Pedestrian Detection system is designed to detect a pedestrian ahead of the vehicle, determine if impact is imminent and help reduce impact speed. It is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors, such as speed, size and position of pedestrians, driver input and weather, light and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for details. ©2016 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.


Pike and Oyelowo


The heir to the throne of an African kingdom gets entangled in a modern-day fractured fairy tale in this month’s most entertaining film. By Ben Dickinson

David Oyelowo has simply got the knack. He became obsessed with portraying Martin Luther King Jr., and seven years later Selma became a breakout triumph for him and director Ava DuVernay. Now, years after getting wind of the true story behind A United Kingdom and vowing to bring it to the screen, he’s starring in this rousing mid-twentieth-century saga, directed by Amma Asante. Everyone involved is building on prior success. Asante’s widely admired previous film, Belle, positioned her to te work here on a larger scale in every way. Asa n Oyelowo is coming off his marvelous turn last fall as a Ugandan chess coach in director Mira Nair’s underappreciated Disney gem, Queen of Katwe. And perhaps most impressively, Rosamund Pike follows her grand success as wife-from-hell Amy Dunne in Gone Girl with a warm, winning portrayal of the most opposite type imaginable. Oyelowo is Seretse Khama, who will eventually become the first democratically elected president of Botswana, the landlocked, peaceable, and prosperous nation that encompasses most of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. In 1947, however, Khama is the orphaned crown prince of the Bangwato nation and is finishing off some 20 years of education in England by earning a law degree; he’s preparing to assume the kingship that has been loyally preserved all this time by the regency of his beloved uncle. Rosamund Pike is Ruth Williams, a classic English rose, daughter of a shopkeeper, who has an independent streak, to say the least. She meets Khama at a dreary Missionary Society dance in London that her sister has dragged her to. 116

Reader, she married him—against the wishes of, among others, her father, the Church of England, and British prime minister Clement Attlee. Denied a church marriage, they opt for an impromptu civil ceremony and hie themselves to Khama’s African homeland. And here’s where things get really interesting, because Khama’s uncle, aunt, and sister greet the brand-new Mrs. Khama as if she’s the serpent in the garden. The way Asante sees it—speaking from Belgium on location for her next film—Ruth experiences a tables-turned version of the classic colonial drama of race and difference. The director describes the Botswanans’ reaction as “We’re not sure about you being our queen. You’re not just an outsider, but from a group that has come to rule us.” The Khamas face this challenge even as South Africa makes threatening noises; having just instituted the separatist racial doctrine of apartheid, its rulers are enraged at the notion that they will have a biracial royal family prominently bordering their regime. When they started filming—in the actual hotel that the Khamas stayed in, while the temperature on set approached 125 degrees—Asante watched her two leads find their chemistry. “They have to shut down the world outside and somehow come together and just be a couple, not two people fighting the world,” she says. “And at that moment, I just thought, Wow, they have it—they have, I guess, what you need if you’re a couple under that kind of pressure.” Indeed they do. Oyelowo’s face is a constant revelation of emotional intelligence, regardless of what he’s doing onscreen, and Pike is transcendently believable as the doughty, underestimated middle-class girl who could be queen.

The real world is not composed of black and white—“White is a metaphor for power,” observes the penetrating writer and social critic James Baldwin in the mesmerizing new documentary I Am Not Your Negro, directed by Haitiborn citizen of the world Raoul Peck. In 1979, Baldwin (Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time) planned to write a book about race in America centered around his three martyred friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and NAACP leader Medgar Evers. Baldwin died in 1987, having written only 30 pages—which his sister passed to Peck, saying, “You’ll know what to do with this.” What Peck has done is to produce an incendiary meditation on the writer’s signature themes, mixing archival footage ranging from the civil rights era to Ferguson, Missouri, in a visceral tour de force of images and words. How surpassingly timely it is, for example, to witness, today, swastikas on posters borne by whites protesting school desegregation in the early 1960s. And through it all, Samuel L. Jackson’s voiceover is a marvel of restraint; he has a deeper quiet rumble than Baldwin does in archival clips, but it’s intimate and alluring—it draws you into Baldwin’s language and point of view, which are piercing and accurate. Unforgettable, in fact.—B.D. Baldwin

From top: Stanislav Honzik/Fox Searchlight Pictures (2); Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images



© Procter & Gamble 2017




A BOOK OF THE DEAD George Saunders’s first novel is a brilliant,

Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love. By Peter Stevenson

It is the frigid winter of 1862. The Civil War has cracked the country in two, and the 53-year-old president Abraham Lincoln, struggling with decisions that are costing thousands of lives, finds himself numb with grief over the swift decline and crushing loss of his cherished, chubbycheeked 11-year-old son, Willie, to typhoid fever. Willie is interred in a crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers at the time report that the president, on more than one occasion, returns—alone and at night— to the crypt, and opens Willie’s casket and cradles his son’s body. Out of this gemlike, poignant, unsettling historical moment, George Saunders has risen an unsentimental novel of Shakespearean proportions, gorgeously stuffed with tragic characters, bawdy humor, terrifying visions, throat-catching tenderness, and a galloping narrative, all twined around the luminous cord connecting a father and son and backlit by a nation engulfed in fire. Welcome to the thrilling penumbra of Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House). The term bardo comes from Tibetan Buddhism—the 58-year-old Saunders and his wife, Paula, are students of the tradition—and most often refers to the intermediate state of consciousness between death and rebirth. Within this way station, a person’s thoughts and actions during his or her previous life appear magnified, often to alarming effect. Saunders earned literary fame as a short-story writer, celebrated by his peers for his virtuosity and for his quiet insistence that fiction has a job to do in the world, a role to play in the opening of the reader’s heart. That he achieves this effect over the course of this, his first novel, has 118

left deep ruts in a road he often seems to be driving all by himself. The action of the book takes place over one night in the cemetery, as the stooped and heartbroken Lincoln visits the crypt to hold Willie’s corpse again. Willie, in spirit form, is vividly alive to the reader, but the president cannot see or hear him, nor can he communicate with the other bardo beings. These shape-shifting apparitions, forlorn and bewildered, obsessively tell and retell one another the stories of their foreshortened lives, hoping that in so doing, some answer will come, and with it, deliverance from the pitiless land in which they find themselves. There are a multitude of characters hanging out in the bardo with Willie (a multitude of actors play them in the book’s audio version: Nick Offerman, Lena Dunham, David Sedaris, and Miranda July, to name a few). Among the dead are Litzie Wright, a slave who leapt off a bridge after years of being raped by her white captors; and Jane Ellis, who had three daughters with a man she hated: “Cathryn is soon to begin school. Who will make sure her clothes are correct? Maribeth has a bad foot and is self-conscious and often comes home in tears. To whom will she cry?” But the two main guides in this lamp-lit, Beckettlike land of the lost, Roger Bevins III and Hans Vollman, bicker and tease like actors in a vaudeville routine. In life, Bevins was a young gay man who slit his wrists with a butcher knife after a fellow student called off their affair: “Feeling nauseous at the quantity of blood and its sudden percussive redness against the whiteness of the tub, I settled myself woozily down on the floor, at which time I—well, it is a little embarrassing, but let me just say it: I changed my mind. Only then (nearly out the door, so to speak) did I realize how unspeakably beautiful all of this was, how precisely engineered for our pleasure, and saw that I was on the brink of squandering a wondrous gift, the gift of being allowed, every day, to wander this vast sensual paradise.” He announces that he is simply waiting to be discovered on the kitchen floor and revived, when he will “clean up the awful mess I have made (Mother will not be pleased).” His sidekick, Vollman, was a 46-year-old printer who was hit on the head by a beam on the very day his 18-year-old wife had expressed her desire to consummate their marriage. Alas, he says, now he must wait for his recovery to be complete. Saunders impishly gives Vollman a “tremendous member,” seemingly in perpetual tumescence, which he must at times carry in both arms to avoid tripping over it. Bevins and Vollman and their fellow bardo beings do not believe they are dead. They refer to their coffins as “sick-boxes.” It’s just a matter of time, they think, before they go back to their lives. “Mother says I may taste of the candy city once I am up and about,” Willie says. “She has saved me a chocolate fish and a bee of honey.” The trick is to stay where they are and, above all, avoid “the matterlightblooming phenomenon,” whereby characters vanish in a blast of light, robbing them of the chance to be revived from their sick-boxes and walk again upon the paradisiacal earth they so fondly recall. To reveal more of the novel’s plot—and Willie’s eventual fate— would deny the reader the pleasure of reading a novel unlike any other. The historical facts, however, are plain: Three years after burying his beloved son, Lincoln was assassinated and transported by train home to Springfield, Illinois. Willie’s coffin was on board.

This page: David Crosby. Opposite page: Mark Seliger


A DISRUPT DIARY Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ rolling the


Fixing and fixating on what ails feminism, marriage, and, well, us structure means forgoing the rewards that structure doles out for participation. But it also gives you back your agency.”

existing world order: juicy reports from Silicon Valley. By Lisa Shea Among the important issues that Alexandra Wolfe explores in her voyeuristic cultural history, Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story (Simon & Schuster), is the paradox of America’s premier tech hub being both a hotbed of visionary progress—leading twenty-first-century humankind to a new plateau of enlightenment— and a seemingly predatory totalitarian fiefdom with a penchant for sky’s-the-limit avarice. Writes Wolfe, a Wall Street Journal reporter, “In Silicon Valley, gone are the straitjacketed paths of the East Coast elite; in their place are a series of open-ended questions about what industries will be disrupted next, and which cultural configurations will supplant Old aging. Another fellow, John BurnSociety. Even more than a testing ham, was fixated on figuring ground for start-ups, the Valley… out a way to mine asteroids and is a larger laboratory of cultural “reap trillions of dollars from the experimentation, where the only Wolfe valuable minerals.” Deming’s “rapid thing that’s impossible is to predict.” speech and frantic gesticulations” and Racy and fun, Wolfe’s dossier exposes the Valley as a high-tech playground, populated Burnham’s dislike of small talk qualified by workaholic millennials coding for driven, them for the Valley-speak Wolfe refers to as primarily male moguls, and by wunderkinds Asperger’s Chic. Thiel would probably take lured there by the call of like-minded brainiacs umbrage at this; Wolfe notes that he disand the promise of big bucks—and of maybe misses the disorder and its traits as “the only participating in a polyamorous bang-fest or two ways smooth-talking socially adept types could describe people they couldn’t understand.” in a mattress-strewn converted warehouse. Über alles, Thiel and other famous tech Wolfe got hooked on all things Silicon Valley after meeting and befriending billionaire PayPal titans—Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and staunch Trump supporter Peter Google cofounder Sergey Brin, and Tesla coThiel in 2006 at a New York salon. She tracks founder Elon Musk—serve as mentors and the first class of “20 Under 20” Thiel Fellows models for these brilliant underage wannabes, (if they agree to skip or delay college for two ruling “like the robber barons of the industrial years to pursue their big ideas, Thiel will fund revolution.… But instead of massive factories them at $100,000 each), and in the process she and mills, they’re doing it with…a tip of a finexposes the Valley’s newfangled ethos. Wolfe ger.” They enjoy their own brand of celebrity, finds libertarian sexual mores that include thanks in large part to the new media they after-hours orgiastic dances and Sancerre- helped create. What has resulted, Wolfe confueled cougars prowling for young dudes at tends, is “a new social order, one with an antithe Rosewood Sand Hill lounge; CrossFit and ‘society’ aesthetic” with its own signature yoga practices adhered to with religious fervor; values: extreme health, extreme comfort, and, and the rejection of old-school materialism in of course, extreme wealth. Wolfe’s entertaining and intensive look favor of zip-line getaways. With the Thiel Fellow ratio of men to wom- inside this aspirational, transformational, and en at 10 to 1, Laura Deming stands out. The transgressive lifestyle is both celebration and “striking seventeen-year-old half Asian, [half cautionary tale. Burned out by Silicon Valley Caucasian]…looked like a schoolgirl gone start-ups and hackathons, Burnham eventually bad” with her “waves of unkempt, long, black returned to his East Coast roots and enrolled in hair…porcelain face…black miniskirt…com- a small Catholic liberal arts college, where he bat boots,” and was an object of intense male aced his humanities courses in Aristophanes, attention as she diligently pursued a cure for Plato, and Homer.

If you’re a fan of Katie Kitamura’s lauded previous novels ( Gone to the Forest and The Longshot ) , you’ll

adore A Separation (Riverhead Books). A couple breaks up; he goes missing in Greece; she goes looking for him. Kitamura’s prose gallops, combining Elena Ferrante– style intricacies with the tensions of a top-notch whodunit.

If you want to revisit a master of the short story , treat yourself

to Noy Holland’s I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like: New and Selected Stories (Counterpoint), a treasure trove of 46 tales, 25 of which have never been published in book form. Holland’s prose makes the strange seem familiar and the familiar feel strange, as in “Matrimonial”: “Driving west to be married, you broke out in hives. We blamed it on the shirt I had bought you—stiff, never washed.”

If you prefer digesting serious popular science with a dash of curative humor, Jennifer

If you’re ready to reexamine some cherished tenets of so-called second-wave (1960s–’70s) feminism ,

you’ll embrace Why I Am Not a Feminist (Melville House), by Bookslut founder and editor Jessa Crispin. She argues against the current brand of feminism that equates progress with buying into the status quo, and calls for a reinvestment in radical, even revolutionary thinking about what feminism can mean, and do: “Moving beyond [the patriarchal]

Wright’s Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them (Henry Holt and Co.) brings it. She’s also the wit behind It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History.—L.S.



Montreal-based makeup artist Julie Cusson used bleach to lighten model Tatiana Arend’s brows, leaving it on for a shorter amount of time than usual to create a flattering honey tone. The prettiest accent: Try a wash of Nars Dual-Intensity Blush in Fervor across lids.

This month: Supercharged skin care featuring some truly perplexing ingredients; the achingly cool hairstylist behind Lupita Nyong’o’s red-carpet looks; and a new Danish beauty movement that has everyone enchanted. Prepare to be swept away. EDITED BY EMILY DOUGHERTY


Marie Rainville

White gold and diamond earring, MESSIKA PARIS, price on request. Crystal choker, ALEXIS BITTAR, $255. For details, see Shopping Guide.



Clockwise from left: François with Lupita Nyong’o; Kerry Washington’s lustrous bob in 2015; Tracee Ellis Ross’s perfect ponytail

quite dramatic. Pulling hair taut away from your face emphasizes features. Use your fingertips to pull out and enhance your texture at the back with a little serum. What makes your line especially effective for natural textures? It’s a myth that the thicker a product feels, the better it’s going to be. My formulas are lightweight but PRO TIP incredibly hydrating. The conBrushing ditioners are in spray bottles, waves changes texture to which allows for more control. glamorously fluffed out. With a pump, we tend to use larger amounts of conditioner and oversaturate the hair, which makes it feel great for two days but then can dry it out, since residue remains on the hair and prevents the good stuff from getting through to do its work. Any guidelines for bleaching black hair? Limit how often you do it. Peroxide is harsh, but it comes in different strengths. With a 3 percent [strength], you might need two applications, but you’ll have more control over the color lift. Nourishing hair afterward is important. Mix JaWhat are your tips for washing curls, which maican black castor oil, jojoba oil, and argan are more fragile and drier than straight hair? oil in a spray bottle, then dilute it with some Like all textures, curls should be managed water to hydrate hair without wetting it. more sensitively when they’re wet. Detangle Yay or nay to the appropriation of culturally with your fingers instead of a comb. It’s case ethnic styles by those with nonethnic hair? by case how often hair should be washed: For I don’t know one magazine you could pick up wavy, maybe two times a week. Kinky, once a today without a European girl with frizzedweek with a co-wash, which is great for keep- out hair. There have been plenty of [fashion] ing natural moisture; every now and again, shows that use locks and braids; there doesn’t switch that up with shampoo. All hair needs to have to be a negative connotation to it. be shampooed to remove scalp buildup. Then, What’s your mission as a hairstylist? instead of drying hair with a normal towel, in- There’s a quote I live by, which says essentially vest in a micro-cotton fiber one—or just use a that in life, you may forget who you are, where worn cotton T-shirt. Both reduce friction on you come from, and what your name is, but hair and reduce breakage. you never forget how someone makes you feel. How do you change up supercropped hair? I know what it’s like to not fit in. I have natural Simply adding a part—start it directly above ginger hair; I’m dyslexic. When a client sits in the highest point of your brow arch—can be my chair, I want her to feel her best.

With inspired flair and killer skill, hairstylist and colorist Vernon François is transforming the A list—and hair industry—one curl at a time. By Megan O’Neill

Before Vernon François was sculpting and smoothing a certain Oscar-winning actress’s hair into dazzling configurations for the red carpet (see above), he practiced on a much less demanding client: “As a child, I taught myself how to braid with the fringes of a rug,” says the British stylist and colorist. François assisted at a London salon when he was 14 years old, “washing hair…washing windows,” and worked his way up, ultimately winning industry awards, earning a reputation as a master of natural textures, and amassing a serious crew of THE RESCUERS leading ladies that includes 1. François fortifies the impervious-to-bad-hairblow-outs with KEVIN .MURPHY Body.Builder days Kerry Washington and Volumising Mousse, Tracee Ellis Ross. Now, with a blend of radiancehis most recent endeavor, an bestowing citrus oils. 2. A quick blast of ultraluxe hair-care line with SEBASTIAN Shaper product names like Pure~ Plus Extra Hold Hairspray keeps an Fro Conditioner, he’s revoupdo intact. lutionizing the market and 3. Antioxidant-rich castor oil in PHILIP making curly hair great— KINGSLEY Elasticizer that is, silky, beautifully hyPre Shampoo drated, and strong—again. 122

Treatment makes it “perfect for repairing hair’s structure,” François says. 4. “It’s weightless and filled with delicate, shimmering particles for an extra shine boost,” he says of his Dazzling~Spritz Shine Spray. 5. Antibacterial olive oil in François’s Pure~Fro Conditioner protects sensitive scalps while flooding the cuticle with moisture.






Clockwise from top left: courtesy of Vernon François; Danny Martindale/WireImage; Instagram



defying! |


©2016 P&G




Sofia Vergara is wearing So Lashy! in Extreme Black.

Sofia is wearing lash inserts.


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emerging batch of cannabis-laced pain relievers and skin smoothers may prove to be more than just smoke and mirrors. By April Long There was one undeniable high note in last fall’s election results: the passing of pro-pot legislation in California, Nevada, North Dakota, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arkansas, which made some form of marijuana use—either medical or recreational—legal, or soon to be legal, in a total of 29 states. Ever since the drug began being gradually decriminalized state by state 20 years ago, entrepreneurs in areas with the most relaxed laws have seized upon the, er, growth opportunities, infusing extracts of the plant into everything from dog treats to chewing gum to bath salts. And now that it’s permissible to consume the stuff in certain bars and restaurants in Denver, we may soon have our own Amsterdam in the Rockies. This sea change in America’s attitude toward cannabis isn’t just a boon for budding Jeff Spicolis: New uses for the therapeutic herb are emerging that could revolutionize the way we treat everything from menstrual cramps and mosquito bites to acne and wrinkles. The components of the cannabis plant that enable it to assuage maladies such as migraines and certain seizure disorders are compounds called cannabinoids, found within its leaves and flowers. The most wellknown are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 126

which gives weed its psychoactive properties, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is naturally found in higher concentrations in industrial hemp strains. (Marijuana and hemp are variations of the same plant type. The former has been cultivated to have higher THC; the latter, to have more robust stalks—which can be used to make paper, rope, and textiles—and a negligible THC content of less than .3 percent.) The reason these cannabinoids have such profound effects on us—whether ingested or applied topically—is that we are biologically primed to use them. The human body actually has an endocannabinoid system, through which it produces its own cannabinoids. It’s been known since the 1990s that these compounds play a role in regulating functions such as skin sensitivity, appetite, and even memory. (Fun fact: One of the cannabinoids produced in the brain, anandamide, is the same chemical in chocolate that makes us feel euphoric when we consume it.) The two main types of cannabinoid receptors, which are embedded within the membrane of virtually every cell type, are integral to the nervous and immune systems. When we add cannabinoids from plants (similar molecules are also present in

This page, from left: Cameron Zegers/Stocksy; Mosuno/Stocksy. Opposite page: CBD for Life and Foria: Devon Jarvis/Studio D; Lord Jones: Philip Friedman/Studio D

HIGHE R POWER As new studies reveal the healing potential of topical marijuana, an

chili peppers and echinacea, among others), they can interact with these receptors to help our own endocannabinoid system function more effectively, keeping internal processes, such as those that govern our stress response, stable and balanced. Some of the many issues that have been linked to an out-of-whack endocannabinoid system include neurological disorders, obesity, and high blood pressure. CBD has no psychoactive properties and, unlike THC, can be sold in all 50 states as long as it’s derived specifically from industrial hemp. (THC-laced products can be sold only in states with relaxed cannabis laws and cannot be sent or transported to other parts of the country.) CBD is also considered the most medically active of the two compounds, with research showing that it might help with anxiety and systemic inflammation, as well as mitigate some of the side effects of chemotherapy when taken orally. Applied to the skin, it can diminish localized pain—indeed, the first CBD products to hit the market were designed primarily to target sore muscles and arthritis. Now CBD is turning up in everything from face serums to lip balms, and with mounting studies substantiating its efficacy and versatility, what we’re currently seeing may be just the beginning. “My research group was among the first to investigate whether the skin is capable of producing endocannabinoids, and apparently most, if not all, skin functions are controlled to a certain extent by the local skin endocannabinoid system,” says Tamás Bíró, PhD, director of the immunology department at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, and an adviser for Phytecs, a biotech company that researches and develops products targeting the endocannabinoid system for the medical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries. “This includes the skin barrier, which is very important for moisture retention, sebum production, and sweat-gland function, as well as skincentric sensory functions such as pain and itch. But perhaps most important, it appears that the endocannabinoid system controls skin inflammation—so if an inflammatory or irritation challenge assaults the skin, the endocannabinoid system fights against it.” This could potentially make cannabinoids useful antiaging ingredients, and, Bíró speculates, due to their capacity to regulate sebum, they might turn out to be especially potent tools for fighting acne, although studies are still in the preclinical stages: “We found that when we applied CBD to human skin cells in a Petri dish,” he says, “it prevented the inflammation and high production of sebum” associated with breakouts.



