Hollywood Issue 2018
A super-stellar lineup, including Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman, and Reese Witherspoon—plus, one special cameo—took advantage of their downtime during the shoot of a historic V.F. cover.
In the quarter-century since Vanity Fair launched the Hollywood Issue, show business has changed in fundamental ways, as have magazines. But a star-studded, foldout cover remains a surefire thrill. This year’s portfolio goes inside the cover’s creation, which took place in L.A. and New York as Annie Leibovitz photographed 12 of film and TV’s most iconic actors—with a non-actor corralled for the shoot for his last V.F. hurrah.
The films and TV shows represented by the actors in this year’s Hollywood Portfolio—which for the first time offers a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot—took the #MeToo movement in stride, offering strong women in leading roles, as well as strong men supporting them. Here we have Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman summoning the women’s battle cry of Big Little Lies alongside Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the indispensable sidekick to The Post heroine Katharine Graham. There’s also Claire Foy and Gal Gadot, embodiments of their formidable characters, the Queen and Wonder Woman, and one possible future female president in the mix. Movies have always thrived on relevance, and this year’s cover stars don’t hesitate to make a statement about the times we’re living in and the changes that need to happen.
NICOLE KIDMAN, actor, producer.
66 films, including Boy Erased (2018); one Academy Award.
No matter how many gutsy dives Nicole Kidman takes from the high board in her choices of adventurous roles, directors, and projects (in this decade alone, The Paperboy, The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), the entertainment press insists on propping her on an ivory pedestal and harping on her frosty reserve. More fools they. As an actor, Kidman has never hesitated to get down in the funk. She brought the body heat to Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, her maternal agon in Birth remains an undiscovered wonder, and she was outright freaky-deaky in The Paperboy. Conquering TV with an Emmy-and Golden Globe-winning splash in HBO’s Big Little Lies, Kidman could rest on her laurels but won’t. This Kid don’t quit.