It’s nice to get an array of photos and think, “Oh, yeah, I absolutely think they chose correctly for the cover.” That’s a super pick that does convey the POWER, all-caps, that the headline suggests.

Janet Mock wrote the cover story. She’s been very busy for Marie Claire: She also interviewed Emily Ratajkowski and Zendaya for the June and August covers, and they are a refreshing change in a sea of mediocre friend-on-friend affairs. Janet generally seems adept at drawing out her subject, and clearly does her research, coming at it as a reporter rather than someone who wants to inject herself into the piece; there is a little bit more of that here than usual, but Kerry being quite famously private, the ways Janet is self-referential make some sense. The lead isn’t super, though, and things go quickly into the “here’s what she’s wearing/famous lady isn’t glamorous in her down time” cliche. Still, the conversation seems like it was thoughtful, and sometimes you just have to work with what little time you have and what activity you are prescribed. (The assignment was to go hiking, and once you notice how many celebrity stories involve hiking, and/or some other activity that’s pretty tangential to who they are and is merely there to make them seem outdoorsy or to provide metaphors, you cannot un-notice it.)

I enjoyed this anecdote, courtesy of Reese Witherspoon. She and Kerry are producing and starring in an adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, and:

The actresses first met at a read-through. “An actor was trying to decide if he wanted to star in this movie, and he wanted other actors to read the script out loud,” recalls Witherspoon. “Turns out Kerry and I were the only ones prepared. We both memorized our lines and brought a full performance. In that moment, I realized I had met a kindred spirit.”

And then there’s this:

“The first time somebody recognized me on the street, they were like, ‘Kerry.’ And I was like, ‘Hey,’ because I assumed it was maybe somebody I went to college with. This was after Save the Last Dance. And I hugged them because I assumed I knew them, and they were like, ‘I’m such a huge fan.’ And I felt so unsafe. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m now in a situation where I have no boundaries with this person, and I have no idea who they are, and I can’t do this anymore.’ It was the beginning of me learning to hold the world at arm’s length just for my own sense of safety.”

It made me laugh a little, because we’ve probably all been in one of those situations where you can’t totally remember where you met a person but you’re pretty sure you have, and they seem to know you, and so you just figure you’ll fake it until it comes to you. Obviously for most of us that doesn’t come with a weird celebrity/privacy angle to consider, but it’s funny to hear a famous person falling into such familiar social mind traps.

[Photos: Marie Claire]