“Cannabinoids haven’t really emerged in mainstream dermatology,” says Adam Friedman, MD, associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University, who is currently developing methods for nanoparticle delivery of CBD through the skin. “But I think that’s going to change. Given that there is a wide array of skin conditions notorious for chronic inflammation and debilitating itch or pain, there are numerous potential applications. There’s going to be an exponential increase in the attention paid to this in the derm world.” At this early stage, there are still some questions about how topical cannabinoids should be formulated and dosed. While CBD has emerged as the star player in most lotions and potions currently cropping up from niche brands across the country, evidence does suggest that its effects can be boosted by combining it with other active molecules from the cannabis plant, including THC and/or terpenes, the phytochemicals that give pot its distinctive aroma. (This phenomenon, known as the entourage effect, was first recognized by Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, the Israeli organic chemist who identified the presence of THC and CBD in cannabis in the 1960s.) Many brands—such as Whoopi Gold-


Products containing THC can be sold only in states where cannabis has been legalized for medical or recreational use.


1. DIXIE Synergy Relief Balm contains 50 mg of both CBD and THC per container to treat localized pain and inflammation.

California, combines CBD and THC in a fiveto-one ratio to diminish discomfort from pulled muscles, arthritis, and eczema.

2. Originally devised for use in the founders’ Hollywood wellness practice, LORD JONES High CBD Pain & Wellness Formula Body Lotion, currently sold only in

3. Available in California and Colorado, FORIA Pleasure spray—think weed lube—promises to boost bedtime fun with sensation-heightening cannabis and coconut oils.

As long as it’s derived from industrial hemp, CBD can be sold in any of the 50 states.

berg’s Whoopi & Maya line, which was created to relieve period pain, and Los Angeles–based luxury brand Lord Jones, whose chicly packaged, edible THC–laced gummies and chocolates are Instagram gold—are formulated with both CBD and THC. Other brands, targeting states with 1 stricter antimarijuana laws, stick with straight-up CBD that has been extracted in a way that retains many other naturally occurring (but legal) molecules, such as terpenes and flavonoids. (And some brands do both, such as Colorado-based Apothecanna, which creates two versions of each of its products, one with THC and one without, to suit different markets.) But even in small doses, CBD alone appears to be beneficial. “Because the skin has its own endocannabinoid system, just the superficial application of CBD by itself is extremely helpful,” says Raj Gupta, chief scientific officer of Colorado Springs–based Folium Biosciences, a company that produces ultrapremium, THC-free, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. “CBD is an antioxidant, so you can see changes in skin pattern, such as a reduction in hyperpigmentation.” In order to ensure that the product you’re using contains high-quality cannabinoids, the best bet is to buy from a brand sold at a medical dispensary or trusted retailer. Also, don’t worry that the creams, even those containing THC, are going to make you feel high. 2 “Topical preparations have insignificant systemic absorption and are not known to cause psychoactive effects,” says anesthesiologist Debra Kimless, MD, who specializes in cannabis and pain management and serves as medical director for ForwardGro, a medical-cannabis cultivating and research compa3 ny based in Maryland. “Some patients claim that they feel relaxed, usually because they are experiencing pain relief.” Kimless does caution, however, that while no studies have tested topical THC’s





1. CBD CARE GARDEN Face Karma Anti-Aging Moisturizer replenishes skin with Swiss apple stem cells and peptides, as well as 20 mg of pure CBD. 2. APOTHECANNA Calming Body Oil, which soothes muscles with a blend of lavender, chamomile, frankincense, and CBD, is a best-seller at New York ecoemporium CAP Beauty. 3. CBD FOR LIFE 99% Pure CBD Extract Pain Relief Spray nixes aches and pains with a potent combo of cannabinoid extract, arnica, menthol, and camphor.

ability to make it into the bloodstream, “there is always a chance” that it could show up in a drug test. Although cannabis has been used both medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years—and was a primary ingredient in some mainstream pharmaceuticals in the early 1900s—it has been largely unstudied in the United States since 1937’s Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively banned its use and sale. That’s all changing, albeit slowly, as the stigma of conducting clinical tests involving an illegal drug fades away. Still, says Friedman, we have a long way to go before the cannabis plant, which contains scores more yet-unstudied cannabinoids beyond CBD and THC, is fully understood—not to mention the full effects each of those individual cannabinoids have when applied to skin. “It’s such a cool field, but so much of the information we have is still limited and early on,” he says. “There are probably a lot more questions than answers at this point, but I think we’re going to see a lot more research coming down the pike.” 127

BEE DAZZLED Honey, that sticky, delicious goodness produced by bees, has been used by humans for thousands of years—and not just to satisfy a sweet tooth. It appears in wound-healing recipes recorded on clay tablets that date back to 2000 b.c.; the ancient Roman scientist Pliny the Elder wrote of its efficacy in treating pneumonia, pleurisy, and snakebites; and in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, it’s been used for everything from fighting infections to quelling nausea to silencing coughs. Modern science has confirmed many of its purported powers: We now know that honey has antioxidant and prebiotic properties when ingested, and antimicrobial activity when applied topically. But there’s a big difference between the stuff that comes in that cute, squeezable bear and manuka, the pricey, potent honey The newest Kiehl’s power potion that has now begun to transition out of healthboosts skin’s barrier food markets and hospitals (more on that in a with manuka. moment) and into beauty products. All honeys have an antiseptic quality, thanks to glucose oxidase, an enzyme in bee saliva that yields hydrogen peroxide. But manuka’s powerhouse oomph is specific to its source: the fragile white and pink flowers of the New Zealand–native manuka bush—a type of tea tree burdened with the unfortunate moniker Leptospermum scoparium—which happen to contain an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MG) that remains highly bioactive once buzzing pollinators have transformed the nectar into honey. While other honeys can lose some of their antimicrobial capacity when exposed to light or heat, manuka, thanks to MG, continues to work its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory magic even when irradiated and sterilized for medical use. (Anyone who’s perused the manuka options at Whole Foods will have noticed the UMF, or unique manuka factor, on the labels; this quantifies the MG content, typically ranging between 5+ and 25+. Anything above 10+ is considered therapeutic, and prices rise accordingly.) Although the manuka plant has been used medicinally by New Zea128

land’s native Maori for centuries, and the unique antibacterial punch of manuka honey was first identified by biochemist Peter Molan, PhD, in the ’80s (he later founded the Honey Research Unit at New Zealand’s University of Waikato), broader-reaching clinical studies have really begun only in the last decade. Researchers at major universities and medical schools have shown that, when taken orally, the honey can heal mouth ulcers associated with chemo, reduce the stomach bacteria that cause gastritis, and lessen oxidative DNA damage in rats. In 2013, scientists at United Arab Emirates University found that, in combination with other therapies, intravenous administration of manuka honey helped inhibit cancer tumor growth in mice. But the most news-making trials indicate that manuka can kill more than 80 strains of bacteria, including the most drug-resistant superbugs— such as MRSA, a deadly type of staph infection, and Streptococcus

From top: Felicity Ingram/; Philip Friedman/Studio D

With impressive healing, soothing, and bacteria-battling powers, manuka honey from New Zealand may be the next powerhouse natural ingredient to sweeten your skincare regimen. By April Long

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Studies indicate that manuka can kill more than 80 strains of bacteria, including the most drug-resistant superbugs currently plaguing hospitals. pyogenes—currently plaguing hospitals. Indeed, a study conducted at England’s University of Southampton and published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology in 2016 demonstrated that the honey, even when significantly diluted, could curb the growth of bacterial biofilms on surfaces and medical devices. As a wound treatment, manuka not only draws out lymph fluids and eliminates infection, it also acidifies skin’s pH to accelerate healing and sparks cellular rejuvenation by stimulating the production of growth factors and supporting increased fibroblast activity. Occlusive manuka honey bandages—long used by doctors in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, and FDA approved stateside in 2007 (drugstores such as CVS now even sell generic versions)—infuse wounds with the honey in a watertight, sterile transfer. Cue the beauty-industry buzz. “Many of the active ingredients in antiaging creams have their roots in wound healing,” says Manhattan dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “The goal of wound healing is to help stimulate damaged cells to repair themselves and behave like healthy cells. In treating aging skin, the same goals hold true—to stimulate collagen production and help aging cells function like they did when they were young.” Manuka honey’s combo of “skin-soothing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties,” Zeichner says, could also potentially keep skin looking younger. Beekeeper and chemist Denis Watson, the founder of Watson & Son, one of New Zealand’s largest producers of manuka honey and the manufacturer of ManukaMed wound dressings, says, “We’re dealing with chronic wounds, infections, and burns in trauma centers, so where we put the honey is primarily intended to save lives and limbs. But the properties in manuka will also address cosmetic issues. Manuka can shut down the inflammatory cas130

cade that degrades skin; it stops enzymes called cathepsins from destroying collagen; and it has peptides that help cells release a molecule called NADPH, which boosts energy in the cells, a type of energy that, like everything else, slows down with age.” Still, honey is…sticky. Which is why it took Kiehl’s 68 trials to perfect the texture of its new, 99.6 percent naturally derived Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, which combines Watson & Son’s manuka honey with Korean red ginseng. The company’s head chemist, Geoffrey Genesky, PhD, says the honey’s skincare potential extends beyond MG: “It also contains a lot of antioxidant flavonoids and glycosides, sugars that are very important in hydration, so it’s not surprising that we found it had a really positive benefit for maintaining the skin-barrier function.” In an in-house clinical study, Kiehl’s found that women between the ages of 35 and 49 who used Pure Vitality for eight weeks demonstrated improvements in radiance, softness, and smoothness that put their skin health on par with—and in some cases better than—that of a control group of women between the ages of 20 and 30. Stay tuned: Manuka honey’s topical anti-inflammatory capacity, shown in some studies to be equal to that of hydrocortisone, has made it a popular DIY zit zapper, so there are a host of antiacne and redness-calming products in the pipeline. “We’re getting more data and clinical evidence every day,” Watson says. “I’d say there will be potential cosmetic applications we haven’t even thought of yet. Really, we’re just getting started.” Fig + Yarrow Cleansing Nectar mixes manuka with apple cider vinegar for a gentle deep clean; 001 Supreme Equilibrium Mask hydrates with manuka and evening primrose.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (CONTINUED) Serious and/or immediate allergic reactions have been reported. They include: itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Get medical help right away if you are wheezing or have asthma symptoms, or if you become dizzy or faint. Do not take BOTOX® Cosmetic if you: are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX® Cosmetic (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc®(rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport®(abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin®(incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site. Tell your doctor about all your muscle or nerve conditions, such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, as you may be at increased risk of serious side effects including difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing from typical doses of BOTOX® Cosmetic. Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including: plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; weakness of forehead muscles: trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby); are breast-feeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic passes into breast milk). Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Using BOTOX® Cosmetic with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you have told your doctor that you have received BOTOX® Cosmetic in the past. Tell your doctor if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners. Other side effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic include: discomfort or pain at the injection site; headache; and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and swelling of your eyelids. For more information refer to the Medication Guide or talk with your doctor. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please refer to Summary of Information about BOTOX® Cosmetic on the following page.

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AIRPLANE MODE What healthy travelers pack to fend off germs



The New Jock: James Ryang; Cho and Tran: Sebastian Kim/courtesy of The New Jock; Muhammad: Tom Pennington/Getty Images; vitamin C: Devon Jarvis/Studio D

Perusing The New Jock—the hit fitness blog featuring It Girls’ and Guys’ most-loved workouts—is pretty much the best get-up-and-move inspiration of all time. Here, New York–based cofounders (and former fashion editors) Aimee Cho and Stephanie Tran discuss why breaking a sweat is their way of life.

and performance. It’s emotional, beautiful, and physical. Gear Goals Tran: It’s impossible not to want everything from the Bandier store. I’m also a tomboy at heart and recently got turned on to the menswear label Satisfy. I just got an Apple Watch (1) and Beats by Dre wireless Pulse Pushers headphones—the less I have Tran: My perfect workout to think about my runs, is a long run alone—across the better. Nike LunarEpic a few of the city’s bridges Flyknit sneakers feel Cho and Tran like clouds. and through neighborhoods Smoothie of Champions I’ve lived in—with a good playlist; Tran: Hemp milk, strawberries, frozen one of my favorite songs right now is banana, yogurt, peanut butter—and Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky.” I’ll throw in some greens; my husband Cho: I do weight training and and I just joined a CSA. conditioning three or four times a Spa-tacular week, and I box with my trainer, Jason Lee, at Mendez Boxing gym Tran: Massages are key! My favorites: once a week. A body scrub at Tribeca Spa of Lightbulb Moment Tranquility—and I get a deep tissue Cho: We were spending a lot of massage from Rebecca at Brownstone time together pursuing sports and Spa; she has a magic touch. You go exercise, talking about the way it there for real work, not luxury. improved our lives. Jock seemed a Cho: I go to a wonderful, no-frills natural extension—a way to combine Japanese spa called Tamago in the storytelling, photography, writing, East Village for shiatsu. Gym Bag Staples 2 1 Cho: Yes to Cucumbers wipes; it’s nice to get the sweat off before I have time for a proper shower. Tran: Spray deodorant by Aesop (2), hydrating toner from Ling Skincare, Rodin body oil—they all feel really pampering and necessary.

Sporty chic for athletes who don’t want to bare all Badass Olympic bronze medalist fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad may have inspired a longoverdue revolution in athleisure: Muslim women who have been disinclined to participate in sports due to a lack of appropriate fitness wear can now suit up comfortably—and fashionably—thanks to a slew of new startups offering modest athletic attire. Veil’s Halo Running Hoodie is equipped with a hood–slash–hijab made to stay in place during even the most fleet-footed sprint (the brand is also inclusive of every shape, with sizes running up to 3XL); Kickstarter project Asiya offers three lightweight, pin-free sports hijabs; and Qatar-based Oola (which means “pioneer” in Arabic) offers chic, flowing basics—such as the appropriately named Happy Pants—that provide full coverage while also enabling complete freedom of movement. The game, quite literally, has been changed.

The stale, recycled air. The armrest that’s basically a Petri dish. While globe-trotting rules, the under-the-weatherness that can ensue? Not so much. Preflight, seasoned health-conscious jet-setters (read: Gwyneth Paltrow) pop liposomal vitamin C (1), which is surrounded by a fatty acid that prevents the vitamin from being destroyed by the digestive system and allows a higher dose to be absorbed into the bloodstream than with other vitamin C powders or pills. “It certainly can’t hurt” to take the vitamin, says NYC-based immunologist Boyan Hadjiev, MD, who points to a 2013 metaanalysis of clinical trials that showed a small but significant reduction of cold symptoms in adults taking 200 mg of vitamin C a day. Meanwhile, NYC-based derm Macrene Alexiades, MD, packs Clorox wipes—to swab down overhead air vents, “a major source of bacteria and viruses,” she says—as well as homeopathic antimicrobial balms and oils. Our favorite: The Lost Explorer Travelers Balm (2), which features antiseptic ylang-ylang and antibacterial niaouli plant oils and can be smoothed on hands, lips, even inside the nose—a germ-fighting trick that makeup artist Robin Black also employs, but with Neosporin. Hadjiev concurs: “Applying any ointment creates a nasal barrier against inhaled pathogens.” 1



The author with her mother at the family’s summer house in Long Beach, New York


ELLE Contributing Editor Daphne Merkin’s new memoir, This Close to Happy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), explores her life, recurrent depression, and treatment for the condition. She also deeply investigates her depression’s causes, weighing the impact of her genetic inheritance versus her family’s influence. Based on the relatively scant history of mental illness in her family, she concludes: “I was less, rather than more, fated to do battle with this illness, and…its origins lie with the cold and unnurturing atmosphere of my upbringing as much as anything else.” That declaration, in this biochemically besotted era, almost counts as radical (though, yes, we know what “your mum and dad” all too often do to you, even when they don’t mean to).

It is late at night—early in the morning, actually—and I am on the

phone, talking with one of my sisters about the Tragedy of Our Family. We have circled this bleak subject many, many times before, detailing the inexplicable and unbearable reality of growing up in our house. My sister uses words like “carnage” and “damage”; I murmur assent. The two of us are enraptured by this tale, hooked on its horror, although we know all of its twists and turns and, by now, have a pretty good sense of the outcome. All the same, it seems we will never have enough of evoking the look and feel of the barbed-wire infrastructure of our early life, gilded over by its Park Avenue facade. How, we wonder once again, to explain our mother’s insidious cruelty—her wish to “eat her own,” as one psychiatrist once dramatically 134

put it, a kind of pathology undetectable by others because she seemed to be so different on the surface. I can’t say that my mother would have struck anyone who met her as sweet; she passed muster as a certain type of mother, cold and a bit detached, but not as an outright anomaly—a monster-in-hiding. No matter that she didn’t have any of the identifying characteristics of a normal mother, one who looked out for her young and wished them a life as good as or better than hers. “Your tears don’t move me,” she’d tell me repeatedly when I cried as a little girl. And she’d warn, “You’ll feel my five fingers in your face,” right before slapping me. She would also tell me in one and the same breath that I was potentially pretty but that I looked hideous—she pressed hard on the word, emphasizing the first syllable and rushing along the second, as in hi-dyus—if I wasn’t in a cheerful mood. “I can’t explain it,” she’d say, as if analyzing a chemical reaction. “Something happens to your face when you’re moody.” (Moody was another favorite of hers.) “You just look hi-dyus.” I walked around with great self-consciousness, trying to keep my features genial and harmonious, fearful that they’d otherwise collapse into a repellent image. Don’t get me wrong: My mother wasn’t overtly negligent or crazy. She could go through the motions well enough, albeit all at a remove: oversee a birthday party with a chocolate-frosted cake made by Iva the cook, consult with the pediatrician over the phone, arrange for someone to take us to the dentist. But the underlying message she conveyed was poisoned with envy and disparagement. When I rushed

Courtesy of the author

Having spent her life in a love/hate entanglement with her harsh, self-interested mother, DAPHNE MERKIN blames nurture as much as nature for her depression

Psych home to impart the news that a piece of fiction I’d written had been accepted by The New Yorker, she said, “Your nose looks big when you smile.” I worried about my nose anyway—it was a classically ethnic nose with a slight, aristocratic bump and a downward tilt rather than the cute, upturned model—but it was this remark that convinced me to get it bobbed. Most of all, she didn’t want any of us to think we were important—certainly not as worthy of taking up space as she was. Stop talking about yourself, she’d regularly tell me throughout my childhood as I walked along with her, regaling her about some small grievance or triumph. She liked to cut our fledgling aspirations down. When I used to wonder aloud to her what I would become as a grown-up—for a while I saw myself being an actress—she’d dash my visions of my future by assuring me that I could always work at Woolworth’s. I took her seriously, imagined myself doomed to a lifetime of drably ringing up purchases of buttons and cleaning products, wearing a fifties-style waisted dress and practical flats. Later in life she observed, with great glee, as though her deepest dream for us had been one of downward mobility: “All my children married poor as church mice.”

Now, more than 40 years later, comes this compensatory bar-

rage of words, this microscopic parsing of our injured selves. I lie on my bed, propped up against pillows, as my sister and I talk and talk, past 3:00 a.m., vigilantly awake in our apartments across Central Park from each other. The city that never sleeps has gone mostly quiet, with just an occasional sound of traffic or sudden cry from a passerby. My sister and I share a moment of silence as we assess all that went wrong and the havoc it left in its wake, making it all but impossible to thrive as an adult. Although none of us has emerged unscathed, there is always the factor of individual resilience helping to shape one’s destiny. The “boys” (that is how I still think of my brothers, although they’re in their fifties and sixties), for all their faltering and misdemeanors, seem to have done better than the “girls”; they’ve put the past farther behind them. As for me, I take large doses of medication just to get through the day, gulping down 20 milligrams of this and 70 milligrams of that, dopamine enhancers, mood stabilizers, and uppers, pills that alter my brain chemistry in ways nobody quite understands, which all the same should help explain how I’m still here to tell the full, blasted tale. If we could figure it out—what made my parents behave the way they did and why we responded the way we did, some of us more scarred than others, but all of us affected—would that help anything now? Then, too, I wonder: If we could unmake ourselves, do away with all the misery, would we leap at the chance? Isn’t it the essence of trauma to repeat itself, just as it is the essence of neurosis to resist change, to fear the step away from the familiar shadows and into the light? How would I have turned out if I hadn’t turned out as I am? With all that bothers me about myself, it is too large a stretch to imagine myself as someone else, sent into the world on a current of love.

