Issuu on Google+















M E N ’ S S H O E S , F R O M L E F T: C H R I S T I A N LO U B O U T I N , P R A DA , J O H N VA R VATO S , G U C C I , G I O R G I O A R M A N I ( LOA F E R S ) , F LO R S H E I M I M P E R I A L , A N D G O R D O N R U S H . T I E ( FA R L E F T ) : G I O R G I O A R M A N I . WATC H : B R E I T L I N G . PAU L S O N ’ S B LO U S E : E Q U I P M E N T. S K I R T: A L E X A N D E R WA N G AT S A K S F I F T H AV E N U E . E A R R I N G S : E L I Z A B E T H S T R E E T AT R O S E A R K . H E R R I N G ( B OT TO M ) : T I F FA N Y & C O . H E E L S : C H R I S T I A N LO U B O U T I N .

PAGE 1 ⁄ 3

• GQ Intelligence

PAGE 1 ⁄ 3

• Departments

• GQ Intelligence



Letter from the Editor

The Punch List



Manual 234

Backstory An Adult Coloring Experience

This was the year pop culture turned on the police. Plus: the unexpected book of the summer 147

Wait for the Drop We asked VINCE STAPLES to explain the surprise-album trend that’s taking over music 148

The Man Who Fell to Earth Luke Aikins jumped out of a plane without a parachute AS TOLD TO NATHANIEL PENN


Conquering the Appalachian Trail How? By eating junk food AS TOLD TO BENJY HANSEN-BUNDY


The Year of Magical Parenting


grapples with raising his daughter after his wife’s death

If the glove don’t fit, the show’s a hit.


Suits, from left, by Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein Collection, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Matteo Perin, Z Zegna, and Boss.


The Femmepire Strikes Back Here’s how women won 2016 164

The Gawker Stalker One lawyer teaches the press manners BY JASON ZENGERLE

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

3 1

• The Breakouts Some of this year’s best performances came from our freshest talents—so young, a few of them can’t drive

PAGE 2 ⁄ 3

• Men of the Year

198 199 200 201 202 204 205



Riz Ahmed Adriana Ugarte Ruth Negga Trevante Rhodes The ‘Stranger Things’ Kids Lucas Hedges The ‘Get Down’ Crew

Ryan Reynolds The handsomest, charmingest, Blake Lively–est actor alive had a super-heroic 2016 BY ANNA PEELE



Warren Beatty Eighteen years after Bulworth, he’s got an Oscar contender BY AMY WALLACE


Usain Bolt The fastest man on earth, for the longest amount of time BY DEVIN FRIEDMAN




Team O.J. and John Travolta BY CAITY WEAVER


Black Athletes Matter BY MARK ANTHONY GREEN










Gucci Designer Alessandro Michele BY ZACH BARON


Joel Edgerton BY ZACH BARON

Usain Bolt is a self-proclaimed “lazy person.” Necklace by Renvi. His own watch by Hublot. Ring, vintage.

3 4

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


PAGE 3 ⁄ 3

• Features 190

Orlando: The Day After How these survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting—the worst mass shooting in American history, and one of the year’s deadliest days— found a way to forge ahead BY SEAN FLYNN


The Chef Loses It Sean Brock, one of the country’s leading chefs, battled a mysterious disease—and the result is one of 2016’s most inventive new restaurants BY BRETT MARTIN


The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of the Artist Formerly Known as Prince An oral history


THE COVERS Alasdair McLellan On Ryan Reynolds Dinner jacket, $2,495, shirt, $595, bow tie, $125, and pocket square by Ralph Lauren. Hair by Kristan Serafino using Dior Homme. Grooming by Kumi Craig using ReVive Skincare. Both Reynolds and Bolt (below), set design by Dorothee Baussan for Mary Howard Studio; produced by Dan Worthington at Rosco Production. On Warren Beatty Sweater, $825, and shirt, $495, by Giorgio Armani. Contributing stylist: Kelly McCabe at Art Department. Set design by Colin Donahue for Owl and the Elephant. Produced by Tallulah Bernard at Rosco Production. Location: Fox Studios.

Warren Beatty is about to add to his 14 Oscar nominations.

On Usain Bolt Coat, $3,140, by Gucci. Necklace by Renvi. Grooming by Barry White at

Jacket, $5,488, by Louis Vuitton. Sweater, $825, and shirt, $425, by Giorgio Armani. Sunglasses, his own.

Where to buy it Where are the items from this page to page 205 available? Go to -directories to find out. All prices quoted are approximate and subject to change.

3 8

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


gentlemen’s quarterly ®

editor-in- chief






Jim Moore Catherine Gundersen EXECUTIVE EDITORS

Christopher Cox, Devin Gordon Mike Hofman Geoffrey Gagnon, Ross McCammon Nick Marino, Daniel Riley Dana Mathews Zach Baron Anna Peele John Ortved W R I T E R /E D I T O R

Caity Weaver Benjy Hansen-Bundy Brennan Carley, Andrew Goble, Lauren Larson, Clay Skipper Mary Anderson


Madeline Weeks Ted Stafford Victoria Graham Lucy Armstrong, Garrett Munce, Jon Tietz Nanette Bruhn Alexander-Julian Gibbson Kerrie Cline


Andre Jointe John Muñoz Kristie Bailey, Griffin Funk, Martin Salazar Chelsea Lee Jeffrey Kurtz Jim Gomez Timothy J. Meneely Casey Jabbour


Krista Prestek Justin O’Neill Jolanta Alberty, Michael Allin Monica Siwiec Jared Schwartz



Jonathan Wilde Louise Hart Kevin Nguyen Matt Sebra NEWS EDITOR

Chris Gayomali Dorenna Newton Freddie Campion, John Lockett Joel Pavelski Alex Reside Max Berlinger Liza Corsillo, Justin Fenner, Jake Woolf Maggie Lange Doug Seidman Hugo Broche Malcolm Dia Fernando Alvarez, Isaac Torres Daniel Perko


Laura L. Vitale Rebecca O’Connor Lucas Zaleski Riley Blanton


Will Welch



Noah Johnson

Mobolaji Dawodu Samuel Hine














Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Robert Draper, Sean Flynn, Chris Heath, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Drew Magary, Brett Martin, Michael Paterniti, Nathaniel Penn, Wells Tower, Amy Wallace Jason Zengerle Sarah Ball, Jason Gay, Brendan Vaughan, Andy Ward Richard Burbridge, Pari Dukovic, Nathaniel Goldberg, Inez & Vinoodh, Sebastian Kim, Paola Kudacki, Martin Schoeller, Mark Seliger, Peggy Sirota, Michael Thompson, Ben Watts Brian Coats, Kelly McCabe, Michael Nash Carly Holden Jessie Mooney






Stefanie Rapp L. Paul Robertson Rory Stanton










Kimberly Buonassisi Jennifer Grace Terry Dwyer Greg Barnes Stephanie Schultz Rula Al Amad August Media Peter Zuckerman, Z - M E D I A Simpson Media, David Simpson Integrated Advertising Sales FZ LLC, Mia Cachero Susi Park Haein Yu Brita Bergh Dahlback Janelle Teng DIGITAL CAMPAIGN MANAGERS

Matthew Riccio, Caryn Wong Taylor Gefen Debra Konstadt Abramson, Alessia Bani, Casimir Black, Elyse Peterson, Jennifer Peterson, Mariam Rastegar, Andrea Sternheim


Pamela Kaupinen, Fuaud Yasin Patrick Lavergne Krista Boyd Gregory Hall Taylor Daly Nicole DeLaRosa Mike Assenza, Kristin Johnson, Tyler Stewart Jamie Stuart Elisabeth Bundschuh, Timothy O’Keefe Efi da Silva Brett Fahlgren Jordan Guskind Shannon Gruda Reilly O’Connor


S.I. Newhouse, Jr. Charles H. Townsend Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr. David E. Geithner James M. Norton




publisher, chief revenue officer


Fred Santarpia JoAnn Murray Cameron R. Blanchard Edward Cudahy Monica Ray David Orlin Josh Stinchcomb Lisa Valentino



Suzanne Reinhardt Padraig Connolly David Adams Cathy Hoffman Glosser Stephanie Fried Larry Baach Nicole Zussman Matthew Starker


Dawn Ostroff Joy Marcus Sahar Elhabashi Jeremy Steckler Joe LaBracio Al Edgington Teal Newland


Jonathan Newhouse Nicholas Coleridge

Condé Nast is a global media company producing premium content for more than 263 million consumers in 30 markets.

artistic director

Anna Wintour

Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials to Gentlemen’s Quarterly for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested to do so by Gentlemen’s Quarterly in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other submitted materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed overnight-delivery return envelope, postage prepaid. However, Gentlemen’s Quarterly is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions.

More on page 194

E A C H M O N T H , the editors of GQ will select a series of items from our pages available through our online retail partner, Mr T O L E A R N M O R E — and see what we have chosen for you this month—go to

Just a few of our picks from this issue...

Valentino scarf p. 88

Vetements hoodie p. 106

A.P.C. shirt p. 219

Prada coat, shirt, and pants p. 204

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : A L A S D A I R M C L E L L A N ; S T E V E N PA N ; R O B E R T M A X W E L L ; T I M H O U T ; J A M E S R YA N G . T O P L E F T, T U R T L E N E C K : T O M A S M A I E R . L O C AT I O N : F O X S T U D I O S .

Burberry trench coat


Readers’ Choice Awards Edition

Every year we pour ourselves some fine bourbon, loosen our smoking jackets, tally up our page views, and revel in the year’s most popular mic drops.

Your Favorite…

…Photos Kim Kardashian These days, Kim Kardashian “breaks the Internet” walking down the street, but her photos in our July issue, by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, obliterated the Internet. Smithereens of Internet are still floating around in the atmosphere over Siberia, and a chorus of dayummmmmm rose from land and sea. (Also: literally broke our site.) Who knew Kim Kardashian nude in a meadow would be a hit?

Justin Heckert told the story of Badger, a man who’d been infected with HIV as a child—by his father. Even the Internet’s trolliest trolls were moved.

“Since I’ve forgiven him, that’s all I can do. Just live my life and show him what I’m made of.” — BADGER , ON THE MAN WHO INFECTED HIM WITH HIV 25 YEARS AGO

BEST of the BEST e 2016 editions of the “Best American” series nodded to GQ stories in several anthologies. THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING MITCH MOXLEY

…Contributor Caity Weaver This was a busy year for Caity Weaver. She caressed Kim Kardashian’s breast, she reveled in the yugeness of Donald Trump’s palaces and the goldness of his trash cans, she got to the bottom of the Justin Bieber–monkey incident, and Elon Musk briefly followed her on Twitter. When we asked her to pick her favorite GQ stories of the year, she replied, “I nominate every Caity Weaver story.” After gentle prodding, she picked these five [“lesser”—C.W.] masterpieces.


“J. R. Smith Is Always Open,” January BUCKY M C MAHON

“Will These Robots Save the World?,” November DANIEL RILEY

“Jim Harbaugh Will Attack This College Football Season with ‘Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind,’ ” September THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS MICHAEL PATERNITI

“The Accident,” March


“Like reading pure sunshine (and vodka water).” (June) THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF WAY TOO MANY GUNS

“A rare (and astounding) tale of stunning competence.” (September) REEFER MOMNESS

“Funniest opening sentence I’ve ever read.” (June)

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

…Profile Melania Trump Julia Ioffe traveled to Slovenia to unpack the myth of wouldbe-First-Lady Melania Trump and returned with a story that was as controversial and compelling as a certain presidential candidate she knows.

…Instagram All Our Faves Gomez vs. Bieber continues as they face off as our most popular Instagrams of 2016. Follow us at @GQ for more shots of your style idols looking their best.

MOST COMMENTED ON Even though Justin Bieber has since retired from Instagram, the Beliebers were out in full force in response to his cover shot. Many comments featured all caps (“YAAASSS BOO” @ellliethorpe) and a troubling number of exclamation points (“That’s my husband everyone!!!” @obey_a.monay).


“Crying, remembering the Chili’s I never worked in.” ( THE CONFESSIONS OF R. KELLY

“ ‘Ignition’ is actually a remix of ‘Ignition (Remix).’ WAAAAT!” (February)

gq prefers that letters to the editor be sent to letters may be edited.

6 0

“She’s not a bimbo, but she’s not especially clever.” — FRIEND OF MELANIA TRUMP ’ S

MOST LIKED This year, Selena Gomez made Instahistory, reaching almost 6 million likes on a picture of her drinking a Coke through a patriotic straw. So we weren’t all that surprised when she dominated the @GQ account this year, likes-wise, with this sexy shot from our May issue.


…Long-form A Positive Life

P R O P S T Y L I S T : R A C H E L S T I C K L E Y AT B E R N S T E I N & A N D R I U L L I

Even after 13 years, there’s no formal Best Stuff process: Our methodology isn’t “academically rigorous”; we aren’t “entirely responsible” with the products; we can’t claim not to “keep the supercar too long.” The important part is: We actually test the s#!t out of hundreds of objects throughout the year. And once we’re done with the testing, we ask ourselves: Does it work better than anything like it? Is it better-looking than anything like it? If the answer is “Hell yeah!” then we have a winner. There was a lot of impressive stuff this year, but we can say, with no hesitation and only a little guilt, this is the best.



1 OF 8








The weight and balance of Hone’s Type 15, a Dutch-born hunk of solid textured brass, make the safety-razor shave safer (and more stylish) than ever. + $140 |

Even high-end headphones sound low-end when you’re plugging them directly into a computer—or even worse, a phone. JDS Labs’ The Element amp/digital-to-audio converter enriches your sound without requiring audiophile expertise: There’s only one knob. Pair it with the Focal ELEAR headphones, so clear and comfortable you’ll re-listen to your favorite songs to hear all the sounds you’ve been cheated out of. +

The Element | $349 | ELEAR $1,000 |


We don’t get why head shops are still stocked with twisty, swirly paraphernalia that seems inspired by a trippy experience a glassblower had in the ’80s. Meredith Arthur, the L.A. craftswoman behind Haciendaware, makes all her pipes from clay, then airbrushes them for a look that finally resembles your desired mind state. 2 OF 8

+ $70–$90 |



An adult bicycle helmet usually looks like something that comes with matching kneepads and a free subscription to SI Kids. But Hedon’s Cortex helmet, with its simple shape and calfskin trim, protects your style as much as your noggin. + $250 |






3 OF 8



A cardamom-andcaraway (at least, they’re what hit us first) liqueur created by London’s innovative Sweetdram distillery. $22


The Bay Area craft distiller’s citrus liqueur makes for a slightly sweeter Negroni. $30 4 J. R I E G E R & C O . G I N





The same peat-bomb Islay scotch your father-in-law loves, but dialed back to more subtle levels of earthy smoke. $125

A midwestern take on classic London dry gin, dreamed up by Tanqueray’s longtime master distiller and made in Kansas City, Missouri. $30 5 G I N L A N E B A R CA R T

Smoked brass plus Carrara marble—as minimal as a bar cart gets. avenue-road .com, $6,740


The Azmaya cheese knife is a miniature cleaver, so it can do what a set of cheese knives can (slice, scoop, cube, and, uh, cleave) plus inspire conversation that’s mercifully unrelated to cheese. The 5.5-inch Small Chef knife from New Orleans’s Lockjaw Knives can handle anything else you need to slice for a party—such as the lemon twist for the Best Stuff martini you make using five parts J. Rieger and one part Escubac (see above). + $75 | | $200 |


Rock and rye was America’s O.G. beverage combo—a simple, reliable 19th-century saloon treat that promised, via a healthy helping of rock candy, to make any sub-par whiskey palatable. Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye helped bring it back in 2014 by adding raw honey, a dash of bitters, and a hint of orange. Now it’s sippable straight from a can that’ll fit in your jacket pocket. + $3.99 | drinkslowand






The Larsson & Jennings Norse watch takes on the legendary form of Warhol’s Cartier and JFK’s inauguration Omega, but for 10 percent of the cost. + $315 | larssonand

4 OF 8

2Ø16 72





These Sid Mashburn belts represent a rare fashion genus: luxury items that are— and actually appear to be—“artisanal.” Beaded in Ghana, they provide all the color any look needs. + $125 each

5 OF 8



The first-generation Acura NSX (1991–2005) was revolutionary: aluminum construction and 500,000-mile reliability from a supercar with Ferrari performance. Now the NSX is back as a hybrid and even more impressive than the original. It’s as complicated as the million-dollar hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder, but with more feel and feedback. The feature we love the most: Electric motors on the front two wheels provide instant (and we mean instant ) power to make up for the momentary lag associated with any turbo engine. It’s 75 percent of the 918 at 20 percent of the price. +

Starts at $156,000 ($207,700 as driven by GQ )






6 OF 8


The Wilson X Connected Football has an accelerometer inside that pairs with an app to track your yardage, the tightness of your spiral, and a bunch of other stats that’ll prove to your cousin that, no, he couldn’t be a thirdstringer on Sundays if he had “stayed with it.” + $200 |


These cashmere sweaters, hats, and scarves from The Elder Statesman will make you look like a winner even if you’re a Lakers fan. + $240 (hat) | $600 (scarf) $1,620 (sweater)

This ceramic Sucabaruca Coffee Set from Mjölk finally made us switch from the patience-trying French-press method to the even slower pour-over method. It makes a great cup of coffee, sure, but just as important, it’s basically a modular sculpture when it’s not being used. + $208 |






7 OF 8



Decanters are usually cut-crystal behemoths that suggest to your guests, “I’d rather be wearing an opera cape.” The copperand-glass Tank Whiskey Decanter from Tom Dixon says you care as much about modern design as you do about aged whiskey. + $110 |





8 OF 8




At first glance, the Ico, designed by Fort Standard for OTHR, is just a small piece of art for your shelf. At second glance, it’s still a small piece of art. At third glance—look, we could be here all day. The deal is: It’s a bottle opener made of 3-D-printed bronze. And, after using it on dozens and dozens of beers, we can tell you: It works.

We haven’t had a stapler on our desk since the second Bush administration. It’s not because we don’t enjoy stapling things—we don’t, but still—it’s because our old Swingline is an emblem of drudgery. This stapler from Romeo Maestri is an emblem of form, function, and office cool.

+ $70 |


The Great Battle of Megapixels is over. Even a $500 camera—or hell, an iPhone—is going to take shots that are pretty damn good, so the best camera makers all have their eyes on specialized products. This year Leica, the brand long known for its gloriously minimal and straight-up beautiful cameras, introduced the waterproof, drop-proof Leica X-U, a rugged camera that doesn’t say “rugged camera.” + $2,950 |





+ $25 each

Man on the Street

Call It the Neck Tie of Winter

S E T H M U LV E Y, 4 1


Nautica $55 |

Valentino $495 |





Thom Browne New York $190



Gucci $410 |

H&M $50 |

Communications consultant

Clockwise from top left: 1. Jacket Saint Laurent at Jeans The Kooples. 2. Jacket Hilfiger Edition. T-shirt Levi’s Vintage Clothing. Sweatpants John Elliott. 3. Coat J.Crew Ludlow. Turtleneck Michael Bastian. Pants Salvatore Ferragamo. 4. Denim jacket Gap. Jeans Earnest Sewn. 5. Coat Dior Homme. Suit John Varvatos. 6. Jacket Neil Barrett. Sweatshirt Palm Angels. Jeans Gap x GQ John Elliott. Where to buy it? Go to



Coach New York $95 |




Massage therapist






H A I R : B A R R Y W H I T E AT B A R R Y W H I T E M E N S G R O O M I N G . C O M . G R O O M I N G : K U M I C R A I G U S I N G C L A R I N S M E N . O N G U Y S , C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T, 1 . S U N G L A S S E S : T O M F O R D . B R A C E L E T : G I L E S & B R O T H E R . 2 . D O G - T A G N E C K L A C E : D E G S & S A L . N AV Y B R A C E L E T : D E L T O R O . W A T C H : N I X O N . 3 . U M B R E L L A : B U R B E R R Y. W A T C H : S H I N O L A . 4 . B E LT : D S Q U A R E D 2 . 5 . B R I E F C A S E : L O U I S V U I T T O N . G L A S S E S : H I S O W N . 6 . B A C K PA C K : N E I L B A R R E T T. B E LT : T R A S H A N D VA U D E V I L L E .

A statement scarf is a warm burst of color in a cold, dark time. And we hate to tell you, but: It’s getting cold and dark out there. So we sent a cast of New Yorkers into the elements to model our favorites—and to show how to wear the scarf without the scarf wearing you

I need a book on style. Timeless stuff. Rules, some principles. A primer.

I swear on Fred Astaire’s ghost that I’ve done my due diligence to find a less obvious answer. But right is right. And perfect is perfect. Alan Flusser’s Style and the Man, first published in 1996, is still the best book for understanding the foundation of men’s dressing. My husband has huge feet, which makes buying shoes a huge problem. Everything we find in size 15 is really, really ugly. Where should he look that’s not a big-andtall store?

Look to the feet of basketball players. Thanks to those rakish giants, more and more designers are making the good stu≠ in size 14

I just bought my first pair of nice shoes. But now I’m afraid to scuff them, so I mostly keep them in the closet. Is it silly to save them for special occasions? This speaks to a bigger issue: Do I wear my good shit, or do I save it because it’s good? It’s the Sneakerhead’s Dilemma, and it’s confounded philosophers for decades. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer, just di≠erent outlooks. Here’s mine: Wear them as much as possible. Nice shoes especially. They can take a beating without falling apart and more often than not look better with a few war wounds. And the more you wear something, the less the price tag hurts. Those $800 boots seem a lot less expensive when you wear them four times a week. Neither option is wrong. Just note, I’ll be wearing my nice clothes while yours will be at home, collecting dust. The Style Guy is in! Send questions to or @GQStyleGuy.

and bigger. Check out Del Toro, a favorite of Russell Westbrook. Then try Balenciaga and Alden. Lately I’ve seen people with pins and buttons on their denim jackets— sometimes even their blazers. I can’t decide if it’s cool or childish. What’s your say?

I’ve seen it done in really cool ways (cue LeBron James’s small pin at last year’s ESPYs), and I’ve seen it look like the uniform at Chotchkie’s in O∞ce Space (cue Jennifer Aniston flipping the bird). Moral of the story: The look is only as childish as the buttons. No puns. No memes. Nothing that says, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” The more vintage, the better. And cap the flair at two or three pieces.

May the Style Guy Suggest… A Holiday Gift for the Very Particular Man There’s a Style Guy in every family. Ya know, the one who wears suede slippers to Thanksgiving dinner despite Uncle Thad roasting him every year. He has very particular taste. And you’re not sure if you speak his sartorial language. Here’s a foolproof gift: a monogrammed wallet from Parisian leather god Goyard. The magic comes when you take him to one of the Goyard stores across the country: Each one is basically a Taj Mahal of leather goods. Plus, he can have just about anything he wants printed on it. It’s the perfect gift for the particular guy. Wallet $495 | card holder $720 |










The Style Guy

A more-festive-than-usual Mark Anthony Green on two shoe-related challenges, a classic book (gift idea!), and a monogrammed wallet (gift idea!)

You ma Yo You mayy rec recogn ec ogn ognize ize ze hi h m at at th s p thi poin oi t—tthe oin h jau au nty aunty bandan ban dan a na, a th a, those ose Japani Jap animat ani m ion ma mat on ey eyes. es At es. least lea stt you yo know kn ow kn w his h music. mus ic. ic c. Metro M etro Me t Bo oomi omin om n (reeal nam namee Lela Lela land n nd Wayne) Way ne) e haa s prod prod roduce uce ced d bas ass ica ically lly lyy al alll o f hiph ipip hop hop’s op ’s mos m t vita tall ta a ist art s s: sts: s: Nic icki kkii Min Minaj, a aj, Drake, Dra ke, ke ee, Ka Kanye nyy , G ucc u i Mane. Man e. H He’’s the t hee p mar pri maryy coll o abo orat rator o or w ith wit h t he tw twi win n p ole oless o Atll ant of an a eego, ggo, o, Yo Young un ung T hug and Th Thu a nd n Fut Future u e. ure H did He d “J “Jump u man ump man,” ,”” “Where “Wh ere Ya At At,” ,” and an tha that ha t song s ong ab about o t out the cl c ub goi goin’ n up on n’ a Tues Tu ues essday day.. Y day You o ou could cou ld d arg ar ue u tha thatt t his wiryy 23-y wir 23-y 3-year ear-ol ear -ol o d, d who ho dr d ropp op ed out opp ou u of Moreho Mor eh use eho u at 19 9 to o mak makee beat b eat a s, s is thee goo od-n d-natu atured atu red ed embodi emb mb odi odimen od me t of men o f h ipp hop’s hop ’ss new gee nerrati at on. o One ne th that’ at’ss noctt u at’ urn rn al, a traa nsnati transn nsn n ati a ona at on n a l,, nal, moneye mo mon eyed, eye d , gen d, en n der der-neu n u tra t l, and an nd sh n s hot o ot th ough thr oug ugg h w ith h paste pa a ste stels. ls. s Herre, H e , Met M ro Me r tel tee lss uss how h ow w hee me melds ld lds ds Ni ds Nike k ke w i h Sain wit S ain a i t Laur ai u eent ent th he samee way he mix sam mixes mi es Tok o kyo ok yo wit w t h the t hee tra t p. p —DEVIN FRIEDMAN

Lea eave ve v e a Lot Lot off Ro Room om m in n You ourr Suit uitcas case cas e “Wh W en I’m m on th thee road, roa d I love d, l ove o to sh hop. p. To fin To i d pla lac ces, es m stly mos mo t I hea e r a bou ear outt stuff stu ff fro r m p eop o lee wh who h lilive ve the here. re Si S ncee Jan Ja a uar uaryy we’vve bee een en to Lon London don n lilike k fivve ke tim m es. I likke to to go t Sel to e fri f dge ges; ge s it’ s; it’ss like like a supe u per-B r-B -Barn arr eys arn eys. I chec heckk Supr Su uprreme em ou o t, t P lace Pal ace.. I trrave ace vell w with ith th a bunc bunc unch h o f c lot lothes ot hes es,, b ut I’I’llll go but g out out an and d buy b uyy stu t ff ff and d no ot even even ve weaar what w hat at I bro ough ught.” t. t.”

And the hits just keep on coming. Metro’s first solo album will drop next year.

Introducing the Man You’ve Been Listening to All Year Atlant Atl an ant nta über ber-pr prrod p odu ducer cer Metro Boomin is s hi h p-h p op’ pp’s p mostt iimpo mos mporta mp mpo rtant tant nt b beh eh e hind n the-sc the -sc s ene enes figu figure. ig igu gure. e.. B Bu ut he dresse dre ss s like sse ss like k a fro ke ro on ntm tm man an n 104




H e a Si Hav Signa gn tu gna tur ure M e Mov “Ev Even en bef e ore efore re I mov moved ed t Atl to A ant anta, a, I was was as heavy hea vyy int nto nt o h ead eadwea weaar. r I h ad dam mill ilillllion ll ion o ha hats. ts ts. But wh w hen e I star en s tar tarted ted thi hiss h hair airsty air style, sty t le, a lot ot of ti t imes m it me mes i wo o uld juss t l ook just o ok du d mb w h a ha wit hat. t I was t. wass in i the st studi ud o maki udi m aki aking ng ‘Sk ‘Skyfa Sk yfa yfall’ ll’l wi w th h Tra Travis vis Scott, Sco tt an tt, n d h e was was get e t ting t n g his tin h iss hai h r ha bra b a ided. ideed. d He He had h th hiss cam a o b and d ann a a, a a I tie an and t d i t a rrou ro o u nd d my hea my h ea d a s a joke head jo o kee and nd to ook ok an an Ins I tag agram agram p tu pi pic tur u e. The ur heen I ssttarted art rted doi do o ng it it eve evvery rryy day ay aand nd itt be n b cam ame a tth am hing ngg . ng. Iff I wear ea ar Ni N kee or Sai Saaint ntt Laurren Lau Lauren La ent, t eve evven if I d even drress s u p a l itt up ttle lee mor mo o e with w ith th th a sswea w ter wea te orr a turr tle tu tur tll nec ckk—s — til ti l wit ith th h the banda b anda ba daan nn nna na.”” n Rememb Rem e er: em emb e Cl er C oth th thes he es s Are Ge Gende nd de er-Free rr-F Free ee “Th There e wa wass a ti t mee no onee wo would ull we uld w ar a femini fem em ini ni ne nine n e clo clothe tthe h s, s bu but u t no nott anym a nym y ore o . I d on’ on’tt know k now ow w wh hy i t h ap pen happen hap pened. ed I’’ ve ed. ve known kno nown You Young ng Thu ng T hugg fo for or a whi while, wh le, e an e, and d really llyy do do eesn does essn’t sn’tt c car aree h rea he about abo u ‘femin ut ‘fe f min minine in ’ or in ine ‘mascu ‘ma m sculin sc scu cu lin l in ine.’ ee.’. ’ Pe P opll e t ked ta tal ke ab bo out u Pr ut Princ inc ince nce th the hee sa s ame mee wa way.. Who way Who eve vee n s ays yss pi p nk is i a giirl colo gir color? olo or?? Li Lissten Listen t , pink nkk loo ooks oo k coo ks co l.l It I pop o ps. Whe hen I w wa a s youn o ngger err, people peo ple we were eree lik ike, e, Aww ww,, man, ww ann, yo ou got g ot Now w at P K? PIN K? No S rem Sup r e it’s t’ th he pink p iink nkk tha hatt f lie iess o ff the he she h lve v s. E Eve ve ryy tim i e.” e e. PHOTOGRAPH BY BJARNE JONASSON

G R O O M I N G : B A R R Y W H I T E AT B A R R Y W H I T E M E N S G R O O M I N G . C O M . D E N I M J A C K E T : S U P R E M E X L E V I ’ S . T- S H I R T : V I N TA G E . J E A N S : S A I N T L A U R E N T. S N E A K E R S : VA N S . B A N D A N N A A N D J E W E L R Y : H I S O W N .

