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Exclusive Preview: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood

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Quentin Tarantino was six years old and living in the Los Angeles area when, in the summer of 1969, hell broke loose. You know this story: five people murdered over the course of two days that August, shot and stabbed by a clan of hippie impressionables in anticipation of Helter Skelter, Charles Manson’s idea of holy terror. It’s a Hollywood tale—not least because its most famous victim, the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, was the wife of director Roman Polanski, which put the terror square in the back lot’s backyard.

But it’s a Hollywood story for bigger reasons. This was an era, not merely an event; a lifestyle, a people, a widespread obsession—not merely a spot on a timeline or map. The city is a sprawl. So was 1969. And so is the work of Quentin Tarantino, whose last three movies were violent but (mass Nazi execution notwithstanding) playful excursions into history, all of them riffs on the deviant style and rough talkiness of the Westerns Tarantino loves, even the Dirty Dozen-esque World War II picture Inglourious Basterds, in which a motley troop of American badasses, a mock-Tennessean Brad Pitt at its helm, takes its grievances out on Nazi skulls.

Now he’s back with a Western of a different stripe: an old-school L.A. story à la Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, the kind of city epic only a nostalgic of Tarantino’s wit and peculiarity could attempt to really do justice. Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a faded TV Western star and Pitt as his stunt double, is, as its sand-battered title suggests, a throwback. For Los Angeles, sure, but also for Tarantino, who, after traveling as far and wide as the Third Reich and the Shaolin Temple, is bringing it home.

Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood will be released July 26.

Source: vanityfair.com

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Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan Compare Notes on Boxing, Acting Naked, and Harley Quinn vs. Killmonger

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Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan seem to effortlessly check all the movie star boxes: Megawatt charm? Check (those smiles!). Actor clout? No problem (having Martin Scorsese and Ryan Coogler launch their respective careers can’t hurt). Lucrative blockbuster movie franchises? Yep, that too (Robbie in Suicide Squad and Jordan in Creed, with a memorable detour into Wakanda). So, as it turns out, they have a lot to talk about—and not just about fame and their good fortune. Here, as part of our annual Best Performances portfolio, Robbie, who starred in the recent palace-intrigue period drama Mary Queen of Scots, and Jordan, who returned in Creed 2 and dominated the screen in Black Panther this year, sit down with W’s Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg to share not only how it is they make morally questionable villains like Harley Quinn and Killmonger into magnetic antiheroes, but also their totally embarrassing early email addresses, their most memorable red carpet fashion faux pas, and their frankly amazing first kiss stories.
So Michael, what’s the first album you ever bought?

Michael B. Jordan: First album? Ah, man, that’s a good one.
Margot Robbie: Oh, that is a good one.
Jordan: I want to say, on cassette tape… um, Usher’s My Way.
Robbie: That’s a good answer.
Jordan: You’re taking me back. I want to say I rode my bike to the music store that was, like, down the street.

What was the first album you ever bought, Margot?
Robbie
: I think the first album I bought was, um, AFI’s Sing the Sorrow. I was in a bit of a heavy metal phase. But I think the first single I bought was Blink 182, “All the Small Things.”
Jordan: Okay. So the heavy metal. Are you still in that phase or did you pass that?
Robbie: Occasionally.
Jordan: Occasionally?
Robbie: Occasionally.

Have you ever gone through a heavy metal phase, Michael?
Jordan: I have not.
Robbie: [Laughs.]
Jordan: But electric guitar solos are my thing. Like, I love, the Ernie Isleys of the world, the “Who’s That Lady” solo is pretty incredible. [Michael Jackson’s] “Dirty Diana” is pretty good.

Do you play air guitar?
Jordan: Air guitar? All day. [Laughs.]
Robbie: I can air guitar. That’s about the extent of my musical prowess, really.

Michael, did you box before Creed?
Jordan: I never officially boxed but karate, martial arts, and stuff like that. And then I kinda segued into boxing.

And you, Margot, have you ever boxed?
Robbie: I’ve done a bit of boxing, yeah—mainly to prepare for fight training, like stunt work. And I really, really like it. I have stupidly long arms, like, they’re too long for my body. So actually it’s kind of good when you’re boxing.
Jordan: The reach is incredible.
Robbie: An extra long reach. And it looks good on camera. Having long limbs on camera makes your punches—
Jordan: Your punch is a little wider, yeah, yeah, yeah. She knows what she’s talking about.

What I love about both of your performances in different movies is that although you kind of play superheroes in both Suicide Squad and in Black Panther, you’re also kind of antiheroes at the same time. There’s a kind of dichotomy to the characters.

Robbie: A lovable rogue.
Jordan: That’s right. I like that. I mean, those are the most interesting characters to me sometimes, like when I’m watching films that, on screen, are the ones that you can empathize with. Like, they want you to root against ’em. They want you to not like them. But somehow you can still understand where they’re coming from and that’s important.

Do you have a favorite villain? Other than Killmonger.
Jordan
: Yeah, because he’s tough. I mean, honestly, it’s between [Michael] Fassbender’s Magneto and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Honestly. Those two are pretty up there for me. [To Robbie] What about you?
Robbie: I’m totally stealing someone else’s answer. I’ve heard someone else say this, but I do truly think this is a genius villain: HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Jordan: Ohhh. Man.
Robbie: It’s just such a cool villain. That was genius.

But it is also kind of weirdly sympathetic.
Robbie
: Totally. The best villains are sympathetic.

Full interview: wmagazine.com