In the beginning, I imagine everything looked glistening, all the lit-

tle children lined up in a row, with freshly shampooed hair smelling of Breck, equipped with wary eyes and tentative smiles. We were all reasonably good-looking and bright as could be; we must have struck others as a family of potential winners, abetted by money and the backbone of an Orthodox Jewish heritage. Who cared to look beyond the surface to the not-enoughness, the strange neglect that suffused our lives? I look back and can still feel the chill, but that kind of damage is invisible until it surfaces one day when you’re least expecting it, tripping you up in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

I was the fourth of six—three girls and three boys. Being a good parent requires a fair amount of emotional generosity and, in looking back, I don’t think either of my parents—tough, transplanted German Jews—possessed much, if any, ability to look beyond their own horizons to worlds in which they didn’t occupy center stage. Perhaps this was because they both felt cheated out of their own destinies, my mother more vocally so than my father. Because of Hitler’s rise, both of my parents’ families had to flee Germany in the 1930s—my mother’s in 1936, my father’s in 1939—and neither of them went to university. My siblings and I were given to understand that this omission was a tremendous waste of their native abilities; while I was growing up the sense of my parents’ lost opportunities took up a good deal of space. Aside from being an absent parent, our father was our principal competitor for our mother’s attention; he was, in effect, her best baby boy, the person she willingly fussed over. “Hermi comes first,” she liked to tell people. “Then the children.” The rigmarole of child care she left mostly to Jane, the Dutch-born cleaning woman my mother had blithely hired to look after us, who scared all of us into a state of fearful compliance with ferocious spankings and a general air of fed-upness, which expressed itself in an abrupt manner and constant threats. Set against this joyless landscape, reading became my only true escape; it brought me as close as I ever came to a sense of pleasure. Reading was also—deliciously, confusingly—a pastime I shared with my mother. I still remember the sense of excitement I felt when she bought me a book that she’d liked as a child. So perhaps it was no wonder that I longed for Thursdays, Jane’s day off, even if my mother disappointed me with her own unwillingness to hover, to minister lovingly to my hothouse needs. Inevitably, it didn’t take long for her to become visibly tired of her understudy role, what with my siblings and me pulling hungrily at her. She’d soon enough become irate at one or the other of us—and my dreams of reading out my English composition to her would be dashed. In any case, she was always in something of a hurry to get us into baths and bed so that she’d be done with parenting for the night before my father came home. The high point came at the end of the evening, when she’d sing a few lullabies as we lay in our beds. My mother had a lilting, musical voice, and her repertoire included a mixture of Hebrew, German, and English songs. Many of them, like “Goodnight, Irene” and a Hebrew lullaby called “Numi Numi,” were inherently melancholic, and I’d wonder as she sang if she was feeling sad about her own life—or, perhaps, her past. These occasions offered a little-seen—and thus all the more tantalizing—glimpse of my mother’s tender side, and I wanted them to go on forever. We weren’t supposed to get out of bed while she sang, but once in a while I’d slip out and sit in her lap, the better to keep her company in case she felt lonely (was she lonely? Or was I? I could never tell these two things apart), and to bring her back to the present and to me, who loved her to the exclusion of all else. There were witnesses to what went wrong, I suppose, visitors to our orderly Friday night dinners who must have wondered at the iron discipline and the inordinately well-mannered children. My maternal grandmother, Oma, who visited us regularly from Tel Aviv, was the only person who ever tried to interfere in my mother’s misguided arrangements, which included having the six of us eat lined up at a counter built against the kitchen wall, like a bunch of cabbies on a break. She is reported to have told a friend of my oldest sister, albeit many years later, that my parents should never have had children, that there was no love in our home. Perhaps the oddest part of all was the overwhelming sense of deprivation that existed among us children, despite our material wealth. I don’t just mean emotional scarcity. There was, for instance, 135


In the beginning…but it is so hard

to get back there now that the damage is done, accommodations have been made, everyone’s grown up with children (and even a brood of grandchildren) of their own, and the parents are long dead. Yet the memories linger. Unhappy childhoods, as those who’ve had experience of them know, tend to stay with you, immune to displacement by the therapist’s wand or later joys, threatening to cast a pall over all that would otherwise be sunlit. I felt I fit in nowhere, not with my older sisters, who shared a room, or with my brothers, with two of whom I shared a room until I was eight. My brothers were stronger than me and regularly beat me up, as did one of my sisters. Jane, with her coldness and frequent recourse to brutal spankings, cast a long shadow. By the age of eight I was such a traumatized specimen, such an anxious, constipated mess (I drank prune juice every morning, like an old man) and unstoppable fount of tears—I cried inconsolably about everything, from a girl in my class picking a fight with me to being late with homework, not to mention the raging insomnia that kept me up night after night—that even my relatively impermeable mother couldn’t overlook the evidence. At some point it was decided—in the magical way adults went about such things—that I was to go into Columbia-Presbyterian’s Babies’ Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. There I’d wait for my mother’s almost daily visits with utmost concentration, afraid that if I didn’t focus on her arrival she would forget about me. After she had been coming for a few days, usually in the late afternoon, I devised a way of keeping watch by the elevator at the appointed hour, smiling at passing staff so that they wouldn’t notice I was outside the unit. My mother never stayed long, she was always in a visible rush, and I cried frantically when she left, convinced I’d never see her again. She would promise to bring me a present if I didn’t cry the next time, but crying was second nature to me by then, a seepage from my depths I couldn’t stop even if I tried. 136

All I was told at the time by my mother was that tests had shown that I had the intellectual ability to get into Harvard one day. What I wasn’t told was that my mother had been advised by my psychiatrist to shut me in her bedroom when I cried; this was deemed the correct intervention for the chronic tears that had gotten me to the hospital in the first place. I don’t remember if she locked the door or merely closed it, but I can feel it still now as a double humiliation, her rejection on top of my abject display of weakness—all conducted within full view of my smirking siblings.

I’m lying naked in bed with a man who is making me feel good. I am

25, still fiercely self-conscious about my large breasts, and still technically a virgin. I recognize that my attachment to my virginity at this relatively late age has something to do with my Orthodox upbringing, but it has even more to do with my attachment to my mother, some irrational sense of safekeeping I assign to her. Do I imagine myself to be my mother’s lover, unable to give myself fully to another for fear of “betraying” her? The thought isn’t fully formed, yet I feel it pressing against me in an inchoate fashion, rendering me resistant to men. And then finally on a night in late spring, I yield to the careful, persistent ministrations of this particular man, and the deed is done. I am exhausted, and he is even more so; we have climbed Mount Everest together and now look down on ourselves, spread against the messy sheets, triumphant. The next morning as I walk back to my apartment I stop at a phone booth to call my mother, who has recently told me to stop acting like the Virgin Mary, and deliver the news. I bring my mother everything, inappropriately, all the details of my sexual life; it is a natural extension of my belief that I belong to her. “Mazel tov,” she says now, on the other end of the line, her messages confusing as always. I’d expected a different kind of response—more heated, somehow, not so la-di-da. Why isn’t she making more of this, asking more questions? She is the Keeper of Modern Orthodoxy, a lighter of Friday night candles, but she is also selectively open-minded. Years later, when I am involved with a man with whom I finally play out my long-standing interest in sadomasochism, I show my mother the bite marks I have all over my body, deep purple-green bruises on my breasts, arms, and stomach. It is a Friday night, after Shabbos dinner; she is lying in her bed, in one of her short-sleeved cotton nightgowns, reading the latest issue of The New Yorker, and I want her to be disturbed by what I have undergone—spring to my defense, shed tears for what I have become—but she refuses, as always, to come through on my behalf. “I hope you enjoyed it,” she says dryly. I feel defenseless and unprotected, the girl whose head Jane banged against the bathroom wall

Merkin with her mother, in her early eighties

Courtesy of the author

never enough food to go around and a pervasive feeling of hunger, which would in turn lead me to fetishize food—to think about it and dream about it—from a young age on. Later on, when I was old enough to worry about such things, I fretted about having too few clothes and shoes. The first summer I went to sleepaway camp, an Orthodox Jewish one, with only two Shabbos dresses and four pairs of pants to last me eight weeks, several girls in my bunk asked me, with wide-eyed curiosity, if my family was poor. Imagine their shock when I left camp after three weeks, beside myself with homesickness—the irony of being homesick for that home!—in the backseat of a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Continental. I’d continue to be homesick whenever I went away for extended periods of time for years afterward. I remember going to Harvard Summer School my junior year of high school and flying back nearly every weekend from Boston to go out to my family’s beach house. No matter that I was meeting boys who were interested in me as I trotted around the leafy campus in my shorts, my long legs assiduously tanned, or that I had work to do for the two courses I was taking. Nothing, it seemed, could hold a candle to what I had left behind. My mother, who supported my forays out into the world with one hand while pulling on the leash with the other, bribed me by paying for my flights home and with offers of strawberry shortcake, my favorite, for Shabbos. I was sufficiently food-focused for this to have been a seduction, but the real draw was my mother herself, whom I was afraid to leave in the presence of my other siblings lest she forget about me. I desperately wished to be away from her yet felt panicked whenever I stepped out of her orbit. When I discussed this curious fact with one of my psychiatrists, he pronounced, unblinkingly: “Abused children cling.”

I bring my mother everything, inappropriately, all the details of my sexual life. now grown into a woman who seeks out pain in the name of pleasure. The circle closes around me; there is no way out, no friendly onlooker standing on the sidelines, shouting, trying to warn me off.

For a person as racked by ambivalence and indecision as I was, the

steps to full-fledged adulthood were destined to be faltering. I had watched as my older siblings tried to take flight, only to end up crashing back to earth in worse shape than when they left. With their examples before me, I knew better than to attempt a full escape into the wider world; it was bound to fail. You could go through the motions of independence—go to college, have a boyfriend, get a job, even marry and have a child—as long as you knew where your true allegiance lay. And that was to my mother, the beginning and the end of everything. This conviction didn’t translate into anything you could see, of course; it wasn’t as though I stood around clearly shackled. To other people it might look as though I could choose where I wanted to go and be who I wanted to be. Indeed, as the years went by, outsiders saw me as something of a “rebel”: the one who didn’t remain Orthodox; the one who married a man whose knowledge of Jewishness was so limited, he might as well have been a goy; the one who got divorced; the one who wrote candid pieces about her sexual peccadilloes and her family’s attitude toward money. Looking back, I can see that I was the child my mother had designated to work out her unspoken conflicts with the life she’d chosen: one that set marriage and children and religious observance above other interests. She’d rebelled in her own way, after all, leaving the straitened circumstances of her family’s life in Jerusalem for New York and dropping some of her own mother’s observances—such as covering her hair with a sheitel, or wig, after marrying, and abstaining from wearing pants. She opened the door to the outside world a crack, but with the implicit assumption that I understood the crux of the situation: There was no getting away. Talk about a double bind! Part of me recognized that it was an irrational and dangerously airless way to live, especially since I’d never liked being in my family’s sphere to begin with. And yet this insight, honed and chiseled in one therapist’s office after another—that my only hope lay in ducking under the net and out of my mother’s hold— didn’t stand a chance when it came to actually confronting the feeling of lostness induced in me at the idea of breaking free. Who and what were waiting for me on the other side? No one and nothing, as far as I could make out, just a vast and indifferent universe, got up in the guise of a welcome mat. Such thoughts accompanied me everywhere, more or less overwhelming depending upon the day.

I had been utterly apprehensive about getting married; it was

something I knew I was supposed to embrace even though I wasn’t at all ready for it, not even at the advanced age of 34. The truth was, I wasn’t prepared to do anything that involved leaving my mother in such an official, wholesale fashion, and the decision to marry had been made not in a blurry, love-struck moment with my husbandto-be, but under far stranger circumstances. Less than a month before the wedding, the therapist I was seeing scheduled a session for my mother and myself, at which we discussed the probability of a marriage between Michael and me working out as though we were placing odds at a betting parlor.

You would have thought that the fact that I had broken off our engagement only months earlier augured poorly for our future, but no matter. My mother opined to the therapist—a young and inexperienced blond WASP analyst who was clearly no match for this embattled-but-entwined Jewish mother-daughter duo—that I was “loyal.” “That’s one thing you can say about Daphne,” my mother repeated in her heavy German accent. “She’s very loyal.” Ergo: Once I got married, however much I kicked and struggled, I would stay married. This implicit line of reasoning seemed to carry the day, and the date was set for three weeks later, to ensure that I wouldn’t have enough time to reconsider. Perhaps not surprisingly, after just a few years, I felt propelled to get out of my marriage even as I realized I had never really given it a chance, never accepted Michael on his own terms instead of borrowed ones—modes of assessment that I had inherited from my parents but that didn’t necessarily reflect who I was, much less suit Michael—even though we had a wonderful young daughter, Zoe. The very qualities I had once been drawn to—his artistic bent and ease with the physical world, what I thought of as a kind of masculine fluency—now seemed of questionable value to the life we lived. It didn’t help that my parents had continued to view Michael as a foreign entity, a garrulous hippie imported from the terra incognita of California. In addition to which Michael and I continued to fight, as we had from the moment she was born, over who was to be Zoe’s primary parent, who possessed the know-how and emotional wherewithal to best look after her. Michael, who had two daughters from his first marriage, thought he was ideally suited to supervise every aspect of Zoe’s care, from her diet (he insisted on feeding her broccoli every night as soon as she was old enough to digest it) to her toilet training. I wasn’t used to so much fatherly involvement and felt that my role was being usurped. But the bigger truth was that I had never stepped into the present with Michael, never really seen us as a grown-up couple, the parents of a child conceived between us. Despite the passage of time I remained, to paraphrase a line from one of my favorite writers, the novelist Malcolm Lowry, “a small girl chased by furies.”

The cancer came seemingly out of the blue.

Mother hadn’t been a smoker, and it had been assumed that what would eventually get her was her heart condition. I had been gripped by terror when my mother informed me of her fatal illness—sounding bizarrely cheerful, in her perverse way—but I also felt a belated urge to get out from under her, to grab hold of my own life. Yet how would I make do without my mother? Much as I resented her, I also looked to her to share my every thought, even my thoughts of killing her. Not least, she had always been the person I wrote to and for, from the moment I had first slipped notes under her bedroom door—the one I counted on to appreciate a silky turn of phrase or apt piece of wording. How would I go on living in a world in which she was no longer only a phone call away? “Can’t you do something with your hair?” It was the first thing my mother said to me when I came to visit her at Sloan Kettering the summer she died. You’d think her illness, the palpable imminence of death, would throw her off her footing, her compulsive fault-finding. Who cared what my hair looked like? Wasn’t the point our being together in the time that was still available to us? Continued on page 199 137


AMERICA AND THE HYGGENAUTS Just when we need it most, a bevy of books extolling the

On the morning after the election, as news house) as “an expression of our unity,” acthat Hillary Clinton, winner of the popular cording to author Malene Rydahl, author vote and my own, nonetheless lost to Don- of Happy as a Dane (W. W. Norton). ald J. Trump, I felt a deep disconnect looking Considering that 52 percent of U.S. over the batch of new books on my desk (all adults said in an American Psychological out this month and next) celebrating the Dan- Association survey that they’d felt signifish art of hygge, or creating a cozy, convivial icant election-related stress, my editor atmosphere for the sake of well-being, as the and I wondered whether the new hygge word (pronounced hoo-gah) roughly trans- lit might be an antidote to our collective lates. Nervously leafing through these pretty anxiety. Could it even help us mend relalifestyle guides while I gathered enough steel tionships damaged by political divisiveto read, I landed on a photo in The Book of ness? What we hoped for, in other words, Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Com- was a few Life-Changing Magic of Tidying fort, and Connection (Plume), by half-Danish, Up–level epiphanies for our souls. half-English journalist Louisa Thomsen Brits, Sinking further into these books, with showing a small, rustic basket filled with per- an admittedly un-hyggeligt clenched jaw, I was fectly round stones. Worried that the bigotry, initially unmoved by the paeans to steamy misogyny, and climate-change denial stirred cardamom buns; to Hay, Copenhagen’s superup in this election could now determine actu- store for Scandinavian high-end minimalist al policies, I thought, Are you kidding me? A design; and to the power of sheepskins and basket of rocks is going to save humanity? soft woolly throws “to really soften any interior space and make it a more Along with Brexit and Trumpism, hygge—already big among Remainsoothing environment to live A wave of hygge lit is teaching us how voting Brits who’ve only tightened in,” in the words of chef and to be hyggeligt. their embrace of hygge classes, food writer Signe Johansen in handicrafts, and kaffe gatherings How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life (St. Marsince their country unexpectedly tin’s Griffin). However, in The elected to leave the EU last summer—was selected by the UKLittle Book of Hygge: Danish based Collins Dictionary as one Secrets to Happy Living (William Morrow), well-being reof the words best capturing the searcher Meik Wiking started whipsawing spirit-winds of 2016. to draw me in with his deeper Many have long marveled at Scandinavia’s remarkable well-being analysis of the components of stats. And economists and social happiness, citing psychological research showing that close scientists usually attribute Denmark’s consistent ranking as one of social relationships and time the world’s happiest countries to its spent socializing, eating, and free, government-sponsored edurelaxing—“also main ingredication and health care, as well as a ents of hygge,” he notes—tend to be the greatest drivers of joy. progressive tax system that tamps Which is how I found mydown inequality. But lately the academic set has been giving hygge self, well, warming up to the idea of trying to hygge myself. some credit, too. Not only do Danes And—uff da!, as Scandinahave high levels of trust for one another and describe themselves as vian Americans in my neck of content when their friends are conthe upper Midwest say when tented, but they regard their own they’re surprised (the expression means, roughly, “oops, knack for hunkering down to rap my bad”)—I found the wisdom and relax (preferably in a casual, of coming together to foster serene, white-and-wood-accented 142

kinship, trust, and openness getting under my skin, dissolving the sorrow and fear I’d been feeling for my country and restoring, yes, my optimism. How did I hygge? I invited a few friends over to share an easy meal of smoked fish and slowcooker curry (the closest approximation I could muster to Wiking’s delicious-sounding recipe for Danish skibberlabskovs, or skipper stew, featuring brisket and beets), which we ate by candlelight in front of a fire, sitting on cushy couches covered with a generous assortment of pillows and fuzzy throws. I decided not to worry about people spilling! Our far-ranging conversation helped us find ways through difficult thoughts. And we laughed— for the first time in days—as we processed the extraordinary weirdness of the past year. I couldn’t help thinking that by doing in my own way what Danes have done for millennia (squinting into the fire that night, I could imagine my buddies morphing into beautiful Vikings), I allowed myself to tap into a type of healthy tradition that hard-charging Americans like me usually disdain. As Brits writes in her book (the most poetic of the bunch; I found myself repeatedly returning to its list-like incantation of hyggeligt habits), when we hygge, “we are not ignoring difficulty but putting it down for a while. Pain and shadow still exist on the periphery.… We acknowledge their presence and prepare ourselves to address them by committing ourselves to the pleasures of the present moment, in order to regain momentum and cope with life with equanimity in the future.”

Henry Arden/Camera Press/Vault

Danish mantra of camaraderie and coziness, in a Scandinavian-chic package, hits our shores. By Louisa Kamps

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It List

SHINE ON With soothing moisturizers,


John Hardy and fragrance studio Joya teamed up to create the Sedap Malam scented candle, inspired by the flowers of Bali and housed in a hand-tooled pot of recycled black porcelain adorned with 22-karat liquid gold.

glittering makeup, and nails that speak your mind, February beauty makes the shortest month count. By Cotton Codinha JEWEL BOX

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shiseido Rainbow Face Powder, the company introduces an updated take on the original color corrector with 7 Colors Powder Revival Centennial Edition (from top, in lavender, yellow, and beige).


Decadent Givenchy L’Intemporel Youth Preparing Exquisite Lotion acts as a moisturizing toner, employing hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to ensure a luxuriously radiant glow.


Thanks in part to the ultramoisturizing succulent kalanchoe pinnata, Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Cooling Gel helps to counteract the 17 temperature and hydration fluctuations the company found that skin experiences on average in one day.


Viktor&Rolf Magic Sparkling Secret features hits of green citrus and orange blossom, along with a bright, carbonated pop of ginger.


Smashbox makes highlighting eyes easy with Always On Gel Liner (shown in Bubbly), an illuminator pencil that glides on like liquid for a longlasting shimmer.


Devon Jarvis/Studio D


Downtown polish queen Jin Soon Choi teams up with the NYC street artist known as Chris Riggs for Mayor—famed for his signature “peace” and “love” signs—for JINsoon Graffiti Art, four shades meant to inspire hope (shown in Peace).


the key to skin that glows from within Neutrogena@ Hydro Boost Water Gel Has your skin started to lose its get up and glow? Dehydration is a common culprit. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, Hydro Boost is clinically proven to quench skin instantly and release continuous hydration all day. Skin is plump, deeply hydrated, and back to its glowing self. WHAT IS


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Chef Julia Sullivan preps before guests arrive

RAISING THE OYSTER BAR Robby Klein (hair and makeup by Meegen Pearson)

Nashville chef Julia Sullivan serves up an oyster roast ripped from the menu of her latest Music City venture, Henrietta Red

With equal parts admiration and exhaustion, chef Julia Sullivan surveys the scene unfolding at the intimate preview of Henrietta Red, her restaurant and oyster bar debuting this month just down the road in Nashville’s trendy Germantown neighborhood. Under strands of twinkling lights, friends and family are piling their plates with raw and roasted oysters before settling in at long communal tables—all on full display for neighbors out for an evening stroll. “An event like this is a great representation of what I want Henrietta Red to feel like: communal, convivial, a place where people can come in and relax,” Sullivan says of the Low Country supper, which tonight is being staged in the front yard of the 12th Table, a local event company. More than two years in the making, her Southern space will fill an oyster-shaped void in Nashville’s exploding culinary scene. It will also serve as the Nashville native’s first solo restaurant, the payoff of eight years of intense training and working in New York City. After stints at Per Se, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Haven’s Kitchen—where she met her new venture’s co-owner and general manager, Allie Poin147

Scenes from the festive evening, which included an impromptu performance by bluegrass trio Trisha Ivy & Friends


OYSTERS 101 Chef April Bloomfield,

owner of the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York, and Charlene Santiago, the shellfish hot spot’s executive chef, share their tips

Start Fresh

Only buy oysters with uncracked, closed shells and a “fresh, ocean smell,” Santiago says. “If it’s open, this is an indication that it’s old or dead. You can try tapping the oyster to see if it closes up, in which case it’s fine.”

it will be a go-to spot for baseball fans— First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds triple-A baseball team and often more social scene than sports venue, sits two blocks away. In addition to the oyster bar, Sullivan notes the menu’s focus on seasonal, locally sourced proteins and vegetables (e.g., chicken liver and wood-roasted sweet potatoes) whenever possible. “We’re really pushing the oyster bar aspect, but we hope people are pleasantly surprised by how good the rest of the food is,” she says. Named after the chef’s late paternal grandparents, Henrietta and Edgar “Red” Sullivan, the restaurant is also influenced by the romance of New Orleans, which Sullivan absorbed while studying finance at Tulane

Gear Up

“You need to get yourself a good oyster knife,” Bloomfield says. “I prefer one with a short blade and an upwardcurled tip; this gives you leverage when opening up the oyster.”