Re b e l Style

Me Men e wh ho know know th the h ru he r les es s—an —and d exa xac actly tlly ho to brreak how k th t em


The Coffeeization of Tea

Bellocq, a Brooklyn “tea atelier” equally fixated on loose-leaf and design, crafted this strainer from silver-plated brass. $29,


Now that cult coffee has gone mass-market (cold brew at Dunkin’?!), tea is next in line to become every caffeine fiend’s new fix. As matcha replaces the macchiato, a saggy old bag just won’t do



About a decade ago, when cafés and coffee roasters became obsessed with bean origin, ideal milk temperature, and mouthfeel, ordering coffee began to seem like a lifestyle choice—a development tolerable only because the coffee itself got



way, way better. Now, we’re seeing the same thing happen to tea, with an explosion of flavors and styles at a quality level that could give Sleepytime night terrors. Sensing the sea change, new-school coffee powerhouses like La Colombe and Intelligentsia (1) have rolled out their own lines of tea. That means it’s time to get into the tea world—but



in a way that won’t make you feel like someone who brags about his PBS-totebag collection. The tea that won’t stop trending is matcha (2), the powdered favorite with a heavy dose of antioxidants and a concentrated grassy

flavor that can hold its own in a latte. Oolong (3) is on the rise thanks to its wine-like complexity and health halo. For some profound funk, there’s fermented pu-erh (4), aged cakes of which can cost hundreds of dollars. You can make it all yourself, of course—with handsome cups, pots, bowls, whisks, and strainers as your

paraphernalia—but you may find that, like your cortado habit, it’s worth leaving the house for. Wherever you live, head to the gentrifying part of town (past the coffee bar) to sip Darjeeling surrounded by people updating their Scandinavian-



kitchen Pinterest boards. The slickest house is Samovar, in San Francisco’s Mission District, which has futuristic brewing stations and too-pretty-to-open $19 bags of green Ryokucha. Still, it’s not above offering a seasonal pumpkinspiced chai for those of us not totally sure how to pronounce Ryokucha. —CHRISTINE MUHLKE



P R O P S T Y L I S T : R A C H E L S T I C K L E Y AT B E R N S T E I N & A N D R I U L L I .


3 Extreme Braking

You get it up to 80 and then try to stop the car inside of a delineated “stop box” square the size of a Jacuzzi.


Other Fast-Track Degrees Three even wilder ways to get behind the wheel

4 Drifting

Christmas at 120 MPH The next time someone asks what you want for the holidays, tell them to sign you up for racing school. Then get ready to drift, drag, and obliterate the speed limit without rousing the po-po

We all say we want “experience” gifts these days, but too often that means “a hotel-room experience” or a “fitness experience” or an “immersive musical-theater experience.” (Never again!) A real experience allows you to have a crazy amount of fun doing something you don’t feel remotely qualified for. Like, say, hammering a souped-up Mercedes around a racetrack. At racing school, you get to drive someone else’s amazing cars, on a professional track, armed with only a driver’s license and a…well, not a need

for speed so much as a hankering . I got behind the wheel at AMG Driving Academy at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, but there are tons of other racing schools across the country. (AMG also has academies in Austin, Northern California, and outside Atlanta.) After listening to a short presentation that improves your concept of driving by

Lime Rock Park

a factor of 50 (“a road is a series of apexes”), making overexcited small talk with the other drivers in your group, and buckling into your first car (you get to try as many as six different high-performance Mercedes-AMG models over the course of the day), you motor through the infield over to the main track.




1 Racing Line Instruction

You’re in a pack of five or six cars led by an instructor (and professional racer) who’s talking to you through the radio in your car. (“Find that apex!”) You start out at relatively slow speeds (no more than 90 mph), focusing on vehicle control, handling, and turning with skill and e∞ciency. Then you open it up. My top speed was 119 on the straightaway.

Even if you never get the hang of drifting, spinning around about a million times before coming to a stop on the grass right o≠ the track is not entirely free of delight. 5 Drag Race

You’re like Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious, only you’re you and Michelle Rodriguez is a cranky 60-something track o∞cial in a Lime Rock Park polo. 6 The Hot Lap

Finally, you ride shotgun around the main track with an instructor who cuts his turns at a speed that feels totally unsafe (and that creates forces you’ve never felt in a car). It’s the most terror you’ll feel all day—and the most fun.— R O S S M C C A M M O N


Richard Petty Driving Experience Various tracks around the country

Take the driver’s seat on iconic NASCARevent tracks—or the passenger’s, if no amount of training makes you wanna drive 165 mph. Packages vary by track, starting at $299,



Your experience may not include a pit crew, thousands of fans, or the year 1955.


Essentially skiing with a car, you learn the limits of your vehicle’s handling by trying to avoid hitting strategically placed tiny orange cones. Turns out it can handle a lot.

The Price Tag Steep but worth it. $1,895 for a full day. To see the author’s triumphant final-lap video, go to amgacademy .com/gallery/final -lap-videos and type in “Ross.”


Bridgestone Winter Driving School Steamboat Springs, CO

Go for a day to brush up on your safety handling, or spend a couple and skid like James Bond in Die Another Day. Classes start at $280 (Fifth Gear, the two-day advanced course, is $2,850),


Team O’Neil Rally School Dalton, NH

After sliding around the roads on the school’s 585 acres, navigating a highway in a storm is child’s play. One-Day Rally Course starts at $1,200, 112




P H O T O G R A P H : G P L I B R A R Y L I M I T E D /A L A M Y. I L L U S T R A T I O N S : T A M E R K O S E L I ( 4 ) .

2 Agility Slalom

David Chang’s Kitchen

The Next Global Food Mecca Is in…Texas?! When you think of “places I’m dying to eat,” Houston may not be the first (or the 20th place) that comes to mind. It wasn’t for David Chang, either—until he went there to taste it for himself

• A few years ago, when Linsanity ended in N.Y.C. and Jeremy Lin signed with the Houston Rockets, I made a stupid comment on Twitter that I’d open a Momofuku in Houston just so I could see Lin play. Houston food people did not appreciate my dumb humor. After a handful of visits since then, I’ve realized the joke is on me: I wish I were opening in Houston, because it just might be the next food capital of America. I’ve always wondered where the food in a Blade Runner–like future would appear first and what it would taste like—and I genuinely believe it’s here. Partly that’s due to a demographic reality: By some measures, Houston is the U.S.A.’s most ethnically diverse city (a bunch of New Yorkers just choked on their halal kebabs reading





that, but it’s true), and when you get a collision of immigrants, the food scene is guaranteed to be bonkers. Houston also has cheap commercial and residential rents—oh, and no state income tax—which means broke-ass cooks and chefs can a≠ord to live and open here. Zoning laws are more permissive than an Amsterdam brothel. And customers have cash to spend. Two chefs at the forefront of all things Houston are Justin Yu of Oxheart and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly. These guys would be successful anywhere, and it’s amazing what they’ve done in two very di≠erent parts of Houston. Oxheart, in the Warehouse District, has one of the country’s most original tasting menus. (When I was there, I had the mung-bean crepe and the savory porridge

with vadouvan spice.) It’s the kind of restaurant everyone wants to eat in now: amazing food and flawless service, but also a zero-pretense attitude—and a shock to the palate every time you sit down. If Oxheart is a sniper rifle, then Underbelly (in the artsy Montrose neighborhood) is a shotgun—it takes the same carefully sourced local ingredients and blasts them into something Shepherd defines as New American Creole. What that means is a fun and crazy (yet deadly serious) menu representing every bit of diversity in Houston: Mexican influences rub shoulders with Thai, Cantonese, Sichuan, Korean, Punjabi— and, of course, Texas barbecue. Yes, Houston has barbecue worthy of its home state. (Order the gigantic beef ribs at Killen’s.) Houston also has America’s best Vietnamese food. Pho Binh Bellaire is Justin Yu’s favorite spot, and now it’s one of mine. Even great ramen can’t hang with the soup they’re dishing up. All of this leads me to the one culinary mash-up that best embodies what I love about Houston, and that’s the evolution of Vietnamese-Cajun food—think seafood, rice, and herbs, French-tinged but also very spicy. Crawfish & Noodles, the restaurant where I was indoctrinated into this fusion of cultures, makes me optimistic about gastronomy. It’s weird in the best possible ways. There’s nothing I enjoy more than the communal aspects of sucking down a cauldron of crawfish heads with friends. This is the dish I think about all the time. It haunts me. If I ever leave New York, I’m moving to Houston. This time I’m not joking. 





A Modest Proposal from… BAZ LUHRMANN

Want to Be a Genius? Label Your Toiletries have a creative-vision moment, that’s where you have to be the opposite. You have to employ process and method and systems.

Baz Luhrmann—the visionary behind The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!, and 2016’s Netflix breakout The Get Down— likes to create lavish, messy worlds. To do that, he needs order in everything else, from his mouthwash to his jeans Creativity Starts with an Obsessively Organized Closet My office is in the dressing room. There are always a lot of people with me when I’m getting ready, and we’re having meetings while I dress. That’s when I’m solving ideas or having creative thoughts. The dressing process has to allow for that, for the story or whatever is happening, so that I can be absorbed in it. So, jeans are in one area, shirts are in another. It’s not like I have a bunch of clothes higgledy-piggledy. It’s the same in the bathroom. At the right hand is the toothbrush, and then it goes to the next thing, the mouthwash. The left hand goes to the brush. And everything is 1 2 8

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

numbered, and there are lots of stickies. I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but if I go in and can’t find the clipper or razor or whatever, I start to go, “Oh, we’re doomed. Everything’s falling apart. There’s no way anything can work. Let’s just stop now.” Because you might have some solution or some little imaginative risk in the palm of your hand, and suddenly you’re broken from your little dream or reverie. The thing is that creativity—real creativity—is by its very nature chaotic. Think about how the universe is created: It’s a whole lot of energy smashing against itself, and stuff comes out. Now, managing all that energy, or even creating a process to

Then Completely Lose Your Mind I am old enough to admit that I am addicted to some kind of romance or romanticism, even though I used to deny it vehemently. But I understand the addiction to creating worlds, or expressing oneself, in a way in which things are better than they possibly can be. Now, there’s a function in that, but if you’re addicted to romance, you’re also “wedded to calamity,” to quote Shakespeare. Because, at some point, your romantic environment and your romantic soul are going to crash-land into the real world. When I go to a restaurant to let loose, the number one thing I say is “Don’t ask me what I want to eat; don’t hand me a menu.” I’m a director. My idea of a good time is not making a decision. When I’m not doing what I do, I’m a completely out-of-control idiot. No one wants to see the person who’s flying the airplane act like I do on his day off. Usually, I go into a sort of fuzzy head space and I let everything go. And then, suddenly, I wake up in Cairo—which actually happened once. I was in Paris, and I might have had a couple of sherries at the Ritz. And the next thing I know, I’m in Cairo. That’s not the first time that’s happened. My daughter, who is now 13, she’s rung me a couple of times and I’ve sort of sheepishly answered, “Listen, I’m probably not in the country right now.” She said, “Dad, this is starting not to be funny. You have to let us know when you’re going.”  For more unexpected stories in gq, go to / unexpected. Brought to you by the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu.


Respect the Hair (and the Set) The rules of my production company are communication, transportation, accommodation, and hair. People laugh about the hair. But it can shut down sets in ways you can’t imagine. And, really, “good hair” is a symbol of spiritual well-being, a reminder for people on both sides of the camera to attend to their inner and outer lives. Then, beyond hair, the creative space has to inspire you to dream, to think, to play, to create. And so my whole team puts a lot of energy into creating environments that are not just prosaic white spaces.


A bombshell look inside the slammer, featuring America’s most hardened fictional criminals (PAGE 138).

Punch LIST






E XC L U S I V E :



One magazine brings monsters to justice.

The women of Lifetime movies fight back.




T H E S H O C K I N G T R U T H A B O U T S H O N D A R H I M E S ! PG.136

would be like Lennie Briscoe, the trench-coated ’90s folk hero of the Law & Order mother ship. He patrolled the 27th Precinct with rumpled panache and perpetually rolled eyes. His sterling moral character was even nobler contrasted with an appropriately tortured backstory—divorce, alcoholism, murdered daughter. Still, he always had enough spunk to make a cringey dad joke each time he visited a crime scene. (“ree deaths and a kidnapping; I’m only on my second cup of coffee!”) TV cops like Lennie Briscoe are pop-culture comfort food—symbols of honor, of masculini, of an Eastwoodian America where justice prevails. And this was the year pop culture turned against them. We’ve occasionally seen fictional rogue cops who've diverged from the path of righteousness—usually on premium cable. But in 2016, as stories of morally mur" law enforcement pervaded the real-life news, that kind of insurgency became the norm. Much of the crime we saw on-screen hinged on the changeabili of truth, the hot potato of guilt as our allegiances were hurled between suspects and law enforcement. It started at the end of last year with Making a Murderer, Netflix’s engrossing documentary about Steven Avery, a destitute Wisconsin man serving a life sentence for murder. The series, which became a phenomenon in 2016, doesn’t come down either way on Avery’s guilt, but it sure makes a compelling case against the sheriff’s department—the camera watches officers patiently work their prey, feeding them confessions and conjuring damning evidence. On HBO’s The Night Of, we rooted for everybody and nobody—specifically the lead

12-2Ø16 131

Steven Avery: maybe guilty, surely railroaded.


est Texas. A convoy of pickup trucks, coming for blood. Our two protagonists, brothers played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster, have robbed a Texas Midlands Bank, late in a crime spree through the depressed vacancy of the contemporary rural Southwest. Because it’s Texas, they’re not the only ones with guns. And so it comes to pass that as they flee their latest job, they’re pursued by a caravan of trucks, filled with armed civilians, processing down the highway in the solemn, courtly tone of a posse setting off into the same territory

100 years ago. Then Foster shoots a machine gun at them. And they all meekly turn their trucks around, bowing to a future they can’t overcome. Hell or High Water is a classic Western, in the sense that it’s about the growing obsolescence of a way of life (that just happens to be the way of life depicted in classic Westerns). Pine’s and Foster’s characters are robbing banks to get back at a financial system that has robbed them of everything else. They’re being chased by two lawmen, one of them a transcendently laid-back Jeff Bridges, who are fading away

HELL OR HIGH WATER The T-Bone Diner With Jeff Bridges (Marcus), Gil Birmingham (Alberto), and Margaret Bowman (Waitress)

just as fast, enforcing codes no one seems to really care about, trading the lightly racist banter of their forefathers and waiting for it all to end. It’s a movie about how latestage capitalism can sap life of meaning; it also happens to be an exhilarating advertisement for the thrills of robbing banks with your brother. Pine, who tends to float through big studio films, is anchored three feet in the earth. Bridges is a tornado moving at a leisurely three miles per hour. And Texas, as the blood spills out on sand, remains Texas. —ZACH BARON


MARCUS Howdy, ma’am. How you doing today? WAITRESS Hot. And I don’t mean the good kind. So, what don’t you want? MARCUS Pardon?

ALBERTO I don’t want green beans, either.

WAITRESS What don’t you want?

WAITRESS Steaks cooked medium rare.

MARCUS Oh well, I think I’ll just uh—

ALBERTO Could I get my steak cooked just a—

WAITRESS You know I’ve been working here for forty-four years. Ain’t nobody ever ordered nothin’ but T-Bone steak and a baked potato. ‘Cept this one asshole from New York, tried to order trout back in 1987. We don’t sell no goddam trout. T-Bone steaks. So, either you don’t want the corn on the cob, or you don’t want the green beans, so what don’t you want? MARCUS I don’t want green beans.

WAITRESS That weren’t no question. ALBERTO All right. WAITRESS Iced tea for you boys. ALBERTO Iced tea’d be great. MARCUS Iced tea, yup. Thank you, ma’am.


detective, Dennis Box. Brilliant and booze-pickled, he’s an idealistic combover cop whose work turns lazy aer decades in a morally skewed system. He’s also maddeningly unknowable, performing acts of calculated compassion that look like kindness in one light and cruel in another. Of course, 2016’s biest crime phenomenon relied not on ambivalence but something closer to certain: We think O.J. did it, and we know the cops bungled his case. Ryan Murphy’s The People v. O.J. Simpson is a pastiche of delicious ’90s porn and biting irony in which Murphy neuters the dangerous mass of charisma that was the Juice into a pitiable man-child. Taking his place as the Big Bad is Mark Fuhrman, the bigoted cop who (maybe) tampered with evidence and perjured himself. Fuhrman is a villain out of central casting, flaring his Voldemort nostrils as he casually drops the N-word. He literally has a collection of Nazi medals. On a show about white privilege, male privilege, and cop privilege, he embodies all three. Whereas Murphy uses mustachetwirling camp to stick it to the cops, the exhaustive documentary O.J.: Made in America tells the story of the L.A.P.D. from 35,000 feet in the air, chronicling a tortured history that goes back 30 years. Like Making a Murderer, the film reconstructs the splintered relationship between a communi and a police force. But the L.A.P.D. aren’t the unscrupulous schnooks we saw on Making a Murderer—they operate on a much larger scale, where generations of corruption and violence foster such a deep rot that even when the cops have the right guy, they can’t get him convicted. Mark Fuhrman is there, too. He’s still sure he did everything right. So many of the cops we encountered on-screen this year wore these moral horse blinders—they believed that as officers appointed to uphold the law, they had license to break it to nail their guy. They had an unshakable sense of their own moral superiority. And that made them scarier than any of the criminals they chased.— E M I L Y L A N D A U




Every year, millions of crimes go unprosecuted. ed. Fa Fashio i n crimes. Perfect crimes. Some murders. And, of course, urse, culture cul ultur t e tur crimes. Well, no longer. Get ready for justice, GQ-style. — C . W .



lmost every offering from the Lifetime Movie Network could have the same synopsis in TV Guide: Strong woman defeats awful male antagonist who absolutely deserves his comeuppance. Each one is basically a lowbudget version of J.Lo’s Victimized Woman canon (Enough, The Boy Next Door) that gives away the entire plot in the title. Strong woman finds out her neighbor has a dark, sinister, super-murder-y past? My Neighbor’s Secret, 2009. Strong woman defends adorable adopted daughter against psychotic biological father hell-bent on getting her back? Adopting Terror, 2012. Strong woman cracks a rowboat paddle over the head of her bad boyfriend turned killer? Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? 1 3 6

(above, 1996), which I swear is a real title I did not make up. Look, if you want dazzling cinematography, go spend $17.50 for IMAX tickets. (Or watch Enough again—very underrated!) But Lifetime movies are ready to deliver all you really want out of a crime flick: a somewhatflawed-yetalways-relatable heroine, a truly evil antagonist whose downfall you can gleefully and unreservedly root for (and count on), and just the right amount of glorious camp. They know perfectly well that you don’t always want your movies to ponder moral ambiguity and explore the flaws inherent in our nation’s criminaljustice system. Sometimes, you just want a little paddle-assisted vengeance. —JAY WILLIS

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

What shows are popular in prison? Of course, my show, ’cau I was there. Empire. Love & Hip Hop. Dancing with the Stars. And on the weeken : Lifetime. They had a sports room, where only sports were on, and a Spanish room, with Spanishlanguage television. Who’s in charge of the remote? There was somebody whose work assignment was holding on to it. If you didn’t feel like watching television, what was the next best thing to look at? I was there for four seasons—spring, summer, fall, winter—and I have to say, the view was breathtaking. I’ve never seen more beautiful sunsets. Purples and oranges and pinks. I’m tellin’ you, it was incredible! Better than TV? Definitely. I felt like I was gonna get asbestos in there or somethin’, ’cause there was mold. Fresh air is great.

Complaint Intentional infliction of emotional distress on Britney Spears Relief Ordered The defendant must air two hours of Britney music videos recorded in her prime (1999 to 2003) from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. one Sunday night.

Complaint Wanton and willful criminal negligence, for selling consumers a product its own research indicates is “dangerously” cheesy Relief Ordered Every Burger King must close permanently; every CHEETOS® Chicken Fry must be tossed onto a pile of flaming tires.



Offense Everybody riding 18-year-old First Daughter Malia Obama’s jock for having fun (dancing, wearing shorts, stimulating the Chicago economy, etc.) at Lollapalooza in July Complaint Criminal trespassing on Malia’s jock Relief Ordered Everybody must remain at least 100 yards from Malia’s jock at all times.





HOW TO GET AWAY WITH THIS MANY SHOWS ABOUT MURDER Which of the following are real 2016 series about homicide, and which are just random phrases with “murder” in them?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8



All of the above were 2016 murder-based series except Making a Murderer, which premiered on Netflix in 2015.

Real Housewife of New Jersey (and recent minimumsecurity prisoner) Teresa Giudice explains what it’s like to watch TV in federal detention.

Offense Burger King CHEETOS® Chicken Fries

F R O M L E F T : C O L U M B I A -T R I S TA R T E L E V I S I O N / C O U R T E S Y O F E V E R E T T C O L L E C T I O N ; C I N DY O R D / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; M A R C O P I R A C C I N I /A R C H I V I O M A R C O P I R A C C I N I / M O N D A D O R I P O R T F O L I O / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; C O U R T E S Y O F B U R G E R K I N G ; M A N D E L N G A N /A F P / G E T T Y I M A G E S

Offense MTV scheduling Britney Spears to perform after Beyoncé at the 2016 VMAs


ELLIOT ALDERSON (MR. ROBOT): Global-financial-system hacker


TOBY HOWARD (HELL OR HIGH WATER): Bank robber (rural Texas)


BAZ BROWN (ANIMAL KINGDOM): Bank robber (Oceanside, CA)









What crime story scared you most as a child? What was the most horrific crime of the year? What would your serialkiller name be? COURTESY OF CRAIG BLANKENHORN/FX


Who is more nefarious: the Hamburglar or Trix Rabbit? What’s the worst crime you’ve ever committed? What social behavior should be illegal?


THE ALBERTAN OIL PRAIRIES east of Calgary are speckled with the sorts of towns that crop up during energy booms—towns that thrive when gas is expensive and suffer when gas is cheap, but no maer the price of gas always look perfectly suitable as the seing for a season of Fargo. In its two seasons, the FX show’s been shot all over these parts, and on a Tuesday in late September, creator and showrunner Noah Hawley is checking out potential locations for a library-slashpolice-station (a highly Fargo-ian conceit in itself) for the season-to-be. e first town he and his crew roll into is called Beiseker. 1 4 0

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

Say it like they’d say it on the show—it’ll serve as a pitch pipe for the voice in your head, to make sure you read the accents right throughout. Bi-succor. With its 800 residents and its gas wells and its smiling, gleaming-eyed mascot, Squirt. “e Friendly Skunk,” Hawley adds as we pass Squirt on the edge of town, where he serves much the same welcome as Babe the Blue Ox does in Fargo (O.G., 1996) and Fargo (season one, 2014). e main drag of Beiseker is plagued by deserted businesses, junking up the street like roen teeth. It’s quiet as a set. is could be the place they’re looking for. Hawley is in Alberta for just three days and there is much to accomplish and his time is tight. Since Fargo won the Emmy for best limited series in 2014, the many lines that Hawley had thrown in the water during his decades as a TV-, movie-, and book-writing hustler have resulted in a haul of projects. Films and shows and books; films and shows based on those books. is year, he developed several features, created and wrote and directed most of the first season of Legion (a new un-superhero superhero show for FX, due out in February), published a bestselling novel (Before the Fall, a big-brained JEFF RIEDEL

S T Y L I S T : A S H L E Y W E S T O N A T T H E W A L L G R O U P. G R O O M I N G : A LY S S A G A R C I A F O R O R I B E . J A C K E T, S H I R T, A N D J E A N S : L E V I ’ S . T I E A N D B E LT : B R O O K S B R O T H E R S . C A R : C O O L C A R C A S T I N G .


why-, how-, and whodunit about a privateplane crash off Martha’s Vineyard), knocked out Before the Fall’s adapted screenplay, and worked his way through a blueprint for the third season of Fargo. By late September, he’s finished writing three of the ten episodes, and the plan is to start shooting in eight weeks. Now is about the time to get extremely serious about some major decisions. “Since, don’t forget, we’re starting from scratch,” he says in the location-scouting van. “e reali is, every year is an entirely new show.” New actors, new stories, new seings. A unique creative demand that exploits Hawley’s capaci to whip up rich and unpredictable narratives seemingly at will. In Fargo-land, the seasons aren’t adaptations in any sense we’re familiar with—not spin-offs of the movie characters or repurposing of plot. Rather a transference of tone, a certain you-know-it-whenyou-see-it-ness. And not just as it relates to Fargo (film), but to any of the Coen brothers’ stuff, Hawley says. “ ’Cause Fargo is a state of mind, right?” John Cameron, one of the show’s executive producers, adds in the van. He’s the bridge to the Coen brothers; he worked on the original Fargo (and a half-dozen other Coen brothers films) and was asked by Joel and Ethan to consider taking on the TV project. “I called them and I was like, ‘What is going on? You guys don’t even own televisions, what are you doing?’ And all they said was: ‘Read the script.’ And like them, I was blown away.” At 49, Hawley and his hot hand belie the years-long slog that predated his sudden triumphs. It’s an ascendance he jokingly refers to as “a 20-year overnight success story.” He wrote three novels before one was published and published four before any really sold. He pitched and worked on movies and shows for 14 years before a show he created made it past a single season. But with Fargo, Legion, and Before the Fall, he says, “I’ve suddenly reached a point where the perception is that I have e Secret to making something successl.” Which is why he now has the opportuni to take on most every project he pitches—which is how you get a plate loaded like this one. “It’s the same way your brain doesn’t know when you’re ll—you’re still eating, it takes a while,” he says. He hasn’t lost “the freelancer’s muscle, the failure muscle,” and so hasn’t yet trained himself to pump the brakes. ere’s a calendar on his office wall

in Austin with events and cities, as well as engine’s humming ceaselessly: how to keep film and television and book projects, with organized the discrete universes, the overblocks of color showing him exactly how lapping story lines, the blizzard of decisions. much time he has to get each hunk of writWorking at creative high points in several ing—each script revision, each manuscript different worlds makes him a lot of things: a dra—out the door. (Hawley pro tip: “Be a story autocrat, an on-set CEO, but more than good first-dra writer.”) anything, he’s a decider-in-chief. ough not ever the dictatorial auteur that certain Consider the process by which he cobpraised TV-makers seem to fancy thembled together Before the Fall. e week aer the 2014 Emmys, in a stretch of peak Fargo selves. “In that, I truly believe that there’s a fever, Hawley’s agent dusted off 150 pages of a version of this where everybody does their manuscript Hawley had set aside when season one got picked up. She sold the book and film rights “I write stories because at auction that fall, which was I have to write them. great, except Hawley had to It’s a sickness on some somehow pump out the rest of the novel in little gaps before, level. It’s a compulsion.” during, and aer the production of Fargo’s second season. His editor gave him a publication date before they’d best work in the time alloed, and then we even read a ll dra—“It was a huge leap of go home to our families,” he says. “I don’t think we have to suffer personally to make faith on their part that I was going to stick the great art. If you’re prepared and organized landing,” Hawley says—but the gamble was and you know what you’re looking for, you exactly the right one. Before the Fall spent 14 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list can make great art and then go home.” and was a runaway book of this summer. Hawley is busy these days, but he’s busy in Back in Beiseker, there are a few options a manner that makes you not worry for him for a suitable library-slash-police-station for if things dry up a lile, if there’s a correction the town of Eden Prairie, but none are quite toward the norm. Because he’s been there before; that’s where he lived for decades. right: the communi school (too big); an abandoned hardware store (no parking lot, When he published his fourth book, in 2012, and Hawley’d wrien it with a parking lot in a book with real support behind it, it was mind). “We drive a lot of long distances out barely reviewed. “And it was this thing where here to go: ‘Nooo, this isn’t it.’ ” you begin to feel like, ‘Should I give this up?’ e Beiseker Village Office, a municipal And having felt that feeling only contribmuseum that used to serve as the local rail utes to the buoyancy of what happened with station, is a charmingly hokey red structure at Before the Fall. No, we don’t give up. I don’t write the edge of town (everything is at the edge, it’s these stories for the rewards that come back a town of edges), and inside, a few volunteers, to me. I write them because I have to write all women, snap to action when Hawley and them. It’s a sickness on some level. It’s a comhis crew walk through the doors. While the pulsion.” It’s armor. It’s artillery. Stories at the crew chat the women up, Hawley wanders ready like bullets. “Aer the first season, they through the building on his own, mapping asked if there was a subtitle, like American the visual possibilities of the interiors against Horror Story: Hotel. And I said, ‘I dunno: Fargo: what he’d spent months whipping up in his Backlash?’ ” ere was no way it could live up head. Fargo’s third installment, you should to the first season. And then it was even more know, features Ewan McGregor playing warmly received. “But the specter of that is rival brothers, and is catalyzed by a feud over hanging over my head with everything I do, a bequeathed stamp collection—which: Okay, that at some point somebody’s gonna say, ‘Who does this guy think he is?’ And I will we’re in a season of Fargo now. Coen brothers state of mind. Hawleywood. have to treat that the way I’ve treated everyOn the location scout and off, Hawley thing all along: What am I writing today? appears at all times meditative and meaWhat am I making today?”  sured, an efficient machine that reveals none of its labor—quiet and cool exterior while the DANIEL RILEY is a GQ senior editor. 142 12-2Ø16


“The reality is, every year is an entirely new show,” Hawley says of his anthology series Fargo. From left, Billy Bob Thornton and Colin Hanks (season one); Ted Danson and Patrick Wilson (season two); Hawley on the season-two set.


C N TO W E R : R I C K M A D O N I K / G E T T Y I M A G E S . S TA P L E S H E A D : J O H N N Y N U N E Z / G E T T Y I M A G E S . P H OTO I L L U S T R AT I O N F O R E D I TO R I A L P U R P O S E S .

