W Magazine’s first issue of 2021, Volume 1, Best Performances, hit stands this week and the annual feature curated by W’s editor-at-large Lynn Hirschberg and styled by W Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Sara Moonves features some of our favorite Hollywood stars on their NINE covers. George Clooney, Gal Gadot, Riz Ahmed, Andra Day, LaKeith Stanfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tessa Thompson, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Vanessa Kirby were photographed by Juergen Teller for the issue, which also includes digital features, such as unique video interviews. The issue also includes portraits of more of our favorites, for example Tracee Ellis Ross, Jared Leto, Jonathan Masters, Steven Yeun and Leslie Odom Jr. We tried to include as many excerpts as we could — especially from the Black talent featured. We were particularly taken with Andra Day’s interview because she changed a whole lot about herself to play Billie Holiday — everything from her weight to her vices! Watch her interview below and check out a few choice quotes.
This is so funny that she was put off of kissing at 16! Hopefully that changed — especially because she’s kissing Trevante Rhodes in this film.
Discussing how much work she put in to becoming Billie:
“I did some pretty extreme things for the character. There was the drastic weight loss—I wanted to have a body that looked like that period in time. Starving myself made me very weak on set and slowed me down in a way that really helped with the scenes with heroin. Then I started smoking cigarettes; it made me feel like Billie. I’m very fast, and she’s like molasses. Smoking helped to drop me into those dark places.”
On whether she’s ever taken a nude selfie:
“Oh my god—especially after I lost weight for the movie, it’s all been nudies.”
Hit the flip for more greatness from this W Magazine issue.