Shuck It

Using a kitchen towel to protect your hand from any slips, hold the oyster level on a table with the rounded side down. Work the tip of your knife into the nook near the hinge, then twist to pop open. —Kelsey Murdoch

University. The space isn’t fussy, she emphasizes, “but so much of the restaurant design in Nashville is concrete floors and exposed ceilings. We wanted it to feel softer.” That translates to a color scheme with blues and greens complemented by luxe marble. When it opens, Henrietta Red will anchor one of the tastiest blocks in the city, with James Beard–winning chefs on both sides: Tandy Wilson’s City House and Donald Link’s Cochon Butcher. “Not every night at the restaurant will be [like this],” Sullivan says as she looks over at her guests, “but this is the kind of stuff we’d love to be able to do in the future. It happened very organically, in the best way possible.” —Katy Lindenmuth

Robby Klein (hair and makeup by Meegen Pearson)

dexter—Sullivan returned to the Music City in 2013 and reconnected with a grade-school friend, Max Goldberg of restaurant group Strategic Hospitality. At the time, Nashville was in its “It City” infancy, with such indemand spots as Husk and the Catbird Seat having opened relatively recently. Goldberg tapped Sullivan for the opening team of his sprawling foodie playground Pinewood Social; 10 months later, she left to focus on fundraising for Henrietta Red—a process that led her right back to Goldberg & Co. “We approached [Strategic Hospitality] and said, ‘Could you give us some advice and introduce us to some people?’ ” Sullivan says. “They came back and said, ‘Let’s see if there’s a way we can make this work [together].’ ” With Strategic on board as a partner, Sullivan moved ahead. She’d developed the concept of Henrietta Red while in New York, but her vision evolved upon resettling in Nashville, she says. “It became more refined. A little more personal, feminine, and special.” The coastal-chic space seats about 100, plus 20 on the patio. Come spring, Sullivan hopes

long on protection for even the shortest of shorts.



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UP TO LEAK-FREE PERIODS Wear what you want.



ABC’s Martha Raddatz has covered 9/11, wars, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and heads of state, and has the ear of the military up and down the chain of command. Last fall the new leader of the free world took her on. Good luck with that, Mr. President. By Lisa Chase

Ike Edeani (styled by Courtney Kryston; hair by Lorraine Aprile; makeup by Jackie Walker; photographed at the Hay-Adams hotel, Washington, DC). Raddatz wears: Leather trench coat, Diane von Furstenberg, $1,800, at DVF, NYC

It’s 10 days after the presidential elec-

tion, and Martha Raddatz, back in her booklined Washington, DC, office after a photo shoot, quickly de-pancakes her makeup and slips into slim pants, a puffy down jacket, and flats, all black. Then she curls up in a chair, a Pakistani rug woven with images of Kalashnikov rifles, tanks, and grenades at her feet, to talk about her work as a TV reporter in some of the most dangerous, machismoloaded situations in the world. “I was in Ramadi, and there was an older marine who said, ‘Are you one of the good ones or one of the bad ones?’ ” she recalls. “And I just looked him in the eye and said, ‘I don’t know, Marine, are you one of the good ones or one of the bad ones?’ ” “And he said, ‘Okay, I gotcha.’ ” Raddatz, ABC News’s chief global affairs correspondent and, since last January, the coanchor of the Sunday show This Week With George Stephanopoulos, is an experienced journalist…a serious person…one of the good ones in a time when a lot of amateurs and opportunists are being allowed seats at various grown-ups’ tables. She co-moderated the Access Hollywood–inflected presidential debate last October, to acclaim. She’s been to the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan at least 50 times—she took her daughter, Greta, then 16, to Bosnia over spring break in 1997, “the extreme version of Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” Raddatz says with a grin. (“For several years,” adds Greta Williams, now a 35-year-old lawyer, “she also took my brother Jake and me to visit soldiers at Walter Reed,” the national military medical center.) Raddatz is an expert on the U.S. military, the State Department and Pentagon, ISIS, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Three people interviewed for this story called her a “badass” and meant it as a compliment; one of them was Diane Sawyer. Actually, what Sawyer said was: “Martha is fearless and badass and clear-eyed and tough. She doesn’t change when she’s with a general; she doesn’t change when she’s with a private. And since I’ve done some [combat-zone reporting] myself, I never know how she manages to look like she hasn’t been run over in the field. Then she dresses up and knocks out the room. I have a picture of the two us walking

into the White House Correspondents’ dinner” looking glamorous. “I love that she was saying, See, I can do both.” And while Raddatz may prefer being out in the field to her domestic duties—when asked which she’d choose first, moderating a presidential debate or reporting from Iraq on the military offensive in Mosul, she answers quickly, “Mosul”—she is formidable as an anchor-interviewer. Two of her mentors were the late Gwen Ifill and Peter Jennings, and like them both, she’s always hyperprepared and can think on her feet. She worked for Jennings until he died, in 2005. “Peter was so intellectually curious,” Raddatz says. “When I first started, it was a little terrifying to talk to him. We’d joke that he’d play Stump the Correspondent: He’d ask, ‘What do you want me to ask you?’ You’d tell him, and then he would ask you something else on the air. The guy would go through your scripts a hundred times, and there would be some tiny nugget in there, and he’d want to know more about that. There came a point where I said, ‘You know what, Peter? You can ask me anything you want.’ And I believe that was the day it totally changed. Because it was like, You know what, Peter? I’m confident, I know my stuff, I’m ready.” To hear Raddatz’s staff talk about her, she gets the same respect, and expects the same professional rigor, from them. Each week before the show, she’s given 100-plus pages of research to digest. “I totally lose sleep before each big interview,” she says. Her style is to ask a pointed question—she has interviewed presidents, vice presidents, generals, members of Congress, Cabinet members, you name it—and if her guest replies by pivoting to his or her talking points, Raddatz circles back. And back, and back again—polite, but insisting on an actual answer to her question. It’s not to play “gotcha”; it’s because it’s a question that has yet to be asked or answered, one born of her deep reading and reporting. When she interviewed Mike Pence for This Week regarding Donald Trump’s about-face on Barack Obama’s birthplace last summer, it took Raddatz 11 attempts and 6:37 minutes of airtime to try (and fail) to get Pence to answer: “On Friday, for the very first time, Mr.

Trump said that Barack Obama was born in the U.S. Why did it take him so long?” You, the viewer, may feel a little uncomfortable watching her do this. Because, frankly, you’re not accustomed to it. What you’re accustomed to is talking heads on 24/7 cable networks and morning shows gliding smoothly on when their questions are deflected or ignored, for fear of seeming too aggressive and hurting any future access. “I am not partisan. And that is my job on television, not to be partisan,” Raddatz says, which is probably integral to why she was chosen to moderate three primary and vice presidential debates, as well as the October 9, 2016, presidential debate with Anderson Cooper. She started studying hard for that one just after Labor Day. But, 36 hours before broadcast, the 2005 Access Hollywood tape leaked in which Trump bragged about groping women and getting away with it because of his celebrity. “We’d done so much research on everything. We had not done research on that,” she says. “Both of us just went into a zone: Okay, what do we do with this? It’s part of temperament, it’s part of character.” The plan had been for Raddatz to handle foreign policy; Cooper, the questions about temperament. “I said to Anderson, ‘I think you absolutely have to ask him if he did it.’ ” She adds, “Would I have liked to have asked that? Yes.” Her daughter Greta, 25-year-old son, Jake, and husband, longtime NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten, attended the debate, in St. Louis. “Our hotel was crawling with journalists and pundits and advocates on both sides,” Gjelten recalls. “Martha said, ‘They’re going to be looking at you and the kids for any indication of what you think.’ We were on our best behavior. We get to the hall, and there are all these empty seats next to us. Rudy Giuliani shows up with the four [women who accused Clinton of sexual assault, guests of the Trump campaign], and they sit right down next to us.” While Cooper got to ask Trump the “Did you commit sexual assault?” question, it was Raddatz, looking, well, badass in a chic zippered midnight-blue jacket (“Club Monaco. I went out one day during the convention in Philadelphia and got it”), who kept the audi-


Raddatz in northern Iraq in March 2008; with Diane Sawyer at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington, DC; on the set of This Week in September 2016

Raddatz was born in Idaho Falls, Ida-

ho, in 1953, but after her father died, when she was three (“I have zero memories of him”), her mother, who was from Salt Lake City, moved Martha and her older sister back there. That’s where Raddatz grew up. “My mother was raised Mormon but didn’t raise us Mormon,” Raddatz says. “We went to a Catholic church a little bit, but ended up going to a Protestant church in Salt Lake City.” She enrolled at the University of Utah but dropped out in her junior year to go to work “filing videotapes” at a local TV station, KTVX. In the words of the 2015 commencement speech she gave at Kenyon College upon her son Jake’s graduation, “I had one simple goal in mind. I said to myself, There are sinners out there somewhere, and I’m going to find them.” Not to convert them: Raddatz was looking for adventurous people, for an adventurous career. Over the next few years, she worked her way up, and across the country, “shooting film and doing whatever I could,” she says, eventually becoming a reporter and landing as chief correspondent at the ABC affiliate in 152

“If you ask the question 150 times and they’ve answered it 150 times, you have to figure out when to stop: when the story becomes about you instead of the person you’re interviewing.” Boston, WCVB, in 1979. “I liked every story, whether I was a local reporter doing the cop beat or whatever; I loved the disciplined curiosity of it. And early on, I didn’t like people who were just on television to be on television. I wanted them to be television journalists, and journalists first.” It’s not hard to see how, with her intelligence and wide-ranging interest in the world, combined with her blond good looks and wry sense of humor—and being the kind of woman who for a long time could and did carry her own military gear in the field—she’d be married to three very interesting men along the way. In 1979, she married Ben Bradlee Jr., Greta’s father (an editor on the Boston Globe investigations unit that uncovered the Catholic church’s pedophile priest scandal, which was dramatized in the movie Spotlight). In 1991, she married Julius Genachowski, eight years younger than she (and a Harvard Law classmate of Barack Obama), with whom she had her son. In fact, she was pregnant with Jake when Genachowski—who later served Obama as Federal Communications Commission chairman—began a clerkship for Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC in 1991. On bed rest, Raddatz found herself in a new city, trying to get Greta settled in a new school, and jobless. “It was not a happy time,” she says. After Jake was born, she freelanced for CNN, and then, in 1993, the Pentagon

beat at NPR opened up—“which I thought sounded like a brand-new experience.” At NPR, she befriended Gjelten, who’d been the organization’s foreign correspondent for a decade and then was covering the war in Bosnia. “I came back to DC in 1994, ’95,” he says, around the time Raddatz was offered her first combat-zone assignment, which was to get into Sarajevo. The problem was, she had to cross an active front line to do that. “Bosnia was then the big story. She’s always been drawn to the biggest stories,” Gjelten says. Raddatz asked him the safest way into the city. This was NPR, not ABC, and her crew included just one sound engineer; there was no budget for security. “I was the Bosnia know-it-all,” Gjelten says, laughing ruefully. “I’d heard that there was a bus from Split to Sarajevo.” Ah, the bus. “When I think back on it,” Raddatz says, “if I’d known how scary it was, I might have reconsidered [the assignment]. I didn’t know where I was going, really. I had no idea. I remember getting on this bus, which had bullet holes all over the front, and thinking, What have I done?” “I’d told her, ‘Just get on that bus. There’s nothing to it,’ ” Gjelten remembers. “But the bus dropped her off on the front line. She was stuck on the front line. She managed to convince someone to take them into the city. She got there and got on her satellite phone and totally chewed me out.”

From left: ABC; Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Ida Mae Astute/ABC

ence in line. It was she who interrupted the candidates’ interruptions and kept the crazy energy in that hall from engulfing all sanity and substance. “I do think you have to take into consideration that in TV you’re viewed a little differently as a woman; though, gradually, people have gotten used to that,” Raddatz says. “But when you’re pressing and pressing and pressing—I mean, men can look like jerks too, believe me—but if you go too far, if you ask the question 150 times, you have to figure out when to stop: when the story becomes about you instead of the person you’re interviewing. That’s something you do in debates, too. You’re doing that math in your head. You do not want the story to be about you.”

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Obviously, they worked through it, because they’ll have been married for 20 years this May. Gjelten, who is now NPR’s religion and belief correspondent, is refreshingly frank about what it’s like to be married to a high-powered woman with an intense work ethic who travels regularly to war zones. “When I met and married Martha and she became a foreign correspondent, I made a really deliberate decision to move into a support role. It’s been a struggle for me. I’m a guy! And she has a guy’s role! But I’ve picked up some slack around the house. I probably had a bigger role with Jake when she was traveling,” he says. (Jake, who is now a high school coach, made it into the news himself when he mischievously programmed his mother’s cell to ring with rapper Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’,” and it went off during a 2007 White House press briefing. Raddatz told the story at the 2012 VP debate as an “Audience, turn off your cell phones” cautionary tale. The next day Chamillionaire tweeted: “Can’t lie. That just made my night. Appreciate it. @ MarthaRaddatz Keep it gangsta.”) Several women at ABC noted that Raddatz and Sawyer, 63 and 71, respectively, are their role models—seriously ambitious women with full family lives—in a business that has increasingly fembotted its female anchors in hair, makeup, dresses, and heels more suited to a cocktail party than a policy interview. Fox News, which seems to have made an art of sexualizing its female on-air talent, was in the headlines for much worse last summer, when one of its former anchors, Gretchen Carlson, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s chief, Roger Ailes. Other Fox News employees, Megyn Kelly among them, chimed in that they too had been harassed by Ailes. When I try to get Raddatz to comment on the pressure on women in broadcast news to look, uh, hot, she smiles: “You’re trying to 154

get me to go there, and I’m not going there.” Raddatz favors sharp skirts and pants and fitted jackets, body-con suits with zippers, silk blouses in poppy and other bright hues. She has a great sense of style. When on assignment in the Middle East, she says, “I always make sure to wear a bright scarf,” and it’s true; in video after video from Iraq and Afghanistan, she’s wearing a pretty scarf over khaki clothes or a bulletproof vest. Her husband thinks that the very fact of her being a woman has worked to her benefit in covering the military. “They’re disarmed by her, and her style of reporting, which is to establish personal relationships with people,” Gjelten says. “I think she knew that, she took advantage of that. That’s the instinct she brought to the Pentagon. And people she talked to in the beginning rose to full colonels or generals.” In other words, she’s developed great sources. She covered the Pentagon for six years at NPR before joining ABC News as the State Department correspondent in 1999. She embedded with American troops in Iraq during the Gulf War and covered a combat mission over Afghanistan from an F-15 fighter jet. Her coverage of the State Department in the aftermath of 9/11 won her a Peabody Award and an Emmy (she’s won a total of four Emmys, plus many other awards). When her colleague and friend Bob Woodruff was critically injured in a 2006 bomb blast in Iraq, Raddatz worked her Army and Air Force connections to get him emergency surgery in Iraq, and then airlifted to a U.S. military hospital in Germany. A year later, she published the best-selling The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, about a routine detail gone horribly wrong in an ambush of American troops in Sadr City, Iraq, in 2004, told through the stories of the men and women who fought it, as well as their families back home. She was in Iraq as recent-

ly as November, in the month between the debate and the election, where she covered the Iraqi Army operation to take back Mosul from ISIS. In a long career, Raddatz says that “the original Nightline reports about the Sadr City battle” are probably the pieces of which she’s proudest. She was in Baghdad in 2004 when she heard about the platoon of soldiers who’d been ambushed—eight were killed and more than 60 wounded. While she was reporting the story for Nightline, one general she talked to said, “You should interview the families.” She recalls, “It was like, Oh, of course I should.” Critics have called the book the Black Hawk Down of the Iraq War, and the National Geographic Channel is turning it into an eight-hour scripted miniseries to air later this year. “I’m proud of pushing myself,” Raddatz says. “If I was just doing the same thing every day, I wouldn’t grow; I wouldn’t learn anything. Probably my first major outsidethe-comfort-zone [assignment] was the VP debate” between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden. “I mean, I hadn’t covered the campaign, I hadn’t covered politics since—well, I covered George W. Bush’s White House, but covering George W. Bush’s White House was [basically] covering the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The decision to shift her into an anchor job last March was “very easy,” says James Goldston, ABC News president. “She’s essentially unassailable on foreign affairs. She’s been everywhere and interviewed everybody. She’s been an integral part of coverage in Washington. When the opportunity for This Week arose, there wasn’t even a question.” Her foreign policy expertise also made her an obvious choice to moderate a presidential debate, during which “we were seeing all kinds of Twitter feeds about Martha, about what a rock star she was,” Goldston adds. Sawyer, herself a news anchor and reporter Continued on page 200

From left: courtesy of the subject (2); Ida Mae Astute/ABC

Raddatz on the Tigris River, Baghdad, in 2014; a selfie taken in an F-15 fighter jet above Estonia in August 2016; Election Night at ABC News, 2016



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DEAR E. JEAN: Should I ditch my boyfriend because he won’t get down on one knee, put a ring on it, and take me to Paris? For three years, I’ve dated this handsome, kind, feminist man, who’s secure enough to cook me dinner and play house husband while I work at my demanding job as a chemist at a nuclear plant. Our home life is perfect, but I like to travel and want someone to strip me naked in an open-air hotel room in Greece or Barbados, and he’s not the adventurous type. (But props to him for not getting jealous when I wander by myself.) Also, he can’t commit to me or marriage. How long do I wait for him to come around? Do I jettison him for someone who will sweep me off my feet—and lose my steadfast domestic partner? I’m normally a logical lady scientist, but this one has me stumped! —Confused Chemistrix Chemistrix, My Kumquat: Tut-tut. Mr. Handsome Dinner has been cooking for you over your own Bunsen burner for three years, and you’re asking Auntie Eeee “How long do I wait for him?” And you a scientist, forsooth! You know your Darwin. You understand that of all the mating questions posed by all the females of all the species in the world, “How long do I wait?” is the feeblest. (And the one least likely to lead to success.) Yet a fantastic future awaits you. Because when a man tells you he “can’t commit,” a spanking new world of Queenhell possibilities opens. Everything is permitted! All is allowed! You are free to hold the most freeing conversation you’ve ever had in your life, viz: “Darling, since we’re not committed, and you don’t want to be, I’d like to date.” And then you may proceed to tell him what you really want—a sweet “home life” with him and a lad stripping you “naked in an open-air hotel room in Greece.” Because, come on, does a good-looking


genius with azure-colored hair and a diamond stud in her eyebrow who is solving the problem of global warming (I looked you up, honey!) really want an unadventurous guy to commit to her? What about your need for passion? Wouldn’t it be better to keep him at home and take a rambunctious lover? You are simply a bright woman who, when she has everything she wants, soon wants something else. And Auntie Eeee? She’s simply a woman who will receive a pile of exasperated letters from readers because she advised you to enjoy more than one chap.


DEAR E. JEAN: Is it possible for a reserved person to advance in a company? Most of my life, I’ve heard that I’m “too quiet.” And yet I’ve always gotten high performance reviews (many from people who joke around about my being so quiet). I like working hard and doing great things, but can I ever move up? —Mighty Mouse

Mighty, My Mushroom: Indeed. Your “high performance reviews” are probably happening because of (not in spite of) the fact that you’re quiet. These days, when there are 50 ways to sound like an ass before lunch, it’s a wise woman who knows when to stay mum. The deal is to sound smart when you do speak. So, assuming that you throw yourself at your work, always make your boss look good, and volunteer to solve problems before anyone else can put up her hand, let’s add an extra boost to your career. Combine one word from each of the two columns below: SPECTACULAR HISTORIC DAZZLING SPELLBINDING GORGEOUS UNPRECEDENTED MAGNIFICENT


Then stick your head over a coworker’s cubicle when she does something clever and say, “Hermione! Magnificent idea!” (You may preface this with a “Wow!” if you’re feeling particularly chirpy.) When you tell people their ideas are brilliant, they rapidly conclude that you are brilliant. This historic! spellbinding! spectacular! tactic works with the brass, too, and only requires that you utter 9 or 10 extra words a week. But for those special occasions, combine one word from each column below: FRIGHTFUL INSIPID PATHETIC CLUELESS BEWILDERED BLITHERING HEINOUS


Now. When you run into the VP of sales and have 13 seconds of her unswerving attention in the elevator, instead of replying to her “How are you?” with the expected “I’m fine,” don’t waste the moment. Say, “Miss Bassington! I’m fabulous! I gave those pathetic oafs over at [name of competing company] a thrashing by doubling our team’s profitability this week!” People form as strong a bond (or sometimes stronger, as we’ve seen in the recent election) over things they hate as over things they love. And Mighty, darling, since one of the best ways to be promoted is to talk about your accomplishments in a way that also makes the company look good, let your wonder and happiness at your own achievement shine through. Good luck!


DEAR E. JEAN: I need a new dating strategy. If I get hurt badly by a guy, I stay single for a while. Then a new guy comes along and sweeps me off my feet. But once intimacy happens,

Gregg Delman (styled by Christian Stroble; hair by Eduardo Carrasco at Ford Artists NYC; makeup by Sylwia Rakowska at Ford Artists NYC)

This month: Creating a male harem, making every word count at work, texting your way to true love, and a Miss Manners guide to ogling male strippers

communication dissipates, and the guy starts disappearing. So I start over-texting him and completely scare him off. How do I stop this? My real question: How do I calm down? —The Over-Texter Over, My Orchid: Alas, I don’t have the answer. That is to say…I don’t have the answer. I have an answer, of course. It’s a little trick that works for me. Instead of telling myself to “calm down” as I punch out a text, I do the opposite. I fire up. I say to myself: YEEEEEEEEEEE GODS! LOOK AT THIS TEXT!! THIS IS BIG, E. JEAN! THIS IS COLOSSAL! THIS TEXT IS BETTER THAN SHAKESPEARE! IT’S COOLER THAN BEYONCÉ! THIS IS THE MOST SUBLIME TEXT EVER SENT BY WOMANKIND! I’m not sure why it works. Maybe because I don’t ask my girlfriends for their opinion, or I stand up and hold the phone at arm’s length, or all the mental shouting lathers the Auntie Eeee brain into such a heightened state that it pops the champagne corks of adrenaline— and when the adrenaline fizzes, Auntie’s mind becomes sharper, and when Auntie’s mind is sharper, her text is put into perspective, and when her text is put into perspective, it’s easier to recognize that only a crazed imbecile would text the chap at the moment. Or perhaps because it just makes me laugh. Either way, I rarely hit Send. So now I’m in a dither waiting to hear if it works for you, too. PS: Texting too much/too little/too much/ too little is the endless double helix of hell we all fall into. But if you hold off on shagging a chap until you are more certain it is true lust, you might be happier.