If an album didn’t shock the hell out of us and dominate Twitter, it probably didn’t matter. We got Vince Staples to appraise the surprise factor—or lack thereof—for each of this year’s drops


James Blake

Lemonade When & Where: April 23 on HBO and TIDAL What: Sweet revenge in album form Vince’s Verdict: “ ‘Oh, I didn’t know Beyoncé came out’— no one says that. That’s not a thing.” Surprise:

The Colour in Anything When & Where: May 6, everywhere What: Spirit guide for millennials Surprise:

Frank Ocean Endless and Blonde When & Where: August 19 and 20 on Apple Music and iTunes What: Everything we ever wanted Vince’s Verdict: “We were waiting for the album for a long time. There’s no reason to make posters.” Surprise:

Kanye West The Life of Pablo When & Where: February 14 on TIDAL What: The MSG live-stream-slashfashion-show was a defining moment of 2016. The aftermath was very Kanye: He was tweaking the album even after releasing it. Surprise:

Chance the Rapper Coloring Book When & Where: May 12 on Apple Music What: Chance’s gift to humanity Vince’s Verdict: “Chance doesn’t believe in selling music because Chance has a lot of morals and a lot of values behind the thing that he does.” Surprise:


Solange A Seat at the Table When & Where: September 30, everywhere What: Prompted a national discussion around feminine blackness in America. Surprise:

Kendrick Lamar untitled unmastered. When & Where: March 3, everywhere What: A mixtape of unfinished songs—still better than pretty much every other rap album this year Vince’s Verdict: “I don’t think he was thinking, ‘I hope this goes double platinum.’ That’s more of a gift to his listener than anything else.” Surprise:

Rihanna ANTI When & Where: January 27 on TIDAL What: TIDAL accidentally leaked the album early, took it back after about 25 minutes, and then released it again. Vince’s Verdict: “There’s no such thing as a surprise album if you follow the artist on Instagram. You knew what was happening the entire time because you saw the pictures in the studio.” Surprise: 1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

1 4 7


me how much the wind was moving me and what I would need to do to counter it. If you jump out at 25,000 feet, you’re probably gonna have seven or eight dierent wind directions. I could think I was going straight down but I might really be moving at 17, 18 miles an hour across the ground. At 17 miles an hour, you’re gonna be across the net really fast. It takes about 30 minutes to reach altitude, and on the way up, I had about a minute of thinking to myself: What the hell am I doing? This is stupid! I have a son! I have a wife! e sports psychiatrist I worked with had told me that I was gonna experience a moment like that. I had structured my payments into thirds— the ďŹ rst for agreeing to do the jump, the second for training, and the last for doing it. If I didn’t jump, I just wouldn’t have goen that last third. I didn’t want money weighing on my decision in that moment. One minute before the jump, the plane’s going about 90 miles an hour. e pilot turns on the green light—then we open the door. I look at all three of the guys who were jumping with me. I wanted to have the comfort of being with my friends, my teammates, my trusted buddies. But once I jumped out, there’s nothing that they could do to help me. I look down. I see the target. We’re exactly where I want to be. I say, “Ready, set, go,â€? and we jump out. 1 5 0

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

e airplane’s actually going forward much faster than you’re going down, so in the ďŹ rst second, you drop 16 feet down, but you’re probably going 300 feet forward. I start moving toward the center a lile bit. To do that, we have to angle our bodies, our heads down a lile bit so that we have surface area behind our center of gravi rather than in front of it. To go backward, you do the exact opposite. And the same thing right and le. I'm in the right area, within 1,000, 2,000 feet horizontally of where I want to be. At 3,000 feet, all my lights are white. I’m in a perfect spot. I’m like, I got it! But then I moved a lile too far forward. So I started backing up. en I felt like I wasn’t backing up fast enough, so I gave it the ll speed backward for just a second—and I shot too far. So now I’m back behind the center of the net. I’m maybe at 2,000 feet, and I’m like, Oh shit. I put my hands back and moved forward a tiny bit. Okay. Now I stop moving. I’m a lile bit le of center from where I wanted to be. But I’m still over the net. At 350 feet, I need to roll over to land on my back. I’m not exactly in the center, but we’ve tested all the way to the edge, and I’m well within the safe parameters. I heard my ground speed in my helmet speakers: ree miles an hour. Two. And then I heard nothing. at means you’re not moving at all. You’re coming perfectly

straight down, countering the wind perfectly. I roll over to my side, to my back. I look up at the s , I tuck my chin to my chest, make sure my mouth is closed, and I start geing tighter and tighter and tighter, because I know I’m about to hit, I know I’m about to hit.‌ About one second aer I roll to my back, I hit the net. I almost can’t describe it. It was ďŹ rm, but not hard. ere was no jarring, never a smack of an impact. It was just a fwhoooahh! It grabs you and slows you down real quick. As it captured me, I said a couple of curse words: “Fuck yeah, buddy! Fuck yeah!â€? e net rolled me—dootdoot-doot—three rolls to the middle. I lay there on my back, and I was like, Whew! e adrenaline rush was more overwhelming than anything I’ve ever experienced. All of a sudden, my back touches the ground. I didn’t realize it, but the whole time they were lowering the net. And that was the moment that I was like, It’s over. We did it. I get up, and the medic’s coming toward me. We had a deal that I didn’t need this crazy checkout. Either I was gonna be okay or I wasn’t. ere’s not a lot of gray area on this. I’m like, I’m good! I have life-insurance coverage that includes s diving, but I didn’t speciďŹ cally ask if they covered jumping without a parachute.  NATHANIEL PENN is a GQ correspondent.

M A R K D AV I S / G E T T Y I M A G E S F O R S T R I D E G U M ( 4 )

After a 130-second free fall, Aikins landed safe and sound.


every time. How many times did I stub my toe? I’d say a thousand. At least. One night I pulled in and thought, “God, my foot is killing me.â€? Every time I sat down, I had to raise my leg above the ground so it wouldn’t throb. It was horrible. I was diagnosing it as a symptom of my neuroma, which is inammation of the nerve. A good friend of mine saw it and said, “No, that’s a really deep blister. Do you have anything to lance it?â€? We tried a safe pin and got a lile bit of uid out, but we had to use a surgical needle to get the rest. I did the poking. He just pointed where to do it. We pulled all the uid out, and it wasn’t that much. It was just really, really deep. I cleaned it o and threw some moleskin underneath it to protect it. I put my shoe on and took o. e pain was gone. I’ve never experienced such incredible gnarly pain reduced to nothing in a maer of ten minutes. It takes about three and a half months to really recover from a run like this. Right now my body is very fragile. My legs are super heavy. I’m not going to go for a run anytime soon. I still feel like eating everything in sight. I’m hungry all the time. I’m so hungry, I could eat everything in my house right now.  BENJY HANSEN-BUNDY is a GQ assistant editor.

• Every Last Thing Karl Meltzer Ate Along the Way Filling up on an average of 7,500 calories per day isn't as easy—or fun—as you might think 30

2 lbs.

2 lbs.


45 dinner portions



80 6 6




45 dinner portions

1 lb.




45 dinner portions


45 dinner portions


½ lb. 18


45 dinner portions


4 gal.

45 dinner portions

45 dinner portions

AND 12 lbs. bacon, 20 sausage links, 20 patties, 8 eggs scrambled, 8 fried, 4 omelets, 18 hash browns, 16 crepes, 4 mini breakfast burritos, 3 breakfast sandwiches, 12 pastries, 2 plates of steak and eggs, 2 biscuits with gravy, 8 bananas, 40 strawberries, 6 fig bars, 16 honey buns, 30 glazed doughnuts, 4 bologna sandwiches, 6 large boxes of Nerds, 80 oatmeal cookies, 1 lb. beef jerky, 10 (3 oz.) portions of steak or chicken, 15 brownies, 30 oatmeal pies, 6 whoopie pies, 45 butterscotch Tastykakes, 12 chicken or steak quesadillas, 12 grilled cheeses with meat, 6 Sugar Daddys, 30 Tootsie Rolls, 20 Starbursts, 195 cans of mandarin oranges or peaches, 2 chicken-noodle soups, 4 steak-and-cheese sandwiches, 6 calzones, 4 pulled-pork sandwiches, 30 100 Grand bars, 40 Milky Ways, 4 portions of lasagna, 12 chicken enchiladas, 1 lb. salmon, 4 lbs. steak, 1 lb. pork loin, 1 lb. rotisserie chicken, 1 lb. mac and cheese, 12 cheeseburgers, 12 pizza pockets, 6 fish tacos, 12 wings, 46 beers, average dinner portions of rice, pasta, squash, bok choy, peppers, and green beans

1 5 4

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6


had a problem with my belly. I've always had an iron stomach. Coming into camp at the end of the day, my dad would have a lile bin of water with some soap in it. First thing he’d do is clean my feet from my knees down. Look for blisters, make sure everything was okay. en I would put my feet up on a crate, and I would eat while icing my shins. My crew chief, Meltzer claims he can eat a bucket of Eric [Belz], would have made me chicken without even blinking. a killer meal. Could be a big, fat rib-eye steak with broccoli or asparagus, and mushrooms growing on the trees, not a potato or French fries. With all that food, the overlooks. You know, I live out west. I could still throw down a small blueberry pie I get plen of overlooks. for dessert. Ice cream is an amazing thing. I would eat like a pint in three minutes. WE KEPT THE BREAKFAST prey light. at all would take about 10, 15 minutes, and I’d usually have two yogurts and then walk then I would go to bed. Like super fast. out with a blueberry mufďŹ n or a banana. I’d go for eight or ten miles to the next stop, AT ONE POINT my wife was running and my dad, who was part of my support behind me, and we weren’t talking for a crew, would display a bunch of food on the while. When she said something, I turned table. Anything from a PB&J to a cinnamon around and—bam!—slammed down on bun to maybe a candy bar to some bacon my hip, right on the hip bone. at hurt for or some es or French toast, stu like that. a week. I probably crashed about a hundred We made probably ďŹ ve stops per day over times. You don’t always go down super the course of 48 miles. I was drinking four hard. I wear bike gloves when I run to save or ďŹ ve Red Bulls per day. A lot of times, my hands, so I don’t come up with a apper I’d take a piece of pizza to go. But I’ve never


1 5 8

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 0 1 6

his 20s and 30s in Los Angeles. Beholden to no one. e days stretching out in a uy road of marshmallow leisure leading all the way up to the Big Rock Candy Mountain. But‌I got the hang of it. You will never be prepared for anything you do, ever. Not the ďŹ rst time. Training and practice are out the window the second they meet experience. But you’ll get beer. I have subjective yet ironclad knowledge of this. is is my ďŹ rst time being a single father. I’ve missed forms for school. I’ve forgoen to stock the fridge with food she likes. I’ve run out of socks for her. I’ve run out of socks for me. It sucked and it was a hassle every time, but the world kept turning. I said, “Whoops, my bad,â€? and ďŹ xed it and kept stumbling forward. Now I know where to buy the socks she likes. I asked two parents at her school to help me with forms and scheduling. I’m geing good at snifďŹ ng out weekend activities and scheduling playdates and navigating time and the ci to get her and myself where we need to go every day. I work a creative job, but I live a practical life. If I can persuade a comedy club ll of indierent drunks to like me, I can have my daughter ready for soccer on a Saturday morning. I’m going to keep going forward, looking stupid and clumsy and inexperienced at ďŹ rst, then eventually geing it, until the next jolt comes, and the next oor drops out from under me, until there are no more oors.

In April, the author’s wife, crime writer Michelle McNamara, died suddenly in her sleep at age 46. In an instant, he became a widower—and single parent to their 7-year-old daughter. Here, the actor and comedian writes about the only job he’s got that really matters right now: being a dad B Y PATTON OSWALT

I don’t know what kind of single father you are, if you are one or ever will be one. If you’re widowed or divorced, adopter or elder sibling. If you’re feeling any fear or self-doubt, reassure yourself with the fact that I’m doing this. Me. Spend an hour with me sometime. I can’t drive stick. I can’t scramble an e. I can’t ice-skate. But I’m doing this. Being a father. I’m in charge of another human being. So you can do this. I promise. And to show you I’m on the up-and-up? I’ve also been lying to you. Because none of this is for you. It is for Alice. I’m moving forward—clumsily, stupidly, blindly—because of the kind of person Alice is. She’s got so much of Michelle in her. And Michelle was living her life moving forward. And she took me forward with her. Just like I know Alice will. So I’m going to keep moving forward. So I can be there with you if you need me, Alice. Because I’ll need you. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. Because of you, Alice. 


IVE MONTHS and ten days ago, as I write this, I became a single father. I was half of an amazing parenting team, except we weren’t equals. Michelle was the point person, researcher, planner, and expediter. I was the grunt, ofďŹ ce assistant, instruction follower, and urban Sherpa. I did idiot sweeps before we le hotel rooms and ran checklists before we aended school nctions and boarded planes. But Michelle put those lists together. She knew how to use my OCD to our lile family’s advantage. And her super-mom skills were one brilliant facet of the dark jewel she was—true-crime journalist, online sleuth, tireless ďŹ nder of half-remembered facts, and craer of devastating murder prose. I was looking forward to spending my life with the single most original mind I’d ever encountered. And now? Gone. All gone. It feels like a walk-on character is being asked to carry an epic ďŹ lm aer the star has been wiped from the screen. Imagine Frances McDormand dying in the ďŹ rst act of Fargo and her dim-bulb patrol partner—the one who can’t recognize dealer plates—has to bring William H. Macy to justice. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I want to tune out the world and hide under the covers and never leave my house again and send our daughter, Alice, o to live with her cousins in Chicago, because they won’t screw her up the way I know I will. Somebody help me! I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. But then I think back to when I became a father—to when Michelle and I became parents together. I felt the same terror. I longed for the same retreat. And somehow I sort of half breathed in and clumsily took steps forward and I screwed up a lot of stu—we screwed up a lot of stu, Michelle and I—but eventually we got the hang of it. We had it. Or our version of “it.â€? And I think back even rther. Back to when Michelle and I ďŹ rst married. I’d somehow landed a woman far above my pay grade, in looks and intelligence and personali. And yet I felt the same terror and pull of retreat and safe to the old, no-strings life of a single comedian/actor in



I N T E L L I G E N C E W O T Y 2 0 1 6


The Inevitable i Oscar Ladies i of the Year NATALIE PORTMAN

The fame landscape is increasingly open to scrappy social-media savants—some with talent, some with talented friends





LA LA LAND La-la-la



Sofia Richie

Claim to Fame: Dated Justin Bieber; Lionel Richie’s daughter Social Clout: 1.7M on Instagram

NOMINATED FOR: Making a musical this enjoyable. It’s a challenging task, but she did it with charm to spare.

OSCAR CLIP: Incensed lash-out at Bobby

OSCAR CLIP: The bravura finale

MAY WIN B/C: The academy loves a good period piece.

MAY WIN B/C: It’s a musical.

MAY LOSE B/C: JFK wasn’t actually a great president.

MAY LOSE B/C: It’s a musical.

INADVERTENT SEXINESS: Draining her wine at dinner

INADVERTENT SEXINESS: It’s not very inadvertent.

are Moms to gross, o.




Claim to Fame: Snapchat model Social Clout: 300K on Snapchat

From the green-tinted pools to the aggressively pink floor mats, the American women went big in Rio Janeiro and carri the men on their shoulders with 61 total medals, including 27 golds. Lilly King wagged her finger at Russian doping and then out-swam her opponents. Katie Ledecky pulled five more medals out of the pool. Allyson Felix sprinted for three. The basketball team took home gold. And so did team gymnastics—not to mention Simone Biles, who snagged four more medals on her own. We’d call that a banner year for Title IX!

I want the gold.

Jenna Marbles

Claim to Fam me: Internet comedian Social Clout:: 16.5M on YouT Tube


Anthony’s weiner pic Sending dick pics is one thing. Tweeting one is far worse. Having your kid in the photo? Unforgivable.

1 6 2

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

Moms Now Funnier Than Dads The archetypal trope of American-family comedy—you know, the well-intentioned but dopey dad and his exasperated wife careening through d domestic scenarios— h has finally been ssubverted. There’s Mila K Kunis in Bad Moms ttaking the low road of public nudity and p d drunken rampages à la Will Ferrell. There’s W Allison Janney’s wellA llit, Emmy-nominated prime-time role on p CBS’s Mom (move over, C

WikiLeaks Julian Assange’s personal grudge against the Clintons is not a reason to abet the Russian

Kevin James). There’s a very pregnant Ali Wong’s special, Baby Cobra —basically a TED talk on bodily fluids. It all adds up to a golden age of mom jokes. Don’t get us wrong, we love Louie. But Pamela Adlon’s Better Things —a saga of single motherhood in Hollywood—is not only applicable to a larger audience, it’s darker, more realistic, and, dare we say it, funnier.

The generation that includes the teens making Snapchat worth $2.5B, as well as the 26-year-old CEO of that same company, has been taking a lot of flak for the selfie-ization of our society. Malia Obama is proof that millennials are not a lost cause—she’s managed to break out of the most secure household in the country and do her thing.

Gap yea bitches r, .

“Grab them by the pussy” Trump hits the lowest point for a nominee since Strom Thurmond and “Segregation forever.”


NOMINATED FOR: Taking on an iconic role and swinging the emotional wrecking ball.

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T : C O U R T E S Y O F F O X S E A R C H L I G H T ; C O U R T E S Y O F D A L E R O B I N E T T E / L I O N S G AT E ; K E V I N M A Z U R /A N H E U S E R - B U S C H / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; C O L L E E N H AY E S / F X / E V E R E T T C O L L E C T I O N ; E Z R A S H AW/ G E T T Y I M A G E S ; C O U R T E S Y O F J E N N A M A R B L E S / Y O U T U B E ; C O U R T E S Y O F J U L Z G O D D A R D ; C O U R T E S Y O F I N S TA G R A M / S O F I A R I C H I E



Clint Eastwood hired him to sue a rniture says of the lawyer who put company that was marketing a matching him out of business: “He chair and ooman called the Clint and the certainly seems intent on Eastwood. Some Hollywood lawyers get instilling fear in other rich on the numbing minutiae of contracts; publications by threatening Harder’s bread and buer was so-called them with Gawker’s fate.â€? right-of-publici cases, in which he’d ďŹ nd And we’re not talking people who were using his clients’ names merely of sex-tape purveyors or likenesses without permission. He told and Fleet Street tabloids, me: “Clients would say, ‘It’s not acceptable, either. Aer the Hogan because people pay me millions of dollars case, it would seem even our to say yes to what they just stole.’ â€? It was most venerable media an honest, lucrative, and fairly boring living. institutions are at risk. All But, as Harder sees it, he’s been working it takes is a lawsuit, ďŹ nanced toward this current moment for nearly by a billionaire, that seeks two decades. As a young associate at a to bankrupt them through Los Angeles entertainment law ďŹ rm ruinous jury verdicts that, in the late ’90s, he was relegated to legal even if they’re eventually scut work. In Hollywood, at the dawn overturned on appeal, would of the Internet, this oen meant policing have already done their damage. online pornography. e various stars As for the man who devised who retained Harder’s ďŹ rm to vet their this legal strategy, he’s got contracts and protect their endorsement his own reputation to protect. deals also tasked it with making sure With so many lawsuits that people weren’t Photoshopping their against so many media outlets, faces onto pictures of naked bodies and Harder recognizes that he’s in Harder won Hogan a $140 million judgment. puing them online. “I watched probably some, as he would say, reporters’ more porn than anyone in the ofďŹ ce,â€? Melania Trump against the Daily Mail and “crosshairs.â€? And he’s puing them on Harder says today. “I had been doing sexa Maryland bloer for reporting a rumor notice. Aer former Gawker editor-in-chief tape cases my whole career!â€? that she’d once worked as an escort. John Cook was quoted in Forbes as saying It was only natural, then, that Hulk Deposed Fox News head Roger Ailes has that “the end goal for Charles Harder Hogan would hire Harder when he had his reportedly retained Harder to represent is to harm people,â€? Harder’s law ďŹ rm sent own sex-tape problem. Indeed, Harder him in a potential libel suit against New York a leer to Univision threatening to sue had even tangled with Gawker before. In magazine and the writer Gabriel Sherman. Cook for defamation and the company 2012, he’d threatened to sue the website (Full disclosure: I write for New York.) for “negligent hiring practices.â€? for copyright infringement when it posted He’s currently suing two ďŹ nancial bloers Long accustomed to the behind-thea copy of Lena Dunham’s book proposal; on behalf of the investor Barry Honig. scenes role pical of lawyers to the Gawker subsequently removed the Certainly, Harder’s most headlinestars, Harder has become a surprisingly proposal—one of the rare instances in grabbing role could come in what would public, if still somewhat mysterious, ďŹ gure. which the site took something down. be the libel suit of the century: Donald As we talk, Harder reects on what it’s like Trump v. The New York Times. Trump has to now have reporters writing hinted that he’ll sue the Gray Lady for not about his clients but about “irresponsible intentâ€? (which is not actually him—and the perils that “I think there needs a legal term) in response to the paper’s represents. “If they were to say to be a chilling effect reporting on his taxes and a spate of alleged something that’s factually sexual assaults. While Harder re ses to false and hurts my business, on the irresponsible talk speciďŹ cs about Trump, he doesn’t they’re gone. ey’re toast,â€? writers,â€? Harder tells me. exactly dampen speculation. “It would be Harder says. “And I’ve got a law interesting if he’s a siing president, as ďŹ rm. And what are my costs? opposed to just a businessman,â€? he told A $400 ďŹ ling fee? Okay. You By the time Harder went to work for me in September, “but either way I would know, I could put $10 million Hogan, Gawker had already rebued probably bring that case if I felt it had of value into a case, no problem.â€? Harder, aempts by his client’s personal aorney merit.â€? Indeed, Harder was dragooned ever the gracious host, smiles his nonto remove the video from its website, so into oering what amounted to the bleached smile as he says this in a perfectly Harder dispensed with the customary Trump campaign’s weak response to pleasant tone. My stomach drops as threats and went straight to ďŹ ling a lawsuit. allegations in People that Trump assaulted I realize “theyâ€? includes me. He initially sued Gawker for copyright one of its reporters years ago: He sent infringement in federal court, but aer a a leer on Melania Trump’s behalf to the HARDER’S EMERGENCE as America’s couple of adverse rulings there, Harder magazine, denying that she was ever pre-eminent media menace appears dropped that suit and moved Hogan’s case friendly with the reporter (as the story to be as unlikely as it is sudden. Until the to a state court in Florida, where Hogan had claimed), which seemed to allow Hulk Hogan case, he was a respected lived. It turned out to be a crucial decision. Trump’s campaign to say it had threatened but low-proďŹ le entertainment lawyer— Harder diplomatically calls the Florida legal action against the magazine. just another cog in the Hollywood court a “fair venue.â€? “Favorableâ€? is the word Of course, with the year Harder has had, machine. When Reese Witherspoon wanted other legal observers would choose. Judge those stern leers can be downright to stop Sears from selling ugly baubles it Pamela Campbell—who, as a lawyer, once terri*ing. Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, dubbed “Reese rings,â€? she turned to Harder; 1 6 6

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6



represented the parents of the braindamaged woman Terri Schiavo in their legal bale to prevent the removal of their daughter’s feeding tube; and who, as a jurist over the past four years, has reportedly had her decisions reversed more than any of her colleagues in the Florida coun in which she sits—repeatedly ruled in Hogan’s favor throughout the three-anda-half-year case. Meanwhile, the six-person jury—made up of four women and two men from the Tampa area—awarded Hogan $40 million more than the $100 million he was seeking. e ruling was especially ruinous for Gawker because, earlier in the case, Harder had abruptly dropped Hogan’s claim of “negligent iniction of emotional distressâ€?—the only claim in the suit that put Gawker’s insurance company on the hook for the company’s legal-defense costs as well as any potential damages. Without insurance to cover such a judgment—even if the $140 million total is lowered or dismissed on appeal— the ruling eectively destroyed Gawker. Which may have been Peter iel’s intention from the outset. Harder re ses to discuss the details of the Silicon Valley billionaire’s involvement in the Hulk Hogan suit. Indeed, he claims that for the entire duration of the case, he didn’t even know the identi of the person paying his client’s legal bills—other than it was an altruistic person who felt bad for the former wrestler. “We researched to make sure it was a hundred percent ethical and a hundred percent legal, and it was,â€? Harder assures me. It wasn’t until aer the trial, when the Forbes reporter who broke the story of iel’s role contacted him for comment, that he learned the altruist’s identi. iel, who was outed as gay by a Gawker blog in 2007, has said that his ďŹ nancing of the Hogan suit was “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve doneâ€? and

that it was “less about revenge and more about speciďŹ c deterrence.â€? But what, exactly, he was hoping to deter is open to interpretation. Was it the publication of sex tapes or the revelation of a person’s sexuali? Or was iel—whose various businesses were subjected to a good deal of legitimate scrutiny by Gawker—seeking to deter something more? And will other billionaires eager to escape similar legitimate scrutiny now follow his lead? “e impact of the Gawker case is both substantial and dangerous,â€? says the venerable First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. “Most important, I think, is the deeply troubling visage of a billionaire seing out to put a publication out of business and succeeding in doing so. Whether you’re talking about The New York Times or The Washington Post or other of our most prestigious media entities, they have limited ďŹ nances compared to those of the billionaire class.â€? Harder himself isn’t terribly troubled by these concerns. “A billionaire can target anyone. A non-billionaire can target someone. A crazy person can kill their estranged girlfriend, and that happens, and it sucks,â€? he says. “But just because billionaires exist and media companies exist doesn’t mean that journalism ceases to exist.â€? We’re siing on the terrace of the Beverly Wilshire hotel eating lunch. A couple of Los Angeles legal heavyweights—one the lawyer for Taylor Swi, the other for Gwyneth Paltrow—have just stopped by to oer Harder their regards. He’s been geing that a lot lately. “When I took Gawker down,â€? Harder had told me earlier, one of his high-waage celebri clients called him. “She said, ‘Way to go!’ â€? “I think there needs to be a chilling eect on the irresponsible writers,â€? Harder continues. As he sees it—even aer Hulk Hogan, even aer iel—the deck is still


unfairly stacked in favor of the media. “e courts are largely pro–First Amendment,â€? he complains. “Media companies have a whole lot more money than the vast majori of individuals.â€? at’s why Harder argues that the “actual maliceâ€? standard in libel suits should be done away with. Established by the Supreme Court’s The New York Times v. Sullivan decision in 1964, the standard holds that in order for a public ďŹ gure to success lly sue for libel, he must prove that the false information published about him was printed with reckless disregard for the truth. “ere are a lot of celebrities and public ďŹ gures who don’t bring lawsuits because the standard is so high,â€? he says, “and you have to kind of get into somebody’s head as to what they were disregarding and what they were regarding.â€? Of course, the “actual maliceâ€? standard exists because, prior to the Sullivan decision, racist public ofďŹ cials in southern states were ing up The New York Times and other media outlets with costly litigation that prevented them from covering the civil rights movement. So I ask Harder— whose only decoration in his ofďŹ ce, save for some abstract paintings, is a blackand-white photo of Martin Luther King Jr. standing in front of a picture of Gandhi— what protections, absent the “actual maliceâ€? standard, would protect the press from going back to that wretched past. “I don’t know,â€? he confesses. “I’m not on the Supreme Court. It’s not my job to come up with the perfect thing. I really live in the realities. I mean, my job is, I’ve got a client or a potential client calling me up, saying here’s the situation, and I give them the realities.â€? e realities, it seems, are increasingly tilting in Harder’s favor.  JASON ZENGERLE is GQ’s political correspondent.

• Dirty Harry Don’t Work for Free Before he was a fearsome media slayer, Charles Harder was an attack dog for the stars. Which mostly involved finding companies profiting off celebs on the sly. Achievements include...

Clint Eastwood Beat a company peddling Eastwoodthemed furniture.

1 6 8

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

Reese Witherspoon Stopped Sears from selling a “Reese ring.�

Lena Dunham Got her leaked book proposal taken off Gawker.

Jude Law Sued a Canadian fireplace-maker using Law in ads.

Sandra Bullock Fought a company hawking a watch she wore in a film.

