The last fashion magazine I bought was the August 2003 issue of Vogue. Sarah Jessica Parker smiles coyly from the cover, adorned in a cleavage-baring hot pink number.
I won’t deny that my attraction to this particular issue of Vogue can be attributed to my adoration of ‘Sex and the City.’
But the interview on page 222 left me a little disappointed. It felt generic, and even my love for Sarah Jessica could not distract me from the fluffy, over-produced aura of the article.
Props to Steven Meisel for his colorful adjectives and captivating depiction of HBO’s claim to fame, but, as Carrie Bradshaw lamented in a season four episode, ‘is it Vogue?’
Maybe so, but if you’re looking for something a little less run-of-the-mill, I’ve got some recommendations for you.
The star of the show is Interview Magazine, a quirky yet lovable publication that features 22-year-old Hayden Christensen on the cover of its November 2003 issue.
Interview was founded by pop art pioneer Andy Warhol and was first published in 1969. Candid and classy, the most distinct feature of Interview that manages to set it apart from its contemporaries is the fact that it features celebrities interviewed by other celebrities.
Moreover, as Amazon.com so fittingly observed, you should look not for leading Hollywood contenders like Julia Roberts, but rather for the woman who will take Julia’s place in five years’ time.
The first four interviews are one-page blurbs on up-and-comers like Tom Guiry, who will be appearing in ‘Mystic River’ with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon. Each of these quirky anecdotal features boasts a movie-related title. Guiry’s interview is ‘Movie Latest’ while Emily Grace of next month’s film ‘What Alice Found’ snagged this month’s ‘Movie Spotlight’ interview.
Page 38 jumps into Interview’s cover features, the first of which is an interview with Patricia Clarkson. Stanley Tucci serves as the interviewer in a casual conversation about America’s idea of sexuality and the rising popularity of independent films.
Following Patti and Tucci are movie previews and reviews, exploring the appeal or lack thereof in upcoming films like ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Gothika’ in one short and sweet paragraph per feature. Interview doesn’t mess around.
There is some music, too. Just as Alternative Press throws in a movie review or two between raves over Thrice and Thursday, Interview, in its cinematic glory, gives readers a chance to get to know rock band Jet, solo artist Rachael Yamagata and Bonnie McKee, a red-headed high school dropout that has a lot to say about relationships and dangerous liaisons on ‘Trouble,’ her upcoming debut. Interview wraps its music section with ‘Sound Advice’ on new albums from Pink, Ryan Adams and The Strokes.
After ‘Fashion Flash,’ ‘Photography News’ and a food column give the Interview audience a well-rounded entertainment experience, it seems the real magazine begins. Ingrid Sischy, editor in chief, makes her ‘Letter from the Editor’ statement more than halfway through the issue on page 76.
After Sischy says her piece, readers get the goods on ‘Friends’ star Lisa Kudrow and her new film ‘Wonderland,’ followed by a check-up with Nelly Furtado and her two biggest news tidbits: a new disc, ‘Folklore’ and a new baby.
Now comes the WB reunion as Jessica Biel of ‘7th Heaven’ sits down for an interview conducted by Dawson himself, James Van Der Beek.
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Hayden Christensen makes his sandy appearance in some smoldering beach photos. The interview itself is much less intimidating than Christensen’s stone-faced expressions as interviewer Richard Dorment follows Christensen from 2001’s ‘Life as a House’ to ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ to settle on newest film ‘Shattered Glass.’
Interview’s November 2003 issue winds down quickly after Christensen with fashion details and a seemingly last-minute photography showcase that wraps with a picture of Madonna, circa 1984.
All in all, Interview provides a potentially more realistic perspective on the people who make pop culture what it is without bestowing a suggestion of celebrity righteousness.
No unnecessary glitz from what I can tell!
For all the efforts on behalf of mainstream celebrity magazines to sound as though they are thoroughly intimate with each actor they sit down with, Interview avoids this over-exertion and hence is more convincing in its intimacy with its subjects.
‘Down to earth’ may quite simply be the best way to describe this publication. It just is