DEAR E. JEAN: I’m engaged to the love of my life, but every time I start to plan the wedding, I feel suffocated! So much of the traditional ceremony is rooted in sexism (“giving away” the bride, wearing “virginal” white, and so on).

So though I said “yes” to the wedding I always thought I wanted, now that it’s time to finalize everything, I just want to hide! My fiancé is fine with a small wedding or a big one, and right now we’re heading toward a 200-person day. I don’t know if it’s the guest list, the church ceremony, or an inner aversion to traditional weddings that bothers me most. A lot has been planned by my parents, and I do feel obligated to make them happy. I just wish I could be a little more drawn to the whole “bride” thing, but the more weddings I attend, the more distant I feel from all those women in big white dresses. How do I make my family happy and not lose my sanity? Should I just pop a Xanax and get on with it? Or is there a way to create a day that I will look forward to instead of dread? Thank you, thank you! —Must I Be “Given Away”? Given, My Gladiolus: A church wedding! How divine! But where’s the sacred rule that states you must be “given away”? God, Herself, is obviously bored with it, so when the pastor says, “Who giveth this woman?,” hug your father and mother (who, perhaps, have both walked you down the aisle) and answer, “Reverend Larry, I give myself!” As for the whole “virginal” business: Fashionable brides, as you know, wore red until February 10, 1840, when in the Chapel Royal, at St. James’s Palace, Queen Victoria flabbergasted the world by wearing white silk satin to marry Prince Albert. (She also proposed to him, by the way.) It makes you wish Her Majesty were still around, just to show her that you can give tradition a witty spin, too. Wear what hue you choose, but if you ask your 200 guests to don white—zounds! The church on your wedding day will shimmer in shades of Ivory Creamsicle, Cosmic McQueen, Saltine Cracker, and Quantum Oyster. (Plus, white still looks good when sprayed with champagne.) With regard to your “sanity”: Brides always lose it before a wedding, always. But when the day arrives, and the minister has pronounced you husband and wife, and you turn around

Q: I’ve met a tall, good-looking, altruistic man while

volunteering with an organization that helps imperiled farm animals. But it’s such an unromantic context! Is it inappropriate to flirt with him? Or is he completely off-limits? A: No man is off-limits unless he is married, engaged, or boffing a sheep. (PS: I love you for improving the lives of our fellow creatures! Bravo!)

to see all the people who are there to support you, you’ll understand that it’s not about the trappings. It’s about the 200 smiling persons twinkling away tears and loving you—that’s what will make your wedding so wonderful! Re traditions, dear readers: What follows is a question about one of the most enduring and most stupid.


DEAR E. JEAN: For my birthday party at her house, my best friend surprised me with a male stripper. Unfortunately, her husband came home early and inquired (with a smile) how his wife behaved. We laughed and said she only “took a glimpse of his boxers.” Which was true, but somehow this hit a nerve, and her husband became furious after we all left. So I guess it’s a question of etiquette: How should a woman behave when eye-to-eye with a stripper? It was my birthday and the stripper focused on me, and I didn’t know what to do! —Eye of the Stripper Storm Storm, My Snow Pea: Every woman knows the code. No matter your age, social status, or professional rank, or how many companies you run, when you, a well-bred woman, are confronted with a gentleman who bursts into the room wagging his fanny and winking his navel, there is but one hard-and-fast rule: You must courteously scream and faint. You are then free to proceed with as much yelling and whooping as possible, with the following caveats: CODE OF A MODERN WOMAN PRESENTED WITH A MALE STRIPPER 1. Never sit facing him, unless you can defend yourself by throwing hors d’oeuvres at him. 2. Never pull the stripper’s tank top off over his head if he has a lit cigarette in his mouth. 3. Never spank a stripper, even when he asks, as it is always best to ignore a child who’s behaving improperly. 4. Never hashtag the words #NogginSnogging if your boss checks Instagram. 5. Never bend over to get something from your purse while the chap is performing. Trust Auntie Eeee on this. 6. When the husband of the hostess arrives home early and inquires about the male stripper, the hostess has only one reply: “Ha! Ha! Ha! He looked half as large as you!” Ask a question! or Read past columns at You can watch videos, write with anonymity, and exchange genius tips on Advice Vixens at And if you’d like a date: 157

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T H I S. I S. B I G.

Hanes cotton T-shirt, RE/DONE, $78, collection at Barneys New York. Lambskin skirt, ISABEL MARANT, $1,900. White gold, emerald, diamond, spinel, and amethyst earring, BULGARI, price on request. Her own earrings. For details, see Shopping Guide.

Take two megawatt executive producers, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Add a pair of Hollywood’s most zeitgeisty twentysomethings, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz. Throw in a blockbuster novel about a group of upper-middle-class mothers of kindergartners roiled by sexual violence, class issues, ageism, and... murder! (That’d be Liane Moriarty’s 2014 Big Little Lies.) The result is an HBO miniseries that, even in this big-budget, high-minded small-screen era, we’ve never seen before: a seven-part thriller that looks like a movie, feels like a movie—and packs enough woman power to populate the Oscars’ front row—but grips like only episodic TV can. Here, the insightful foursome sound off, as do 15 other electric women from all corners of the TV landscape—all of them looking as powerfully chic as the scene stealers they are. Plus: High drama and blindingly bright fashion, for whatever role you want to play in life. 159

Lace and sequin dress, LANVIN, $4,880, visit Pink sapphire and rose gold earrings, CHOPARD, price on request. Satin pumps, JIMMY CHOO, $995. For details, see Shopping Guide. Hair by Lona Vigi at Starworks Artists for Nexxus; makeup by Molly R. Stern at Starworks Artists for Dior Beauty; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty for Dior Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons


T ROscar U winner T H A B O UandTborn-and-bred LIES actress/musician discuss growing up in the spotlight, lifting women up, and taking TV as high as it can go Photographed by Alexi Lubomirski Styled by Samira Nasr Reese Witherspoon, 40, disappears into the role of Madeline Mackenzie, Big Little Lies’ fast-talking, gossip-collecting queen bee of insular Monterey, California. Zoë Kravitz, 28, plays free-spirited, yoga-obsessed beauty Bonnie Carlson, who also happens to be married to Madeline’s ex. Let the games begin! ELLE: Reese, how did you fall in love with Big Little Lies? REESE WITHERSPOON: I read Liane Moriarty’s book The Husband’s Secret two years ago, and she wrote so accurately about the interior lives of contemporary women. And then I was on a movie set and the female producer handed me a book; she said, “My company’s not going to buy this, but maybe you and [producing partner Bruna Papandrea] should buy Big Little Lies.” We read it overnight and were both just like, “Oh my God!” It has the juiciness of a crime, so that part pulls you forward and gets you invested in the characters. But it was also about the complexity of being a working mom, coupled with issues like domestic violence and abuse, and blended families. Bruna sent it to Nicole Kidman, and Nicole was like, “I want to play Celeste.” ELLE: Had you called dibs on your character, Madeline, at that point? RW: No. Everybody involved was like, “You’re Madeline.” I was like, “I am?” I didn’t know who I was, and that made me understand that I was all of these women. I’ve been a young mom; I’ve been a divorcée; I’ve been a single mom. I’ve been the working mom versus the nonworking mom. ELLE: Zoë, how did you get involved? ZOË KRAVITZ: It happened quickly for me. Jean-Marc [Vallée, the series’ director] had a meeting with me. The writing was really good, but the opportunity to work with Reese and Nicole is what got my attention. We’re taught that we should compete with one another, especially in this industry. Seeing the struggle to connect with one another is something that should be highlighted. Once women find sisterhood, there’s nothing stronger. RW: We’re all different ages; we come from different areas: Australian women, American women, women from New York, women from the South, women from the middle of the country. But there’s so much commonality between us. When [the characters] start

out, we’re very shut down, and as we get into the show, our connections start deepening at a human level. We’re all moms who are ferocious in our love and desires for our children. And then episode six is just a watershed moment for me. It’s better than most movies I’ve done. I talked to Nicole, and she’s like, for sure—in the past 10, 15 years? This is one of the best movies we’ve done. And it took a French-Canadian man to direct it. [Laughs] So it isn’t about just women, you know? ZK: I was nervous to start this job and to work with you and Nicole and Laura [Dern]—I had this fear that I was going to be found out, like, “What are you doing here?” Reese and Nicole just took such good care of all of us. I was able to really feel comfortable and free and strong and inspired in my work. And these amazing, unlikely friendships. ELLE: The book takes place in Australia. Why set the series in Monterey? RW: Monterey has both very wealthy people and people who live hand-to-mouth. We purposely set it in America because of the storytelling aspect—people living in different areas, with the consciousness of urban versus rural, clearly living different lives. As an artist, I feel more strongly than ever that my job on earth is to tell the stories of the invisibles, and women have been invisible on film for a long time. Women are wives and mothers and girlfriends, but not the center of our own stories. No one’s the good guy; no one’s the bad guy. We all do deplorable things and very honorable things. ZK: I was just thinking about women’s role in art, because artists also have the responsibility of reflecting the truth, which I think women often do. Reese, I wonder how you feel about women’s [versus] men’s role in art? RW: I’ve been meditating about women in television. Film seems sometimes really backwards to me. I think about Mary Tyler Moore. I’m working with Candice Bergen right now [on the movie Home Again]—I think about Murphy Brown. Zoë, I think about your mom [Lisa Bonet] in A Different World and about how television has always been much more progressive and reflective of contemporary times than film. This is my first TV show. And there’s that whole blur—what is television? What is entertainment now? I’m

actually thrilled that there’s a blur.

ZK: Yeah! I know, I know. RW: Art is art. Television has elevated itself,

in certain ways, but it’s always pushed people’s consciousness. What was it like to grow up with a mom who was at the forefront of people’s political consciousness? ZK: She kind of stumbled into that world. It wasn’t a conscious choice (a) to be an actress, (b) to be a famous actress, and (c) to be—she shook things up—a model for so many young women. The beautiful thing about her is that she just thought a certain way and lived her life that way. And I grew up without television—I wasn’t allowed to watch. RW: Really?! ZK: We had a VCR, and she’d let me watch movies that she’d choose on the weekends. Besides that, she was like, “Play in nature; go outside.” She lived her life in that really honest way, and people were attracted to that. Film can be kind of pretentious, and it’s one person’s idea. It’s a lot of money into one thing. TV is part of your life—it makes you feel connected to the rest of the world—as opposed to someone else’s perspective crushed into a few hours. I think my mom was a bigger part of that evolution than the show itself. RW: She was a visionary outside of it, too. ZK: That’s the most important thing in art: to be aware, pay attention, be inspired—but it should come ultimately from you. My parents [father Lenny Kravitz and Bonet] did exactly what they wanted and didn’t let anyone tell them not to. Now, as women, we need to continue to do that. Especially in the age of social media, when everyone has an opinion and it’s so easy to be influenced. RW: Six months ago, someone said, “Was it hard for you to let your daughter dye her hair pink? Are you embarrassed?” I mean, we’re talking about something so small. I said, “No! I’m an artist, her dad’s an artist, and she’s an artist.” There are so many ideas blurting out in the world right now. I think, “God, this is a country predicated on listening to everybody. When did we stop listening to one another?” An actress texted me the other day: “They’ve asked me to play this character who wears furs and believes in certain things about the environment that I don’t believe in.” I said, “You’re an actress! 161

W A K E - U P C A L L “Let’s let everything come

to the surface, even with people we come in contact with for a moment. This situation can help us be a little bit more awake with each other.” — It’s not about your ideas! You’re there to tell other people’s stories.” ZK: And find compassion in that, right? You don’t understand that person? Find a way to understand it. That’s going to help you grow. RW: You have music too, Zoë. I always think about how you’re just as talented a musician as you are an actress. Is there a medium you feel like you can be most expressive in? ZK: Music has always helped me stay creative and grounded because I’m traveling and shooting and trying to understand other people. Music was something I could just sit in a room and make with my friends. Especially with the election, I want to dig deep and say something. Not that it all has to be profound, but I want to be some kind of example—not of anything perfect—of another human being trying to figure it out in the world. RW: You’re doing that! I [asked] my daughter and her best friend, “What do you want to ask Zoë?” They started this list of questions. ZK: Oh my God, I want to know everything! RW: They love you. They think you have your own style expression, and you’re not afraid. God bless that women are free in this country. We can say what we want, and I do think women will heal the world. ZK: There has to be something positive that can come out of [the election]. Already it’s helped me want to connect with everybody. When I go to the deli or I’m talking to a waiter or my Uber driver and they say, “How are you?,” I’ve answered in an honest way for the first time. Like, “Oof.” Even that felt good. Let’s let everything come to the surface, even with people we come in contact with for a moment. This situation can help us be a little bit more awake with each other. RW: I love that you and Shailene are in your twenties. Nicole, Laura [Dern, who plays high-powered businesswoman mom Renata Klein], and I grew up in a different time. Your social consciousness, both of yours, has moved me so much. My daughter looks up to you; she looks up to Shailene. Shailene’s work with Native Americans has been incredible. ELLE: In the office, we talk about our “TV parents”—characters who raised us alongside our real-life parents. Zoë, you said you didn’t grow up watching a lot of TV, but Reese, who was that for you? RW: For me, Friends was a really interesting reflection of time and love dynamics. 162

Roseanne was a big show for me, and Murphy Brown. I remember Dan Quayle saying Murphy Brown was an aberration, that it was disgusting to be a single mother in America. That kind of stuff really raised my consciousness of single motherhood. And Roseanne, who was blue collar, but was just loving her family, loving her country—and her ability to speak her mind. ZK: Television’s getting better because people are investing more money and time and respect into it. But the secret weapon of television is that, because it’s a slow burn, you get to meditate on things and develop them. As opposed to film, where you have an allotted amount of time and hopefully you can wrap it up in there. ELLE: Reese, I saw that you’re producing a TV series about First Ladies. RW: Oh yeah! I haven’t told you yet, Zoë, but we optioned [First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, by Kate Andersen Brower], about the real First Ladies and their conversations with one another. Hillary Clinton, Michelle. They all have very candid conversations about what it means to be at war and about social consciousness. They have different ideas on how to deal with it, but they’ve all been—honestly, I don’t know how this conversation continues—communicating with each other for years, having meetings and lunches. Robin Wright is going to direct the first one. We haven’t cast the First Ladies yet, but I’ve got my eye on a couple of them. ZK: Perfect timing. RW: Yeah. That’s all I can say about that right now. Just “wow” and “yeah” and “wow” and “yeah” and “God.” ELLE: Your time making Big Little Lies sounds like such a dream. Were there any challenges or tough moments? RW: There was a long two weeks [shooting] the climax. It was outside, and Jean-Marc doesn’t light, he just shoots, so you don’t have time in your trailer while lighting’s going on. It’s great—it’s part of the work—but by the end, we all became crazy gremlins because we’re not sleeping and we’re up until 6 a.m. every morning. We’re also living in this alternative universe of one night for two weeks. ZK: Reese got everyone chicken and waffles one night, but I was on a cleanse. We all took care of one another. It was interesting.

ELLE: Okay, one more: How do you think

about style in terms of your work?

ZK: Fashion is fun, and fashion is a form of

art and self-expression. And I think it should have a wink-wink nature to it. For me, it’s about the way it makes you feel. If you want to feel sexy, you want to feel bright, you want to feel good. That’s what people are attracted to—when they see you execute an emotion or an idea clearly and proudly. RW: I didn’t really understand fashion until I started going to Paris and seeing the ateliers and how hard these people work. It’s art. I’m doing this movie right now with fantastical costumes—as are you, Zoë. You’re in the second Fantastic Beasts, right? ZK: Yeah, we haven’t started shooting yet, but I just saw the first movie, and the costumes are insane. I’m really excited. RW: I’m doing Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and it’s me and Oprah and Mindy Kaling. Costumes, fashion, it’s all an expression of self, and the more you push the boundaries—the more that people work at creating alternative ideas—the more it changes people’s ideas of beauty. I love that people are going, Yeah, I love a hundred different kinds of beauty; it’s not all the tall, skinny supermodel. Around the world, we have to find the beauty. Now more than ever, we’re looking. ZK: We need it. We need it to survive. ELLE: How is it working with Ava DuVernay? RW: She’s incredible. Just what she demands. Even the crew, not just the cast, represents the diversity of our country. She’s just a consciousness shifter. The fact that Disney, this giant company, has given her this opportunity—and given her so much money—gives me so much hope that people are really understanding that we need to give artists a lot of free room to create. ZK: I also think it helps inspire and create a better environment for the actors working on set, being surrounded by different kinds of people while they’re making art. RW: For sure. Movies will finally reflect the world we live in, not some weird dinosaur reality. Like movies with old white men dating 25-year-old girls? I can’t. Every superhero is a man? I’m so bored of that idea. I love that you’re in Fantastic Beasts. Fifty percent of the fantastic beasts of this world are women! We should be 50 percent of what you see on film. Or TV!—Moderated by Rachel Baker

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SOurH E ’ S G O T G A M E favorite Academy Award–winning Aussie-turned-Tennessean

gets candid about living without boundaries, and rough sex with Tarzan himself—and reminds us why there is only one Kidman plays wealthy, gorgeous Celeste— mother of twin boys; wife of a hot younger man (Alexander Skarsgård); harborer of very dark secrets. Originally, ELLE invited friends and costars Kidman and Shailene Woodley to interview each other by phone. But when Woodley, who was in North Dakota protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, ran into some technical difficulties, Kidman, 49, didn’t miss a beat. ELLE: While we wait for Shailene, let me just say the series is so fun and so juicy. NK: I’m so glad you loved it! I hope that it gets out there in terms of people watching it together at viewing parties, because there’s something to be had in watching this with a group— everyone just laughing and gasping and going, “What?!” ELLE: Shai’s team just e-mailed me saying they’re trying to find her—but I’ll go ahead and say it’s so exciting to see all you powerful actresses in one TV show. NK: It kind of speaks to what’s happening on television right now, right? And the way in which you can get things made. We optioned the book and got it written and into production in 18 months. That never happens. ELLE: How were you able to do it so quickly? NK: Because when women in this industry band together, we’re powerful. As a singular entity, it’s much harder. Jennifer Lawrence, maybe she can get something green-lit and made, but by joining forces and working together, that’s when it happens for most of us. ELLE: Why did you want to play Celeste? NK: When I read the book, it was Celeste’s point of view that grabbed me. Her relationship with her husband [played by Alexander Skarsgård] is highly sexual. But it’s also an addiction and it’s abusive and it’s disturbing. There are many different ways in which it can be viewed, because it’s also something many women go through. ELLE: Some scenes between you and Alex are pretty intense. What was it like to film those? NK: At times, I got lost in it. So many of the bruises you see on me aren’t fake. I had to do a shower scene where you would see a lot of them, and I asked them not to put makeup on me. It needed to be pretty raw and out there. There’s certain choreography that you need for a scene like that, so that you don’t actually get your cheekbone shattered, but a lot of the time, they’d say, “Oh, you can put some pads in your back,” and I would say no, because you

might be able to see them. I also felt that the nudity was a part of it. It wasn’t about exploitation. It really feeds into their relationship. You really get their sexuality through that. ELLE: Did you have any apprehension, putting yourself out there like that? NK: No—but I don’t think I’ve ever had that. [Laughs] I was doing a Q&A recently for Lion, and someone in the audience put a hand up: “How do you build boundaries when you’re acting?” I said, “I’m the worst person to ask about that—because as much as I have a technique, my boundaries get blurred.” I even said to Alex in some of our more intense scenes, “We create the bubble, do what we need to do in it, and then move out of it.” Because I have to do justice to the story line. ELLE: Sorry, I just have to interject for a minute—Shai’s team is still having trouble tracking her down. They’re suggesting we just continue…. NK: This is kind of good for the article, right? This is so Shai. It’s why she’s such an original and amazing girl. She’s not ruled by anything other than passion and her desire to live her real life, and I love that. Half the time, you can’t get her when you want to, because she’s never within cell-service range. I just say, “You go, baby!” ELLE: What else do you admire about her? NK: Shailene and I talked a lot about love. She’s very love-based. She asked a lot about relationships and marriage and how I got through certain parts, shall we say, of my life. She would see [my husband Keith Urban] and me together and go, “Ugh, I love how you guys are really just so in love.” And I’d say, “It’s such a blessing.” She’s just into digging around in that and trying to find the how and the why. She also has an extraordinary talent. Acting is very easy for her. It’s not a struggle for her to do the performances she does. It’s just a God-given gift. The same way Adele can sing. How do they do it? Who knows? ELLE: Do you feel jealous of that, or proud? NK: It’s more like, how do I help and protect you? Because I want someone to do that for my daughters, too. I’ve got an eight-year-old and a six-year-old right now; I’ve got a 23-year-old. I want people to reach out to them and help them and protect them. ELLE: Zoë mentioned how helpful and nurturing you and Reese were on set. Is that an active role you take when involved in a project?