F R O M L E F T : J A S O N L A V E R I S / F I L M M A G I C / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; TAY L O R H I L L / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; D D I PA S U P I L / F I L M M A G I C / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; E L I S A B E T TA A . V I L L A / W I R E I M A G E / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; G R E G G D EG U I R E / W I R E I M A G E / G E T T Y I M A G E S



1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

1 7 3


The last time we talked to Ryan Reynolds, he was merely the handsomest, charmingest, Blake Lively–est actor alive. His quirky superhero movie, Deadpool—an obsession, to put it mildly—was a few months from being released. He was, you know, enjoying your standard incredibly successful Hollywood career. But now, more than a year and a handful of box-office records later? He’s a superstar. A heavyweight. You might even call him an auteur. But it wasn’t a transformation. We all just finally caught on

1 7 4

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

by Anna Peele

YAN REYNOLDS tells Blake Lively we’re headed to the war room. More accurately, he tells her we’re going to the barn, which sits on an old upstate New York farm that nctions as Reynolds’s family center and creative headquarters. It was on this estate, which he shares with the very pregnant Lively and their daughter, that he co-wrote the screenplay for Deadpool and where he’s currently working on its sequel with co-writers Rhe Reese and Paul Wernick. is farm—or Reynolds himself, ass planted on the farm, where he seems to be happiest— is the star around which all bodies of the Reynolds system orbit. So although Lively is due literally any minute, Reynolds has chosen to hold this interview here.



suit $4,300 shirt $770 tie $210 Dior Homme shoes (this page) Tom Ford



HAT HE’S ABLE to have a casual chat as the timer is about to ding on his wife’s second pregnancy speaks to his experience living like a MaďŹ a don conspiring in the back of a gelato shop. Reynolds’s front was a couple of decades of mid-size ďŹ lm hits and clever talk-show appearances. Of course, the hidden racket was Deadpool, which went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated ďŹ lm of all time. But, like, why? Why Deadpool? Because Deadpool is one of the most unique protagonists to appear in a blockbuster. He’s a movie character who’s aware of how absurd it is that he’s a movie character. A mutant who literally says, “Whose balls did I have to fondle to get my very own movie? I can’t tell you, but it does rhyme with Polverine.â€? e comic-book hero who basically asked the rest of the genre: “Why so serious?â€? Okay. But how did Reynolds prophesy that audiences would respond to the character he spent 11 grueling years forcing onto movie screens? Because he is one of the most unique ďŹ gures in Hollywood. He’s a movie star who’s aware how absurd it is that he’s a movie star. A celebri who poses on the Met Ball red carpet or at Taylor Swi’s Fourth of July par and looks into the camera with a smirk that suests he knows how many of us would fondle balls to be in his position. Reynolds recognized himself in a beloved character and spent a decade persuading doubters to let him blow up the superheroindustrial complex with the role of his lifetime. Among stacks of cookbooks and a bust of the character who changed his career, Reynolds sits on a sofa, poised to reect on the magnitude of his accomplishments. But ďŹ rst, he wants to give me shit about a conversation we had in the GQ fashion closet two days ago.‌ RYAN REYNOLDS: Remember how awkward it was when we were talking about my dad? GQ: I’m so sorry. I didn’t know he had passed away. When you said he was “scattered to the wind,â€? I thought you meant, like, metaphorically. I love situations like that. I really do. I actually didn’t know I was stringing you along. I thought you were totally hip to the fact that he was super-dead. But no! Ugghh. You had just mentioned your estrangement, so I was confused! I had a rough ten-year patch with my father. So we were estranged. Now we’re really estranged. But I actually had that sort of epic moment that only happens in ďŹ lms, where I saw him before he died and closed the loop as much as I could. As you get older, holding grudges about your childhood starts to feel petty. We’re all just hurtling through space in this green, spinning shit-wheel of devastation. At some point, you just kinda goa live and let go. I always wanted that father that was like Wilford Brimley, who

would put me on his lap and just dispense incredible life advice and guidance, and I would go out into the world and execute it beauti lly. From my earliest memory of him, my father was that stereopical tough guy. But it was just a veneer. e hardest part for me is that he was always kind of a mystery. I just don’t feel like I ever had a real conversation with him. Did you try? A lot. And I would get an engineered response, like I put a coin in the Response-O-Matic and out would come this fortune cookie–sized answer. I might ask, “What was your ďŹ rst girlfriend like?â€? He’d say, “She was dandy. Her name was Nancy.â€? And that would be it. I’d be like, “Do you want to try Googling her? Let’s see what happened. Maybe she’s a serial killer!â€? I always thought that the great father-son relationships have this kind of Butchand-Sundance quali. In a few hours, you’re going to be a father of two. I’m on the precipice of having a real American family. I mean, I always imagined that would happen, and then it happened. Every idiotic Hallmark-card clichĂŠ is true.

studio responded to that groundswell by saying, “Okay, here’s the absolute bare minimum amount of money that we will give this character. Let us know when the movie’s done.â€? I heard you personally paid $20,000 to use a picture of Bea Arthur in the movie. It was more a question of talking to the estate and the family personally and just reaching out and saying, “We’re gonna take care of this.â€? And there was a lile donation made to her chari. What was the charity? I forget. I may have donated a lot of money to hunting exotic, endangered animals. When did you think, “All right, this is a hitâ€?? When the ursday midnight numbers were so excessive that I just went, “Whoa.â€? We made our production budget back on Friday. ere’s a certain vindication that comes with that, especially because the studio—granted, under dierent regimes— for years just kept telling us to go ck ourselves sterile.

Speaking of delayed dreams: Why did it take Deadpool so long to happen? I’ve been on the train for 11 years trying to get it made. We did every iteration of that script we could to allow them to make the movie that looked vaguely like the movie we wanted to make.

Is Fox shoving money at you now? Are you insane? It’s not like, “We really want to shoot this on $70 million,â€? and they’re like, “We insist: It’s 150.â€? at never happens, trust me. And the ďŹ rst time, it was almost like the more Fox took away from us, the stronger we got. ere’s two moments of the movie where I forget my ammo bag. at’s not because Deadpool’s forget l. at’s because we couldn’t aord the guns that we were about to use in the scene.

You Trojan-horsed your Deadpool in through a regular superhero script. We thought, “Okay, if they let us do this, we’ll actually shoot this and hope lly they won’t notice.� Once the test footage leaked, that created a groundswell of support. And the

It sounds relentless. I felt like I was on some schooner in the middle of a white squall the whole time. It just never stopped. When it ďŹ nally ended, I had a lile bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes. I went to go see a doctor because I felt


suit $2,995 shirt $375 Dolce & Gabbana watch Piaget glasses Tom Ford where to buy it? go to /fashion-directories

like I was suering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, “You have anxie.â€? What were you so anxious about? I say this with the caveat that I completely recognize the ridiculously fortunate position that I am in. But the aention is hard on your nervous system—that might be why I live out in the woods. And I was banging the loudest drum for Deadpool. I wasn’t just trying to open it; I was trying to make a cultural phenomenon. How weird to be courting attention you don’t want. Well, I’m courting aention for the ďŹ lm. But you are the film. It is genuinely like an alter ego I can turn on and o.

Is using humor to deflect the same as your dad only telling you Nancy is dandy? Comedy is a thick buress that can get between intimacy and you. My father is one of the places I got it from. But I believe I’m self-aware enough not to bring that into my home. Your voice is different right now than when you go on talk shows. When you’re “on,� you almost sound like Phil Hartman. Oh, I loved Phil Hartman. You just seem more comfortable being yourself than you have in the past. I think that was a slightly fear-based reaction—I never wanted to reveal too much. Even now I’m a lile nervous, because you’re having a conversation with somebody, and you could say something

that either (a) just exposes your uer explosive ignorance about any given subject or (b) could be misinterpreted. I used to just shut down, like, “Okay, only crack jokes and cover the subject at hand in a very kind of cursory way.â€? But I’ve embraced the fact that I’m smart. I’ve embraced the fact that I’m an idiot. I’ve embraced the fact that I’m nny. If this were ďŹ ve, four, three years ago even, I wouldn’t have been like, “Come on in to my home, meet the baby.â€? It’s all human life. Take it or leave it. When did you know it was going to happen with Blake? Probably aer the sex. No, we were hanging out at this lile restaurant in Tribeca that’s open really late, and this song came on and I was just like, “Want to dance?â€? No one was in there, so it was just totally emp. And it was just one of those moments where halfway through the dance, it was like, “Oh, I think I just crossed a line.â€? And then I walked her home. And, uh, you know, I don’t really need to go into what happened aer that. Do you remember the song? I do, but I’m not gonna say. You’re shut out. Chris Pratt said that he’ll use lines he wrote years earlier, and that the best acting he does is pretending he’s coming up with them in the moment. Yes, exactly! I oen will write out bullet points before a talk show. I don’t care who you are, going on Letterman was always a pants-shiing experience. You never want to be that guy who’s like, “I just goa work this in somehow.â€? Everything you write, you have to be just as willing to throw away. I don’t do it for pillow talk with my wife, and sometimes I do just improvise. But yeah, it’s a lot more manufactured than people think. (continued on page 233) 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

1 7 7


Make one good movie and maybe it’s an accident. But two? With the bold, unsettling Nocturnal Animals, menswear’s most cinematic designer proves he’s just as potent in the world of cinema

OM FOR D thinks about death all day, if you want to know the truth. “I look at a puppy and I think, ‘Oh my God, that puppy’s so beauti l. Oh, it’s just going to be old and die.’ And that makes that puppy even more beauti l. I like owers; they’re beauti l. I think, ‘Well, they’re going to be dead in three or four days, but my God, aren’t they beauti l now?’ â€? He sits in his ofďŹ ce, which is nothing but shades of white, black, and stainless steel, and he thinks of death in there, too. Years ago the thumbprints on the steel would have bothered him. Years ago, he tells me, he would have sat up straighter


and made sure his suit was falling exactly right. Years ago he gave wild interviews. But it’s not years ago. It’s now, and he’s more interested in having a good talk than a wild time. He’s sober now. Or maybe it’s age that’s mellowed him— he’s 55—or maybe it’s that he has less to prove these days, now that just about everything he’s tried has turned out not just okay, not just success l, but singular and exquisite. He's still a perfectionist, of course—but he's decided he can survive a thumbprint or two. He has now made not one but two movies that are devastating and beauti l to watch, movies that linger with you for days aerward. First there was 2009’s A Single Man, a quiet and gorgeous ďŹ lm about a man in mourning for his partner. Now Nocturnal Animals, which on its surface looks like a story of revenge. But if you look harder, Ford says, it’s about something even more elemental than that: “It’s a movie about ďŹ nding the people in your life that mean something and not leing them get away." In 2011, on the recommendation of a friend, Ford read the book that Nocturnal Animals is based upon and he bought the rights immediately, even though he didn’t know what he’d do with it. He put it in one of the art galleries in the back of his mind, leing it incubate. at’s how he works. When he was ďŹ nally ready to write the screenplay, it took only six weeks. It’s the story of an art dealer in Los Angeles whose ex-husband sends her a copy of the novel he ďŹ nally wrote—the one he says she inspired. e movie goes back and forth between her story and the story in the novel, until they align in a way that still had me thinking about it more than a week aer I saw it. Tom Ford has much to lose. He’s always had a lot to lose. He’s been with his husband, Richard Buckley, for more than 30 years. He has a success l career as a fashion designer for his own house aer leaving a success l career as a fashion designer for other houses (upstarts Gucci and Saint Laurent). For a certain generation of cool people—Jay Z and Russell Westbrook, to name a few—a crisp and perfect Tom Ford suit is still the gold standard. But now he has a 4-year-old son, Jack, and maybe in one small way he’s just as boring as the rest of us—the way we only start considering all we have when our hearts reach a tipping point. So he has work to do. “I look at my son and he’s so happy and joy l and I say, ‘Richard, it’s because he hasn’t learned the secret yet. And the secret is that he’s going to die.’ â€? is focuses him, too. He knows he has a small amount of time to create new worlds—the urgency of existence comes down on you like a foot on your throat. “Jack doesn’t yet feel the pain that humans, all of us, feel and will feel.â€? But Tom Ford is still Tom Ford, and so when that child presents him with a cherished pair of light-up dinosaur sneakers, Tom Ford says, “What does Dada say about the dinosaur shoes?â€? And Jack replies, “ey’re tac .â€? “And when are we allowed to wear them?â€? “On weekends.â€? And so Jack looks longingly at his light-ups as the Stan Smiths with the Velcro strips go on his feet, and Tom Ford counts the days that Tom Ford has le.—TAFFY BRODESSER-AKNER G Q M O T Y

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

1 7 9









Tackling the recent past is risky—not least because it can require playing real figures who are still alive to watch you do it. GQ salutes the cast of The People v. O.J. Simpson for turning the Trial of the (last) Century into the Trial of 2016




Interviews with the cast



1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

1 8 1


1 8 2


1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

By now, we should be used to it. Every few years, he re-appears out of nowhere to remind us that he’s still one of a kind

Travolta answers slowly, care lly. “is is a power l, tragic, true, yet entertaining program, which is a very unusual combination,â€? he says. “But‌ it’s magnetic in the level of quali that it was done. It’s a deďŹ nition of entertainment that’s quite dierent from, you know, Grease. It helps that perhaps it creates understanding in other people. I had an AfricanAmerican preacher come up to me. He said to me—â€? Travolta slips into an accent that might be described broadly as “African-American preacher.â€? “ ‘I want to thank you for that O.J. show, because my congregation has been di-VAH-ded for years. You have put together a show that has explained...and now I understand both sides and why it caused the thing that—’ â€? Travolta catches himself doing an impression of a black person thanking John Travolta for explaining the O.J. trial. He snaps back to his own voice. “I don’t mean to imitate him, but I’m trying to give you the reali of the impact that the show had on someone.‌ When you understand the broken legal system, you can’t help but get enlightened. And then it becomes worth it to tell the tragic story. If you’re doing it for the glee of that, it’s o-puing. But I believe that we thought we would enlighten and create some level of understanding. And there’s been empirical situations where that’s happened.â€? We sail past our alloed talking time, but John Travolta is much too courteous to end an interview himself. His rep approaches to plead for his freedom. He has a video to record, an ofďŹ cial FX dinner to aend, Emmys to help collect, planes to y home. He needs to get back to being one of the most famous people on earth. I manage one last question. “Is it hard to y a plane?â€? I ask. He appears to give this real thought. “Not once you know how,â€? he says.—CAITY WEAVER


P R E V I O U S PA G E S A N D T H I S PA G E , M E N ’ S G R O O M I N G : D AV I D C O X AT A R T D E PA R T M E N T. P R E V I O U S PA G E S , PA U L S O N ’ S S T Y L I S T : VA N E S S A S H O K R I A N AT C E L E S T I N E A G E N C Y. H E R H A I R : B R I D G E T B R A G E R A T T H E W A L L G R O U P. M A K E U P : A D A M B R E U C H A U D A T T O M L I N S O N M A N A G E M E N T G R O U P.

OHN TRAVOLTA arrives for his close-up camera-ready—a state of perfection he has aained without aid or interference from the squadron of makeup artists, fashion people, and on-set Ukrainian seamstress whose job today is to get John Travolta camera-ready for his close-up. He is ready even before anyone lays eyes on him—possibly before his private jet touches down on California concrete (piloted by himself), and certainly by the time he emerges from his luxury SUV (driven by someone else). He is wearing a suit from his own closet.

It was made by a man in Italy, Travolta explains to everyone over and over, in a tone that is not so much boast l as quietly in awe of Italy, of the suit, and of the man who made it. Picture time. Six feet two and 62, John Travolta in his seventh decade has broadened from a loose-hipped hearhrob into something more commanding, like a bank president’s oil portrait. His mouth is the same as it was 40 years ago, but his face has ďŹ lled out, so that his lips, once pou, are now simply proportionate. His peerless proďŹ le is as tranquil and conďŹ dently sculpted as an Easter Island moai. It is the day before the Emmys and Travolta’s contribution to the People v. O.J. Simpson ensemble— as Simpson’s schmoozy, snoo, primly rage l defense aorney Robert Shapiro—has earned him a nomination. It was a classic Travolta performance, in a modern context: weekly scenery-chewing, with just enough gusto to distract you from his famous face, and generous enough to ďŹ t awlessly into a gied cast. For most actors, starring in the year’s biest cable drama would transform their careers and upend their lives—but John Travolta is already so famous, it is hard to imagine anything making him more famous. So, a ridiculous question: Did being on this smashhit, soon-to-be-Emmy-winning show change his all? Travolta’s answer is essentially a polite: Not really, but it feels fantastic. “You have these points in your career when you are associated with high quali, with depth, communication, and things that maer on a social level. And when you hit those notes—whether it be Primary Colors, or on the cover of Time magazine, or Pulp Fiction, or Saturday Night Fever, or Urban Cowboy—where you’re aecting the socie on a global level, then you feel a dierent kind of pride. It’s beyond the pride of success. It’s the pride ofâ€?—he hesitates—“of integri, I guess? You’re not always guaranteed to be involved with projects that will hit those notes. When you are, you really do register it.â€? Is it challenging, I ask, to balance pride in this project with the knowledge that it sprang from a brutal double homicide?

custom suit, cardigan, shirt and tie Matteo Perin

This is the year that the sidelines, benches, and vapid awards shows of America suddenly became political, controversial, and important.

Mark Anthony Green deciphers how athletes seized

• THE TIME and place couldn’t have been more trivial. A preseason football game between two mediocre teams. A second-string quarterback, following the worst season of his career. A patriotic ritual as routine as it is boring. And the most passive gesture known to nature: siing. Yet, in August, Colin Kaepernick took these ingredients and created 2016’s most polarizing debate. In a nation where anything and everything is ripe for satire and criticism, who knew the national anthem was o-limits? at by ignoring it you could provoke death threats and cause news anchors to have aneurysms. 1 8 4

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

Kate Upton was up in arms! She called athletes’ siing down or kneeling during the national anthem “unacceptable.â€? Rob Lowe: also perturbed. He tweeted that it was unacceptable, but with the proviso that it was only unacceptable on 9/11. Trump said Colin (like lots of other people) should leave the country. Kid Rock added his own double-wide poetic coda: “Fuck Colin Kaepernick.â€? But then there were the millions who instantly championed No. 7 as a truer patriot for his act. Obama sided with Kaepernick and then, being Obama, asked if maybe folks could listen to one another a lile more. Members of the armed forces created the hashtag #veteransforkaepernick, to back his right to protest anything he wants (especially inequali in the country they ďŹ ght for). And South Park made the kind of commentary only South Park could make by taking the national anthem and changing the lyrics to Cops are pigs / Colin Kaepernick’s

a good backup. As of the printing of this magazine, Kaepernick’s jersey was the second-most-purchased NFL jersey of the 2016–17 season. Kaepernick’s protest became the poster moment for what was already on its way to being the most peculiar, political year for black athletes to date. A high school squad in Aurora, Colorado, kneeled like Colin during the anthem; members of the Michigan Wolverines held up their ďŹ sts. Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, basketball player Maya Moore, and ballet dancer Misty Copeland—they all invoked Black Lives Matter via social media, on T-shirts, etc. In mid-July, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony took the stage to open the ESPYs. They stood shoulder to shoulder; their mood was militant and their look fashionable—picture Donatella Versace dressing Huey P. Newton and such. And then, before a single award was given or corny joke told, they proceeded to violate the unspoken rule that the ESPYs must be the blandest and try-hard-iest two hours of television. They issued a call to action for every athlete present to speak up against the recent killings of unarmed black men by police ofďŹ cers. In September, Serena Williams, arguably the most dominant American athlete of all time—and frontrunner for Miss Woke 2016— penned a raw confession on Facebook about her genuine fear of police and re-emphasized her support of the Black Lives Matter movement. “ ‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal’‌ I won’t be silent,â€? she wrote, quoting Martin G Q M O T Y

Luther King Jr. This while she was also manhandling beat reporters all year who asked dumb, coded questions like: Why don’t you smile during interviews? (Side note, if you’re wondering why she might not be so smiley: Serena is 19-2 in matches against Maria Sharapova, but when Porsche wants to give a female tennis player lots of money to pretend to like their products, they hire Sharapova, who was the highest-paid female athlete for the past decade and change.) Even Michael Jordan, patron saint of Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, spoke out about the cop killings and said, “I can no longer stay silent.â€? All this, of course, brought a whole new scrutiny to athletes who happened to be black and what they were and weren’t doing when it came to loving America. This summer, during the Olympics, 20-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas forgot to put her hand over her heart during the national anthem. Sensitive conservatives who probably can’t touch their toes let alone ip seven times into a split, criticized her. They thought she was making a militant statement. She wasn’t. In fact, the Olympics in general are like a bizarro version of America. African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population, but 42 percent of our Olympic goldmedal winners were black. When young black men from Cleveland or Chicago are shot (continued on page 230)


their platform, and why it was a long time coming


hoodie Rick Owens DRKSHDW tank top and sweatpants John Elliott sneakers Jordan Brand watch Rolex


• IT WASN’T about the gold medal. There was no doubt, really, that they’d win the gold-medal game. The various Dream Teams haven’t lost a game in three Olympics. And it wasn’t even close. But the real triumph was a two-minute video of Carmelo Anthony’s reaction to their win, a cocktail that was equal parts bravado and tears. It had even the most stoic Twitter trolls in their feelings. “Despite everything that we have going on in our country right now, we have to be united,” an emotional Melo said. It was as if he knew that in a year when we suffered through history’s most toxic presidential election, police violence and civil unrest, fake Rio gasstation robberies and a new Carrie Underwood album, we needed a moment of true patriotism. “I’m not an emotional person, so people knew it was genuine,” he says now. “It was bigger than a gold medal.” A genuine moment that will serve as the punctuation on his Hall of Fame career—because the Knicks damn sure ain’t winning a title.— M . A . G .

jacket and tie Tommy Hilfiger Tailored shirt Eton rings, his own


• “SOMETIMES you have to give people what they don’t know they want,” says Donald Glover. Before he was the creator and star of FX’s Atlanta, he was kind of a professional friendly face. (See Community, The Martian.) But with Atlanta, we saw something different. “People want the myth of Atlanta, but we didn’t want to give them just that,” Glover says. So instead of a half hour of voluptuous women, Ferraris, and rappers eating lobster platters—which is how every hip-hop song depicts the city— Atlanta is about how everyone else in Atlanta lives. The weirdos and conspiracy theorists. The ones still chasing their ATL dream. And it’s sneakybrilliant—Louie if Louis C.K. were young, black, and not depressed. Like when Glover created a black Justin Bieber—as in, a black actor playing Justin Bieber. “In a show grounded in reality”—Glover giggles—“it’s pretty cool to make Justin Bieber black, right?”

G R O O M I N G : D AV I D C O X F O R K E V I N M U R P H Y


188 12-2Ø16


suit, polo shirt, loafers and watch Gucci pocket square Charvet necklace Miansai bracelets and top ring (above) Degs & Sal other rings, from left David Yurman #203 Jewelry


In a year of uncompromising tragedy, the Orlando shooting— a terrorist attack that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, a crime of inhuman design—stands out as among the most difficult to comprehend. This story is not about what happened that night but, rather, what happened in the days and weeks and months that followed, as a community— a community of unbreakable young men and women—found it within themselves to forge ahead

by Sean Flynn

HE BULLET IS STILL IN HIS BELLY, but the wound is healing nicely, the abdominal muscles readjusting, strengthening. ree months aer Javier was shot in an Orlando nightclub, he can stand and walk and even carry trays in the restaurant. He is geing beer. Javier can feel it. An entire summer has passed, a whole season, since that night: dozens and dozens shot dead or wounded, all by one man with two guns in a club called Pulse. Javier spent ďŹ ve nights in the hospital and weeks in a wheelchair. But now he’s back at work,

nctional, normal again. He’s untangled the worst of the grief and horror, too, combed it into strands he could examine and understand. A therapist had asked Javier questions and listened to his answers and said he was doing ďŹ ne, that maybe he could help other Pulse survivors. Javier leaves work late in the middle of September, gets in his car, drives through downtown Orlando. e radio is on. He hears something—a song, a phrase, it doesn’t maer—and it reminds him of Gilberto. He smiles. Always the exuberant one, Gilberto. Funny, but in a ridiculous way, confrontational but protective, like that time in a club, crowded and swea, when 1 9 0

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

he told Javier, “Just stay close, and if anyone bothers you, you tell me.� A touch of gentle menace. Made a friend feel safe. Gilberto was 25 years old, born and raised in Puerto Rico, studied healthcare management. Javier met him when Javier and Adrian got married last May. Gilberto helped move Javier’s things into Adrian’s apartment, and looked aer him when Adrian had to leave town. Javier had only been in Orlando a few months, didn’t know many people, appreciated the company. Javier is driving and remembering and smiling. He believes he is happy. G Q M O T Y

At ďŹ rst, I just think good things. And then‌boom. Gilberto was at Pulse. e last time Javier saw him was on the dance oor, on his back, arms at his sides. He looked peace l, as if he were sleeping instead of dead. He also was in color, which was curious: Everything else, the other bodies and all the blood, so much blood, for a moment receded into shadow, as if Javier’s mind had focused a spotlight on his friend. And then Javier screamed, so abruptly that he startled himself. Just‌boom. Gilberto’s dead. In the car, it all oods back, immediate and crushing, like a small dam in his mind collapsed. Simon and Oscar are dead, too. Peter and Jean Carlos and Rodolfo, all dead. And now Javier is weeping in his car. It’s hard to drive because it’s hard to see, but he has to get home and he has to calm down. He doesn’t want Adrian to know. He won’t tell Adrian, not for weeks. ree months have gone by. Javier is supposed to be ďŹ ne by now. Didn’t the therapist tell him that?

Thousands gathered on June 13 for a vigil in downtown Orlando.



HE MAN WITH THE TWO GUNS walked into Pulse at two o’clock in the morning on Sunday, June 12. He carried a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rie, which he’d bought legally a week earlier, and a Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol, which he’d bought, also legally, the day aer he got the rie. An o-du police ofďŹ cer working securi at the door tried to stop him—tried, in fact, to shoot him—but was out-gunned, took cover, called for backup. e man with the guns continued inside, through the vestibule, toward the dance oor, which is when he started shooting people. Shooting and reloading and shooting again, he remained inside for more than three hours. Dozens of police swarmed Orange Avenue, but they couldn’t storm in. ere were hostages inside, hiding in bathrooms and in closets and under desks and behind bars. Maybe the shooter had a bomb, like he told a police negotiator. Maybe he’d wrapped explosive vests around four strangers and scaered them to the corners of the building, as he supposedly also said. He claimed to be a soldier for ISIS, a claim that was as convenient and self-arandizing as it was emp. When it was over, when the police broke through a wall and shot him to death, Omar Mateen had killed 49 people and wounded 53. It was the worst mass shooting in American history, and the deadliest aack in the United States since 9/11. ere were, as a maer of course, universal pronouncements of horror and shock. And there was immense grief, acute and unfathomable in Orlando, rippling out everywhere into something duller and wearying. Most of the victims were Latino, and most were gay, and for a brief while rainbows were appropriately prominent—ags and balloons and lit-up buildings—in mourn l tributes. People, strangers, in Texas and Arizona and Ohio and everywhere else, sent money and supplies for the wounded and the families of the dead, $29.5 million to the largest nd alone. Weeks passed, a month, then two more. It happened so long ago, aer all, before the summer even ofďŹ cially began. No one forgot, exactly, but memories scab over. 1 9 2

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

Except if it happened to you. Even when you think it’s over, when the therapist says you seem ďŹ ne and you believe it because you’re working again and you can barely feel the bullet anymore and you’ve stopped looking over your shoulder, you’ll hear something on the radio and it all comes back, as raw and sharp as ever, and then you’re sobbing in the car. It keeps happening, at an unpredictable frequency and with its own malevolent rhythm, because June 12 isn’t when it happened. at’s just when the shooting stopped. • • •

JAVIER USUALLY WORKS LATE, but he got o early that Saturday night in June. Oscar and Simon were just back from a short vacation, Niagara Falls, where they’d taken a photo of themselves pointing at the rainbow in the mist, and they wanted to meet Adrian and Javier at Pulse. In 12 years, Pulse had become one of the hubs of Orlando’s gay communi. It opened in 2004 and is owned by Barbara Poma, who named it as a tribute to her brother—his pulse of life, as it were—who died of complications from AIDS in 1991. It was divided into three separate, adjoining spaces: a main one in the center, with a bar on the back wall and a stage just to the le of the entrance; a smaller room, with another stage, on one side of the building; and, on the other side of the main room, a patio with a separate bar. ere were go-go dancers and stage acts and DJs, and the crowd skewed young. (“Anytime anyone turns 18,â€? says Michael Slaymaker, of the Orlando Youth Alliance, “they go to Pulse for the birthday par.â€?) It would be too narrow, though, to deďŹ ne Pulse as simply a gay club. It hosted educational forums and nd-raisers and opened its doors to a demographic jumble. “When College Night happened,â€? says a dancer and theater owner named Blue who used to be the entertainment director at Pulse, “it just became this safe haven for young people—gay, straight, bisexual.â€? “For me, it was always an open bar,â€? Adrian says. “Anyone could go, and it was like a family. Maybe some drunk people might act stupid, but it was always happy.â€? Saturday was Latin Night, which meant Adrian, who was born in one of Havana’s outer boroughs, and Javier, who was originally from Mexico Ci, would know a lot of the crowd. ey got to Pulse about 12:45, stayed inside for a while, went out to the patio because someone wanted a hookah, went back inside to dance. Adrian and Javier were in the main room, near the bar. ey heard a bang. Adrian thought someone had dropped something. More bangs, fast pops. Adrian thought they might be ďŹ recrackers. en he was on the oor. He doesn’t remember how he got there or how long he was there. Fieen minutes? Five? G Q M O T Y

T H E S E PA G E S , C L O C K W I S E F R O M L E F T : C A R L O A L L E G R I / R E U T E R S V I A Z U M A P R E S S ; C O U R T E S Y O F R AY C H E L B R I G H T M A N / N E W S D AY ; D R E W A N G E R E R / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; R A F A F E R N A N D E Z D E C A S T R O / F U S I O N ; R E D H U B E R / O R L A N D O S E N T I N E L / T N S V I A G E T T Y I M A G E S ; D AV I D G O L D M A N /A P P H O T O ( 2 )


A body was on top of him. Could have been a man, might have been a woman, maybe dead, possibly not. He found his phone, slippery-wet with blood, and looked up: Everyone was on the oor, except a man by the main door with a gun. Adrian got up and ran to the patio, away from the shooter. Where was Javier? Adrian started back inside, saw the man with the gun, heard more shooting, stopped. He called Javier’s cell, then realized his husband might be hiding, that the ringing might give him away. e police moved him to a safe spot behind a bagel shop. ere was nothing Adrian could do but wait. • • •

JAVIER KNEW THE SOUND was gunďŹ re. An argument, he assumed, some drunk with a gun, ďŹ ring bullets at someone. en more shots, people on the oor, a quick, hot pinch on the right side of his belly. A hole in his shirt. He saw a stairway behind the bar, thought it might go to the roof. He ran up it, holding his side. ere was only an ofďŹ ce up there, ďŹ ve people already huddled inside, one shot in the leg. Javier stued himself under a desk with two other people. He called 911, but he was whispering and maybe he lapsed into Spanish. e operator couldn’t understand him. He gave his phone to a woman who explained where they were, that two men were shot. While she talked, she kept a knee pressed into Javier’s gut to try to keep his blood from leaking out. Javier mapped the building in his head, realized he was above the main dance oor. If the shooter raised the barrel of his rie 30 degrees, he could put a magazine of bullets through the ofďŹ ce oor, kill them all. ey waited, six people in an ofďŹ ce. e police pinned the shooter in a bathroom, cleared the main room, told everyone to

