Vanity Fair released it’s cover for their annual ‘Hollywood Issue’ and much to everyone’s surprise, there are more than 2 black actors included. The mag has a history of only featuring white actors for their big awards issue, but seeing as how the industry is in the midst of a “black renaissance” (eyeroll), we get to see not one but SIX non-white faces. Let’s break it down.
On the part of the cover you’ll see on newsstands, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jared Leto take the floor, Julia Roberts looks very comfortable on Idris Elba‘s lap, I mean, who wouldn’t?! Michael B. Jordan is to the side of George Clooney, who somehow weaseled his way onto this thing. ‘Gravity’ was a huge hit, but most of the praise for it are going to director Alfonso Cuarón and Sandra Bullock. His latest, ‘The Monuments Men’ isn’t getting the best reviews, so why he is here? Shouldn’t his spot have gone to Leonardo DiCaprio or Matthew McConaughey, who have both been nominated for and awarded numerous trophies this awards season? On the other flap is the stunning, and I never use that term loosely, Lupita Nyong’o with Naomie Harris, Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman, Margot Robbie and an annoyed looking Léa Seydoux.
With the exception of Naomie, the inside flap is dedicated to the newbies, who are a talented, but not as well known bunch. I was actually shocked to see Harris and Boseman, both have been terribly overlooked for their work in ‘Mandela’ and ’42’, respectively. Larson is almost unrecognizable, and I’m not sure what’s up with her windswept hair or seeming lack of makeup. Many people think Seydoux’s ‘Blue Is the Warmest Colour’ co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos should be getting more exposure, but with some big gigs under her belt, and an “interesting” (read: privileged) background, she is more poised for stardom. Nyong’o and Robbie are both breakout actresses, but knowing the industry, the trajectory of one’s career might be bigger than the other’s, and I don’t think I need to say which one.
So Vanity Fair got it, mostly, right with this time. It’s certainly a lot better than the last one with Batfleck, Emma Stone and B. Coop in bed together. The group shot, even though some get regulated to that damn flap, is just a better fit. As is having Annie Leibovitz shoot everything. It would be nice to see other POC actors included as well. The last Latino actors to grace the covers were America Ferrera and Zoe Saldana back in 2008. The only two Asian actors to be EVER be featured were Zhang Ziyi on the 2005 cover and Lucy Liu for 2004. That sadly highlights the lack of big, and good, roles for minority actors. I doubt next year’s issue will be as sexy, or diverse, so i’m reluctantly giving them a pat on the back for this. A small pat.