NK: I always say, when I work with younger ac-

tresses, “I’m here.” Reese says it, too: “We’ve lived it. We know things. So if there’s anything you want to know….” I’m careful not to be the preacher, like, “Now, listen to me!” But I do want to be available. Even in terms of things like finances—where do you learn that, if you don’t have people you can ask, “Hey, can I ask you a question?” ELLE: What have you learned from Shailene? NK: She gives me access to the mind-set of girls in their twenties, which you can become removed from if you’re not surrounded by it. She’s politically engaged, which is surprising for someone her age and in her career. She’s very, very responsible. She’s good at keeping her boundaries and standing up for herself. If she doesn’t believe in something, she says so. I could probably have learned from that at her age. I don’t think I stood up for myself in the same way she does. Reese and I have both said it: It’s a whole different world now. When we were growing up, we were far more protected, but we weren’t as empowered. We weren’t connected through knowledge, which is what social media gives you. ELLE: Do love or loathe social media? NK: I’m somewhere in the middle ground. I don’t have enough time or the desire to be in it too much, but I like it sometimes. I want to have my cake and eat it, too. [Laughs] ELLE: Do you identify with her activism? NK: Do I talk about my process of voting and all those things? No, because this is what it is now. But I think we do need radicals. We need extremists, because that’s how change happens. And I also believe in continuing to put love and kindness and compassion and art into the world. That’s me as a woman who has seen many, many things over the course of her 49 years. Oh my gosh—Shai just texted me! Do you want to hear? “Oh my God, I can’t believe it. I’m on the reservation with Standing Rock and totally lost service and my phone was dead and there was no way to contact anyone. I’m so sorry!” ELLE: I just got an e-mail saying she can get on the line in a minute or two! NK: Oh, but I’ve got to take my daughter to a birthday party. I’ll text Shai as soon as we get off and just say, “Don’t you worry about a thing, my darling. You live your life.” How much do you love that girl? That’s my baby! —Interviewed by Seth Plattner 165

A C T I N G O U T Once we could finally get her back on the grid, the ever-outspoken

spilled about our brave new world, her A-list mentors, and, oh yeah, that time she got arrested

Woodley, 25, (slightly belatedly) joins us from Standing Rock Reservation, where she’s been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline—the construction of which, at press time, had been officially halted by the Army Corps of Engineers, a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the thousands who protested the drilling. While Woodley’s Jane is the youngest, humblest, and most recent inductee to Big Little Lies’ mom squad, one thing’s clear about this girl: She has a past. SHAILENE WOODLEY: I’m here! The crazy girl who can’t work her phone. I’m so sorry! ELLE: No worries! You’re still in North Dakota, right? SW: I am. Let me know if at any point you can’t hear me. I’ve been here for a few days. It’s the first time I’ve been back since I was arrested. And it’s freezing, man! It’s close to 4,000 people out here, and half of them are camping! They wake up with frost on their eyelashes, yet with a smile on their face. When you say, “Thank you so much for your sacrifice to protect clean water,” they look at you with this look of confusion and go, “It’s not a sacrifice; it’s an honor!” That to me is really hopeful for the future that I get to bring my kids into. ELLE: What made you know you had to go up there? SW: The tribe has been trying to stop this pipeline since 2014, and I’ve been working with them since February [2016], when the youth of the tribe started a petition against the pipeline. My friend Ezra Miller said, “Hey, if you’re interested, this is going on.” I was completely appalled, but not very surprised. This happens all the time to indigenous communities around the world. It’s just that no one gets behind them enough to make it, like, a public issue. ELLE: You were arrested at Standing Rock in October and charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot. What was that like? SW: Well, I didn’t plan on getting arrested, but sometimes activists do because it brings attention to a subject. I was one of the only ones to get arrested out of 300 people, because I had a Facebook Live feed with 40,000 people watching. There are a lot of corrupt actions happening, but it’s a Catch-22, man: It’s beautiful that I got arrested. It got the attention of millions of people around the world. ELLE: How has social media helped you get your message out? 166

SW: I got involved in social media this year be-

cause I realized I didn’t know anything about politics in our country, and I’m a well-educated, well-read, very much privileged woman. If I didn’t know about our political system, how is that democracy? What does that mean for everyone else in our country who doesn’t have the privilege? That’s why I got involved. Twitter came into that, and I got a Facebook for Standing Rock, just to be able to do the live feed. I’m fascinated to see the future of social media and also how the generation who grew up with it will evolve into adulthood. ELLE: How are you doing since the election? SW: I was shocked when—actually, I can’t say that. I wasn’t shocked. I was...silent when Trump won. It’s hard to talk about politics in a Hollywood world. I learned that really quickly. But after the California primaries, when Bernie Sanders lost—and I’m not saying he should have won—I knew that Trump was going to win. Because I’d been on the ground for months, and we would be in small cities in America and big cities in America, and Bernie would get tens of thousands of people at his rallies. And then Trump would come and he’d get the same numbers. But Hillary would only have a few hundred people at her fundraisers. It doesn’t matter how much more you have in your bank; if 50,000 people show up to your opponents’ rallies and you only have a few hundred people, it says a lot about what the people of America are ready to do. I grieved all of this months ago, whereas most people are grieving it now. ELLE: Do you think the new administration will affect how people view Big Little Lies? SW: Well, we’re going to have some amazing art over the next four years. Because when things go to shit, art just gets radical. But the heart of the show is that it deals with the dynamics between mothers and their children, mothers and their spouses, and mothers and their friends. And that’s something everyone can relate to, whether you’re a man, a woman, or a child. It’s intergenerational. There are so many relatability factors that I think people will find it comforting to know they aren’t alone in their experiences. That being said, we do have to acknowledge that it takes place in Monterey, California. Not everyone can relate to the lifestyle, but everyone can relate to the relationships. ELLE: What was your hardest day on set?

SW: To be honest, there was a lot of running. I hate running! And I keep doing these projects where I have to run all the time. And it was during the winter, so it was freezing. That sounds like such a wimpy thing, but it was so hard. Because you have to still commit when you run. Vertical motion is not my thing. ELLE: Tell me about working with Nicole, Reese, and Zoë. SW: It’s rare that you get to work with actors, female or not, where you all get along. Just because of the nature of humanity—I’m sure it’s the same in your office. But everyone truly got along. And I must say I am generally really bad with my phone. I’m not on it a lot because I try to be present in any given moment, but I get messages of support from Reese constantly. Same with Laura [Dern], Zoë, and Nicole. I feel like I understand Nicole in many ways that are silent. We’re deeply spiritual people who show up for others. You constantly see Nicole—and this is true for Zoë and Reese and Laura—asking others if they’re okay. If you’re warm enough. Do you need a blanket; do you need hand warmers? Are you feeling supported? Do you need a break? She’s a true mom but retains her self-integrity. And the power of that is her separation from her family and her independence. She also feels on every level, whether it’s the food she’s eating or smells she’s inhaling or the thing she’s touching. In moments I catch myself saying, God, I bet Nicole would really love this tree right now. ELLE: Were you intimidated to work with her? SW: To be totally honest, I was so nervous I was going to break into a Moulin Rouge! song. It’s my favorite movie. At least once a day, I catch myself singing a song from it. There were multiple times on set when I would starting singing “One Day I’ll Fly Away” or “Elephant Love Medley.” So I would have to do a check-in to make sure she wasn’t next to me. I would have been mortified. ELLE: What did you learn from her? SW: When it comes to sexuality, sensuality, self-representation, self-nurturance—America fails in those departments. Women like Nicole trailblaze these paths of self-love and self-recognition. Not from a pretentious place or a greedy place, but from a place of knowing that in order to help those around you, and in order to even be a good actress and a good mother at the same time, you have to know your worth.—Interviewed by Seth Plattner

Printed-cloque top, $1,490, skirt, $1,790, both, PROENZA SCHOULER, at Proenza Schouler, NYC. Her own nose ring. For details, see Shopping Guide. Hair by Marcus Francis for Suave Professionals; makeup by Kara Yoshimoto Bua at Starworks Artists for Chanel Makeup; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty for Dior Beauty; set design by Bryan Porter for Owl + the Elephant; produced by Jessica Hafford for Lalaland; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons


Nobles and journalists! Mothers and pop stars! Royals and robots! The powerhouse actresses in the following pages bring to life TV’s most dynamic and wonderfully weird characters. Two-dimensional has never been so 3-D. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEAN-FRANCOIS CAMPOS

Wood wears: Embroidered shirt, $5,900, leather pants, $7,150, both, HERMÈS. Earring, HEARTS ON FIRE, $4,490 (for pair). Bracelet, TIFFANY & CO., $10,000. Pumps, PAUL ANDREW, $675. Newton wears: Embroidered blouse, silk bodysuit, wool skirt, all, LOUIS VUITTON, prices on request. Earrings, CARTIER, $20,300. Bracelet, price on request, ring, $9,000, both, TIFFANY & CO. Pumps, JIMMY CHOO, $795. For details, see Shopping Guide. Styled by Emily Barnes Hair by Nicolas Eldin at Art Department for Bumble and bumble; makeup by Brigitte Reiss-Andersen at the Wall Group; manicure by Nori at ArtList NY for Dior Vernis; produced by Una Simone Harris


“This is a woman—a power—I recognize,” says Thandie Newton of her character, Maeve, an android (or “host”) prostitute in the Wild West who, like many of her fellow robots in HBO’s Westworld—a theme park where wealthy patrons pay to play out their darkest fantasies—gains sentience and begins to revolt against her overlords. “A lot of people in this world are sleepwalking,” she continues, “having our souls beaten out of us. Maeve, in a way, is doing what so many of us wish we could do. And she’s fucking naked!” Like Game of Thrones before it, Westworld runs high in sex and violence, and examines why we as humans (and viewers) respond so viscerally to the basest of impulses. It’s a series in which the women—like Newton’s costar, Emmynominated Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Dolores, a host fighting for a life beyond the damsel-indistress—don’t just drive the narrative, but also confront the series’ most compelling political and philosophical questions. “I would never be so bold as to think I know exactly what Dolores and Maeve represent,” Wood says, “but I think we all struggle to live the way we’re told to, that will keep us safe. But they are reminders of the power we have to break free.” —Seth Plattner 169


INSECURE “I consider myself a mirror—you’re seeing a reflection through my lens from conversations with my friends and a lot of my relationships,” says Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure, renewed this past November after just a few episodes aired to universal acclaim. Indeed, on the show, bathroom mirrors are revelatory places where, as Rae peers at herself, she breaks into rap verses and hard truths come out. The show matches, with brilliant (and funny) dramatic economy, universal coming-of-age themes with the specific circumstances of young buppies in L.A. A through-line runs straight to Insecure from the Dorm Diaries mockumentary Rae posted to Facebook in 2007 while majoring in African and African American studies at Stanford. Soon after, her Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl webisodes went viral on YouTube, leading to a best-selling book on that theme in 2015. Insecure, which Rae has created with TV comedy Jedi master Larry Wilmore, spins gold that somehow originates, according to Rae, in the cultural dissonances she encountered during her childhood in (very white) Potomac, Maryland, and adolescence in the prosperous African American community of Windsor Hills, near L.A. That’s where she says she learned to draw “inspiration from where I’m most uncomfortable and out of place, and find the humor in that.”—Ben Dickinson 170

Dress, BRANDON MAXWELL, $2,695, collection at Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills. White gold and diamond earrings, MESSIKA PARIS, $13,200. Patent leather sandals, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN, $845. Styled by Sarah Schussheim Hair by Dennis Gots at the Wall Group for Wella Professionals; makeup by Natasha Severino at Forward Artists for Sisley Paris; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty for Chanel


Sequin dress, DOLCE & GABBANA, price on request, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide. For details, see Shopping Guide. Styled by Sarah Schussheim Hair by Charles McNair at Jed Root for R+Co; makeup by Natasha Severino at Forward Artists for Tom Ford; manicure by Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty for Chanel; produced by Brandon Zagha

“I’ve been doing this since I was 15, and there’s been plenty of stuff that’s happened in my life and career that I’d like to forget about,” says Mandy Moore of her years spent first as a teen pop star and then as an actress (A Walk to Remember, Saved!). “But I don’t begrudge any of it—it led to where I am now.” That kind of fullcircle introspection is also at the heart of NBC’s massively successful (it’s the most-watched new show on TV) and heartfelt family drama This Is Us, in which she plays Rebecca Pearson, matriarch of a Pittsburgh family that also includes dad Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and their triplet kids (two biological, one adopted). The show, which flashes backward and forward as the Pearsons deal with racism, weight issues, and shifting cultural norms, requires Moore to deftly jump from a 27-year-old new mother to a present-day 66-yearold grandma (which requires four hours of makeup). A bonus: She also, on occasion, gets to sing, say, a Linda Ronstadt tune. “To be part of a show that’s hopeful and provides escape for people, but is grounded and about family—it just feels really lucky.”—Cotton Codinha 171

SOPHIE TURNER & M AISIE WILLIA MS GA ME OF THRONES Once Sophie Turner learned she’d landed the role of Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, “I had this childish excitement that it would be massive,” she says. But after the first season wrapped, she said her good-byes on set, since “it was ambiguous if people would respond to the show.” The answer has since become abundantly clear, of course, as Thrones, a fantastical epic packed with fire-breathing dragons, ice zombies, and graphic bloodletting, has become a bona fide pop-culture craze. In no small part, that is due to the fiercely powerful performances given by Turner, 20, and Maisie Williams, 19, who plays Sansa’s sister, Arya. From the start, both young women possessed serious magnetism. But over the last six seasons, they’ve also artfully embodied characters coming of age in a gruesomely violent world and being transformed by their experiences. Sansa, once slightly spoiled, was raped by her husband in a much-discussed scene in season five—“I was pleased it caused an uproar,” Turner says. “That’s a dialogue we need to have”—and she’s since become a steel-spined realist able to outmaneuver just about anyone on the battlefield and beyond. As for the future, “The training wheels have come off,” Turner says. “Sansa’s ready to take


on the threats that await.” For Arya’s part, she’s gone from rebellious kid to skilled swordswoman (with a kill list!), though she remains quick with a comeback. “When I meet fans, they’re disappointed I don’t come at them with a sassy one-liner,” Williams says. “Playing Arya, I can pretend I’m that girl.” The two actresses’ story lines haven’t crossed since season one, but in real life, they FaceTime daily. “We’re like an old married couple,” Turner says. One, that is, with matching “07.08.09” tattoos (for the day they landed their roles) who dressed up for Halloween in Brownie uniforms with marijuanaleaf patches. Pot brownies, get it? —Molly Langmuir

Photographed by Markus Jans Styled by Barbara Baumel

Far left: Cashmere sweater, $1,250, embroidered-tulle skirt, price on request, cotton-knit panty, $840, gold-finished metal ring, $240, all, DIOR, at Dior boutiques nationwide. Left: Ciré coat, $3,345, cotton poplin top, $745, both, MIU MIU, visit Stylist’s own belt. For details, see Shopping Guide. Hair by Joe McGivern at Morgan the Agency for Leon Gorman hair care; makeup by Ashley O’Rourke; manicure by Niamh Carey at Tropical Popical


America Ferrera knows something about playing the straight woman in the midst of absurdity. After all, she spent four years as the sincere, smart fish-out-of-water Betty in Ugly Betty, bobbing along in her clashing sweater vests in a sea of fashion sharks. On NBC’s Superstore, she is Amy, the rule-following nineto-fiver attempting to rein in an assortment of oddballs at that very 2017 crossroads of America, the big-box store. “It’s every kind of person you can imagine,” Ferrera says, “from working-class America to corporate America. That’s a potent intersection to mine for comedy.” Season two has tackled rigged elections, diminishing wages, and unionizing the staff, and finds Amy galvanizing employees to develop a louder voice for justice. “I get to be a representative of millions of people who maybe feel underrepresented,” says Ferrera, the activist daughter of Honduran immigrants, who spoke passionately about sexism and discrimination at last year’s DNC. She relishes playing characters brandnew to the landscape— like Ana Garcia in the 2002 movie Real Women Have Curves. Ana, Ferrera says, “spoke to so many people who’d never really seen themselves on a movie screen before. That’s a huge opportunity and something I’m really grateful for.” —Cotton Codinha


Cotton and viscose dress, BOTTEGA VENETA, price on request, call 800-845-6790. Silk and lace bra, FLEUR OF ENGLAND, $117. Rose gold, diamond, and malachite ring, BULGARI, $3,200. Gold ring, HUEB, $1,420. Styled by Sarah Schussheim Hair by Dennis Gots at the Wall Group for Wella Professionals; makeup by Natasha Severino at Forward Artists for Sisley Paris; manicure by Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty for Chanel


On Mendes, left: Marabou jacket, SONIA RYKIEL, $1,810. Embroidered bralette, 3.1 PHILLIP LIM, $225. Crepe pants, PRABAL GURUNG, $1,295. Rings, both, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, $2,700–$9,950 each. On Reinhart, right: Wool jacket, DIOR, $4,300. Lace dress, DOLCE & GABBANA, $1,895. Cotton panty, ARAKS, $42. Ring, SHAY FINE JEWELRY, $2,090. On Apa, left: Leather jacket, GUCCI, $5,380. Cotton T-shirt, LEVI’S, $28. Jeans, A.P.C., $210. On Sprouse, right: Cotton sweater, OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH, $1,100. Jeans, BURBERRY, $595. For details, see Shopping Guide. Styled by Sarah Schussheim Hair by Charles McNair at Jed Root for R+Co; makeup by Natasha Severino at Forward Artists for Tom Ford; manicure by Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty for Chanel; produced by Brandon Zagha

“You didn’t see Betty taking Adderall, or Archie having an affair with a teacher,” says Lili Reinhart (right), 20, who, along with Brazilian actress Camila Mendes, 22, will step into the iconic roles (and rivalry) of Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, respectively, in Riverdale, the CW’s slightly sinister reimagining of the happy-go-lucky world of vintage cars and varsity jackets. “Those characters weren’t three-dimensional people,” says Reinhart, a Cleveland native who landed the job after a handful of indie roles. “That’s what our show does. It brings a darkness.” Her girl-next-door(ish) Betty indeed finds her foil in snarky wordsmith Veronica, who channels a “fearlessness and sarcasm,” says Mendes, a 2016 grad of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, “as well as some pretty witty, pop-culture–charged dialogue.” Add to the mix New Zealand actor K. J. Apa (left) as the now sexed-up redhead Archie Andrews, and Cole Sprouse (worlds away from his Disney-kid days as Cody on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) as Jughead Jones—reborn as a budding journalist deadset on solving the murder of a Riverdale High student. “Archie just celebrated its seventyfifth anniversary,” Reinhart says. Their job: amping up the beloved love triangle just enough, as Reinhart says, to “bring it to a young audience like me.”—Brianna Kovan



From left, on Kirby: Blazer, $2,895, waistcoat, $895, trousers, $995, all, DOLCE & GABBANA. Sandals, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN. On Ramos: Dress, RAG & BONE, $550. Shirt, MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION, $495. Mules, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN. On Diop: Tunic, $3,350, pants, $1,190, both, DION LEE. Sandals, JIMMY CHOO. On Angelson: Dress, $3,850, ankle boots, $950, all, FENDI. Rings, both, BULGARI. On Demorest: Tank, ISABEL MARANT, $200. Trousers, CARVEN, $890. Bracelet, POMELLATO. Ankle boots, LOUIS VUITTON. On Badaki: Dress, CHLOÉ, $1,495. Sandals, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN. For details, see Shopping Guide. Styled by Sarah Schussheim

VANESSA KIRBY, THE CROWN NETFLIX As Princess Margaret, Kirby brings emotional availability to Netflix’s behind-the-curtain look at England’s otherwise buttoned-up royal family. To her, that comes naturally: “Standing opposite Ben Whishaw [in the 2011 BBC series The Hour] on my first take—I was shaking. When I was young, I put a picture of him as Hamlet on my wall.” SARAH RAMOS, MIDNIGHT, TEXAS NBC Ramos, former Parenthood teen Haddie Braverman, dives into the darker side of TV as the mysterious Creek in this supernatural drama. “Creek is a nice departure from Haddie. Everyone in Midnight has secrets. I’m excited for the lid to get blown off.” ANNA DIOP, 24: LEGACY FOX On Fox’s 24 reboot, Senegalese actress Diop plays a steely military wife whose husband (Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins) is embroiled in an antiterror fight. “She’s a woman who doesn’t tolerate disrespect, which we need to see in our wives; don’t just leave them at home freaking out over their husbands.” GENEVIEVE ANGELSON, GOOD GIRLS REVOLT AMAZON Angelson’s Patti Robinson is a free spirit leading the fight for equality in a male-dominated newsroom. Pre-newsroom: “I was a pig trainer on Beasts of the Southern Wild— basically a student film made by everyone I went to college with. I had no experience, but I bought a book and learned that pigs, who will trample siblings for food, are just actors trying to get a job.” JUDE DEMOREST, STAR FOX She leads Lee Daniels’s newest drama about a girl group trying to make it in the Atlanta music scene. “Star is hard to love. She’s honest—sometimes when she doesn’t need to be. I’m a girl like her. I understand why she’s misunderstood.”

Hair by Charles McNair at Jed Root for R+Co; makeup by Natasha Severino at Forward Artists for Tom Ford; manicure by Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty for Chanel; produced by Brandon Zagha

YETIDE BADAKI, AMERICAN GODS STARZ Badaki—a Nigerian princess who moved to the U.S. at age 12—plays Bilquis, an ancient goddess who finds herself living among modern-day American mortals. “The show is really an immigration story, with questions of identity and finding one’s place. Bilquis is a survivor. She understands the idea of adapt or die.”


Spring’s strongest statement shapes take flight with cumulonimbus-size shoulders and ultra-elongated sleeves. Photographed by Paola Kudacki Styled by Samira Nasr

Far left: Organza top, price on request, cotton tweed skirt, $1,750, flower brooch, $650, all, CHANEL, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide. Spandex boots, BALENCIAGA, $1,395. Left: Poplin top, DOLCE & GABBANA, $2,995, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide. Powder-coated silver earrings, CLOSER BY WWAKE, $649. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Cotton-blend sweater, $1,115, viscose dress, $1,800, both, OFF-WHITE C/O VIRGIL ABLOH, visit


Wool jacket, $4,750, trousers, $2,520, both, VETEMENTS x BRIONI, collection at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC. Emerald, tsavorite garnet, diamond, and white gold earrings, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, price on request. Latex socks, $1,190 (sold only with black sandals, shown on next page), patent leather sandals, $695, all, GUCCI. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Viscose-blend blouse, $588, wool trousers, $652, belt, price on request, all, JACQUEMUS, visit Patent leather sandals with latex socks, GUCCI, $1,190.


Cotton trench coat, $2,395, spandex top, $855, both, BALENCIAGA, at Balenciaga, NYC. Powder-coated silver earrings, CLOSER BY WWAKE, $374. Gold, platinum, and diamond brooch, VERDURA, $22,500. For details, see Shopping Guide. Beauty Secret: Lashes go the distance when amped up with NARS Audacious Mascara.