In the days following the shooting, the hospitals and churches of Orlando were inundated. Survivors like Javier and Adrian (both pictured third from right) were among the fortunate but were by no means left unscarred.

come down from the ofďŹ ce, hands in the air. Javier could only get his right arm up, his le pressing on his abdomen. An ofďŹ cer grabbed him at the boom of the stairs, propped him up, helped him step around the bodies. He saw Gilberto, peace l and in color. He saw a body dressed all in white on the patio and wondered how he got there to die. He saw Adrian running toward him, and, for an instant, he feared the police would shoot him. • • •

THE MORNING AFTER, the theater owner Blue—Blue Star, Baby Blue, or just Blue—woke up at 6 A.M. to the incessant chirping of her cell phone. “I probably missed a hundred calls, a hundred texts,â€? she says. Blue is a ďŹ xture in Orlando’s LGBTQ communi, involved in philanthropies and forums and boards. Atlanta-born and classically trained in ballet, she danced professionally in New York before she moved to central Florida to study sound engineering in 2000. She worked at Pulse for years, then opened her own theater, e Venue, in the Ivanhoe Village neighborhood. e phone messages were overwhelming, disorienting, fantastical. She was out of town for the weekend, holed up in St. Augustine to write; she stages and performs in plays and burlesque shows, including, every few months, at Pulse. She switched on the television. e cable anchors said it was true, said there were at least 20 dead. “You know,â€? Blue says now, “when you turn on CNN, it’s always another town, another ci. You get the emotional waves that come with it, but that’s our lile club on Orange Avenue.â€? A hundred and seven miles away in Lakeland, Robin Maynard had been up since ďŹ ve, jostled awake by her cell. She’d been at her 30th high school reunion the night before, had helped plan it, which was ironic because she le aer her junior year, when she realized she was gay and didn’t want to be and thought a small, Christian school could wring it out of her. She runs a breast-cancer non-proďŹ t now, Libby’s Legacy, named for her mother. Robin’s not much for dance clubs these days, but she knows everyone in Orlando and at Pulse; the club had a Pink Par beneďŹ t for Libby’s Legacy. For awards ceremonies and in bios for some board or another, a friend sometimes pes “G.S.D.â€? aer her name, where the Ph.D. or the M.D. would go for a doctor. It stands for “gets shit done.â€? (continued on page 227)


It took Warren Beatty 18 years to make his latest movie, a labor of love that seems to be about Howard Hughes but is not-so-secretly a meditation on the twin obsessions that have driven his entire career: sex and death

by Amy Wallace

1 9 4

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6



suit $3,595 shirt $495 tie $195 Ermenegildo Zegna sunglasses, his own location Fox Studios where to buy it? go to /fashion-directories


He looks good—almost 80, yeah, but limber and loose and comfortable in his skin. Standing there in his jeans and white tennies, with a tan buon-front shirt falling open to reveal a white tee, he seems ďŹ t and sharp, even if he sometimes has to lean in and ask us to repeat our questions. Once known as the consummate lady-killer, these days he talks more about his kids than his conquests. (He refers to his ospring with his wife, Annee Bening, as “four small Eastern European countries that inhabit the house.â€?) Asked why this ďŹ lm has taken so long, he says he’s had the luxury of not having the need, ďŹ nancially at least, to make movies: “I always say making movies is like vomiting. I don’t like vomiting. But there is a time when you say, ‘I’ll feel beer if I ďŹ nally throw up.’ â€? By one estimate, Beay has wanted to make this ďŹ lm since 1973. (“From the time I met him,â€? Bening says, “there was always a Howard Hughes script, always a Howard Hughes idea, always a Howard Hughes movie that was going to happen, maybe, at some time.â€?) But Beay tells us the story isn’t really about the billionaire/inventor/ladies’ man. “Since I haven’t done an interview in 100 years, I haven’t really talked about what this movie is about. It is not a biopic of Howard Hughes,â€? he says. Instead, “it has something to do with the consequences of American Protestant guilt—and sexuali.â€? And with that, he heads for the door.  e lights go down, and the ďŹ lm begins with a Hughes quote emblazoned on the screen: NEVER CHECK AN INTERESTING FACT. e plot follows

Rules Don’t Apply reaches back to 1958—the same year Beay arrived in Los Angeles. e camera lingers lovingly on the Hollywood Bowl and the Beverly Hills Hotel, places that were already landmarks when Beay ďŹ rst discovered them. During those early years, Beay lived for a time at the Chateau Marmont and dated actress Joan Collins. She later wrote in her memoir, “the endless bonking was exhausting.â€? As we sit in the dark and admire Beay’s vision of a bygone Hollywood, it turns out that if Beay le the theater at all, he came right back. He’s been watching us watch him. So intently has he monitored our movements that, aer the credits roll, he will call out a Variety writer for checking his iPhone during the ďŹ lm. (Beay will nail him by repeating the poor guy’s four-digit securi code back to him, asking pointedly, “What do these four numbers mean to you?â€?) is is Beay the press-averse grump, whom I’d been expecting. But I know he has another side—Beay the seducer—that I’m eager to see. • • •

ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, I arrive at his mansion on Mulholland Drive. ere’s a gate and a buzzer, and soon I’m aiming my dir Prius up a winding drive. Beay, dressed in jeans and a black eece pullover, is waiting outside. He looks sporting, though only vaguely at ease, as he leads me to a table on a raised patio shaded by a huge jacaranda G Q M O T Y

T H I S PAG E : R O N G A L E L L A / W I R E I M AG E /G E T T Y I M AG E S . O P P O S I T E PAG E : R O L L S P R E S S / P O P P E R F OTO/G E T T Y I M AG E S .

H I S I S M Y S P I E L , â€? Warren Beay says. “I quote Cocteau: ‘e poem’s never ďŹ nished. It’s only abandoned.’ â€? Eleven of us have packed into a tiny Technicolor screening room in Los Angeles to see Beay’s new ďŹ lm, Rules Don’t Apply, the ďŹ rst movie he’s starred in and directed since 1998. While he really likes the print we are about to watch (“I think it’s good, see?â€?), he acknowledges he can’t stop ďŹ ddling with it. He made changes just two days ago and may make more. No wonder this screening has been scheduled, then postponed, three dierent times.

two young lovers (Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich) whose fates are entangled with that of an aging Hughes. Beay plays Hughes less as the tortured eccentric Leonardo DiCaprio gave us in The Aviator, and more as a crazy-like-a-fox Old Hollywood mogul who knows everyone that maers and speaks with impeccable comic timing. Mahew Broderick, who has a part as a member of Hughes’s trusted inner circle, will tell me he still marvels at Beay’s connection to motion-picture history. “Warren got to Hollywood right at the end of the studio system,â€? Broderick says. “He really knew and learned from some of these great old geniuses. ere are very few directors who can quote William Wylerâ€?—the Oscar-winning director of Ben-Hur— “to you. He does a Samuel Goldwyn impression, you know? It’s very exciting to get to touch that world from a distance.â€? Beay has now been making major motion pictures longer than anyone else alive. (Clint Eastwood runs a close second.) Over six decades, he has earned 14 Oscar nominations and one win: best director for Reds, which he also co-wrote, produced, and starred in. And he’s received the Academy’s highest honor, the Irving G. alberg Memorial Award, which honors a ďŹ lmmaker’s body of work.

among the things Beay will inquire about: where I grew up, how old I was when I lost my virgini, how old my mother was when she lost her virgini, how many times she’s been married, where my father lives, how old I am now, what college my son goes to, how long I’ve been divorced, what my new spouse does for a living (“Who is your husband?â€? is the way he puts it), and whether a close friend of Beay’s (whom I’ve also wrien about) ever hit on me. (When I say no, he shakes his head and says simply, “Yes, he did.â€?) To evade my questions, he will sometimes pretend not to hear me or will say, “I won’t tell you, because once I tell you, I would have to go into detail.â€? Certain moments become so awkwardly un-illuminating that at one point I openly empathize with his discomfort, and he replies, somewhat stify, “I can protect myself.â€? Don’t think for a minute that he can’t. Even when I toss him a soball—“What do you think the biest misconception is about Warren Beay?â€?—he responds with the rhetorical equivalent of a MĂśbius strip: “To respect that question enough to answer it would imply a level of narcissism on my part that I would prefer to deny.â€? At which point I can only laugh and concede, “Well done.â€? And yet on topics he cares about—like sex—he can be startlingly forthcoming. On a phone call before I visit his house, he volunteers that he lost his own virgini at a relatively advanced age. Beatty charms Geraldo Rivera and Julie Christie at the same time. “Despite what happened to me aerward,â€? he tells Like Gosling today and Cruise in the ’80s, Beatty ruled the 1960s. me, “I delayed the unspeakable act until I was almost 20.â€? What happened to him aerward, of course, is that he became one of Hollywood’s all-time great Casanovas. Just how great? A juicy 2010 biography by Peter Biskind asserted that he’d bedded 12,775 women, give or take. I ask Beay if it’s a coincidence that a sleazy biographer character in Rules Don’t Apply is named Richard Miskin. Beay demurs, then laments that our post-truth Internet era makes it impossible to separate fact from ďŹ ction. “I could say I met you at Technicolor and I grabbed you by the back of the neck, and I took you into another room, and I threw—you know, I had my way with you. And you were just fantastic. And if you denied it, you would be only 50 percent redeemed,â€? he says. I’m still reeling at the thought of our imagined tryst when he adds, “When you reach my age and have been famous as long as I have, the possibilities for invented memory from other people are staering.â€? He should know. “I think I’ve had 16 books that purport to be a biography of me. I’ve never cooperated with someone. And I hope you’ll believe me, although you probably won’t, I haven’t read more than 15 pages of any of them. Because I read the ďŹ rst 10 or 15 pages, and I say, ‘Well, please. What kind of masochistic exercise is this?’ I haven’t read them on purpose, because I like being able to say that I haven’t read them. I really haven’t. I swear.â€? A beat. “I will confess to having them all.â€?

tree. It’s spectacular, his breathtaking 180-degree view of Los Angeles, and I will have a long time to appraise it: We’ll spend the next four hours talking here, just outside the 10,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean-sle home he shares with Bening and their kids. Beay’s disdain for interviews is a maer of record. “I’d rather ride down the street on a camel than give what is sometimes called an in-depth interview,â€? he once said. “On a camel, nude, in a snowstorm, backwards.â€? To me, he conďŹ rms the quote, adding: “During the Macy’s anksgiving Day parade.â€? Beay and his sister, actress Shirley MacLaine, grew up surrounded by Baptists in Richmond, Virginia. MacLaine has said that “even as a kid, Warren had a private world no one could penetrate. He could shut everyone out.â€? Or, if that fails, at least shut them down. e producer and onetime studio chief Robert Evans once said Beay never answers questions—he only asks them. Indeed,

• • •

BEATTY’S BIG-SCREEN DEBUT was Splendor in the Grass, a tale of sexual frustration that costarred Natalie Wood as a “good girlâ€? who won’t put out and Beay as her blue-balled high school sweetheart. In the movie, Beay doesn’t put the wood to Wood’s character, Deanie (though that would eventually happen in real life—Wood fell into Beay’s arms aer leaving her husband, Robert Wagner). Instead his character, Bud, goes for a girl of looser morals (continued on page 228) 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

1 9 7

Fresh faces, ginormous talents, and outrageous debuts…styled in the clothes th at defined the year

A G E : 34 B R E A KO U T R O L E :

As Naz on HBO’s The Night Of, on which he transforms from a gentle dude in the wrong place at the wrong time into a prison-hardened maybe-murderer

1 9 8

1 2 - 2 0 1 6

W H E R E E L S E YO U ’ V E S E E N H I M : Stealing

scenes in Nightcrawler and Jason Bourne W H E R E E L S E YO U ’ V E H E A R D H I M : Rapping

as Riz MC

WHO DIDN’T HEAR H I M : Elderly Brits.

DJs thought his track “Post 9/11 Blues” was too controversial,

but the song took off on MySpace.

And then I never heard it again. For years.”



to New York,” says The Night Of co-writer and director Steve Zaillian, “and that was the first time I heard his natural English accent.

“I was working out like a beast the whole time.”

“Ah, I remember that film you did in 2008, and that track you did five years ago.” H O W A M E R I C A N FA N S A P P R O A C H H I M : “YO,


A little film called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story




THE UN-BLACK LEATHER JACKET jacket $7,345 Dolce & Gabbana + henley $345 Dolce & Gabbana pants $650 Dries Van Noten bracelet David Yurman

dress Dsquared2 location (this page) Metrograph, N.Y.C.

A G E : 31 B R E A KO U T R O L E :

As the star of Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, about a young woman’s journey through marriage, motherhood, and life, generally W H E R E E L S E YO U ’ V E S E E N H E R : If you’re

from Spain, all over

the place. If you’re from the U.S., see above. H O W A L M O D Ó VA R DESCRIBES HER:

“Inexhaustible.” WHICH IS GOOD, BECAUSE H E ’ S : “Insatiable.” THE CLANDESTINE P R O C E S S BY W H I C H


“I went to the audition, and they were like, ‘We cannot tell you who the director is, because it’s a secret. And we should respect all this process.’ ” W H I C H S H E : Did, coming back three times to

audition in completely different styles before learning she’d gotten the part. HER PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH A L M O D Ó VA R : Unrequited

longing. “I didn’t allow myself to dream that


one day I would work with him, because it was impossible. I didn’t want to be frustrated, so I tried to avoid all his films.” HOW SUCCESSFUL SHE WA S AT T H AT : Not very W H AT ’ S N E X T ? The

American release of Julieta on December 21

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

1 9 9


A G E : 35 B R E A KO U T R O L E :

The quietly forceful Mildred Loving, one half of the couple who push the Supreme Court to protect interracial marriage in Loving H E R A C C E N T : Irish-ish I S H ? Negga was born in Ethiopia and raised in Limerick and London. W H E R E E L S E YO U ’ V E S E E N H E R : As a badass

gunslinger on Preacher (season two premieres next year) WHERE ‘LOVING’ WRITER-DIRECTOR JEFF NICHOLS HAD S E E N H E R : “Jeff had

never heard of me.” WHEN NICHOLS KNEW SHE GOT THE PA R T : “When Ruth

said ‘American Civil Liberties Union’ exactly the way that Mildred says it. I gave her a note about her ‘spine.’ I wanted to say something to come off mildly intelligent, like I knew something about the character. As soon as she left the room, I said, ‘Well, I guess we’re done.’ ” INTERVIEWS BY

Sarah Ball Zach Baron Benjy Hansen-Bundy Lauren Larson Peter Martin Mariah Smith MORE

Full stories on all the Breakouts G Q.C O M

coat and dress Tom Ford

2 0 0

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


MODERN, MUSCULAR TWEED coat $1,295 Michael Kors + tank top $40 (for three) pants $175 Michael Kors boots $610 O’Keeffe bracelet Caputo & Co. watch Bulova necklace and ring, vintage

A G E : 26 B R E A KO U T R O L E :

A drug dealer in the final third of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’s triptych about growing up gay in crackdevastated Miami HOW HIS ‘MOONLIGHT’ AUDITION WENT:

“I kicked his ass out,” says Jenkins. WHICH TURNED OUT T O B E . . . A good thing.

Jenkins asked him to come back in and read for the character he wound up playing in the film.



“I walked around L.A. hating everyone because they were happy. Little kids smiling? I wanted to slap the shit out of them. It was the strangest thing, because I like being personable!” W H AT ’ S N E X T ? Terrence Malick’s Weightless, opposite Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman 1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

2 0 1

N o a h S c h n a p p 12 C a l e b M c L a u g h l i n 15 G a t e n M a t a ra z z o 14 F i n n Wo l f h a r d 13 M i l l i e B o b by B r ow n 12

the Duffer Brothers’ 1980s-set sci-fi Netflix hit, Stranger Things

B R E A KO U T R O L E S :

“Winona Ryder and David Harbour aren’t slapping each other across the face as a

A gang of preadolescent heroes who take down a monster from an alternate dimension on 2 0 2

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


prank between takes. We’d have to be like, ‘Guys! You’re turning your faces red!’ ” W H E N T H E Y S AY “ G U YS ” . . . They’re

not talking about Brown. “Millie was seasoned. She’d ask for another take— something adult actors do, but never kids.”


“I keep the boys in check. I’m quite proper.” W H I C H T H E B OYS C AT E G O R I Z E S L I G H T LY D I F F E R E N T LY:

McLaughlin: “When she’s here, it’s more like we’re girls.”


Wolfhard: “We have to be, like, prissy.” Matarazzo: “I’ve gotten more British.” W H AT ’ S N E X T ?

Season two of Stranger Things is currently filming in Atlanta.



sweater and shirt GapKids pants Palm Angels ON CALEB M C LAUGHLIN

tracksuit Adidas Originals t-shirt Cooke Collective ON GATEN MATARAZZO

jacket Neil Barrett t-shirt GapKids jeans John Elliott ON FINN WOLFHARD

sweater and pants Gosha Rubchinskiy t-shirt American Apparel skateboards East River Skate Shop, Brooklyn for additional credits, see page 233.


jacket, skirt, and boots Coach 1941 t-shirt Marc Jacobs socks Topshop


A G E : 19 B R E A KO U T RO L E :

As a mouthy teenager recovering from his father’s death in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea SHOULDN’T HE BE IN S C H O O L? Who ah you, his

fathah? He’s taking a year off from UNCSA to live and work in L.A.


“I studied a lot of news reports—local people being interviewed. I also had a dialect coach, who told me to watch ‘Shit Boston Guys Say’ on YouTube.” “ S H I T B O S T O N G U YS S AY ” I M PA C T O N H I S S H I T - TA L K I N G S K I L L S : “One of the


very impressive things is how good he became at verbal sparring,” Lonergan says. “Casey Affleck and I really like to abuse each other—I wanted that for Casey’s and Lucas’s characters.”

peacoat $3,540 Prada



+ shirt $1,020 pants $1,400 Prada shoes $650 Allen Edmonds


the younger brother at a sleepover with my older brother. My relationship with Casey in the film is extremely similar to real life.” W H AT ’ S N E X T ? A role in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird

blazer (yellow) $2,000 Jeffrey Rüdes shirt $1,250 Bally jeans $198 J Brand loafers $750 Louis Leeman ON HERIZEN GUARDIOLA

dress and heels Marc Jacobs ON JUSTICE SMITH

blazer $1,395 shirt $550 jeans $595 Burberry

for additional credits and production, see page 233.

sneakers $480 Golden Goose Deluxe Brand

where to buy it? go to /fashion-directories

2 0 4

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

location (right) Metrograph, N.Y.C.


S h a m e i k M o o r e 21 · H e r i z e n G u a r d i o l a 20 · J u s t i c e S m i t h 21 B R E A KO U T R O L E S :

On the 1970s Bronx-set Netflix series The Get Down, Moore plays DJ and graffiti virtuoso Shaolin, Guardiola is a singer who sheds choir robes for the disco floor, and Smith portrays a quiet protégé who finds voice in his verses. W H E R E E L S E YO U ’ V E S E E N T H E M : Moore

starred in Dope, and Smith in John Green’s Paper Towns. If you know Guardiola, it’s because you’ve heard her music—this is her first major acting role.


“Baz approaches the story with so much humility,” Smith says. “I see him stepping back and letting producers like Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, and Nas take the reins.” S P E A K I N G O F H U M I L I T Y. . .

“My agents were like, ‘Yo, this man Baz Luhrmann, he’s done The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!…, ’ ” says Moore. “And then I met him, and the show has to do with hip-hop? It was perfect, because G Q M O T Y

there’s nobody that would play Shaolin better than me.” W H AT L U H R M A N N S AYS THE CAST BROUGHT TO T H E I R R O L E S : “Herizen

growing as an actor or Justice asking, ‘What is this scene?’ And, of course, Shameik, who brought into the circle since day one a genuine connection and involvement with hip-hop. Those relationships were real in life.” W H AT ’ S N E X T ? Season two of The Get Down premieres this spring.

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

2 0 5


Sean Brock is one of the South’s leading chefs. But for years, he’s been secretly suffering from a mysterious disease—exacerbated by working too hard, drinking too much, and being too angry (i.e., the chef’s disease)— that rendered him nearly blind. After a long-awaited treatment this year, Brock was overwhelmed by a creative surge that has led to a genius revamp of his first Charleston restaurant, McCrady’s. But will all that’s required of a high-profile opening bring back the sickness?

2 0 8

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


by Brett Martin PAOLA + MURRAY


VERY MORNING this week, Sean Brock has woken up and vomited. is is not, in and of itself, that unusual. Brock inherited a tric gag reex from his father, and the smallest thing can sometimes set him o: picking up aer his dog, for instance, or the toothbrush scraping too far back on his tongue. is week, though, the throwing up has been from nerves. In ten days, he’s scheduled to complete the re-invention of his agship Charleston restaurant, McCrady’s. e ďŹ rst stage, which opened a few weeks ago, was McCrady’s Tavern, a bustling, meat-heavy canteen with a menu inspired by Brock’s collection of 19th-century cookbooks. e second will be housed in this small, rectangular space: 18 seats, 12 of them around a U-shaped counter, and a tasting menu that aspires to compete with the imaginative culinary standards of the best restaurants in the world. Brock says it’s everything he’s ever wanted as a chef. Which is enough to make him barf. What the ture looks like, at this moment, is four men staring silently at a white plate. Brock and three of his top chefs are gathered in the gleaming open kitchen of the new McCrady’s. Strewn about are crates of crystal wineglasses, boxes of atware, a small forest of bonsai trees to be used in the presentation of the restaurant’s ďŹ rst course. “I’ve wanted these ever since I saw The Karate Kid,â€? Brock says. e men are regarding a dish that, on closer examination, contains an arrangement of food as white as the china it’s plated on: an ivory rectangle of poached cobia, a tumble of brunoised matsutake mushrooms, and a pool of white sauce made from green, or uncooked, peanuts. It is the consistency of tahini but tastes loamy and raw. “We peel each peanut by hand. It’s a fairly fast process,â€? deadpans John Sleasman, McCrady's chef de cuisine. Like the others, he’s wearing a look best described as “pursued by werewolf.â€? "Nobody's been doing a lot of sleeping around here," Brock says. He peers at the dish from beneath the at brim of his black baseball hat. If there is a template for southern chef these days—burly, bearded, bespectacled, baseball-capped, and bedraped in taoos—it is in large part a look based on Brock’s. Tonight he’s wearing sneakers, 2 1 0

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

a chef’s jacket over a Slayer T-shirt, and a cap reading M C , for McCrady’s. He can almost seem to have two faces: At times, boyishly mischievous, quick to break into a barking laugh. At others, blank as an Easter Island statue and older than his 38 years. is is already the tenth iteration of the cobia-and-matsutake dish. At about the 12th or 13th, as the night wears on, the chefs hit on the idea of mixing the peanut sauce with a shot of liqueďŹ ed lovage; at the 16th, of pouring out the combined sauce in front of the diner, creating a spidery puddle of green and white. Brock takes a bite and goes for a lile walk away from the plate, as he oen does while tasting. “at’s really delicious,â€? he says ďŹ nally, smiling for the ďŹ rst time. e cooks imperceptibly relax, like the unwiing subjects of a Columbo interrogation, before Brock turns back with just one more thing: “Should it really be just one piece of ďŹ sh?â€? And the whole process starts again. Several more versions down the line, Brock removes his hat and runs his hands through his hair and across his face. “I’m about to boot this whole dish out onto East Bay Street,â€? he muers. Sensing a break, the other chefs depart. Brock sits down heavily on a stool, traces a ďŹ nger along the line of solder that runs the length of the blackwalnut counter. “is is the restaurant I’ve always wanted to have. is is the place I’ve dreamed about and never thought I’d be able to open,â€? he says. “Every person in this building and every person in the public is expecting something big, something Sean Brock at the revamped important, something McCrady’s in Charleston impressive,â€? he says. Clockwise from top left: wood-fired oysters; muscadine Part of the quiet mood grapes, sorghum, and milk ice tonight, he explains, has to cream; popsicle of strawberry do with the fact that he marshmallow coated with exploded at his team earlier. foie gras and almonds; duck glazed with watermelon e speciďŹ cs are already molasses in a basil puree fading, but the eects haven’t. “I feel sick. I feel like I got beat up,â€? he says. He holds up a hand, swollen and weirdly crooked, to show the knuckle still bleeding from when he punched a wall. “ese dishes we’re working on, I could taste them in my head as soon as I came up with them,â€? he says. “It’s just not coming out onto the plate.â€? And there’s something else. Brock sighs and rubs his eyes: “I haven’t been able to see a cking thing all day.â€? • • •

THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 16,000 photos on Brock’s iPhone. By rough estimation, about 10 percent of those are of various iterations of matsutake and cobia. Another 20 percent are of Ruby, his French bulldog. And the rest are of eyes. ere are bruised eyes. Baered eyes. Eyes leaking actual tears of bright red blood. ere are eyes with stitches and eyes with bandages. Eyes drooping as though draed down by ďŹ shhooks and eyes goling in a grotesque simulation of surprise. Eyes hidden behind patches, shielded by stained gauze, buried beneath great sock ls of ice. (continued on page 231) All of them are Brock’s eyes. G Q M O T Y



1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

2 1 1


We thought we knew

when Usain Bolt won gold

in 2008 in preposterous fashion (with his shoe untied!).

But somehow he got

smashing his Olympic

records in 2012. This year, at the ancient age of 29, the

man in history grabbed three more gold medals,

making the case that he was right when he declared himself


by Devin Friedman 2 1 2

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6






“I’m prey lazy,â€? he tells me. “I’m a lazy person.â€? is is the most time he’s ever had o since he started competing seriously at age 16. It’s a reward he’s given to himself for winning three gold medals at the Rio Olympics this year (for the 100 meters, the 200 meters, and as part of the 4 x 100–meter relay team). For not only holding the world record in the 100 and 200 (which no one seems to be able to come close to) but also being the only runner in the history of the world to win three gold medals in three sprinting events in three separate Games. It’s hard to even come up with a name for it—the triple threepeat? e nine-peat? I ask: Is it difďŹ cult to be physically inactive for that long? “I like to chill out,â€? he says. “Watching TV. at’s me.â€? So we talk about what he likes to watch on TV. Action movies, he says. He likes them violent. He wants jaws broken and heads exploding. He liked

the last Captain America movie, but the end was bullshit. He thinks the Bourne movies are good, but they’re all the same. e last really good movie he saw? e Ninja Turtles movie: “It was about Krang, the villain, who came from another world and tried to take over the world with Shredder; then he betrayed Shredder and the Ninja Turtles have to save the world from this war-machine crap. It was good!â€? Oh, and Veep. He digs Veep, too. I don’t believe you’re lazy, I tell him. You can’t be lazy and win nine Olympic gold medals. “It’s true,â€? he says. “I’m lazy. I’ll call someone upstairs and say, ‘Pass me the remote.’ â€? He says it’s good that he’s acclimating so well to the Ninja Turtles-movie-reviewer lifesle, because in less than a year Usain Bolt plans to be retired from track and ďŹ eld. is was, he conďŹ rms, his last Olympics. He will train for one more world track championships, in London next summer. And then... Well, that’s prey much it. You’re not going to miss it, I ask. (He shakes his head: No.) But you like running, right? “Yeah. I like to compete.â€? If you watch all of Usain Bolt’s Olympics in order— Beijing in 2008, then London in 2012, Rio this year—you’ll notice something. At ďŹ rst, in Beijing, he seemed to be made out of some other kind of material entirely. He was so far ahead aer 80 meters that he actually let up, looked back, and raised his arms. is look on his face we’d never quite seen before on a worldclass athlete. It was as if he were so good he couldn’t resist watching himself win the race. It was a tease—just Usain Bolt seems to have the how good could he be? He rare ability to be both the guy who crushes his opponents and can’t be bothered to let us the guy watching and enjoying know. But over the course of the spectacle. the following years, the ďŹ eld began to catch up. Inches, feet at a time. In Rio, Usain won convincingly, but he’d become almost human. e weight of the esh seemed to have just about caught up with him. I ask: Could you come in third or fourth place and still love it, because you’re really competing against yourself? He shakes his head again: No. “I’m too competitive,â€? he says. “at’s why it’s time for me to go. e drive—I know it’s going to start going down.â€? Truth be told, he says, he had a hard time staying motivated this year. ere’s no way he could do it again. • • •

A Brief Romantic Interlude I CAME IN, I will admit, wanting in part to discuss the romantic exploits of Usain Bolt. Aer he won his medals in Rio, he seemed to go on a world tour of barely dressed women with the same overt sense of joy with which he greets his medal victories. e Internet is liered with lo-ďŹ Vine-length clips of Usain Bolt in the company of young females. A photo surfaced of Usain cuddling in bed with a woman identiďŹ ed as the widow of a deceased Brazilian drug lord named Dina Terror. I read alarmingly detailed reports in the British press G Q M O T Y

A D R I A N D E N N I S /A F P / G E T T Y I M A G E S

SAIN BOLT FAVORS the supine. Given the chance, the feet will go up on something or the ass will scoot down on something. He looks very natural on a couch in the “fourth hour of watching sports on televisionâ€? position. e ďŹ rst aernoon we meet—in the living room of his home in the verdant hills on the outskirts of Kingston—Usain is splayed on a chaise, powering through his Instagram. He is wearing skinny black jeans, white fashion hightops, a white T-shirt. He’s six feet ďŹ ve inches but extraordinarily well proportioned. Power l forearms, broad shoulders. His house, comfortable but modest considering he’s one of the wealthiest people in Jamaica, is decorated in the contemporarynationless sle, like a luxury condo in Dubai. Lots of black and white, lots of cold tiles. He’s in the midst of having three months o—it’s October now, but he won’t get back on the track again until November. He says it’s a schedule that suits him.


coat $9,300 Bottega Veneta shorts Puma necklace Renvi watch Hublot ring, his own where to buy it? go to /fashion-directories

But Wait—Are You Really Going to Retire? I THOUGHT ABOUT IT for a while. I let it sit. Later in the aernoon, I asked him in just those words: But wait—are you really going to retire? Because there won’t be anyone telling you that you’re the fastest man in the world anymore. Paparazzi are very annoying when you’re trying to wine on ladies but might become something you miss when you wine on ladies and no one cares, and then when no one cares there are suddenly no more ladies to wine on. But he insists. “I like the simple life,â€? he says. “I’m from the country. And aer I retire, I’m going to live in the country. I like dirt bikes and football and stu. Just nature, and just chilling.â€? Yeah, I say. But you enjoy the nightclub, too. “Yeah, but aer a while that’s gonna get boring.â€? • • •

Usain Bolt Doesn’t Play Defense

of the various nightclubs he frequented in various districts of London aer the Olympics—the Libertine nightclub in Fitzrovia, Drama and Tape in Mayfair—and with whom and by which door he entered and exited. “e British press is always trying to make me out to be this bad guy who loves women and how all I do is women and stu.â€? Why are you a bad guy if you love women? “I was telling this English press guy,â€? he says by way of response. “You can’t judge a dierent culture by your own culture. In England when you get famous the ďŹ rst thing you do is get married and have kids. In Jamaica it’s dierent—like my parents had me and they got married 11 years later.â€? And his behavior at nightclubs, he says, it isn’t exactly what it appears to be. “In Jamaica, we wine on each other. It’s our culture. People see it the ďŹ rst time, they’re like, What is going on? It’s like they’re having sex in the club! No, that’s just the culture. It’s how we are.â€?

