New York Magazine
The cover of the August 2011 issue of New York Magazine features the 27-year-old British actor Robert Pattinson. He’s dressed in a crisp white shirt and blue jeans in the shot, which is styled on the cover of Pattinson’s debut album, Dance Floor. In the interview that accompanies the piece, writer Olivia Solon asks, “Is Robert Pattinson’s L.A. Reprise a Pawn in the Royal Game of Mummy-Daddy Drama?”
The August 2011 issue of New York Magazine is devoted to Hollywood’s richest and most glamorous families. It includes articles on Elizabeth Taylor’s grandson, Christian, the child of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as well as on Taylor’s great-granddaughter, Gwen, who lives in Paris with her family. But it’s Pattinson’s article that garners the most interest. The 27-year-old British actor has been compared to a young Sean Connery and, like the Scotch-born actor, spends most of his time in New York City. He also recently wrapped filming on the psychological thriller Gone Girl, in which he plays the role of Ben Affleck’s bespectacled best friend, Michael.
If you haven’t heard of Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, then it’s probably time you should have. Wintour is one of the most influential women in the world of fashion, with a hand in nearly every significant fashion decision made in recent years. The former editor-in-chief of US Vogue is famous for her powerful interview techniques and for never shying away from a good fight. And it’s precisely because of her clout that the interview that accompanies the August 2011 issue of Vogue is so revealing.
The interview with Pattinson spans two pages in the magazine. It opens with Wintour asking the British actor about his time in New York City and about the impact it’s had on his life. She then turns to their mutual friend Anna Chabran, inquiring about her recent visit with Chabran and Pattinson in Paris. Wintour’s interest in the young British actor is almost palpable, and for good reason. It’s been reported that Pattinson has been dating model-turned-actress Imogen Melling since they met in London in 2010. (Melling has starred in ad campaigns for Vivienne Westwood and Burberry, and is best known for her work with photographer Terry Richardson.)
What makes the piece remarkable isn’t just the scope of the reporting but also the fact that Vogue, a magazine known for its pristine journalism, didn’t hesitate to print such revealing excerpts from private conversations. It’s a remarkable gesture, and it speaks to the power Wintour holds over both the fashion and entertainment worlds. Of course, Vogue did the same for Sean Connery when he was dating supermodel Veronica Webb. (It was later reported that Webb, too, had drug problems.) But Connery, like most of the famous men Vogue has featured, was a frequent contributor to the fashion magazine. As for Wintour, she didn’t need to resort to drugs to achieve her goal of becoming editor-in-chief of Vogue. She merely needed to wait for her turn. (She finally succeeded Hugh Hefner in 2006.)
If you follow style.com, then you probably know that the website regularly features interviews with influential celebrities and politicians. One of the most recent interviews is with former vice president Al Gore. But what you may not know is that the website, which is owned by the gossip site TMZ, was started by Harvey Levin, a former Hollywood publicist. (Levin also founded InTouch, a gossip magazine that recently closed down.)
Style.com’s August 2011 issue is devoted to fashion’s most influential men. Its cover features former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and its interview is with Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York. (Spitzer resigned from his position as head of the New York State attorney general’s office in 2009 after it was revealed that he had frequented a high-profile prostitution ring. He was later charged with felony securities fraud and prostitution, and he resigned from office to avoid incarceration. Spitzer was also featured on the cover of the September 2013 issue of Vogue.)
The interview with Spitzer is interesting for a number of reasons. First, it’s the rare chance for a journalist to get an interview with the most famous politician inside the Beltway (Washington, D.C.). Second, Spitzer provides a unique perspective as both a former governor and as a wealthy Wall Street figure who has made a name for himself in Washington. Third, the interview gives us an insight into Spitzer’s life as a highly successful politician who, despite his considerable achievements, has never really gotten over the scandal that followed his fall from grace. He speaks openly about the toll that the scandal took on his personal life and, eventually, his professional life. The interview is so sympathetic that it almost comes across as a documentary about the former governor’s struggles with addiction and his eventual recovery. (Spitzer has maintained an active and visible public life since his recovery, although he has had to avoid certain professions because of his felony record.)
It’s not just Style.com that has interviewed Spitzer recently. InTouch, Gore’s magazine, spoke with him about the perils of social media and how to use the platform to promote your business or NGO.