Embroidered printed jersey dress, LOUIS VUITTON, price on request, at select Louis Vuitton boutiques nationwide. Vintage gold vermeil earrings, JILL HELLER, $3,500. Beauty Secret: For a bubblegum pink that’s not so sweet, try SALLY HANSEN Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Giant Peach.


Silk shantung dress, $5,890, latex socks, $1,390 (sold only with aquamarine sandals, not shown), patent leather sandals, $695, all, GUCCI, visit Aquamarine crystal earrings, ATELIER SWAROVSKI BY ROSIE ASSOULIN, $399. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Crocheted-cotton dress, CHLOÉ, $3,930, at ChloÊ, NYC. Spandex boots, BALENCIAGA, $1,395. Hair by Romina Manenti for Amika at Home Agency; makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; manicure by Casey Herman for Dior Vernis; casting by Sisi Chonco at Zan Casting; model: Valery Kaufman at The Society Management; fashion assistant: Yashua Simmons


Wool turtleneck, $765, top, $695, shorts, $695, crystal and plexiglass necklace, $1,715, leather handbag, $2,160, all, PRADA, at select Prada boutiques nationwide. For details, see Shopping Guide. Beauty Secret: For a subtle glow on an otherwise bare face, try MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter applied along the cheekbones, on eyelids, and above the Cupid’s bow.

Proceed fearlessly in a Technicolor mix of pastels, acid neons, and jewel tones bright enough to inspire optimism in both wearer and beholder. Photographed by David Bellemere Styled by David Vandewal


Far left: Wool trench coat, DKNY, $898, at select DKNY stores nationwide. Lambskin dress, $5,300, leather pumps, $950, all, BOTTEGA VENETA. Cotton tank, AMERICAN APPAREL, $20. Metal earrings, PROENZA SCHOULER, $495. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Left: Linen and mohair jacket, $2,145, spandex dress, $1,425, pant tights, price on request, patent leather tote bag, $2,900, sandals, $635, all, BALENCIAGA, similar styles at Balenciaga, NYC. Lighter-case pendant necklace, ALEXANDER WANG, $250. Black drusy ring, KENDRA SCOTT, $150. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Poplin dress, EMILIO PUCCI, $3,718, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide. Drusy earrings, CHRISTOPHER KANE, price on request. Alligator clutch, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, price on request. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Patent leather sandals, MANOLO BLAHNIK, $725.

Cotton shirtdress, $2,350, painted plexiglass and brass earrings, $710, all, CÉLINE, at Céline, NYC. Cotton spandex bandeau, AMERICAN APPAREL, $15. Geode and brass ring, JILL LEMAY, $30. Calfskin handbag, CHANEL, $2,500. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Rayon ankle boots, EMILIO PUCCI, $991. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Silk dress, $2,375, pewter bracelet, price on request, both, VERSACE, similar styles at Cotton spandex shorts, AMERICAN APPAREL, $24. Plexiglass and brass earring, STELLA McCARTNEY, $445. Drusy and diamond ring, KIMBERLY McDONALD, $14,050. Black drusy ring, KENDRA SCOTT, $150. Calfskin handbag, CHANEL, $2,900. Leather handbags, both, BUILDING BLOCK, $395 each. Spandex boots, BALENCIAGA, $1,395.


Jersey jumpsuit, $1,050, bodysuit, price on request, leather belt, $450, all, MAX MARA, at Max Mara, NYC. Plexiglass and brass earring, STELLA McCARTNEY, $445. Neoprene tote bags, both, MSGM, $399 each. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Leather pumps, JIMMY CHOO, $1,450. For details, see Shopping Guide. Beauty Secret: TRESEMMÉ Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse turns up the volume by giving an extra boost to waves— and keeping frizz at bay.


Wool gabardine trench coat, MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION, $2,995, visit Silk dress, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, $3,100. Metal earrings, PROENZA SCHOULER, $495. Lighter-case pendant necklace, ALEXANDER WANG, $250. Amethyst crystal pendant, AMAZING CRYSTALS, $115. Patent leather handbag, JIMMY CHOO, $1,095. Polyamide tights, FALKE, $38. Suede ankle boots, MALONE SOULIERS x ADAM LIPPES, $795.


Silk coat, EMPORIO ARMANI, $1,495, at Emporio Armani boutiques nationwide. Cotton sweater, EMILIO PUCCI, $1,130. Cotton spandex bandeau, AMERICAN APPAREL, $15. Polyamide-blend pants, MILLY, $295. Purple and blue sapphire, garnet, and labradorite necklace, DAVID YURMAN, price on request. Drusy ring, CHRISTOPHER KANE, $195. Calfskin handbag, HERMÈS, $6,850. Polyamide tights, FALKE, $38. Patent leather sandals, MANOLO BLAHNIK, $725. For details, see Shopping Guide.


Cotton jacket, $1,730, trousers, $1,340, both, MARNI, at Marni boutiques nationwide. Cotton spandex top, $28, bandeau, $15, both, AMERICAN APPAREL. Drusy ring, CHRISTOPHER KANE, $195. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Calfskin sandals, PACO RABANNE, $700.


Leather and cotton dress, $3,150, belt, $850, leather and brass bracelets, $380–$750 each, all, LOEWE, at Loewe, Miami. Metal earrings, PROENZA SCHOULER, $495. Calfskin handbag, HERMÈS, $6,850. Nylon tights, WE LOVE COLORS, $14. Patent leather sandals, MANOLO BLAHNIK, $725. For details, see Shopping Guide. Hair by Rita Marmor for Kérastase; makeup by Rie Omoto at See Management; manicure by Gina Viviano for Chanel; casting by Sisi Chonco at Zan Casting; model: Melodie Vaxelaire at The Society Management; fashion assistants: Daniel Gaines and Megan Soria


Continued from page 75

is happily married to the photographer David Miller; they have two boys, ages four and two. For the past couple of years, Paulson has been involved with actress and playwright Holland Taylor, who is 32 years her senior. She is surprisingly forthright about the relationship, but she also refuses to put it in a neat, easily shelved box. “I have been with men, and I have been with women, and I don’t make a sort of declaration about what it is or what it means,” she later tells me. Murphy, who started as an entertainment journalist and got his break when he sold a romcom script to Steven Spielberg, met Paulson more than a decade ago, in 2004. They were both “coming off WB shows,” as Murphy puts it. (Popular for him, Jack & Jill for her.) “We had sort of done our juvenilia, and we both had a lot to prove,” he remembers. He cast her in an episode of Nip/Tuck as a patient who pretended to have stigmata. Paulson impressed him immediately; she asked a lot of questions and was “very obsessed and worried about everything,” Murphy recalls. This might have annoyed some directors, but not him. “Oh, she seems like my cup of tea,” he remembers thinking. “Somebody who I feel has an attention to detail, like me.” When he cast Glee, he wanted her for the female lead that ultimately went to Lea Michele, but Paulson was on Broadway costarring with Linda Lavin in Collected Stories. “Oh, remember?” Murphy says, with a wink. “And then I kind of got mad.” “He was a little mad at me,” Paulson echoes. “I was like, ‘This is going to be a worldwide sensation!’ But, to her credit, she was very loyal to her play.” He sits back in his chair. “I must have been snippy for, like, six months.” The following year, in 2011, Paulson accompanied Lange, with whom she had costarred in The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, to a benefit where Murphy was also in attendance. According to their joint origin myth, Lange, who was playing Constance Langdon, the swanning, scheming neighbor (a sort of Minnie Castevet character) on AHS: Murder House, turned to Murphy and said, “Can’t you find something for Paulson?” 198

TO UNDERSTAND PAULSON and Murphy’s affinity for edgy material and eagerness to take nervy creative risks, one has only to look to their pasts. Murphy was born and raised in a conservative Catholic household in Indianapolis. “I grew up in a very anesthetized home,” he says, “so I was drawn to watching or reading or smelling or having sex—anything that made me feel like, ‘Oh, I’m...alive.’ ” His mother was “a failed actress and a beauty queen” who worked at various retail jobs. His father was the district sales manager for the

Indianapolis Star News; he’d wanted to be a lawyer, but was too afraid to take the bar. “I grew up in this house with broken dreams, and I remember thinking, ‘You know what? Fuck it. I would rather fail than be miserable,’ ” he says. “So I have applied that philosophy to my career. I am not going to do anything unless I am afraid of it.” As a child, he spent a lot of time alone, “with no adult supervision—I really did whatever I wanted,” he tells me. By the time he was an adolescent, he was “very out of the closet,” and for this he was “vilified, but also loved and championed” by his classmates, he recalls, reminding me that Glee was rooted in autobiography and that William McKinley High was based on Murphy’s own school. “I loved musicals and I loved Barbra Streisand and I loved Louis Malle,” Murphy says, evoking the show’s DNA. “My tastes were very bizarre, but the thing they all had in common is that they took me out of my life and made me feel something.” The greatest influence on his life—and on his future cinematic tastes—was his grandmother. She was a character who enjoyed “black-tar coffee,” horror flicks, old films: “She was what we would now call a broad, you know?” She forced him to watch Dark Shadows (he “loved feeling scared”), and when relatives would die, she’d bring him to the morgue with her. It doesn’t take a psychoanalyst to draw the line from here to American Horror Story. But his grandmother’s true legacy may be that she encouraged him to be original, to fantasize and dream big. “I remember her telling me from a very early age that I was different and special—and that this was a good thing, and to always follow my gut,” he says. Paulson, like Murphy, has long been drawn to extravagant emotions. “If I’m not moved from one spot to another, internally, while I’m witnessing it, reading it, consuming it, whatever, I don’t know why we’re being asked to the party,” she says, leaning forward with intensity as she talks. I ask her if she ever finds herself, you know, terrified by AHS, where she’s had to do everything from shoot heroin, to breastfeed a serial killer, to eat a human leg sprinkled with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, among other grotesqueries. “She loves it,” Murphy says, teasing her, having just admitted that even he held a piece of paper over his eyes while watching the Lawry’s moment in the editing room. “I love it more than anything,” Paulson says, in all seriousness, lowering her voice to a whisper. “I’m more scared of feeling stuck in something sedentary or boring.” Later, alone with Paulson, I get a better sense of her own dark places. With uncharacteristic vagueness, she speaks of a “fractured family life” that involved “a lot of moving around, a lot of upheaval.” When she was five years old, her mother, an aspiring writer, took Paulson and her younger sister from their home in Tampa, Florida, and moved them to New York, leaving Paulson’s father, an executive at a door-manufacturing company, behind. Her mother found a tiny apartment in Queens and worked as a waitress at Sardi’s while taking writing classes. In the ensuing years, Paulson bumped around from parent to parent, spending a year with her mom, a year with her dad,

Beau Grealy


Murphy wrote her a small part as a medium who, with her long coral nails and silk blouses, looked like a Junior League member—and was hungry for her own reality show. “All I had to say was, ‘Sarah, the entire performance is based on your manicure.’ She knew instantly what I was talking about, and we were off to the races.” Since then, Paulson has appeared in nearly all of Murphy’s productions. In American Crime Story, as Marcia Clark, she is the moral heart of the series: a rape survivor whose animating purpose is to defend victims of domestic violence. On American Horror Story, Paulson generally provides the intelligence—and the normality, such as it is. She’s the clever journalist who escapes the asylum and the killer, the serious-minded coven headmistress trying to protect her young charges from nefarious forces, the prissy actress who turns out to be an iron-willed survivor. It’s surely not an accident that in every season of AHS, except for a very recent one (no spoilers), Paulson’s character remains alive; as other critics have noted, she is a version of what film studies professor Carol J. Clover calls “the Final Girl” in her book Men, Women, and Chain Saws. This resourceful, lone female survivor is a common slasher-flick trope. The Final Girl is the last woman standing, as it were, so the audience is forced to identify with her. But in Paulson’s case, I don’t think we identify with her because she survives. Instead, Murphy lets her survive because we identify with her: We trust her, with her clear, rapid-fire way of speaking; her charmingly slight lisp; her dark, penetrating eyes. She seems smart, competent, and, if not always likable—that dreadful word too readily applied to female characters—then real, like someone we might know. She serves as a kind of anchor, tethering the viewer to reality. Thus Murphy can commit all manner of outlandish acts—slicing throats, killing off beloved characters, having them say outrageous and inflammatory things—and we will go there, in part because we trust Paulson implicitly. Murphy has placed his faith in her, and the audience can sense it. The longer we talk, the clearer it becomes that Murphy trusts Paulson offscreen as well. “I have the dream, and then I let her in on the dream, and then we let other people in on the dream,” he says, referring to his creative process, “but she’s the one I tell first.” Many times, she is the only one he confides in. “I don’t even tell my husband. Ever. He’ll read it in the trades, and he’ll be like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ ” He laughs. “That has been a bone of contention in our house. But it’s a very precious thing, and I don’t give away my creative vulnerability.”

Courtesy of the author

summers with her grandparents. She also spent a lot of time alone—playing by herself, watching movies, reading voraciously—and she credits those years for her fertile imagination as well as her performer’s ability to costume herself in whatever persona a situation calls for. But the chaos of her upbringing also fostered in her a tendency toward perfectionism and a craving for control. “Like me, I think Sarah felt, growing up, that she was a stranger in a strange land and that she didn’t have a lot of support,” Murphy tells me later, when I interview him a second time, and I instantly grasp their solitary-creative-kid bond. “So as somebody who loves her, I just want her to know, ‘No, I support you in every way.’ ” I find myself choked up by the fact that he is giving her what he didn’t get and surely wants for himself. Murphy tells me he wants to create a home, a family, a kind of old-school acting troupe, for the actors who work with him—he believes that a feeling of safety fosters the most daring performances. “Sarah, Jessica Lange—they can take risks, and they can walk on a tightrope because they know that I will never let them fail.” It was this sort of mutual underlying trust that led to Paulson’s career-defining turn as Marcia Clark. “I knew it would be the scariest, most daunting thing she had ever done. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it with her,” Murphy says. He told his fellow producers that he wouldn’t come on board unless Paulson played Clark. They cast her, and Paulson, control-freaky and detail-oriented as ever, began reading, researching, fine-tuning the particulars that would render her portrayal more authentic. Clark had had dance training, so Paulson walked with a slight turnout. Paulson has thicker lips than Clark does, so she thinned hers with makeup. She even wore the same perfume Clark wore. “She is almost what I could call fanatical about everything—about story, about character, about wigs, about moles,” says her costar Sterling K. Brown, who played fellow prosecutor Christopher Darden. “She just wanted to get it right. Her level of dedication to her craft, and to that character, was like nothing I’d ever seen.” “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” the Emmy-winning sixth episode Murphy directed, is the beautiful culmination of their five years of work together; all their shorthand and easy rapport and ballsy willingness to go all out are brought to bear on this character. Paulson plays Clark with furrowed, chain-smoking, righteous intensity, while viewers witness the many indignities she suffered: a style commentator who calls her a “frump incarnate”; a male boss who apologizes for the media’s mean-spirited dissection of her appearance and, in the next breath, offers her media consulting; hotshot male defense lawyers with stay-at-home wives who don’t understand she can’t work late without arranging a babysitter in advance. Any woman who has ever tried to perform at work while also keeping the home front taped together, or who has fielded unwanted remarks about her appearance, will feel a sting of recognition. But even among this pileup, there’s an incident that stands out: the moment when Marcia Clark walks into court with her unflattering new hairdo. Paulson credits Murphy’s direction with

the poignant end result. As she tells it, she was standing in the vestibule waiting to enter the courtroom when Murphy said, “I just want you to know, I think you think you look really good. I want you to think you look good.” This notion hadn’t occurred to her, and it made her “walk in with a kind of little swagger,” which renders the moment when Judge Ito says, “Welcome, Ms. Clark. I think”—and the gallery behind her snickers—all the more devastating. “I could not tell you where I stopped and she started, and vice versa,” Paulson recalls. “I didn’t feel like Sarah had been laughed at. I felt like Marcia had been laughed at, and I felt it as a personal humiliation. Ryan said, ‘That’s the one we’re using; your face turned, like, three shades.’ ” “She and Ryan together, it’s like watching two people dance,” says Brad Simpson, an executive producer on American Crime Story. “They really know how to get the best out of each other. They were like Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, just working in tandem. To me, that’s the best thing that they’ve done together.” SARAH PAULSON’S portrayal of Marcia Clark, a radical, revisionist take on a much-maligned figure, is a surpassing example of her empathic ability to channel flawed and difficult characters. It is also one among many illustrations of Murphy’s deep understanding of women and their plight. He gets it, I thought, when I watched Lana Winters sneak into the asylum because she has ambitions to be an investigative journalist and has been assigned a lifestyle story on a bakery. He gets it, I thought, as I watched AHS: Coven, a season that essentially functions as a metaphor for the power women lose as they age: Jessica Lange, as supreme witch Fiona Goode, confronts the waning of her beauty, vibrancy, and sexual potency while the young witches unsteadily come into their own. Murphy has long been interested in women’s stories. “I would much rather have watched Jill Clayburgh in An Unmarried Woman than Star Wars. Even though I saw that movie when I was 11, I related emotionally to being left and thrown in a trash can on the side of the road. Her damage, I got it,” he deadpans. “I didn’t understand Han Solo at all.” Later, he tells me, “I’ve always felt I’ve related to women deeply because of being gay and feeling like there was always somebody trying to oppress me, to keep me down, to put me in my place.” Now that he is in a position of power, Murphy is trying to right certain real-world inequities, some of which are especially entrenched in Hollywood. Last February, he founded the Half Foundation; its mission is to fill half the director slots on his shows with women, including LGBTQ women and women of color. (To put this in perspective, female directors made up only 17 percent of TV’s directorial roles in the 2015–16 season.) Angela Bassett recently directed an episode of AHS: Roanoke, and Paulson will direct episodes of both AHS and ACS next year. Murphy has also set his sights on writing more roles for women over 40. “So many women have confessed to me, in their dark moments over drinks, how difficult it is to be 40 years old and feel you have so much more to give, and yet

there’s nothing out there for you to play,” he tells me. On Murphy’s shows, remarkably, the opposite is true: Few of the actresses he regularly works with are under 40. “It’s unfortunate that as you’re getting better, the work disappears,” says Kathy Bates, who has appeared in Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, and Roanoke. “He’s given us an opportunity to continue to work and to develop. He’s changed my life. I really thought things were over for me.” Feud, where “actresses of a certain age play actresses of a certain age,” as Ned Martel, a writer on AHS, puts it, is Murphy’s love of older women writ large. “I specifically wrote 10 roles for women over 40,” Murphy says, “because I thought, Let’s make this show about that. Let’s try to do a period piece that addresses the modern issues that women are dealing with, which are ageism, sexism, pay, diversity, the glass ceiling, men pitting women against each other, women not wanting to support each other because they feel there’s only room for one woman at a time.” I ask whether he and Paulson view their partnership not just as an originator of entertainments, but as an alliance driven by larger cultural aims. Murphy looks skeptical. “I don’t think of it ever,” he says. “The thing he said earlier about truth,” Paulson says, “if that’s the place where the work is coming from, it may have that effect you’re talking about….” “But if you go in with a premeditated conceit or idea, I think people will smell the bullshit,” Murphy adds. “We are really just trying to tell a good story.” He shifts in his chair. His cell phone has started to rumble, and a group of ACS: Katrina writers are bunching up like cattle outside the door. “I feel like, you know what? I don’t know why I got this opportunity. I don’t know why I was gifted with this person,” he says, gesturing toward Paulson, who smiles back at him. “But I know we’re on the highway, and we’re not getting off until there’s a crash.”

“YOUR TEARS DON’T MOVE ME” Continued from page 137

It was frightening at moments how angry she seemed, as though she alone in the universe had been selected to die. It was almost as though she felt that, once again, her children had been given an unfair advantage; once it had been the endowment of money, now it was the endowment of life itself. I think she also felt unjustly cheated out 199

of the new beginning she had been given in the wake of my father’s death seven years earlier. She was enjoying herself without him, like a retirement she had earned after many years of working. Watching her come more fully into her own had made me wonder about the compromises her marriage had required. One of my mother’s closest friends insisted that my parents had been deeply in love—to the exclusion of everyone else, including their children. Still, I remembered my mother telling me in passing that she had once sought out the help of a therapist but stopped going after one or two consultations; she thought that if she had continued to see him she would have left her marriage. She said it in her usual no-big-deal way, but I was struck by the volcanic implications of the anecdote.


THIS STORY STARTED out as a sort of eulogy

BIG GIRL. DIDN’T CRY. Continued from page 154

at ABC for almost 30 years, says, “Martha has redefined being a war correspondent. When you look at the war reporters now—Martha, [CBS’s] Lara Logan, [CNN’s] Clarissa Ward—I really have to hand it to television, which has been supporting women in the field a long time. It’s in part because television loves variety. It’s as simple as what makes you look up and pay attention. A woman in a war zone makes you look up, even now.”