OUT OF the darkening streets, Usain Bolt arrives at the Football Factory on a speedy Japanesemade motorcycle that, against his six-foot-plus frame, looks almost like a child’s toy. It is dusk, o a street thronged with trafďŹ c snaking upward from the congested ats of the ci into the hills, lighting up the faces of Jamaican schoolgirls in their British colonial uniforms as they wait at bus stops. e Factory is an outdoor public soccer facili wedged between a school and the street, available for rent by the hour. Bolt rode over here alone, in his Puma slides, with no securi detail—Kingston is a notoriously dangerous ci, but, Usain says, “I have no issues in Kingston. ere’s always a lot of love.â€? ey play on these miniature ďŹ elds with walls, he and his friends. How it works is the game lasts for ten minutes or until someone scores. Usain has been coming here twice a week for three years. One of his good friends, a guy named Gussy who works as an air-trafďŹ c controller, is here. ere’s a lile man with a caved-in chest and tiny wrists about whom I think: No way does this guy play soccer. (But he does. Man, does he play soccer.) ey’re not all impressive physical specimens like Usain Bolt. Some of their bodies might be lumpen, or atrophied, or molded by desk work into sti curves. But everyone’s really, really good (continued on page 233) 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 1 5


UCCI HAS BEEN AROUND, in one form or another, since 1921. Its sales go up. Its sales go down. Right now they’re up 17 percent. ey’re “Smells Like Teen Spiritâ€? up. ey’re up in the way that every article of clothing made by everyone else is subtly sliding Gucci’s way, trying to get in on the action. You walk into a nice store now, any store, and what had been a reliable display of somber blacks and grays—sturdy, angular, calm clothing—has erupted into Gucci’s newly signature riot of color and appliquĂŠ animals, bueries and snakes and tigers, everything opening its mouth to scream. is is all thanks to Alessandro Michele, the label’s newest creative director. Fashion Week in Milan is where the dream gets reected back to the dreamer. In the outside world, Michele’s vision exists only in bits and pieces. In fragments. But here, backstage, in a winding former train station on a at white day in September, it’s all looking back at him: Men in exquisite, high-colored double-breasted suits, trench coats draped louche around their shoulders like elk dangling from the necks of hunter-gatherers. Women in ower-and-bird-appliquĂŠd Gucci jeans. Dakota Johnson in a jacket seamed with studs. Michele has only had this job since January 2015. He’d worked in the back of the house, under his predecessor, Frida Giannini, for almost a decade. “I tried to survive, to be very professional,â€? he says. He was anonymous; even he felt anonymous. It made him an unlikely—impossible, really—choice to succeed her. On what was supposed to be Michele’s way out, he had a conversation with Gucci’s current

CEO, Marco Bizzarri. “He knew everything,â€? Bizzarri says. e history of the house. e best, boldest possible version of its ture. “In a company like Gucci you can lose millions and millions in a second,â€? Bizzarri tells me. “It could’ve been much easier for me to appoint someone famous.â€? But Michele persuaded him otherwise. Bizzarri asked him to produce a new men’s collection in just ďŹ ve days. Michele hasn’t had a real day o since. His hair is long and tangled, like he’d climbed down o a stained-glass window. He gestures at a board in front of him displaying each of the 75 looks he’s about to show. “It’s a way to talk about love,â€? he says. e show is called Magic Lanterns; someone hands me the notes, and I read the words “sensual panic,â€? a translation of the French philosopher Roger Caillois. Michele is ostensibly showing women’s looks today, but my eyes, wandering the board, sele on one for men: a black peak-lapel tuxedo, with a big divided bow tie, generous high-cropped pants, white sneakers. Sensual panic is more or less what I feel.

Covetousness. Like a twisting pain in my stomach. I know this feeling by now, having looked at my share of Michele’s clothing. It’s lovely— like the unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters, or Je Koons sculptures minus the souldeadening cynicism. It’s bright and generous and on some seductive level suests that dressing well is easy—just put on this emerald green bomber jacket, this T-shirt with a “Peanutsâ€? character on it (“I think that there is not really a dierence between a ‘Peanuts’ and a beauti l Renaissance painting,â€? Michele says), these embroidered jeans, and you will somehow look‌normal, which is unlikely enough, but also special. Like yourself but beer. You will look ready to play anksgiving football. But also equipped to escort a beauti l woman to the Met Ball. Michele has quickly remade Gucci in his own image. In February, for the ďŹ rst time, the house will show men’s and women’s looks simultaneously. “For me, the company is my big movie, and I don’t want to do a movie for men and a movie for women,â€? he says. “ey have to live together to make the most beauti l movie.â€? He’s the director. And here come the stars.— Z A C H B ARON

Just two years ago, Alessandro Michele was an unknown: a back-of-the-house veteran at Gucci—no one’s idea of a revolutionary. But that’s exactly what he’s become, thanks to a blur of colorful, floridly embroidered, eminently wearable clothing. Sometimes it takes decades to become an overnight success

2 1 6

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6




2 1 8

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6




P R O D U C E R : T R I C I A S H E R M A N AT B A U E R F E I N D P R O D U C T I O N S . S T Y L I S T : M I C H A E L C I O F F O L E T T I A T A R T D E P A R T M E N T. G R O O M I N G : D AV I D C O X F O R K E V I N M U R P H Y.

• “I’M FROM A relatively small town and a rural place, and I think you see that in my hands and my face,” Joel Edgerton says. It’s this earthbound quality that appealed to director Jeff Nichols, who cast Edgerton in two 2016 movies, Midnight Special and Loving— a certain roughhewn stoicism, a quiet openness to the world. In Midnight Special, Edgerton plays a cop caught up in something beyond his understanding; in Loving, he’s a man whose marriage to a black woman (played by Ruth Negga; see page 200) results in a precedentestablishing 1960s Supreme Court case out of Virginia. For all its social import, Loving is an understated, almost serene movie—a film about a marriage that survives—shorn of the usual histrionic moments we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in period dramas. “In Hollywood, we often tell a true story, but we don’t tell it truthfully,” Edgerton says. For doing so, Nichols, Negga, and Edgerton all find themselves in the Oscar conversation. Take that, Hollywood.

flight jacket R13 at Barneys New York t-shirt T by Alexander Wang at Bloomingdale’s

plaid shirt A.P.C. at Bloomingdale’s t-shirt Visvim jeans Levi’s boots Dolce & Gabbana watch Boca MMXII hat Stetson



1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6

2 1 9

He was a legend, a virtuoso, one of the true gods of music. But he was also (at times, anyway) a person in the world like anyone else. He liked to send goofy Internet memes to his friends. He made really good scrambled eggs. He rode his bike a lot, went to the hardware store, called old friends

Chris Heath spoke with band members, fellow artists, and

late at night.

Paisley Park veterans about the life and times of Prince Rogers Nelson—the real Prince, the man so few people got to know before he was gone

2 2 0

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6



‘ P R I N C E , M U S I C I A N , N E W YO R K , A P R I L 9, 1 9 9 5 ’ © T H E R I C H A R D AV E D O N F O U N D AT I O N



Really, I’m normal. A little highly strung, maybe. But normal. But so much has been written about me and people never know what’s right and what’s wrong. I’d rather let them stay confused. —PRINCE, 2004 COREY TOLLEFSON (Minneapolis-based entrepreneur and fan; attended events at Paisley Park for over 20 years): e thing that was nny was you never saw Prince [ďŹ rst], you smelled him. He always smelled like lavender. And you knew when he was there because you’d turn around and go, “Holy shit, I smell Prince.â€? And then, ten seconds later, you’d see him.

MAYA WASHINGTON (photographer; befriended by Prince after he discovered her online in 2015): Before you meet him, you have the idea of him being this thing: He’s untouchable, he’s a unicorn, he’s a meta-planet. So the ďŹ rst thing I was taken aback by, and a lot of people are taken aback by, is his size. Because I’m short, I’m ďŹ ve three‌and he’s shorter than me. But, that aside, he is a unicorn. He’s somehow oating when he’s talking. MORRIS HAYES (keyboard player; Prince’s longest-serving band member, 1992–2012): I remember taking him to the hardware store in my camping van. He wanted to go buy a lock. And we go to Ace Hardware—it’s snowing and freezing—and I say, “Okay, Prince, you stay in the car.â€? So I’m picking stu up in the aisles, I look over, he just cruises by in a turtleneck sweater and his

zzy boots, and people are looking like, “Oh my God, Prince is in the hardware store!â€? He comes and ďŹ nds me and he’s got a hand l of crap—like, “Can we buy this?â€? I’m, “What did you do with the car?â€? He says, “It’s out there—it’s just running.â€? I said, “Prince, you can’t leave the car running—somebody could just steal the car.â€? He said, “is is Chanhassen—nobody’s gonna steal the car.â€? So we get out to the car and sure enough it’s out there, just running, smoke coming out of the tailpipe. And he’s like, “I told you.â€? CARMEN ELECTRA (dancer and singer; discovered by Prince in 1991): He never slept—he couldn’t sleep. I would wake up alone: Where’d he go? And his housekeeper said, “He’s in the studio.â€? Or he would leave the sweetest lile notes on the stairs that would say: “Had to work! Couldn’t sleep. Come see me.â€? SPRINGS: I saw his room and all that. His room was so small compared with everything I saw. You’d never expect him to live there. It was kinda homey— he had this lile queen-size bed, and a huge-ass TV, like a 52-inch atscreen. He had a lile private bathroom right there, a big-ass bathtub in there, and fake palm trees and a tan-colored oor—doing a lile beach look. I saw his bathroom because I le my hair dryer at the hotel and I needed to do my Afro for the show, and he let me use his hair dryer. MISTY COPELAND (principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre; appeared in a Prince video and live performances): He never called from a number you’d recognize, so you’d never know it was going to be him. Loved to speak in dierent accents—British and French‌everything. Sometimes I’d be, “Who is this?â€? It would go on for a while, and then ďŹ nally he’d laugh and it would be him. 2 2 2

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

VAN JONES (political activist; met Prince after he tried to make a sizable donation to Jones’s charitable organization anonymously): He always said the same thing whenever he was geing on the phone: “is is Prince.â€? Not “How are you doing?â€? Not “What’s up?â€? Kind of low: “is is Prince.â€? • • •

I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born in Minneapolis. My father taught me how to play the piano.‌ When I got a little older, I started doing things my way. —PRINCE, ONSTAGE IN ATLANTA, APRIL 14, 2016, A WEEK BEFORE HIS DEATH JILL WILLIS (Prince’s publicist, 1989–90, and co-manager, 1990–93): He was always dressed in what could look like show/stage clothes: a couture suit, matching handmade boots from a shoemaker in Paris, his hair done and ll makeup. One time, I had taken the red-eye from L.A. to Minneapolis and went home long enough to shower, threw on a baseball cap, jeans, sweatshirt, and drove over to the studio. I went up the stairs and Prince was coming down the hall from his ofďŹ ce. “Going ďŹ shing?â€? he asked.  HAYES: We have a thing called Caribou Coee in Minnesota, which is like Starbucks. He’d go over there, and he didn’t have any pockets. He didn’t have a wallet or any credit cards. He just had cash he’d carry in his hand—like, a $100 bill. And whoever took his order, they’d have a good day, ’cause he’d buy his coee drink and then just leave the whole hundred. He doesn’t wait for any change because he doesn’t have anywhere to put it. G Q M O T Y

T H I S PA G E : C O U R T E S Y O F I N S TA G R A M / P R I N C E L I V E T H E B E S T. O P P O S I T E PA G E : L A R R Y FA L K .

KANDACE SPRINGS (singer; befriended by Prince via Twitter after he discovered her cover of a Sam Smith song online in 2014): He smelled like lavender. Dude, I’m not even kidding you. Overtime. My sister burns lavender in my house and I’m, “Oh God, it smells like Paisley Park.� at’s Prince.

JONES: He was very interested in the world. He wanted me to explain how the White House worked. He asked very detailed kind of foreignpolicy questions. And then he’d ask, “Why doesn’t Obama just outlaw birthdays?� [laughs] I’m, like, “What?� He said, “I was hoping that Obama, as soon as he was elected, would get up and announce there’d be no more Christmas presents and no more birthdays—we’ve got too much to do.� I said, “Yeah, I don’t know if that would go over too well.� DANIELLE CURIEL (dancer; sang with Prince in her short-lived group, Curly Fryz): He was always sending me memes and nny videos. He liked memes of him when people take his face and write captions on his pictures. He was always sending me those. One, he had a duck face on, and it was HOW LIGHTSKIN DUDES ROLL DICE or something. WASHINGTON: When you get to know him he’s really nny and has a wild sense of humor. He spends a lot of time looking up comedy. Laughing at things and sharing videos. I would always make n of how pale he was— I thought he was super pale. I’m, like, “Prince, you need to tan.� Like, you need some vitamin D in your life. en he sent a meme of himself wearing

glasses, saying SHE THINKS I NEED A TAN. He made it. He makes a lot of stu. He likes to mess around on his computer. BRIANNA CURIEL (Danielle’s 13-yearold younger sister; Prince ew her to Paisley Park to sing with his band): At Paisley Park he would always have Finding Nemo playing, and he loved that movie. Actually, that’s my favorite movie, too. He would have loved to see Finding Dory. CAT GLOVER (dancer and rapper, ‘Sign o’ the Times’ and ‘Lovesexy’ tours): Prince was never an eater. He would usually smell his food. Literally. I never really seen Prince eat. I’ve seen him make pancakes—he made me pancakes, he made me es. But he’s not the pe of person that eats a lot. JILL JONES (backing vocalist for Prince, 1982–91): Prince did the cooking. Scrambled es. He put curry and a lile bit of Cheddar cheese in them. It was really good, actually. You know, he barely ate. I was always starving around him. I was always freaking hungry! COPELAND: Yeah, he has made me scrambled es. Breakfast was his forte. He liked to use a lot of seasoning. Like Lawry’s, or one of those all-purpose seasonings. ey were delicious. PRINCE (interview, 2014): I can cook. But only one thing. Omelets.

People say I’m always wearing heels cuz I’m short. I wear heels because the women like ’em. —PRINCE, 1985 JILL JONES: I’d never met anyone like him before. Not at all. It was just his conďŹ dence. And he was really shy, too, so there was this childlike thing that went with it. He totally threw me o, because he didn’t do what every other guy did—like, come to your house at the right time and pick you up, meet your mom and dad. Prince would throw rocks at your window while you were sleeping. He did things that were almost like something from a fairy tale. CHAKA KHAN (singer whose picture Prince had on his wall as a teenager and whom he ďŹ rst met in 1978; much later signed to his NPG Records label): Somehow he got my hotel number. At the time, Sly [Stone] and I were really close buddies. And Prince is a very good mimic and he mimicked Sly on the phone and said, “I’m up here at Electric Lady Studios— come up here and chill.â€? I said, “Okay, I’ll be right over.â€? e studio looked completely emp. Finally I found this

A fan’s Instagram photo of Prince bicycling in Minneapolis. In the studio in February 1977, before his first record deal.


and this time I said, “Wait a minute— don’t leave before I answer you.â€? And I told him: “Yes.â€? And then he walked away. at’s how he is. He was always real slick with the mystery. ELECTRA: He called me and said, “I have a ight booked for you tomorrow morning to Minneapolis.â€? I packed up my lile tiny suitcase, and I had maybe $20 and four or ďŹ ve outďŹ ts. As soon as I landed, a purple limo was waiting outside. I stayed at his house for a lile while—I thought I was going to go to a hotel. But he was a gentleman. ere was a lot of makeup in the guest room, and someone said, “We’re gonna get all that stu out for you—that’s Kim Basinger’s.â€? I think she had maybe just le. JILL JONES: We shared clothes a lot— he’d see something I was wearing, the next day he would be wearing it. e ďŹ rst day I got [to Paisley Park] I found these pants in his closet, these black-and-blue kind of leopard-print things. I went to this rehearsal and this beauti l black girl walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Kim. You’re Jill, right?â€? And I said, “Yes,â€? and she was like, “ose are my pants.â€? I was so mortiďŹ ed. I was such a child then— I was, “Do you want me to take them o?â€? en she took my hand and she basically took me aside and kind of schooled me on Prince’s ex-girlfriends. I think he liked it. I think he liked all of us.

In the late ’70s, when Prince was still just a guy in Minneapolis whose parents named him Prince. With his first wife, Mayte, at home in Spain in 1999.

GLOVER: Back in 1986 I was on Star Search, and one girl on Star Search with me invited me to Prince’s house for dinner. I was wearing purple. Aerward, we all went to a club and he kind of whispered, asked me if I would dance with him when a good song came on. I think it was a Robert Palmer song. Anyway, every time he did a step I would follow him, and he noted that I could keep up with him. I always said: If he ever saw me dance, he would love the way I dance. I just knew it. A month aer that I was at another club, Vertigo. Prince saw me and he tapped me on the shoulder, and he says, “Hi‌I would like for you to be in my band.â€? And I kind of blushed, and before I could pull my head up he disappeared. You know, he disappears really quickly. at happened to us a lot. e next week, he came back and asked me again, 2 2 4

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

ELECTRA: I don’t know one beauti l woman who didn’t want to be with him. But it did hurt me. It hurt me really bad. And I was too young to really communicate with him, so I just kind of pulled away. And during that time I went out with a guy—I hadn’t slept with this person—and Prince found out. He said, “I wrote this song about you,â€? and then he played “I Hate U.â€? It was hard to hear. And it was even harder to hear the parts of the song that said it could have been a completely dierent way. en to say “I hate you because I love youâ€?—I literally cried in front of him. I think he just wanted me to hear it and know that he was really upset. en he ew me back to Los Angeles. JILL JONES: With him it was kind of like Groundhog Day. A repetition. He’d drive to his dad, he’d see his mom—those were the same introductory things and they never changed, no maer what woman came in. ey all took the 6 A.M. drive. And the late-night things—I don’t think I was the only one to say that Prince threw rocks or came and picked them up in the middle of the night. You’d

go to a record store, you’d watch some movies, you’d make some popcorn. He was deďŹ nitely a creature of habit. GLOVER: I had a boyfriend at the time. at was one thing [Prince] respected. ey actually played basketball together. He was, “It’s nice to meet you, man— I heard a lot about you.â€? I told him, “at’s the stupidest thing you could say! Everybody’s heard a lot about Prince!â€? SPRINGS: He was actually very respect l. I mean, I never got with him like that. If I did, I would tell everybody! He deďŹ nitely did try, I’m not gonna lie. [laughs] He tried to hold my hand in the movie theater. And he would send the most ir e-mails— he would make it very clear. WASHINGTON: First, when you go on the bike rides, you’re like, “Wow! I went on a bike ride with Prince down to Lake Minnetonka!â€? It’s n. And you think you’re special. en I stayed there long enough that I’m like, “Oh—this is his thing.â€? is is what he does. He has the movie theater where you go to watch a movie—he’ll buy out the theater. He has his routine with all these young girls who come in: movies, bike ride, possibly a jam session. at sounds about right. • • •

The ďŹ rst line of that song is “Your butt is mine.â€? I’m saying, who’s going to sing that to whom? Because you sure ain’t singing it to me. And I sure ain’t singing it to you. So right there we got a problem. —PRINCE, IN 1997, ON WHY HE DECLINED MICHAEL JACKSON’S OFFER TO JOIN HIM FOR A DUET ON THE TITLE TRACK OF HIS ALBUM ‘ BAD ’ BOBBY Z (drummer, the Revolution): I don’t know what Michael was thinking, but he just didn’t know the ďŹ erceness of Prince. I know that he didn’t want any part of that. You don’t come to Prince with a song like, “Who’s bad in this song— Prince or Michael?â€? It’s gonna be Prince. It’s not gonna be Michael. He loved Michael Jackson. He was just at a level now where he was competing. He was a ďŹ erce competitor—he wasn’t going to do anything that looked like they were buddies. He was gonna win. And he won with the movie. He won with Purple Rain. GLOVER: On the plane, he brought up GrafďŹ ti Bridge as something he wanted to make into a musical. He said, “It’s gonna be you and Madonna.â€? She was actually supposed to be the lead of the movie. G Q M O T Y

T H I S PAG E : R O B E R T W H I T M A N . O P P O S I T E PAG E : S T E V E N PA R K E / I CO N I C I M AG E S .

short lile guy in this one studio with a guitar. I asked, “Where’s Sly?� He said, “at was me.� I said, “Who are you?� He was just everyday about it. I wanted to strangle him. I said, “Okay, nice meeting you,� and I le. So that’s how we met. He never let me forget it for a long time. He thought it was one of the nniest things that ever happened to him.

that game, Prince goes over and he tosses the cassee out of the boom box, and he says, “Let me ask you a question: Do you see me stop my show to do comedy?â€? • • •

What we did was take a microphone and place it on Mayte’s stomach and move it around with the gel till we get the right spot. And then [imitates heartbeat], you know, you start to hear that and then we put the drums around that. —PRINCE, IN 1996, EXPLAINING HOW HE USED THE HEARTBEAT OF HIS AS-YET-UNBORN BABY ON A NEW SONG, “ SEX IN THE SUMMER â€? HAYES: Prince is one of them kinda dudes—he’s an all-in kinda cat. So even before the baby was born, Prince had built basically a shrine to the baby, this big giant playground with swings. All this infrastructure was put in place. Like he had a back room that got converted into this pink-and-blue baby lair. He just shied into that mode. He basically was gonna take a few months o. In October 1996, Mayte, Prince’s ďŹ rst wife, gave birth to a son. The boy, reportedly born with severe skeletal abnormalities, died a week later, a death that Prince declined to acknowledge publicly. A second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and he and Mayte later divorced.

[Glover describes how Madonna later ew to Minneapolis to discuss the project.] He said he was having a hard time with Madonna and would I come down? He couldn’t deal with her by himself, is what he told me over the phone. So I came down and Madonna and Prince started arguing over the script. She was nny. I liked her. ey both started raing on each other. Madonna said she didn’t like the script and Prince said to Madonna, “Well, I don’t like your shoes.â€? at’s how it all started. I was siing there going, “Oh my God, here we go.â€? So Madonna told Prince, “I don’t like your shoes, either. Look at ’em with those peace signs and zippers and shit all over ’em.â€? And Prince was saying, “What are you wearing? Are those shoes or boots?â€? ’Cause Madonna had on these cowboy-boot shoes. is is

what happens when you get two big egos in one room. It was jokey and serious. ey’re the same way. In a 2004 sketch on ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie told an absurd, but substantially true, story about a latenight basketball game at Paisley Park between Murphy’s and Prince’s entourages; Prince ran circles around Murphy’s team, then fed his vanquished guests pancakes. GILBERT DAVISON (worked with Prince from 1984 to 1994, rising from bodyguard to president of Paisley Park): e backstory to that was—and this is the part Charlie doesn’t tell—Eddie had wanted to play Prince his new album. So during that basketball game, Eddie’s music was playing, via boom box, on a cassee. Aer

HAYES: Oh man, that was devastating. He was devastated. It’s like he never had any foresight that anything could ever be a problem. And I think that not being able to do anything and to be helpless was a real thing for him to come to terms with. Everything he did, he already saw it done—that kid was already out and playing with kids and everything. He already saw it. And for it not to turn out that way was a very difďŹ cult thing—I think it really humbled him. NEAL KARLEN (Minneapolis-born journalist; wrote Prince’s 1985 and 1990 ‘Rolling Stone’ cover stories and maintained an unlikely friendship with Prince for the rest of his life): We’d really communicate over the phone. Over 31 years. From oen to regular to irregular to nothing at all. Several times a year, on average. A few years, I’d say from four to ten times a year. And some years none, some years 20. I always teased him that we weren’t really friends. at he knew I’d be up, because I stay up late. In the beginning, he’d call between three and ďŹ ve. On my phone it would either be a friend or it would say “Unknownâ€?—if it was “Unknown,â€? I knew it was him. I mean, no one else called me at four in the morning. He’d say, (continued on next page) 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 2 5

P R I NCE faith versus his growing political and humanitarian concerns. e Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t much approve of him weighing in on this stu, and that was important to him, so it was a constant kind of balancing act.

continued from page 225

“Did I wake you up?â€? I truly am an incompetent person—the only thing I can do is have a 4:48-in-the-morning conversation with friends about life, death, and loneliness, because I have enough Jewish angst to discuss that at 4:48 in the morning. It wasn’t just sexist, macho bullshit—he wanted kids and a wife and a family, you know. And we talked about death a lot. From the age of 25, he was always talking about heaven and what it would look like. And would he get there? • • • “Let’s Go Crazyâ€? was about God and Satan. I had to change those words up—the de-elevator was Satan in that song.‌ And “Let’s Go Crazyâ€? was God to me...stay happy, stay focused, and you can beat the de-elevator. —PRINCE, 1997 JIM WALSH (Minneapolis-based music writer; covered Prince for decades): I said to him, “Come on, man—don’t you want to make another Sign o’ the Times, another Purple Rain?â€? I don’t know if I framed it exactly like that, but he said, “No, no—Jim, I’ve been to the mountaintop. ere’s nothing there.â€? In 1998, Prince persuaded bass player Larry Graham, legendary for his work in Sly & the Family Stone, to move to Minneapolis and help guide his Bible studies; in 2003, Prince was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness. IAN BOXILL (engineer at Paisley Park, 2004– 09): We’d take breaks to go to the Kingdom Hall. He prey much blended in—I guess they were used to him there. I believe he did door-to-door stu. As a maer of fact, there was one particular couple that, I think, he had knocked on their door and they ended up coming and being Jehovah’s. He actually recruited them. GR A H A M: We’d go out in the ministry, he’d walk around like anybody else. We’re witnessing about God. at’s what you do. In keeping with his new faith, Prince culled his most explicit songs from his repertoire, and he began to require that those around him refrain from profanity. PRINCE (2004): ere’s certain songs I don’t play anymore, just like there’s certain words I don’t say anymore. It’s not me anymore. ere’s no more envelope to push. I pushed it o the table. It’s on the oor. Let’s move forward now. VA N JON ES: Prince is always duali. You know, the sacred and the sexual, black and white, male and female, all those kind of things. But later in his life, the biest dynamic was worldly versus otherworldly. His religious 2 2 6

