The Annual Elle Women in Hollywood Covers Are Here

This issue has to be so much work for the people at Elle. You’ve got eight cover stars and ten covers; that’s eight profiles of A-list women that need careful attention and love and logistics and PR maneuvering and probably plenty of negotiating. It’s at least eight times the work of a regular cover, I imagine, if not more like twelve. I hope everyone on staff got a nice little mini-break after they put this issue to bed! The good news is that the cover shots all range from “mostly fine” to “really good!” And the profiles are all various degrees of interesting and well done. Phew!

There are also a LOT of them, obviously. Anne Hathaway’s piece is lovely — the other photos are great, and she seems like she’s in a really good place right now.

“I am ambitious, and I think that’s great. When you are not born into the life that you would like to have for yourself, you have to be ambitious. I have a very easy relationship with it. I love that I’m hardworking. I love that I know how to be professional. And I love that I have really big dreams and goals for myself.”

She also talks quite a bit about her career trajectory in general, and it’s just a very interesting profile.

Michelle Yeoh’s piece is, as all Michelle Yeoh pieces are, a pleasure. She talks a lot about her long history in Hollywood — including some stuff we read in her T&C piece — but this really stood out:

“Twenty-something years ago, I found Hollywood to be very insular and blinkered because they didn’t see beyond their box office. Also, I come from Asia, from China, and in America I was told I’m a minority. It was like, What? The worst was that they seemed to not know the difference between Hong Kong and Japan, forget Malaysia. They were constantly saying to me, ‘Oh, your English is so good,’ and they thought that if they spoke more slowly that I would understand them better. So I just started turning around and saying, ‘Well, I had a long flight coming over here from Hong Kong. It’s like a 14-hour flight. So I learned [English] on the plane.’ ”

That is so snarky and perfect. I love it.

Issa Rae’s profile is very smart and insightful about MeToo and how generally shitty Hollywood is about accountability:

“I’m gonna be real, the stuff that’s happening with Ezra Miller is, to me, a microcosm of Hollywood. There’s this person who’s a repeat offender, who’s been behaving atrociously, and as opposed to shutting them down and shutting the production down, there’s an effort to save the movie and them. That is a clear example of the lengths that Hollywood will go to save itself and to protect offenders. So, don’t do that, and women may be able to thrive. They won’t have to live in fear of keeping silent because it’ll ruin their careers. It’s just a constant pattern of abuse that’ll only persist if Hollywood continues to insist on being this way.”

Definitely click through and read the whole thing — she’s so sharp and honest and it’s just a great piece overall. She also tells a very nice story about how great Regina King is, and Laura Dern.

Sydney Sweeney’s profile talks a lot about her Euphoria character, Cassie, which may not be particularly meaningful to you if you don’t watch the show (I do not). But I thought this was so nicely said about the reaction to her Hollywood Reporter piece where she was so forthcoming about her finances:

“I was asked if I wanted to have a family and I said yes. And then I was asked why I didn’t have one yet, and I was like, I don’t have time to take even, like, a six-month break. Like, I don’t have time to be able to start this family. I’m working so much and I’m focusing on that right now. And so it was kind of skewed with the public and taken out of context, which was insane to watch and kind of disappointing, too, because I think that being a mother, and a working mother, is really important. I really want to achieve that one day. So I was disappointed that people took my words and changed them [to serve] their own agenda.”

The Sigourney Weaver profile is an honestly terrific read. It’s not as pull-quotey as some of the other ones, but it just flows. She seems like a delight to shoot the breeze with. And this is great:

“I wish I’d studied singing more. Because I really loved the cabaret act I used to do with Chris Durang, and then Sondheim would ask me to do something and I felt I didn’t have a trained voice, so I wouldn’t be able to do eight shows a week. So I wish I’d done more singing and more dancing. I would’ve loved to have had a Vegas show. That would’ve been really fun.”

Sigourney takes the Vegas strip! Imagine!

Zoe Kravitz’s profile reads like she’s been thinking a LOT about how things in Hollywood, and the internet, work, and it’s sort of unusual to read a piece where the subject is clearly musing aloud about a lot of different things:

I used to be told I couldn’t have a role because they wanted a white girl. Now we’re in this place where you can only play a role if you are that identity, which I think is very complicated. Can a person who can see play a blind person? I don’t know the answer. It’s all very blurry. There’s not necessarily a right side and a wrong side. It’s almost like it was so bad for so long that now we have to sit in this uncomfortable place that also doesn’t make a lot of sense, trying to even things out. It’s just like, Who’s in charge and where do we draw the line? I don’t know the answer to that.”

Additionally, she honestly seems a little stressed about the state of media, and social media, and I came away from this profile thinking that someone needs to tell Zoë that it is absolutely okay for her not to be on Instagram. (My feeling is that almost NO celebrity should be on the internet at all!)

Kinda related, Olivia Wilde is STILL giving interviews about Don’t Worry Darling, which I get — she had a BIG press push planned for this — but also I feel like everyone might be ready for Olivia Wilde to take a nice long vacay to Bali or something. Including, perhaps, Olivia Wilde! Having said that, the profile of her is very thoughtful and meaty and well worth your time:

“I share custody of my kids with my ex. If I’m photographed not with my kids, people assume I have abandoned them, like my kids are just somewhere in a hot car without me. The suggestion is that I have abandoned my role as a mother. You know why you don’t see me with my kids? Because I don’t let them get photographed. Do you know the lengths that I go to protect my kids from being seen by you?”

She is not wrong that certain subsets of the internet WOULD jump straight to Abandoned in a Hot Car. Many people out there have internet brainworms.

The star of Ariana DeBose’s profile are really the photos — you can tell she’s a great dancer. Which is not to say that the profile isn’t good — it’s good! — but her movement skills are just…next level. This is a nice quote:

“I was so shocked when they called my name [at the SAG Awards]; I did not believe I was going to win. Cate Blanchett was in my category. In what world would I ever think that I’m going to be picked over Cate Blanchett? In my mind, I had absolutely no chance. And that was really shocking. It was also heartening to feel the kindness from people who didn’t really know me, and who gave me space to be in the room and didn’t make me feel like an outsider. I did not feel like an outsider that evening. And it’s one of the first times in the industry that I didn’t feel othered.”

It seems VERY relatable that you’d be like, “I am not gonna beat Cate.” (Although I could have told her she was going to beat Cate!)

[Cass Bird shot Olivia Wilde and Issa Rae; Sharif Hamza shot Sydney Sweeney, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Yeoh, Ariana DeBose, Zoë Kravitz, and Anne Hathaway]

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