MARTHA RADDATZ DOES NOT want the story to become about her, but on Election Night, it did. Around one in the morning on November 9, Alex Griswold, at the blog Mediaite, posted “ABC’s Martha Raddatz Fights Back Tears While Discussing Implications of Trump Presidency.” (Actually, her voice cracked slightly when she said, “The people in the military defend the Constitution. That’s what they do.” It’s worth noting that in regular conversation, her voice breaks from time to time.) Soon Facebook and Google algorithms were filing the post under “news.” After that, knee-jerk liberal and conservative Tweeters were blasting it around as fact. Even though Mediaite issued an “update” later that day—changing the headline to “Appears to Choke Up” and adding: “in fairness to Raddatz, at the time of this report, she had been on air for nearly 7 hours live reporting about the election”—the story had morphed into “Martha Raddatz Meltdown” and worse. “That story drove me crazy,” she says. “I can’t let those things drive me crazy. But I also am going to defend myself. That blogger never even called me to ask if I was crying. I was not crying. And I was not choked up, either.” Two weeks later, our president-elect, himself quite the connoisseur of social media, criticized Raddatz and her purported tears during a nowfamous meeting with top network brass and anchors in New York, where he berated the whole lot of them as biased liars. Afterward, Raddatz approached him and said, “Mr. Trump, that story was bullshit.” But on December 1, Trump was at it again, telling the crowd at a Cincinnati rally about the network anchor (never naming her) who, he said, cried on TV on Election Night when she realized that he was going to win. “You know what she

for the broadcast news I grew up with in the ’70s and ’80s, with Raddatz as a twenty-first-century outlier, an example of what was once great about the business and is fast disappearing. “The last woman standing. The last person standing” is how Andrew Tyndall, author of the evening news– analyzing blog Tyndall Report, describes her. “The people at ABC are obviously very high on her,” he says, “but she has much more turned into an interviewer, rather than a reporter.” Tyndall made news in November after he published research showing that, in 2016, the nightly newscasts of the three major networks had collectively devoted 32 minutes to the candidates’ policy positions, stories that, he says, “outline the societal problem that needs to be addressed, describe the candidates’ platform positions and proposed solutions, and evaluate their efficacy.” Yes, it sounds kind of…dull. And yet very necessary. Tyndall, who has tussled with ABC over his criticisms of the network’s news direction, sent me numbers showing that Raddatz’s airtime on the evening news, reporting on foreign and military policy, has gradually declined. (He doesn’t monitor Sunday news or morning shows or newsmagazines.) In 2003 and 2006, she clocked 286 minutes and 279 minutes, respectively—her peaks. (The war in Iraq began in 2003). Raddatz’s lows occurred in 2008, with 74 minutes; as of November 2016, she had a mere 49 minutes. “The decline in 2016 partly follows the pattern of the previous big election year, 2008,” Tyndall says in an e-mail. “You can interpret the overall dropoff in her airtime since 2007 two ways: (1) the change in the editorial philosophy at ABC News [to de-emphasize international and national security coverage], (2) the difference between the Bush and the Obama presidency, the former being more committed to foreign wars, which is Raddatz’s specialty.” There’s another possibility: that her reported stories are appearing more and more on This Week. It’s her day job, after all. Goldston doesn’t buy Tyndall’s methodology. “Martha’s been to Iraq for the news division more than 30 times,” he says. A timeline of her travel from the past year is impressive, no matter how you contextualize it: In November 2015, she reported from Irbil, Paris, and Brussels on the terrorist attacks. In March 2016, she was aboard the USS Harry S. Truman carrier, filming the bombing runs of two young pilots (one with the code name Johnny Kittens). In May, she was back in Baghdad, Ramadi, and Irbil with Gen. Gary Volesky, her longtime source and a major figure in her book. In August 2016, she went to France and to Estonia on another F-15 flight, this one engaged in war games along the border with Russia. And in the last week of October, two weeks after the presidential debate and a week before the election, she was in

This page: Ike Edeani. Opposite page, from top: Paola Kudacki; courtesy of the designer; David Bellemere

I TRY TO PREPARE myself, to think of my mother as dead, buried in a plain pine coffin in keeping with Orthodox tradition, and the very effort feels like an assault, leaving me wobbly on my feet. I think of Marcel Proust, who briefly considered killing himself after his beloved Maman died. In the truest sense, I have never left her, and it is hard to believe I won’t be rewarded for my loyalty with her eternal (if inconstant) presence. It is all but inconceivable that I will be forced to grapple with my life alone, without her to delineate its contours. I try to counter the desolation of this prospect with other scenarios—the possibility that I might feel a sense of relief, for instance, or liberation. Ours is a relationship stippled with as much hatred as love, after all, setting the tone that went on to mark many of my relationships with men, so surely there will be some psychological gain to be wrested from her death. Or so I tell myself. Why, then, do I have such a difficult time imagining myself as anything but hobbled by grief? How is it that I was able to recognize the situation—the dire psychological entanglement of it, like a mother-daughter amour fou—and yet do so little about it, despite that recognition, and despite the intervention of an army of psychiatrists? Could it all come down to the fact that my mother was so blazingly powerful and everyone else so weak? The odds, if nothing else, dictated that someone among the professionals whose offices I frequented with my harrowing narrative would have stepped forward, flexed his or her muscles, and proved a worthy adversary. I have no doubt that most of them tried, in their way. But nothing took. I didn’t want a parental stand-in or substitute, I wanted my mother, in all her elusive and mercurial glory. Within a few days after my mother came home from the hospital for the last time, her doctor informed us that she was “actively dying.” I slept next to her in my father’s bed, and the evening before she died I held her in my arms and whispered to her that she would be all right. She had lost a lot of weight and felt feathery-light; for a moment, it was as if our roles were reversed. She was the child and I was her mother. I kissed her cheek, inhaling her pale freckled skin, which had stayed miraculously smooth. The following night, shortly before midnight, I stood together with my siblings and watched as she took her last gasp—five gasps, actually, I counted. Her jaw dropped open and I leaned forward and closed it.

doesn’t understand? Things are going to be much better now,” he declared. To which Raddatz replies, “That [crying] story is fiction. And I have made that clear to President-elect Trump. I was tough on Hillary Clinton and tough on Donald Trump during the campaign. And I will continue to be tough and fair as I cover the new administration. I am not intimidated by anyone.”

Irbil and near Mosul, reporting on the Iraqi army’s fight to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from ISIS.

ON ELECTION NIGHT, I watched the early results come in from the jam-packed control room at ABC in New York. As I entered the building that night, a young woman ahead of me stopped to change out of her flats and into three-and-a-halfinch heels. I looked down sheepishly at my own flat feet. “Everyone dresses for this,” she said. “This is a special night.” Raddatz was in her seat on the dais-like set, along with most of the ABC political brain trust. There were a lot of expensive bells and whistles: a Facebook Live set outside the studio, tickers announcing election data, Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight team piped in, and correspondents at Trump and Clinton headquarters—all teed up to watch Hillary Clinton become the first woman president of the United States. You know the rest. For the next 10 hours they were on the air, and despite all the talent and analysts and analytics, the network, like all the networks, had to reckon with the fact that none of them saw Trump’s victory coming. Even Raddatz—who’d hit the road in an SUV with a small crew to interview undecided voters in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio in July— says she hadn’t had a real inkling. When I asked her, postelection, how she’d do her job going forward, covering an administration where the truth is thus far pretty truthy, she said, “I think we need to do our core jobs as journalists.” For a moment, she seemed stumped. “I think you need to approach the way you’ve covered.…” Then resolute: “That core job doesn’t change.” Over the weeks I interviewed her and others, and watched the new administration begin to form, I observed the panicky protest mania from the left, the gleeful bullying from the alt-right, and the mainstream media taking in the enormity of its failure in covering the election amid a tsunami of fake news. And my point of view on TV news turned, strangely, more hopeful. It seems to me that good, old-fashioned broadcast journalism has a chance to be broadly relevant and powerful, even to a generation of people who don’t watch TV—who don’t even own TVs. “Don’t you think,” says Sawyer, “that it’s like we’ve all been riding the rapids of Internet and cable and social media, and now we’ll have to decide whom to watch? And Martha is one of them.” It was images from broadcast TV news reports in the ’60s and early ’70s, beamed into Middle American homes, that created the momentum for the civil rights movement and that ended the Vietnam War. Video is perhaps the most powerful tool for presenting an undeniable truth. In a way, that Access Hollywood tape is exhibit A. TV made Donald Trump—and it very nearly undid him. No amount of spinning could cause viewers—voters—to unsee what they’d seen on their screens. Imagine a business where more reporters take a page from Martha Raddatz, and we might learn something new. We might find our way out of this mess. The world might change. I tell Goldston that Raddatz strikes me as being from the old school, but he couldn’t disagree more. “She’s all the way new-school!” he practically roars. “She is one of a kind.”


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PAGE 169: Shirt, pants by Hermès, at Hermès stores nationwide, call 800-441-4488. Earring by Hearts on Fire, call 877-PERFECT or visit Bracelet by Tiffany & Co., call 800-843-3269 or visit Pumps by Paul Andrew, similar styles at, Top, bodysuit, skirt by Louis Vuitton, at select Louis Vuitton stores nationwide, call 866-VUITTON. Earrings by Cartier, at Cartier boutiques nationwide, call 800-CARTIER or visit Bracelet, $27,500, ring by Tiffany & Co., call 800-8433269 or visit Pumps by Jimmy Choo, at select Jimmy Choo stores nationwide, call 866-524-6687 or visit PAGE 170: Dress by Brandon Maxwell, at Saks Fifth Avenue (Beverly Hills), call 310-275-4211. Earrings by Messika Paris, at select Neiman Marcus stores nationwide. Sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti Design, at Giuseppe Zanotti Design boutiques nationwide, visit PAGE 172: Sweater, skirt, panty, ring by Dior, call 800-929-DIOR. PAGE 173: Coat, top by Miu Miu, at select Miu Miu boutiques nationwide. PAGE 174: Bra by Fleur of England, visit Ring by Bulgari, at Bulgari boutiques nationwide, call 800-BULGARI or visit PAGE 175: On Mendes: Jacket by Sonia Rykiel, at Sonia Rykiel (NYC). Bralette by 3.1 Phillip Lim, at 3.1 Phillip Lim stores nationwide, visit Pants by Prabal Gurung, collection at shopbop .com. Rings by Van Cleef & Arpels, at Van Cleef & Arpels stores nationwide, call 877-VAN-

CLEEF or visit On Reinhart: Jacket by Dior, at Dior boutiques nationwide, call 800-929-DIOR. Dress by Dolce & Gabbana, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide. Panty by Araks, collection at Ring by Shay Fine Jewelry, visit, collection at Marissa Collections (Naples, FL), visit On Apa: Jacket by Gucci, at select Gucci stores nationwide, visit T-shirt by Levi’s, visit Jeans by A.P.C., at A.P.C. (NYC), visit On Sprouse: Sweater by Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh, visit Jeans by Burberry, visit PAGES 176–177: On Mendes: Blazer, waistcoat, trousers by Dolce & Gabbana, at select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques nationwide. Sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti Design, at Giuseppe Zanotti Design boutiques nationwide, visit On Ramos: Dress by Rag & Bone, at Rag & Bone boutiques nationwide, visit Shirt by Michael Kors Collection, at select Michael Kors stores nationwide, call 866-709KORS or visit Earring by Anissa Kermiche, visit, collection at Mules by Giuseppe Zanotti Design, at Giuseppe Zanotti Design boutiques nationwide, visit On Diop: Tunic, pants by Dion Lee, collection at Bergdorf Goodman (NYC). Earring by Sophie Bille Brahe, collection at Barneys New York, visit Bracelet by Faris, visit Sandals by Jimmy Choo, at select Jimmy Choo stores nationwide, call 866-524-6687 or visit jimmychoo .com. Dress, ankle boots by Fendi, at Fendi (NYC), visit Rings by Bulgari, at Bulgari boutiques nationwide, call 800-BULGARI or visit On Demorest: Tank by Isabel Marant, at Isabel Marant (NYC, L.A., San Francisco). Trousers by Carven, visit Bracelet by Pomellato, visit On Badaki: Sandals by Christian Louboutin, at Christian Louboutin (Miami, Las Vegas), visit


PAGE 178: Top, $62,100, skirt, brooch by Chanel, call 800-550-0005. Boots by Balenciaga, similar styles at Barneys New York. PAGE 179: Earrings by Closer by Wwake, visit PAGE 181: Jacket, trousers by Vetements x Brioni, collection at Blake (Chicago), Dover Street Market New York, visit Earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels, at Van Cleef & Arpels stores nationwide, call 877-VAN-CLEEF or visit vancleefarpels .com. Socks, sandals by Gucci, at Gucci stores nationwide, visit PAGE 182: Sandals by Gucci, at Gucci stores nationwide, visit PAGE 183: Top by Balenciaga, similar styles at Bergdorf Goodman (NYC). Earrings by Closer by Wwake, visit Brooch by Verdura, at Verdura (NYC), visit verdura. com. PAGE 184: Dress by Louis Vuitton, call 866-VUITTON or visit Earrings by Jill Heller, at Jill Heller (NYC). PAGE 185: Dress, socks, sandals by Gucci, at select Gucci stores nationwide. Earrings by Atelier Swarovski by Rosie Assoulin, visit PAGE 186: Dress by Chloé, at Chloé (Bal Harbour, FL, L.A.). Boots by Balenciaga, similar styles at Barneys New York. PAGE 187: Turtleneck, top, shorts, necklace, handbag by Prada, visit


PAGE 188: Dress, pumps by Bottega Veneta, call 800-845-6790. Tank by American Apparel, visit Earrings by Proenza Schouler, at Proenza Schouler (NYC), visit Tights by We Love Colors, collection at PAGE 189: Jacket, dress, pant-tights, tote bag, sandals by Balenciaga, collection at Barneys New York. Necklace by Alexander Wang, at Alexander Wang (NYC), visit Ring by Kendra Scott, visit PAGE 190: Earrings by Christopher Kane, similar styles at Ring by Kendra Scott, visit Clutch by Salvatore Ferragamo, at Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques nationwide, call 866-337-7242. Tights by We Love Colors, visit Sandals by Manolo Blahnik, similar styles at PAGE 191: Bandeau by American Apparel, visit Ring by Jill LeMay, visit shop/jillredesigns. Handbag by Chanel, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide, call 800-550-0005. Tights by We Love Colors, collection at Ankle boots by Emilio Pucci, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide. PAGE 192: Dress, bracelet by Versace, similar styles at select Versace boutiques, call 888-721-7219. Shorts by American Apparel, visit Earring by Stella McCartney, at Stella McCartney (NYC). Ring by Kimberly McDonald, collection at Bergdorf Goodman (NYC). Ring by Kendra Scott, visit Handbag by Chanel, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide, call 800-550-0005. Handbags by Building Block, visit Boots by Balenciaga, similar styles at Balenciaga (NYC). PAGE 193: Earring by Stella McCartney, at Stella McCartney (NYC). Handbags by MSGM, visit, collection at Bergdorf Goodman (NYC). Tights by We Love Colors, visit Pumps by Jimmy Choo, at select Jimmy Choo stores nationwide, call 866-524-6687 or visit PAGE 194: Trench coat by Michael Kors Collection, at select Michael Kors stores nationwide, call 866-709-KORS. Dress by Salvatore Ferragamo, at Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques nationwide, call 866-337-7242. Earrings by Proenza Schouler, at Proenza Schouler (NYC), visit Necklace by Alexander Wang, at Alexander Wang (NYC), visit Pendant by Amazing Crystals, visit Handbag by Jimmy Choo, at select Jimmy Choo stores nationwide, call 866-524-6687 or visit Tights by Falke, collection at Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide, visit Ankle boots by Malone Souliers x Adam Lippes, contact PAGE 195: Sweater by Emilio Pucci, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide. Bandeau by American Apparel, visit Pants by Milly, at Milly (NYC), visit Necklace by David Yurman, at David Yurman (NYC), visit Ring by Christopher Kane, visit Handbag by Hermès, at Hermès stores nationwide, call 800441-4488 or visit Tights by Falke, collection at Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide, visit Sandals by Manolo Blahnik, similar styles at PAGE 196: Top, bandeau by American Apparel, visit Ring by Christopher Kane, similar styles at Tights by We Love Colors, visit Sandals by Paco Rabanne, visit PAGE 197: Dress, bracelets by Loewe, visit Earrings by Proenza Schouler, at Proenza Schouler (NYC), visit Handbag by Hermès, at Hermès stores nationwide, call 800-441-4488 or visit Tights by We Love Colors, visit Sandals by Manolo Blahnik, similar styles at Prices are approximate. ELLE recommends that merchandise availability be checked with local store.

ELLE (ISSN 0888-0808) (Volume XXXII, Number 6) (February 2017) is published monthly by Hearst Communications, Inc., 300 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 U.S.A. Steven R. Swartz, President and Chief Executive Officer; William R. Hearst III, Chairman; Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Executive Vice Chairman; Catherine A. Bostron, Secretary. Hearst Magazines Division: David Carey, President; John A. Rohan, Jr., Senior Vice President, Finance. © 2017 by Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. ELLE® is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post International Publications mail product (Canadian distribution) sales agreement No. 40012499. Editorial and Advertising Offices: 300 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. Subscription Prices: United States and possessions: $15 for one year. Canada: $48 for one year. Other international locations: $87 for one year. Subscription Services: ELLE will, upon receipt of a complete subscription order, undertake fulfillment of that order so as to provide the first copy for delivery by the Postal Service or alternate carrier within 4–6 weeks. For customer service, changes of address, and subscription orders, log on to or write to Customer Service Dept., ELLE, P.O. Box 37870, Boone, IA 50037. From time to time, we make our subscriber list available to companies that sell goods and services by mail that we believe would interest our readers. If you would rather not receive such offers via postal mail, please send your current mailing label or an exact copy to: ELLE, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 37870, Boone, IA 50037. You can also visit to manage your preferences and opt out of receiving marketing offers by e-mail. To assure quicker service, enclose your mailing label when writing to us or renewing your subscription. Renewal orders must be received at least eight weeks prior to expiration to assure continued service. Manuscripts, drawings, and other material submitted must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. ELLE cannot be responsible for unsolicited material. Printed in USA. Canadian registration number 126018209RT0001. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5); NONPOSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: Send address corrections to ELLE, P.O. Box 37870, Harlan, IA 51593.


COMMANDER KIT His flowing locks, deep brown eyes, and dauntless valor stole our hearts from the beginning—but, As much as we love Kit Harington with a man bun, we’ve got only two more seasons to lust after the romance novel–long mane and the character to whom it belongs: brooding bastard Jon Snow of Game of Thrones—currently filming its seventh season (to premiere this summer) in Belfast. Plot spoilers for the HBO epic are notoriously hard to come by, but this one tidbit recently slipped out: Harington and four other principal castmates banded together to negotiate a $1.1-million-per-episode salary for each. It seems Harington—the London-born son of a businessman and a former playwright—skipped the starving-artist phase of his career. After graduating from London’s prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008, he landed, first, the lead role in War Horse on the West End, then starred in the ensemble play Posh at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Soon after, he did so well in his first audition for a television show, he was soon putting his pursed lips and sculpted abs to good use in the career-making role of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Thrones has been good to the 30-year-old Harington, bringing him an Emmy nomination and top-notch film roles (he’ll star with Dakota Fanning in next month’s dark western, Brimstone), and introducing him to his longtime girlfriend and Thrones actress Rose Leslie, who survived on the show long enough to deflower his character. “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” she memorably quipped. Harington proves that he, on the contrary, knows quite a bit. ELLE: Jon Snow famously lost his virginity in a cave. How did losing yours stack up? KIT HARINGTON: Mine was a little less left-field than in a cave. It was a typical sort of teenage thing, at a party. I was probably too young. ELLE: Too young—like 13? KH: No, but you’re not far off. I think the girl and I just kind of wanted to. You either hold on and do it right, or you’re young and decide to get the monkey off your back. ELLE: The Internet is rife with rumors about you. Is it true that one of your ancestors invented the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I? KH: That’s 100 percent true. It’s called “the John Harington.” ELLE: Wait. We all refer to the loo as “the john” because of your family? KH: Yeah. [Laughs] I’m glad it’s not called “the Harington.” [My family] also wrote the queen 202

a lot of bad poetry. I’ve inherited the bad poetry genes, but not the inventor genes. ELLE: You shot Thrones in Iceland. Do you get lonely when you’re working in isolation? KH: I love it. You’re usually in the back end of nowhere. The whole crew and cast is in one hotel. There’s no bar down the road you can go to; there’s no restaurant. You stop at four in the afternoon when it gets dark, and you have the whole evening to kill. That sounds claustrophobic and dull, but it’s wondrous because you’re with this family. Everyone comes out of their shell because they can’t sit in front of their screens. You have to talk. People bring out board games, instruments. ELLE: What instrument do you play? KH: We’ve got a little group. I can’t say much more than that. I’m not really a musician, but I play percussion. ELLE: And the board games? KH: I play Risk. It’s about conquering countries. It’s basically Game of Thrones on a board game. It’s Method. ELLE: Did you get into acting to meet women? KH: Maybe that’s part of it. There’s something about being a show-off, and that gets you attention. And attention gets you the opposite sex sometimes. But by the time I got to drama

school, I was a bit more serious about actually wanting to be an actor than I was about chasing skirt. ELLE: When was the last time you cried? KH: I always cry on a plane. ELLE: Why? KH: There’s something romantic about being on a plane going somewhere, being at that altitude.… I like a good cry every now and then. It releases something. There are times in my life when I’m meant to cry, but I don’t actually cry. But then I can be walking down the street and it’s been a few months, and things get on top of me—that’s when I find myself crying. ELLE: What prompted your last airborne cry? KH: I was watching the movie Eye in the Sky with Helen Mirren. Alan Rickman had died, and I saw him in this movie—and that made me very upset. [Pause] That was a while ago. I need a cry. ELLE: This is our TV issue. A lot of people use TV as a babysitter. What did you learn from TV as a kid—for better or for worse? KH: I was a massive Sesame Street fan when I was little. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV if I was ill and had to stay home from school—because that would encourage me to stay home. The only thing I was allowed to watch was Sesame Street. It backfired on Mum, because I would want to stay home just to watch Sesame Street. In fact, I was talking to Peter Dinklage the other day, and he said he’d been on the show and I was like—you can put this in print—I want to be on Sesame Street. That would be a dream for me. I’d be quite starstruck by the puppets. ELLE: Jon Snow is famously brooding. Would you like to take a role that’s wildly different? KH: Like every actor, you get notorious for maybe one role and then get offered a lot of similar roles. Jon is a hero; he’s a good person, he’s a moral person—a somewhat solemn person— so I get a lot of those surly heroic roles. I’ve learned to try to avoid those now. Otherwise I’m just going to go insane. I’d like to do comedy, but I don’t want to do romantic comedy. I’m not a romantic comedy guy. But I’d like to play someone really fucked up. People who are right on the edge. ELLE: If we play our cards right, after this interview, you’ll be offered Sesame Street and a drug addict. KH: Yeah. A drug addict on Sesame Street. [Laughs] Let’s hope Sesame Street doesn’t want to go there.

From top: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Matt Sayles/CPi Syndication; David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images; Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

as Mickey Rapkin learns, there’s more to Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington than sword and Snow


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