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

KH A N: He seemed to get a lile more paranoid on one hand, and on the other hand he became more of a human being. He became more humane. You get older and wiser, and you see the commonology of man, how we are all intertwined, we are all the same. It seemed like he’d come to that sort of recognition in life. I was happy to see that. • • • I count time different.‌ There’s no such thing as time, really, once you study the orbits of the planets. —PRINCE, 2010 VAN JONES: He’s six hours o from everybody else. So when it’s midnight to you, it’s only 6 P.M. to him. And when it’s 6 A.M. to you, it’s only midnight to him. But time just kinda stops working around him. It’s hard to explain. Suddenly four in the morning doesn’t seem so late, because whatever is going on around him is so free. Paisley Park is the one place, besides a couple of experiences that I’ve had at church, as an African-American man where I’ve ever felt truly free and human. HAYES: Nobody was allowed to say “deadlinesâ€? around him. He hated that word. He said: “That’s arbitrary and stupid. What happens when I go over the line? I’m dead?â€? Prince would always tell us “time is a trick.â€? I remember one day I was late, and he was, “You’re late, Morris!â€? and I said, “Well, you know, Prince, time is a trick‌â€? It didn’t work. He was, “How about I Jedi-mind-trick that check when you don’t show up again?â€? WILLIS: e middle-of-the-night calls from Prince were a consistent reality. Two, three, four in the morning—having the phone ring was not uncommon. And if you didn’t answer, he’d call back. Or call someone to call you to say that Prince was trying to reach you. “Got a pen?â€? was the way many of those conversations started. A not unpical story: being awoken at three-ish in the morning on a weeknight. “Um, got a pen?â€? “Not under my pillow. I’ll be right back. Okay, I’m back. What’s up?â€? “I’m not sure which morning show it was, but one of them was doing a story on this woman—I think she was in Boston. Somewhere in Massachuses. She has spent most of the past ten years trying to save money to buy a building for feeding homeless people and   she’s found a building but doesn’t have enough money. I want to ďŹ nd her and give her the money.â€? “Okay. Did you catch her name?â€? “No.â€? “Okay. We’ll ďŹ nd her.â€? “Let me know. ank you.â€? VAN JONES: He was really inspired by the Black Lives Maer movement. He wrote this song “Baltimoreâ€? [sample lyric: Does anybody hear us pray / For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray? / Peace is more than the absence of war]—he was in Baltimore within weeks of the upset there. Onstage he said something so profound that most people missed it. To African-American young people who were there, he said, “e next time I come to Baltimore, I wanna stay in a

hotel owned by you.â€? He was saying: Don’t burn it down, build it up. Don’t just protest injustice, create justice. Create your own economy, create your own enterprises. at was his view. His response to Trayvon Martin was to say: “When black kids wear hoodies, people think they’re thugs—when white kids wear hoodies, they think, ‘ere’s the next Mark Zuckerberg.’ â€? Like, we need to create some black Mark Zuckerbergs. You’ve got to create a situation where when a cop sees a black kid wearing a hoodie, they think, “Wow, that kid could be the next Mark Zuckerberg.â€? We have to create that. is guy’s such a genius. Everybody else is talking about racial injustice and Trayvon Martin, and Prince instead keys in on a fashion statement. WASHINGTON: He was supposed to do something with Netix, a reali show on Paisley Park. He’s, “Why don’t you help me?â€? I’m, “I’d love to, but you’d have to be in it.â€? And he’s, “No, no, no, I’m not in it.â€? I’m, “Why not? You’re so

nny—why don’t you want anyone to see your sense of humor?� And he would shut it down: “Maya, I can’t be nny. I have to save the world.� SPRINGS: e night of my birthday—that’s the last time I saw him—he took me to the Dakota club [to see Living Colour]. ere was a huge

ll moon that night. Like a super moon, I guess. And he was, “Whoa.â€? So we actually went the other way to see if we could get a beer view of the moon. But then the clouds got in the way— we couldn’t ďŹ nd it. We’re, like, driving in circles in the neighborhood just trying to ďŹ nd it. TOLLEFSON: ere’s an electronic gate at the front of [Paisley Park]—most of the time it was wide open. Now you’d just get a tweet—you’d know if there was a party because around eight o’clock he’d start tweeting it out on his Twier handle. Twen years ago, you literally had to drive by Paisley, and if you saw the purple light going through the pyramid, that meant he was there. A LBERT M AGNOLI (director, editor, and cowriter, ‘Purple Rain’): I learned that the entire area of Minneapolis, before a storm, the skies would turn this amazing blue-purple before the rain came. It was a phenomenon. So for me, the concept of “purple rainâ€? was very speciďŹ c in terms of the feeling you get just before the clouds would open up and literally gush raindrops. Later on, when Prince and I were working at Paisley Park, we would go outside prior to a rainstorm and just stand in the ďŹ eld, looking at the s together. Waiting for the rain to drop. And those skies went purple. VAN JONES: ink about it: He grows up this poor black kid on a march to nowhere in a nowhere white town, and when the news announces “Prince has diedâ€?—there have been princes for 10,000 years, there must be princes in Saudi Arabia and Europe and Africa right now— nobody said “Prince who?â€? e color purple has been part of the universe since the big bang. Prince dies, they bathe global monuments in purple, nobody says, “Why?â€? I think from a racial point of view, from a class point of view, it’s such a profound achievement. You know, this guy is the one genius that every other genius says is a genius. And he was able to pull that o.  CHRIS HEATH is a GQ correspondent.


continued from page 193

She listened to her ďŹ rst voice mail. It was from a woman named Angela. Her granddaughter didn’t come home the night before. She always came home. She had to ďŹ nd her. Robin had to ďŹ nd her.‌ She kept going through the messages, the TV on, the enormi sinking in, even though the ofďŹ cial number of dead then was less than two dozen. She made calls, checked on friends. And then, by all rights, she could have curled up with her ďŹ ancĂŠe and cried. In the aftermath of a mass shooting, it is easy, even instinctive and reexive, to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the violence. But the violence is pixelated into dozens of individual tragedies in which people have immediate, desperate needs. ere are innumerable details, mundane and frantic all at once, that need to be dealt with, and someone has to have the presence of mind to do so. Along with Blue, Robin was one of those people. She used to be a crime-scene investigator for the Orange Coun Sheri’s OfďŹ ce. She can separate, for a while at least, the emotion of a slaughter from the logistical response required to help the families, friends, and victims. She can get shit done. e two of them, Blue in St. Augustine and Robin in the corner of a hotel restaurant in Lakeland, worked their cell phones and computers. Pulse has a legal capacity of 300. In those early hours, all anyone knew was that 20 were dead, then 50. Whose son? Whose husband or wife or daughter? Whose friend? Facebook became a clearinghouse. Pictures went up of the missing. Names of those identiďŹ ed as safe were posted (like Angela’s granddaughter, in a Panera Bread). They kept at it, both of them, until early afternoon. And when Robin ďŹ nally got into downtown Orlando, she made a point of driving the perimeter police had sealed o, passing out water and bananas and jer to cops stuck standing in the Florida heat. • • • THE SUN WAS LONG UP before Adrian le the police station, where he’d been taken to give a statement. He went straight to the hospital from there. Everyone was admitted under a code name to keep strangers, like reporters, from pestering the wounded. A nurse took Adrian to a room, but Javier wasn’t in it. A second room, a third, and still Adrian couldn’t ďŹ nd his husband. They have a Javier, Adrian thought. But is it my Javier? Panic started to slip in. e last time he saw Javier, he was holding his belly on the right side, blood staining his shirt, a police ofďŹ cer helping him out of Pulse. ey found him in the fourth room. He was in good shape, all things considered. Javier had been hit by a bullet that either ricocheted o the oor or a wall or went through another

body ďŹ rst: knocked down the veloci, slowed it enough to mitigate the damage. The surgeons sewed him up but le the bullet inside, decided to wait until it worked its way closer to the surface. Adrian was waiting for a phone call. He did not know from whom, but he was certain a voice would tell him that he met Oscar and Simon at Pulse, that everyone went home safe. Nothing else was real. No one was dead. Reporters called instead. Adrian talked to a Colombian television station—how did they get his number so fast?—and then stopped answering calls from numbers he didn’t recognize. Javier went home ďŹ ve days later, in pain and in a wheelchair. He had a nightmare, but only one: He was in a club, or maybe a restaurant, lights bright and clear, so he could see everything. There was a gunman. He shot Javier in the head. Adrian didn’t sleep much at all. He was usually awake until two in the morning before he drifted off, and never for long. Who knows what’s there when your eyes are closed? Six of their friends were dead, but they did not go to the nerals. “I don’t want to stay with the memory of them in a cofďŹ n,â€? Adrian said later. “I want to remember all my friends as people that were happy.â€? Javier physically couldn’t work. Adrian just couldn’t. Couldn’t leave Javier, couldn’t go back to the deli at the Wawa station, couldn’t put himself into a bright public space, exposed and unguarded. “I thought,â€? he said, “that somebody was going to come back and look for survivors.â€? It’s not a wholly rational thought, but on June 11, neither was the idea that a stranger would murder six of his friends and shoot 96 other people, too. Perspectives shi with experience. • • • ALY BENITEZ WAS walking her dog when she got the ďŹ rst text, from the husband of the owner of Pulse. e death toll was 20. By the time she got to Pulse, it was 50. Aly is a lawyer and, like Robin and Blue, well-known in Orlando, involved. She assumes, knows, that millions of dollars will be donated, because more people are decent and kind than not. Indeed, two days later, Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer announced the formation of the OneOrlando Fund. e Walt Disney Company put up a million dollars; the Orlando Magic and JetBlue, $100,000 each; Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and such), $500,000. Eventually, those millions would be divvied up and dispersed. “But in the meantime,â€? she says, “what do we do about people being evicted, about the mother living with her son and the son was the one working, about the people who were working three jobs and now can’t work any of them?â€? Four days after the shooting, Aly founded Pulse of Orlando, to get cash to people as quickly as possible. Not a lot, $750 each at most, but a cushion, enough to keep people fed and housed in the short term. “It was just an instinctual ‘What can I do to help?’ â€? she says. “Literally, a knee-jerk reaction: I have to do something.â€? It’s a small operation (and also one of several funds established to help victims, including Pulse employees), run by only ďŹ ve volunteers, including Aly’s friend Robin Maynard. But Pulse of Orlando was able to distribute $28,500 on June 30, less than three weeks after the

shooting. By mid-October, it had raised a quarter-million dollars and given out $200,000. Robin is in charge of veing the people who apply to the nd. She’s well suited to the job, considering her background investigating crime scenes. Logistically, veri*ing whether someone was there is not especially difďŹ cult: Nobody went to Pulse alone, so time lines can be checked against friends’ and Instagram feeds and text messages and Facebook pages.

“All we knew how to do was hug each other,â€? Blue says. “There’s no handbook for this.â€? But no one simply says: I was there. ey tell Robin what happened while they were there. One girl tells Robin how she hid in a bathroom stall with six other people and then the gunman sprayed the stalls and all six fell on her and she waited there for three hours, under bodies bleeding out, until the police killed the bad guy. One young man, 22 years old, told her he had just signed a lease on an apartment, invited nine friends to a housewarming party, suggested they all go to Pulse about eleven o’clock. Five of those nine are dead. And his back is wrecked because he crouched in a closet, too scared to move, for one hour and 47 minutes, texting good-byes, and even though he was prescribed Lidocaine patches, he can’t aord them. Javier told Robin how he hid under a desk, a stranger’s knee pressing on his belly, afraid bullets would come through the wall, the oor, kill everyone. Adrian told her about the fear of waiting, of not knowing where his husband was or if he was dead, the impotence of not being able to save him. In early August, when they each received a check from the

nd, a few dollars in their pockets meant they could stop worrying if they would have a roof, at least for a while. Even the heroic stories ended badly: A woman watched a man take a bullet for her, save her life, and while she hid under a table, she watched that same man crawl toward her, watched him die. ere was the kid who wrote “momâ€? next to the phone number for his emergency contact. Robin needed a real name, but the kid didn’t have one. She was his friend’s mom. His own mother disowned him when she found out he was gay. “It’s like an onion, all these dierent layers,â€? Robin says. Many of the victims were Latin, from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic. But did they speak English? Were they documented or not? And if they were gay, were they out to anyone but their closest friends? Were they forced out simply for having the miserable misfortune of geing shot on Latin Night at a predominantly gay nightclub? Latin culture, broadly speaking, has not historically embraced gay culture; people heard about the Puerto Rican father who re sed to accept his dead son’s body. Robin listened to those stories all summer long, 200 variations on a horri*ing theme. She held people while they wept. “Robin,â€? Adrian says, “she’s one of those angels.â€? 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 2 7


And then, in September, she dropped her phone. e screen cracked. “I had a meltdown,â€? she says. “Like, youkicked-my-dog-and-threw-him-in-the-lake meltdown.â€? ere was screaming and wailing, stomping and raging, and none of it was about her stupid phone. • • • JAVIER’S MOTHER FLEW UP from Mexico City. So did Javier’s son and the mother of his son; she was the only person in Mexico who knew he was gay. He le in 2005, slipped over the border, made his way to North Carolina. He was there—Kinston, Wilmington, Fayetteville—for a decade, until he went to Orlando’s gay-pride celebration in October 2014. (Orlando does Pride in October, because June is too damned hot.) “I just fell in love with Orlando ci,â€? he tells me. “The weather is good, and it’s safe, you know? You compare it to Mexico City, to‌ everywhere, I think. Here is safe.â€? Then he got shot in a nightclub and the Mexican media swarmed him—he was the only one of four Mexican natives at Pulse to survive—and his mother and son and old girlfriend came to nurse him. His mother thought he had a roommate, not a husband. She shrued at the revelation. “She was really good,â€? Adrian says. “She didn’t say, ‘But‌’ or ‘What if‌’ or ‘How about‌?’ She was just, ‘Okay, it’s your life.’ â€? It helped, having Javier’s family there. The weeks went by, and the days didn’t seem quite as emp or the nights as long. Adrian and Javier made it through the Fourth of July ďŹ reworks at Eola Lake, telling each other they’d be all right, in a crowd at night with a lot of loud bangs. ey had those few dollars from the Pulse of Orlando

nd, kept themselves aoat ďŹ nancially. Adrian ďŹ nally went back to work in August. Two weeks later, a piece of bacon got stuck on the oven exhaust fan and tripped the smoke alarm. Startled by the sound behind him, Adrian jerked his head over his le shoulder. And he remembered, for the ďŹ rst time, that he’d done the same thing when he heard the initial bang at Pulse. He still couldn’t piece together the rest, the minute or minutes before he looked up from the oor. He tries, but a head jerk is the only fragment. “If I go into my mind,â€? he says, “it’s a blank.â€? He considers that. Maybe he doesn’t want to remember. • • • THERE IS NO standardized schedule for recovering from trauma, no checklist of what should be remembered or rationalized or processed or in what order, no assigned path for stumbling through grief. Everybody has her own pace, his own process. In late September, Blue hosted a support group at e Venue for Pulse employees. “Some of them, they’re just— just—starting to come out of that fog,â€? she says. “Just starting. And that fog is dense, it’s thick, and it’s a mile long. And they’re just starting to push it away.â€? Cases of water are stacked under the stairs, leovers from the ďŹ rst days. Everybody sends water. Still, Blue and the others were able to organize a practical inventory: If they needed, say, toilet paper, they put out the word and toilet paper would start coming in. Whatever was needed appeared: e Venue was the overow site for the main depot, and eventually there 2 2 8

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

was an overow for e Venue. At one point, it was simpler to ask for gi cards, and $30,000 worth came through Blue’s theater alone. No one worried much about fraud or theft. Orlando is tight, most people aren’t despicable. “In our world, in Orlando right now, every person you turn to is in the same boat,â€? Blue says. “And what a beauti l way to lead the country. We led with love. And hones. And hope.â€? Staying busy, being use l, also helped keep the emotional enormity at bay. She knows a time will come when the ll magnitude, all the grief and horror, will rear up like a rogue wave. It almost did, at the very beginning, when thousands of people gathered for a vigil that following Monday and bells tolled for each of the dead. “And it was like it went on forever,â€? she says. “It just kept going and going and all you wanted was for it to be over.â€? And there was a second time, when she was arranging the music for the ďŹ reworks at the fall’s Pride celebration. She opened with Prince—dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life‌—put “Over the Rainbowâ€? in the middle, closed with Estelle singing “One Love.â€? “It was like a counseling session for me,â€? she says. She cried a lot. • • • THE ORIGINAL THOUGHT, Aly Benitez and Robin Maynard say, was to close the Pulse of Orlando nd in October. Four months, a stopgap, a temporary bridge until OneOrlando divvied up the $29.5 million in donations. ey knew in September, though, that that wasn’t going to happen. Money is tangible, a physical thing that can be deposited into an account. e amount won’t change anyone’s life, but it can make it easier, keep the collectors at bay, eliminate, for a while, one practical worry. But what about everything else? What about jobs, getting people employed and strong enough to go to work? Or even out of their houses? How does that happen? “at ďŹ rst night, people would come in with these looks on their faces,â€? Blue says. “And all we knew how to do was hug each other.â€? She lets that hang for a moment. “ere’s no handbook for this,â€? she says. Months later, she sees individual triggers just starting to manifest themselves. e people who inch at strobe lights and sirens, the ones who startle at the tumble of Jenga blocks. e men who hear a sound on the radio. Javier saw a counselor aer he was shot. Saw him just twice. He answered all the questions he was asked, and he was told he seemed to be doing prey well, that maybe he could even help some of the other survivors. “I felt like I was going up,â€? he says, slowly raising his hand along an imaginary slope. He stops, ips his ďŹ ngers toward the table. Javier didn’t get therapy. He passed a quiz. “And then I was going down.â€? He didn’t tell Adrian at ďŹ rst, but he found a new therapist, a woman who speaks Spanish. e ďŹ rst time he talked to her, she explained the ďŹ ght-or-ight response, how adrenaline oods the body and the brain. And she gave him a help l analogy: e shock of June 12 had, in a sense, anesthetized his brain. It took a while for that anesthesia to wear o. And that’s why it hurts so much now, all these months later. She told him, too, that it’s okay to cry.  SEAN FLYNN is a GQ correspondent.

continued from page 197

while Deanie loses her mind. e movie, which was directed by Elia Kazan, came out in 1961, setting the 24-year-old Beatty—tall, fulllipped, dashing—well on his way to becoming both a star and a legendary stud. Today, Beay says Splendor in the Grass was not just a critical and box-ofďŹ ce success; it was a eureka moment that deepened his appreciation of American sexual denial. “I remember having a meeting in Cannes,â€? he says, leaning back contentedly in his chair. “It must’ve had something to do with the ďŹ lm festival in 1961. Me and all these great Russian directors who I’d never met were sitting around—Kalatozov and Chukrai and this whole group—and we were talking about Splendor in the Grass, and they were being very complimentary. At a certain point, one of them stood up and said, ‘We like movie very much. Acting very good. e movie very good. But one thing we don’t understand.’ And the room went silent for a minute, and I said, ‘Yeah?’ He said, ‘Why don’t they ck?’ â€? As he delivers the punch line, I see his teeth are very white and his face is lit with delight. “It was like a silver dollar dropped in my brain—not a penny, but a silver dollar—and I thought, ‘Aha!’ â€? His subsequent ďŹ lms have been more explicit about America’s complicated relationship with sexual desire. In 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, Beatty’s Clyde Barrow can’t get it up (until, that is, his crimes gain him the ultimate aphrodisiac: fame). e movie marked a seismic shift in Hollywood, ushering in the artfully violent, director-driven 1970s auteur period of Coppola, De Palma, Friedkin, Lucas, and Scorsese. Shampoo (1975), which features Beay as a Beverly Hills hairdresser who has a way with the ladies, changed the paradigm again, tapping into the era’s liberated go-go sexuali with dialogue that rocked ’70s moviegoers: “Most of all,â€? says Julie Christie, “I’d like to suck his cock.â€? Beay says that line was meant to stun a culture in which only men were allowed to openly express lust. (“When it came out, people said, ‘Well, Shampoo, he was trying to show how sexy he is,’ â€? he tells me, exasperated. “For me, it had so much to do with feminism and politics and sexual revolution.â€?) Even in Reds (1981), the three-hour-plus epic he built around John Reed, the early-20th-century journalist and social activist dubbed “the playboy of the revolution,â€? Beay says he couldn’t resist including a line from the writer Henry Miller, who says, “ere was just as much cking going on then as there is now.â€? Dustin Homan remembers being on the set of Ishtar (1987) in Morocco as Beay, his friend and co-star, explained a “dierence of opinionâ€? with the director, Elaine May. Suddenly, Beatty stopped mid-sentence. “I


looked at what he was looking at: a person in a djellaba—that full head-to-toe outďŹ t, like a bathrobe,â€? Hoffman says. “You could barely make out it was a female. He just watched her until it seemed like she disappeared into the sand, and then tried to pick up where he le o. At that moment, I said, ‘Warren, you’re so passionate about what we were talking about, yet then this girl walks by who you can barely see.’ I said, ‘I’m just curious: Is there any woman in the world that you wouldn’t make love to?’ He considered it, looking s ward for probably 30 seconds, and then he said, ‘No, there isn’t.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because you never know.’ â€? Homan, though, thinks those who focus too much on Beay’s reputation as a womanizer miss the bier picture: a man whose drive and aention to detail made him an unstoppable force in Hollywood. Remembering how determined Beatty was to make Bonnie and Clyde a hit, Hoffman repeats a piece of Hollywood lore: Beatty supposedly went around the country to every theater screening the ďŹ lm, personally inspecting each projector and replacing the old bulbs. His focus on ďŹ nding a mate was marked by a similar persistence. “Warren would get fascinated by one woman, and he would pursue her, and it didn’t maer how long it took,â€? Homan tells me. “It was like being in pre-production on a ďŹ lm. It wasn’t just to have a one-night stand. It was a romantic idea: That’s the one!â€? For a time, Beatty was known for highproďŹ le love affairs with a Who’s Who of Accomplished and Ravishing Women. Reportedly among them: Julie Christie, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Carly Simon, Twiggy, Joni Mitchell, Jackie Onassis, Diane Keaton, and Madonna. Cher claims to have had a onenight stand with him when she was just 16. Yet as Joan Collins wrote in her memoir, not even sex could impede Beatty’s hustle: He sometimes answered phone calls while inside her. To me, he says proudly, “e people with whom I had serious involvements I’m still on very good terms with, always have been.â€? He also seems to wish he’d seled down sooner, if only so he could’ve started having kids before the age of 53—which he terms “very late.â€? Still, he says, “had I gone ahead earlier and gone through 143 divorces, I would have felt very guil. I think I would have handled it badly. And more importantly, it wouldn’t have been these kids or this wife.â€? • • • “WARREN’S L.A. is very different,â€? Oliver Pla tells me. “You know, it’s a very rareďŹ ed L.A., but not rareďŹ ed in the way you think it’s going to be. It’s not elitist. It’s a deli on Ventura Boulevard that he loves that’s not one of the famous ones.â€? Pla says that when Beay cast him in his 1998 satire Bulworth (the movie that nods most directly to Beay’s lifelong fascination with politics), it took until their third or fourth meeting before Beatty even told him what the ďŹ lm was about. “I sort of congratulate myself for having the wisdom to understand that it was beer not to ask. I slowly started to ďŹ gure out that I was playing him just the way he wanted to be played. He was dying for me to ask, and the fact that I wasn’t asking was turning him on.â€? Beay enjoys that dance, I suest. “Well, there’s a much simpler word for it: seduction. at’s what he loves.â€?

Alden Ehrenreich tells a similar story about Rules Don’t Apply. “A couple years into meetings with Warren,â€? he says, “I still wasn’t sure whether I had the role or not. I would say it’s not 100 percent clear until you’re actually shooting.â€? And then there’s Matthew Broderick, who barely knew Beatty when he was invited to Mulholland Drive for the ďŹ rst time. Bening made spaghei; Beay asked if he’d like to read the script, and Broderick was shown to a lile room. “I’m a slow reader, so by the time I ďŹ nished and we’d talked about it, it was late. I said, ‘I’ve got to go.’ And Warren said, ‘You can sleep over.’ I slept in a guest room, and the next morning, I wandered into the kitchen. Warren was there making oatmeal, so I had some oatmeal.â€? Later, during production, Broderick lived in Beay’s guesthouse and borrowed one of his cars. “He didn’t keep feeding me oatmeal. at was just to lure me in,â€? Broderick says with a laugh. But the point is clear: Beatty’s life is charmed but normal, thanks largely to the domesticity he’s built with Bening over the past 24 years. Their wedding was no-frills. “We went downtown to a judge’s ofďŹ ce,â€? Bening tells me, oering a few details about a ceremony previous press reports have always described only as “secret.â€? She wore a simple owered dress that she’d had for years. Aerward, “I think we just went home.â€? Who proposed to whom? “ere wasn’t like one moment where one of us said, ‘Will you marry me?’ â€? she says. “It just seems like it was something we were going to do, and then we did it.â€? ey’d met when Bening was being considered to star with Beay in Bugsy, the story of gangster Ben “Bugsyâ€? Siegel. Bening says that when she and Beay got together for lunch for the ďŹ rst time, “the thing I remember most is that I was impressed with how smart he was.â€? She got the job playing Siegel’s moll, Virginia Hill, and they fell in love during production. Beatty’s reputation as a Lothario scarcely crossed her mind. “I was more concerned, I guess, with what was going on between us, which was prey serious prey quickly.â€? eir ďŹ rst child was born before they wed, and they had three more since. “I got luc ,â€? Beay tells me. “I mean, I met her and I thought, ‘Oh, I think I see where this is going.’ â€? We’re still on that patio, and the California sun is starting to set. Bening, casual in blue jeans, a simple navy blouse, and Tevas, has just come out to say hello and snip some rosemary before heading back inside. “You want to go to that ai place for dinner?â€? Beay calls aer her. “I’m so much more interested in my wife and kids than anything else,â€? he says when I press him about his professional legacy. “I don’t want to be mushy about it, but having four kids is deďŹ nitely the best thing that has ever happened to me, and each kid is to me more fascinating than any ďŹ ve movies. You know, the DNA of it all kind of does get to me.â€? is last comment has an analogue in Rules Don’t Apply, when Hughes, speaking of his late father, insists that “Daddyâ€? isn’t dead; “he’s in my DNA.â€? Beay is clearly taken by the idea that by having children, one can live on, chromosomally at least. He’s never smoked cigarees or drunk much alcohol, he’s disciplined about exercise, and he’s been a lifelong health nut. “I’m care lâ€? is how he puts it. “I’ve been around longer than other people. I actually

knew Adlai Stevenson and Jack and Bobby Kennedy. Now there are people missing. I’ll go to bed, I’ll be thinking of someone. I think, ‘I’ll give them a call.’ And thenâ€?—he mimes picking up his phone—“Oh, yeah. Of course.â€? By which he means: ey’re gone. James Toback, who wrote Bugsy, says that to understand Beay, one must start with this: “He has a healthy contempt for those who don’t share his uninterrupted awareness of looming mortali. At the same time, he is paradoxically ambivalent about being reminded of it by others—namely me—because he hates being confronted with problems to which there is no solution.â€? Beay arguably spent years ďŹ ghting mortality by having sex—by being as alive as he could be with as many partners as he found interesting. As Toback notes, “The orgasm, as the French say, is la petite mort: the lile death. You’re constantly geing resurrected aer killing yourself.â€? The work, however, always took priority. When Toback directed The Pick-Up Artist, he says, Beay told him, “You should not have sex at all during a production of a ďŹ lm. e ďŹ lm will be better if you never come. On Bonnie and Clyde, I never cked once.â€? e story reminds me of something Beatty told me during our ďŹ rst phone call. “I really prefer to speak about it as lovemaking, rather than sex or cking,â€? he said. “But sometimes it’s beer to say fucking when you’re trying to make a point.â€? • • • IF ‘RULES DON’T APPLY’ ends up being Beay’s ďŹ nal ďŹ lm, Lily Collins—whose character (a Natalie Wood look-alike) has a drunken love scene with Hughes in the ďŹ lm—will be the last actress ever to be seduced by him on-screen. “I know: It’s so crazy,â€? Collins says when I mention that possibili. “It’s going to be something I forever go down with. It’s a huge honor. It’ll probably be on my tombstone.â€? For decades now, when people have speculated about the Hughes script, it’s been assumed that Beay wanted to play Hughes because Hughes was Beay before Beay was Beay. But from our ďŹ rst conversation, Beay has been hinting that he relates more to the two younger characters. Earlier he told me that in his ďŹ rst L.A. apartment, he slept on a bed that pulled out of the wall, just as Ehrenreich’s character does in the ďŹ lm. He also admitted that “the things that happen in the movie have all happened in real life.â€? Before I leave him on the patio, I ask whether he relates less to Hughes than to Frank, the character Ehrenreich plays—a young man from a modest, God-fearing family, experiencing L.A. for the ďŹ rst time. When it’s been drilled into you, as it was for Frank, that sex outside of marriage is wrong, falling in love can seem dangerous. For a man like that, it can take a while—years and years, even—to sele down. “Already,â€? I say, “the drumbeat is starting about this ďŹ lm: ‘Warren Beatty plays Howard Hughes, with whom he has so much in common.’ But in some ways, the real Warren Beay story in this ďŹ lm is told through Frank.â€? “I didn’t hear you,â€? teases Beay. “You can quote me on that.â€? “Very cray,â€? I say, “but I’m onto something.â€? “Yeah, yeah,â€? Beatty concedes, but only momentarily. “I didn’t say that. You did.â€?  AMY WALLACE is a GQ correspondent. 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 2 9

I saw you in Iowa, and you had made GlassSteagall into an applause line—one of your loudest ovations included a reference to a banking bill! Exactly. You got it. You got it. You got it. And I think a lot of politicians underestimate the American people. And they give them lile pat lines and lile sound bites, and we tried not to do that. So the negative for us: It meant that we bored the national media.

continued from page 184

continued from page 207

and turned into hashtags, it’s odd that other young black men, from the same neighborhoods, are being celebrated as ambassadors for the country by all the crimson-hat-wearing people watching on TV. Was it not patriotic enough that Gabby Douglas was basically wearing a stretchy, bejeweled American ag with enough red-white-and-blue glitter to make Chuck Norris aroused? Was it not patriotic enough that she was bringing literal gold and honor back for her nation several times over? Or that all this 20-year-old girl had ever done with her life, as she ďŹ nished her second Olympics, was compete on behalf of her country? But there need to be some awards given for athletic lack of awareness, too. For example, Floyd Mayweather Jr., a tiny little man who has made over $700 million in his career but has some kind of spiritual problem with giving to charities, joined the All Lives Matter shitwagon—the only group as tacky as his self-titled “Money Team.â€? Or O. J. Simpson. This was also the year O.J. rose from the ashes and crop-dusted his insanity all over the popculture Zeitgeist. “I’m not black, I’m O.J.â€? is always infuriating to hear, even if it’s coming out of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Emmy Award– nominated face. But people tended to watch both the documentary and the drama as if that type of thinking was a thing of the past. But is it? Because Cam Newton, formerly Black America’s quarterback until he was returned under warranty for having faulty wokeness, basically said the same thing multiple times this year. I’m not calling Cam diet O.J. He’s missing two brutal murder charges, that domestic violence, probably several hundred bad cocaine trips, and one snug Isotoner. But Cam is a tall, handsome, charismatic black football stud who this year, no matter what, refused to acknowledge that racism exists. As video after video surfaced of young black men being shot by police—some with their hands up, some with their hands up while lying on the ground—Cam Newton was quoted in the hallowed pages of GQ magazine: America is beyond race. This was also the year we lost Muhammad Ali, the prettiest and greatest boxer there ever was—and the North Star for black athletes who care about something other than their Money Team. And I think he would have been proud. Proud that we live in a society where it’s starting to become more controversial to deny that racism exists than to call it out. That Beats by Dre is more likely to pull its endorsement if you’re called out by Jesse Williams or Harry Belafonte than if you’re called out by Bill O’Reilly. This is the #inuencer era. And people want more from their heroes. What, exactly? Well, I believe, some actual real-deal heroism. 

