This was October’s issue, and somehow I missed it? I don’t even know, you guys. I don’t have any excuse. But I stumbled on it today while looking for something else and I have things to say! First of all: Zoe Kravitz has great eyebrows, and I also always want to know how long in advance you find out that you’re going to be unretouched in your photos? My hope would be….a year. (I’m sure Zoe doesn’t need a year. But you don’t want to get that call two weeks out, while you’re down at the pizza place housing a slice, either!) However long it was, it was long enough, because she looks super; her face is just a very good face. (I guess when your genetic material is Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, good things happen.)
The subscribers’ issue is very pretty, too:
Sure, we can’t really see her face, but you know those wolves showed up camera-ready!
The interview was done by Zoe’s Big Little Lies co-star, Reese Witherspoon and while I am very much on record as hating it when celebs interview celebs, it’s actually a very good conversation. It is probably not a surprise that Reese Witherspoon appears to have come prepared with substantive questions — she is, after all, one of the people who started #AskHerMore, and has a reputation as a person who shows up having done her homework. She does not go to the Jennifer Lawrence place of “you’re so pretty; thoughts?” Zoe is also clearly really smart and thoughtful, and she’s also — and this is a sincere compliment — good at taking the interview and working in whatever she’s there to promote (in this case, Big Little Lies 2: Bigger and Littler, Lancome, Saint Laurent, and Fantastic Beasts). I know I should be irked by the product placement, or whatever, but people are always doing these interviews to promote something and artfully working in your promotional bits just makes me feel like you’re a professional. I think it helps that Zoe is good at sprinkling real life in amid the rest, and Reese is good at helping. For example:
RW: Well, I’m so excited that you’re working with Saint Laurent because I get the best gifts. I’ll be like, “Zoë, I love that purse!” And the next day it’ll show up. I love that. I’m really invested in this partnership going really well for all three of us. I always see ad campaign pictures of you when I’m out shopping.
ZK: I know, you send photos to me.
RW: You have a natural confidence in the things you wear. You never seem insecure with your choices. You just kinda own everything that you put together, which is awesome. I remember saying to you, “Oh, my God, I love your glasses, they’re so chic. Are they Saint Laurent?” And you were like, “No, Party City!”
ZK: The leopard ones! They’re so cool. My boyfriend, Karl, and I went to Party City to get a piñata for my little sister’s 11th birthday party. I got these little sunglasses that I thought were so cute for her, and I was like, “I’m getting an extra pair for me.” They were literally a dollar. You gotta mix it up, you know?
One of the reasons this exchange works so well is because it is funny and feels true about both of them: Reese DOES seem like the kind of person who would see her friend’s ad at the mall when she’s running in to pick up some socks and snap a picture of it and text it to her. And the fact that Zoe is wearing $1 Party City glasses cracks me up — when I read this exchange, for a second I thought that “Party City” was the name of some hipster brand, like the new Warby Parker. And then I realized, no, she really means actual Party City. That is charming.
The rest of it is worth your time; they tackle more substantial issues than Party City accessories, as well:
RW: People have been really responsive to your willingness to speak honestly about racial stereotyping in Hollywood.
ZK: I’m not necessarily trying to point the finger at anyone. I just want to make these writers, most of whom are probably white, aware of the things that affect me and likely affect other people as well. I’m trying to speak my mind and shift things so Hollywood can be more conscious about things. My biggest pet peeve is when I read scripts that have character descriptions like “Stacy, 22, perky,” then you get four pages in and see, “Sarah, 22, African-American,” which makes it clear that everyone else is white.
There’s a lot to appreciate about their conversation. In fact, these covers plus this interview makes me more desperate than ever to know WHY and HOW this happened to this magazine in September. There is a story there! Someone get Reese and Zoe on the case.
[Covers: Camilla Akrans]