I expect that my relationship to her will be one that says, “Your campaign and my campaign worked very hard to dra the Democratic platform,� which is the most progressive platform in the history of the United States of America. We’re going to work together to implement that platform.

MARK ANTHONY GREEN is GQ’s Style Guy. 2 3 0

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

You think the platform that you helped draft before the convention will be an actual enforceable document? That’s my intention. The Democratic Party, I think, has begun to understand that it’s far too removed from the needs of ordinary Americans. And for them to regain the trust of the American people, they’re going to have to come up with a very progressive agenda, which means, essentially, taking on the one percent, taking on Wall Street, taking on corporate America, and ďŹ ghting for the interests of ordinary people. Do you feel that Clinton would not have moved to these positions had it not been for the primary challenge that you gave her? Yes. Did you ever have any conversations with her about that? Look, we’ve chaed, but not at great length. It doesn’t maer. I’m not interested in the whys and wherefores. I’m interested in where we go from here. I’m not going to psychoanalyze Hillary Clinton, but for whatever reason, there is a document, and Hillary Clinton is talking to people about the need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families making $125,000 or less. Do I think that she’s going to ďŹ ght to implement that program? I do. Hillary Clinton is talking about an agreement, that we reached, for double nding for communi health centers. Do I think that she will go forward on that proposal? Absolutely. Why do you think you had such success with voters under 40? I’ll tell you something. We ended up speaking to about 1.4 million people during the course of the campaign. And probably the best compliment I ever got, one guy came up to me and he said, “You know, Bernie, what I like about you is you treat us as if we are intelligent human beings.â€? And what that means is that, in all of the speeches that I gave, I doubt there was any speech less than 45 minutes, and most of them were over an hour. And generally speaking, people stayed. But that was not about my great oratorical abilities; it was, I think, because there is a hunger in America for a real understanding. Media does not provide that. Most politicians don’t provide that. I think we underestimate the intelligence of the American people and their desire to learn about what’s going on.

I know you’ve said the campaign was not about you, but obviously you’re the one who lived it. What experiences really stood out? Some people go into the Beverly Hillses of the world and raise money; we went to some of the poorest areas of poor states. We went to the housing projects in the Bronx and Brooklyn in New York Ci and talked with people there. We went to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. We went to Puerto Rico. God, what we saw there.‌ Jesus Christ. e housing conditions were deplorable, and, unbelievably, the teachers there and the parents [he gets choked up for a moment] have created an excellent school, excellent school, in the midst of all of that poverty, which tells you what people who are determined to do the right thing can do. Were things worse than you imagined in these places? Were you aware, as a senator from Vermont, what these places were like? I saw things I was not familiar with and met people whom I did not normally come in contact with. Before every rally, we did a meeting. Wherever we went, we focused on Native Americans, Latinos, African-Americans. And you learn a lot! People talked about the local problems facing their communities—the unemployment, the opioid problems, the drug problems, the police problems. It’s a very good learning experience. If you want to learn a lot, run for president. Of course, other things happen when you run for president, too. What was it like to become a pop-culture figure? e good news, from a political point of view, is that having Larry David imitate you on Saturday Night Live has a real political impact, no question about it. But my major lament of the campaign is that the media go overboard to make sure that we do not have the kind of serious discussion we need. It’s strange that you have to go on a comedy show in order to have ďŹ ve minutes to talk about serious issues. But you did a good job finding unlikely interlocutors, like the Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who became an outspoken supporter. Killer Mike is a serious guy. Exactly. Your web-video interview with him was fascinating. It turns out that Killer Mike is an extremely bright guy. I assume somebody had to explain to you who Killer Mike was. Yes, they did. e name got me a lile bit nervous. But Killer Mike has never killed anybody. It’s just, he’s a killer rapper.  JASON ZENGERLE is GQ’S political correspondent.


continued from page 210

For the past three years, Brock has been sick—most of that time mysteriously and secretly so. In March, aer countless doctors, blind alleys, and medical red herrings, he ďŹ nally received a diagnosis of what had been plaguing him: myasthenia gravis (MG), a rare neurological auto-immune disease that inhibits the body’s abili to interact with its own muscles. If, as Susan Sontag wrote, “everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,â€? Brock passed through customs to the wrong side in January 2014. It was a hard season: He had just completed the arduous opening of Husk Nashville, a version of the Charleston restaurant that had propelled him to new heights of acclaim. He was spending nearly all his time in Nashville now, in the late stages of a difďŹ cult, guilt-ridden divorce from the woman who had been his high school sweetheart. Coming home from dinner one frigid night, he slipped on a patch of ice and went down hard on one knee. A driver pumping gas some 50 yards away nevertheless claimed he could hear the crack as Brock’s kneecap smashed into the pavement. He was incapacitated, unable for several weeks to even make it to the bathroom alone. For a while, it seemed that this might be a backward blessing, an enforced vacation from the stress of the kitchen that Brock would never take on his own. “It was the ďŹ rst time I had not worked six or seven days a week since I was 19,â€? he says. He and his girlfriend, Adi Noe, holed up in their apartment through that unusually cold winter, binge-watching Breaking Bad. en they both ended up with a bad case of food poisoning. Brock spent one night vomiting so violently that he was almost bemused to wake up the next day to ďŹ nd he had double vision. “Man, I must have pulled something throwing up,â€? he thought. A few days later, though, the symptoms remained. The two consulted the chamber of horrors known as WebMD. “You do not want to Google double vision,â€? Noe says. After a few weeks, the parade of doctors began: ophthalmologists, neurologists, neuroophthalmologists, oculoplastics surgeons. And the tests: One consisted of repeatedly placing ice up against his eyes and gauging the response. at was a spa treatment compared with the next test, in which a recording needle was inserted into the junction between the muscles and nerves of his eye and le there for 45 minutes, gathering data. MG is a sneaky sickness, often called the snowake disease because it seems to manifest in as many unique ways as there are people who have it. Why it strikes is a mystery, but as with all auto-immune diseases, the body mistakenly attacks itself, in this case disabling receptors for a substance called

acelcholine, which acts as the crucial connection between one’s nerves and one’s muscles. is short-circuits both voluntary movements, like raising and lowering your eyelids, and involuntary ones, like breathing. All of Brock’s symptoms were in line with an MG diagnosis, but, perplexingly, he tested negative for the disease’s telltale rogue antibodies. Meanwhile, his condition worsened. e double vision made it difďŹ cult to walk, much less drive. One morning, he stepped outside to walk Ruby and tried to squint in the bright sunlight. His eyes re sed to obey. Back inside, he looked in a mirror to discover that one eye had drooped to nearly closed while the other was stuck wide open. “You can’t go out looking like that,â€? he says. He took to wearing sunglasses at all times, both because the mildest light was blinding and because he was so keenly self-conscious. e glasses, though, had their own problems: He worried that he looked like the kind of asshole who wears sunglasses in restaurants at night. Life began to shrink, a series of waiting rooms and doctors’ appointments and torturous surgeries, ďŹ ve in all: Believing the problem was fourth cranial nerve palsy, a surgeon detached his eyeball to tighten its surrounding muscles; attempting to treat the ptosis, or drooping, doctors snipped through his eyelids, inserting stitches to raise and lower them like Levolor blinds while cuing tissue from the undersides. “I wasn’t a chef anymore. I was a patient,â€? Brock says. “It was the most depressed I’d been in my whole life. I was thinking about suicide. I didn’t want to leave my house.â€? He had always had a collecting streak, the acquisitive glee of someone who had grown up poor enough to worry about being able to aord school lunch. Among other things, he has amassed collections of Danelectro guitars, vinyl Mississippi-blues records, and southern folk art. Now he poured his energy into learning everything about bourbon, building a worldclass collection of American whiskey. Amply documented on Instagram, the shelves ďŹ lled with Pappy Van Winkle and Wille seemed like the happy outgrowth of a life well lived. But it was also a beachhead against a terrible possibili: that he would never be able to cook again. After each procedure and recovery, the symptoms would abate for a week or two but then come back. Brock began strategically scheduling the procedures for when he needed brief periods of sight, like when he traveled to Modena, Italy, to take over the kitchen of Osteria Francescana and cooked Italian culatello in southern redeye gravy and shrimp and grits in Parmigiano-Reiano whey. He began to privately confront what had begun to seem inevitable: “I may not ever be ďŹ xed,â€? he said. “I may have to deal with this for the rest of my life.â€? • • • IT’S TEMPTING TO see Brock’s restaurant empire as a manifestation of his own body: The Tavern—where, he says, the menu is “a list of my favorite things to eatâ€?—is his stomach. Husk, with its devotion to showcasing southern ingredients, is his heart. And the new McCrady’s is his brain. (It would be too cynical to say that Minero, Brock’s taqueria, with branches in Charleston and Atlanta, is his wallet, but nobody has ever gone broke selling Americans hot cheese and beans.)

McCrady’s occupies a brick building that dates from the late 1700s, a block away from the marshy shallows of Charleston Harbor. It’s a sprawling space of hallways, stairways, and kitchens, the kind of place a man could rale around in forever, like the Phantom of the Opera, barely seeing daylight. Which is more or less how Brock has been operating in the weeks leading up to the McCrady’s opening, emerging only late at night to hop in his beat-up pickup strewn with cassee tapes. He navigates the building like‌well, like he could do it blind. is has been his home base since 2006, when he ďŹ rst arrived as head chef, a 27-year-old wunderkind recruited from the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, where he had been making improbable waves with 30-course modernist tasting menus inspired by the likes of e French Laundry and WD-50. All but three members of the sta quit within his ďŹ rst week. He won a James Beard Award making brainy, overtly modern food at the original McCrady’s. But it was Husk, which opened down the street in 2010, that made him famous. Husk was the culmination of Brock’s emergence from the kitchen as one of the action-intellectuals of the food revolution. Not content to just cook with southern ingredients, he decided to grow his own, persuading his investors to lease land for a farm on nearby Wadmalaw Island. He began breeding his own hogs. He became a seed evangelist, obsessed with the mission of reviving crops long lost to the rise of industrial agriculture. At Husk, the steadfast rule was that no ingredients could be used from north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Brock became both a local hero and an international one, the hard-drinking, Wafe House– loving Southern Delegate to the international conversation about where food was going. ese days, he pauses every four hours in response to an unheard alarm, reaches into his pocket, and discreetly swallows a pill, one of a seeming pharmacy he consumes daily. In March, having hit a diagnostic dead end, Brock’s doctors decided to start him on the treatment for myasthenia gravis—a combination of the steroid prednisone and a drug called

“I couldn’t stop cooking. I couldn’t stop creating,â€? Brock says. “It was like I had superpowers.â€? Mestinon—in the hopes that he was among the sliver of MG patients who test negative but nevertheless respond to medication. e morning aer he began treatment, Noe woke early to ďŹ nd him already downstairs in the kitchen, whistling and cooking breakfast. “It was like magic,â€? Brock says. “One of the greatest days of my life. I was reborn.â€? On the one hand, this was the conďŹ rmation he and Noe had feared for nearly two years: ere is no cure for MG, and at its worst it can be fatal. On the other, there was ďŹ nally something to do, action to be taken. Brock quit drinking. He cut gluten out of his diet, and most sugar. “All of a sudden, I was springing out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. Everything started 1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 3 1

SEAN BROCK continued

pouring out,â€? he says. He was ďŹ lling notebooks with ideas, dreaming of dishes and then waking up in the middle of the night to scribble them down. “I couldn’t stop cooking. I couldn’t stop creating. It was like I had superpowers.â€? Waiting to absorb this burst of creativi was McCrady’s. As the tenth anniversary of Brock’s arrival there approached, discussions about a revamp were already under way. McCrady’s had always been a somewhat awkward chimera: part modernist experimenter, part traditional restaurant, a mix that reected its clientele. For every diner willing to commit to one of Brock’s tasting menus, there were at least two or three who wanted a steak and a salad—oen at the same table. It was impossible to serve both masters as well as Brock wanted. Now the Tavern would handle Brockian versions of classic dishes—an aged New York strip steak goosed by a crust of shio koji; caviar service with tater tots—while at the new McCrady’s, he would be free to create the kind of rareďŹ ed place he had seen and fallen in love with while traveling far beyond South Carolina’s borders. It was, he felt, an overdue return. Husk had made him famous, but life as an Orthodox Southerner could also be a straitjacket. “I’m tired of making burgers,â€? he says. “I’m tired of making fried chicken, I’m tired of making corn bread. I’ve been doing that every day for six years and I’m sick of it. I love eating it, but I’m tired of making it. Because I know these other dishes are swimming around in my head, and they’re being wasted.â€? The restaurant he envisioned was a chef’s dream of total control: 36 prepaid covers per night, a set menu. It would move quickly, send diners out the door stimulated instead of staggering. “I want you to leave like you just went to a spa. I want you to feel like you just had a massage, like you just meditated, like you did yoga. I want you to feel like you’re nude,â€? he says. For a model, Brock looked to Japan, both in the kitchen—where he adopted ingredients like miso, kombu, and koji—and spiritually. Japanese culture presents a seductive fantasy for many chefs, one of simultaneous intense control and Zen sereni. Never mind that the evidence suests such intensi has its own price: a Japanese suicide rate one and a half times that of the U.S., for starters. Never mind that there’s a price for everything. In late August, still reeling from the grueling process of opening the Tavern and beginning work on the new McCrady’s, Brock and Noe were driving on the Ravenel Bridge, between Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Brock was behind the wheel. Suddenly, the road split and lurched into two. For the ďŹ rst time since he started treatment, Brock’s double vision was back. “I just punched the steering wheel as hard as I could,â€? he says. “I thought, ‘I can’t. I can’t be back here again.’ â€? In the passenger seat, Noe felt her heart drop. It was true that as the novel and relief of Brock’s treatment had subsided, he had grown less care l about his health. ey had both allowed themselves to believe that the sickness might be in the past. But in the coming weeks, as the symptoms started appearing at night, and then earlier and earlier each day, the cruel irony became clear: e very thing that the miracle treatment was allowing Brock to do was the thing that would inevitably bring the disease roaring back. 2 3 2

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

IS THERE ANOTHER WAY? at is the question that lurks in the margins of Brock’s story. Chefs’ health—mental and physical—has become much discussed lately. As cooking has made the transition from blue-collar work to professional, it’s only natural that chefs would begin to challenge the oen brutal conditions previous generations took for granted. On the face of it, the need for change is self-evident, but the knotty problem is that those same conditions mimic the kitchen culture’s agreed-upon virtues: perfectionism, intensi, stamina, toughness, drive. And it is often these very things—not, say, love of food or cooking; those come later—that made the kitchen aractive in the ďŹ rst place. He grew up in deep rural Virginia. His father, the owner of a eet of coal trucks, was a generous and successful man who died when Brock was 11, plunging the family into pover. Such is the stu that chefs are made of: Dead fathers, cruel fathers, physically or emotionally absent fathers—all are so common behind the stove as to be axiomatic. One of the reasons professional kitchens have remained so stubbornly resistant to gender equali is that their bonds are so deeply patrilineal, so downright Freudian. Brock’s ďŹ rst kitchens were a twisted hybrid of boot camp and surrogate family, and he loved it. To be 16 years old, on the line for the ďŹ rst time, Metallica blaring from the boom box, surrounded by rough men braing about their overnight binges and conquests‌ Who cared if half the steaks you sent out to the dining room got sent back? “It was the greatest feeling I’d ever had,â€? he says. Later, he thrived in the hotbox of kitchens run on screaming. Like many young chefs, when he took over his own kitchen, he assumed it was the only way: “I was just yelling and screaming all day. I was the most miserable, angry person you can imagine.â€? Aer one early bad review at the Hermitage, he pledged to his sta that he wouldn’t take a day o until they were reviewed again. It took ten months, during which Brock slept at the restaurant most nights. “We’re insane. We shouldn’t be doing this to our bodies and to our brains. at’s sick. at’s an illness,â€? he says, though not without a touch of pride. “But, look, somebody’s goa feed everybody.â€? So is there another way? There’s no way of knowing whether the chef’s lifesle caused Brock’s myasthenia gravis. What is clear is that it does exacerbate it. It is a one-to-one equation: When Brock gets upset, his eyesight blurs. When he loses sleep or drinks a lile bit, he pays in the days aer. It falls to Noe to remind him of these things. “She’s the only one who can keep me in line,â€? he says. Still, there are limits to what even love can do. “Look, this feeling in my chest is temporary,â€? Brock says on the eve of the McCrady’s opening. “In two or three weeks, I’ll be standing at that counter enjoying myself eating, and then I’ll go back to Nashville, get some nice rniture, build a fence for my dog, and chill out.â€? It is, of course, the Junkie’s Creed: “Tomorrow everything’s going to be dierent. Tomorrow I’m going to be ďŹ ne. I’m just waiting for everything to line up perfectly and then it’s all going to be smooth sailing.‌â€? Meanwhile, plans are moving forward for a Husk in Greenville, South Carolina, to open this coming spring,

and Husk: Savannah after that. His dog, one starts to fear, may have to learn to live without a fence a lile longer. But is there another way? Brock sighs, slightly lubricated now, at e Grion, a dive bar nestled among the hotels and manicured facades of downtown Charleston. He’s allowing himself a drink, or several, tonight, in part because Noe won’t be back from Nashville until later; in part, one fears, guiltily, because he feels that doing so is part of the OfďŹ cial Sean Brock Experience for visitors; and in part because the McCrady’s team has just completed its ďŹ nal dress rehearsal before its ofďŹ cial opening tomorrow night. It was a roaring success. “Tomorrow we start from scratch, but...,â€? he says, trailing o. “It happened to me tonight: The same thing that happens every time I’m doing something I worked really hard towards. I’m in the kitchen, and I just start geing waves of highs. I feel this amazing rush. My arms break out in goose bumps. I imagine it’s what heroin is like. I’m so happy. is is me at my happiest: cooking this food in this place. I feel like I just won the football game. Like I won the heavyweight championship of the world. It’s the greatest thing you can imagine.â€? But is there another way? “Dammit, I don’t know that I want to do it any other way.â€? • • • THE NEXT NIGHT, opening night, McCrady’s is ďŹ lled for the ďŹ rst time with 18 strangers. e front two-thirds of the rectangular space are bathed in a warm, amber glow that reects off the black-walnut counter. The kitchen seems to be caught in the ash of a silver strobe light, framing Brock and his chefs as they bend over plates, tweezers at the ready, as though playing a game of Operation. ings move fast and light: ere’s an oyster secreted in a fog of seawater and dry ice; a square of uni-and-pawpaw ice cream that unfolds in the mouth like a perverse gobstopper; and, of course, the cobia and matsutake, which in its 24th or 25th iteration has emerged as a spaceage diorama: equal-size chunks of ďŹ sh and mushroom arranged, Stonehenge-like, around a green-and-white psychedelic pool. It looks like a Yes album cover, and it tastes of sea and forest and also somehow like an aer-school snack of peanut buer spread on celery. Brock seems relaxed, loose. At one point, he peers at the dining room through the tree line of bonsai like a twinkle-eyed giant. Who knows? Maybe he’s right. Maybe everything will soon go back to normal. When the last dessert, a tiny lozenge that explodes in the mouth with an invigorating menthol blast, is dropped, the kitchen lights snap o, as though a curtain has fallen, and the chefs silently march out the door. e guests applaud. Upstairs, in the Long Room, where George Washington once dined, Brock and his team sit at a banquet table. Nobody talks. ere is, strangely, an air of deation. Everything was awless, and yet‌ “It’s so weird,â€? Brock says. “ere’s a disconnect.â€? Perhaps this is just the crash that follows geing what you’ve always wanted. Or, Brock has another idea: “Maybe it wasn’t hard enough?â€?  BRETT MARTIN is a GQ correspondent.

continued from page 215

continued from page 177

at soccer in a way Americans just aren’t yet. ey trudge onto this lile Astroturf ďŹ eld, and for a few hours several times a week they are no longer air-trafďŹ c controllers or etc. If you want to know whether he’s good at soccer, the answer is yes. Usain Bolt is very good at soccer. His game isn’t natural to this miniaturized ďŹ eld—he looks boled up. But he scores a lot. He also likes to lie on the ground and laugh when he takes a tumble, as the game moves on around him. Also: Not one person ogles or approaches Usain Bolt in his capacity as Jamaica’s sole international megastar. ere are other ďŹ elds ďŹ lled with strangers, and from those ďŹ elds I detect not even a rtive glance in his direction. Either they have some really professional poker faces, or they sincerely see Usain Bolt as just a guy they kind of know. After an hour or so, his girlfriend, Kasi, arrives. The girlfriend who, while Usain was on his international wining tour, let the Twier world know that he was risking his future back home with his “goddess.â€? Usain kisses her, and they sit next to each other looking at their phones until it’s his turn to play again. Then he’s back on the ďŹ eld and she sits by herself waiting for her boyfriend to be done playing soccer. At 10 P.M., their time is up. e group that’s rented the ďŹ eld next is waiting. Usain buys a round of beers for everyone, and they all go sit at some picnic tables. Usain leans against a chain-link fence and drinks a Guinness. Kasi stands next to him, trying to look natural, now waiting for her boyfriend to decide that he wants to go home. He’s already beginning to live the ture he’s been talking about—a guy who’s aging into normalcy, with a fallible body, whom people will point at and say: Hey, man, that’s Usain Bolt, he was the fastest man alive. A guy who gets together with his friends a couple of times a week to play soccer and inhabit his body the way he used to and then hang out aerward listening to music, while o in the distance the lights of the rest of the world twinkle on. Before I leave, Usain wants to make a ďŹ nal point. “Just write down,â€? he says, “that I scored three goals. e most goals.â€? His friends laugh. He smiles, too. It’s nny that he’s being competitive about this game, right? “Yeah, but you were kind of hanging out near the goal,â€? I said. “What do you want? I’m a striker,â€? he says, mostly serious. “Strikers don’t get back on defense.â€? It’s nny that he’s being competitive. But he still wants me to know: He won. 

What are your favorite Ryan Reynolds movies? Buried, Adventureland. The Voices, Mississippi Grind. I love Deadpool with my last beating heart. I like Van Wilder. If you watch that, I’m just wholesale robbing from Chevy Chase.

DEVIN FRIEDMAN is GQ’s editorial director.

ANNA PEELE is GQ’s culture editor.

He has that same kind of detached quality that you sometimes do. ere’s an empathetic arrogance that he has. Despite the fact that he’s telling you “Do not like meâ€? and he’s writing lines for himself that are meant to impale your sense of good taste, you’re aracted to him. What’s next? We all sat around and wrote Deadpool 2 in here, actually. Rhe and Paul were staying in the two bedrooms right down there on and o for about four months. I have Life, which is also wrien by Rhe and Paul—the whole film takes place on the International Space Station, and they discover a form of extraterrestrial life. I’m friends with Jake Gyllenhaal, and this was our first working experience together. ey literally manufactured the ISS on a soundstage in London. I showed an astronaut the inside on FaceTime, and he was like, “Oh, my God! at’s amazing!â€? Your life seems so good right now. Are you content, or are you like, “It’s all downhill from hereâ€?? e needle doesn’t move as much as you think it does—I really think that people just come down the chute a certain way. There’s this idea that when somebody’s just a miserable son of a bitch and they win the lottery, they’re ecstatic for like six months, but when you catch up to them a year down the line, they’re still a pessimistic person. And when a super-happy optimist loses everything in life, they just sort of ďŹ gure it out and go back to their baseline. My baseline’s prey good, I think, aside from a few prey intense anxie hiccups over my life. I wouldn’t say I’m quantiďŹ ably happier now than I was when I lived in my shithole studio apartment on Wilcox in Hollywood. I’m also old enough to understand what’s an illusion and what’s real, and that it’s foolish to try to think that I can control anything from here on out. Very Zen. Undercut the Zen part with the same fears that everyone else has. But I wasn’t a miserable ck before I did this for a living, and I would hope that I would never turn into one, because I’m luc . at’s a Man of the Year quote right there. Jesus Christ. 

Page 154. Yogurt: Ed Endicott/Alamy. Eggo: Michael Neelon/ Alamy. Fried chicken: Svetlana Foote/Alamy. Pie: Svetlana Foote/Alamy. Carrots: Sergejs Rahunoks/Alamy. Sausage: Sergejs Rahunoks/Alamy. Meatball sub: Mediablitzimages/ Alamy. Sprees: Bon Appetit/Alamy. French fries: Digifoto Diamond/Alamy. Jerky: Edd Westmacott/Alamy. Ribs: Dave Crombeen/Alamy. Chicken leg: Handmade Pictures/Alamy. Pizza: Feng Yu/Alamy. Cookie: Design Pics Inc/Alamy. Stuffing: Bert Folsom/Alamy. Doughnut: D. Hurst/Alamy. Asparagus: D. Hurst/Alamy. Corn: Organics Image Library/ Alamy. Muffin: Food and Drink Photos/Alamy. Mushrooms: Incamerastock/Alamy. French toast: Joel Katz/Alamy. Potatoes: Fabrizio Troiani/Alamy. Peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich: Hera Food/Alamy. Zucchini: A. Astes/Alamy. Red Bull: J.F.T.L IMAGES/Alamy. Pierogi: Aaron Bastin/Alamy. Coffee: Judith Collins/Alamy. Ice cream: Radius Images/ Alamy. Broccoli: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy. Onions: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Alamy. Pages 180–181. Top left, glasses and ring: his own. Top center, ring: his own. Top right, tie: John Varvatos. Bottom left, pocket square: Tommy Hilfiger. Bottom right, pocket square: Eton. Tie bar: The Tie Bar. Watch: Daniel Wellington. Pages 184–185. Producer: Lauren Gross at North Six. Hair: Bobby McLean. Grooming: Kumi Craig using Soko Glam. Pages 198 & 200. Produced in London by Ragi Dholakia Productions. Ahmed and Negga, hair: David Harborow at Streeters. Makeup: Florrie White using Bobbi Brown. Manicure: Michelle Humphrey using Chanel. Pages 199, 201 & 202–205. Produced in New York by Nathalie Akiya at Kranky Produktions. The Stranger Things kids (including Brown), Guardiola, and Ugarte, hair: Thom Priano for R+Co haircare. The Stranger Things kids (boys only), grooming: Jodie Boland using Lab Series Skincare for Men. Brown, makeup: Carrie Lamarca using Lancôme. Guardiola and Ugarte, makeup: Jodie Boland using Chanel; manicure: Ana-Maria for Chanel. The Get Down cast (men only) and Rhodes, grooming: Barry White at Page 202. From left, 1. Cap: BDG at Urban Outfitters. Sneakers: Vans. 2. Cap: ’47 Brand. Sneakers: Adidas Originals. 3. Sneakers: Vans. Bracelet: Caputo & Co. Bracelets on other boys: Burkman Bros. 4. Beanie: Neff. Necklace: Giles & Brother. Sneakers: Vans. Page 204. Bracelet: A.P.C. Page 205. Left, bracelet: Renvi. Ring: his own. Center, her pink bodysuit (beneath dress): Cosabella. Long drop earring, bracelet, and rings: Delfina Delettrez. Small earring (on other ear): Catbird. Right, his ring: Degs & Sal. Bracelet: his own. All pocket squares: Tom Ford.

GQ IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. COPYRIGHT Š 2016 CONDÉ NAST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. VOLUME 86, NO. 12. GQ (ISSN 0016-6979) is published monthly by CondÊ Nast, which is a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: CondÊ Nast, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. S. I. Newhouse, Jr., Chairman Emeritus; Charles H. Townsend, Chairman; Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer; David E. Geithner, Chief Financial Officer; Jill Bright, Chief Administrative Officer. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40644503. Canadian Goods and Services Tax Registration No. 123242885-RT0001. Canada Post: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P.O. Box 874, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8L4. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS (SEE DMM 507.1.5.2); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: Send address corrections to GQ, P.O. Box 37675, Boone, IA 50037-0675. FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS, ADDRESS CHANGES, ADJUSTMENTS, OR BACK ISSUE INQUIRIES: Please write to GQ, P.O. Box 37675, Boone, IA 50037-0675, call 800-289-9330, or e-mail Please give both new and old addresses as printed on most recent label. First copy of new subscription will be mailed within four weeks after receipt of order. Address all editorial, business, and production correspondence to GQ Magazine, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. For reprints, please e-mail or call Wright’s Media 877-652-5295. For re-use permissions, please e-mail or call 800-897-8666. Visit us online at To subscribe to other CondÊ Nast magazines on the World Wide Web, visit www.condenastdigital .com. Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that offer products and services that we believe would interest our readers. If you do not want to receive these offers and/or information, please advise us at P.O. Box 37675, Boone, IA 50037-0675 or call 800-289-9330. GQ IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RETURN OR LOSS OF, OR FOR DAMAGE OR ANY OTHER INJURY TO, UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS, UNSOLICITED ARTWORK (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DRAWINGS, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND TRANSPARENCIES), OR ANY OTHER UNSOLICITED MATERIALS. THOSE SUBMITTING MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOGRAPHS, ARTWORK, OR OTHER MATERIALS FOR CONSIDERATION SHOULD NOT SEND ORIGINALS, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED TO DO SO BY GQ IN WRITING. MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND OTHER MATERIALS SUBMITTED MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE.

1 2 - 2 Ă˜ 1 6

2 3 3


Coloring books: They’re not just for kids anymore. In fact, they’re actual New York Times best-sellers. For grown-up humans and Kate Hudson (she’s a fan). Here, an exclusive excerpt from the commemorative 2016 coloring book we wish existed. We call it: America Kisses the Frog

2 3 4

1 2 - 2 Ø 1 6


C O L O R E D P E N C I L S : M AT T M A R T I N

An Adult Coloring Experience

Gq usa december 2016