W Magazine’s 2021 Best Performances Portfolio, on stands now, celebrates the stars at the forefront of cinema. Curated by W’s editor-at-large, Lynn Hirschberg, the Best Performances Portfolio features profiles with Jared Leto, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jonathan Majors, Jacob Elordi, Leslie Odom Jr., Maria Bakalova & Steven Yeun, photographed by Juergen Teller and styled by W Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Sara Moonves.
Discussing his Met Gala costume where he held a bloody version of his head: “It was like Halloween—it was a blast! I passed that head around. Everybody wanted to hold it. When I first stepped out of the hotel room, I held the head up, and everyone cheered. Jeff Bezos was my date that night, and he definitely held it. We got lots of fun pictures of everyone with my head”
On making TikTok videos: “Pre-Covid, I made a couple of TikTok disasters. They were goofy. Even in lockdown, I got so busy that I took social media off my phone”
On his first date: “On my first date with my first love, we went to see Hellboy. And then we went to the Olive Garden. We ate breadsticks. It’s all about the breadsticks at the Olive Garden.”
On which superhero he wanted to be as a kid: “I was a big Batman guy. When I was 8, my mom made me a Batman cape and a Batman costume. I wore that outfit until I was 12 and a half. My mother put muscles in the costume, and I was convinced that I could fly. And fight crime. One time, I jumped out of the car while it was still moving. At 8 years old, I was ready: I was a crime-fighting, Batman wearing, bad motherfucker!”
Recalling his first kiss: “Hmm… At a train station in Melbourne, with a girl named Ruby. She was a tall girl, and I was myself a tall girl. A party would happen, and everyone would be like, “Oh, I hooked up with so-and-so.” And I just never had the hooks. We met at the station at, I think, 4:20 sharp. It was a date to meet and kiss. It’s probably still one of the most romantic moments in my life.”
On playing dress up with his sisters: “My mom has videos of me with this great ginger curly wig, with red lipstick on, and my sister’s purse. I don’t remember ever resenting it or putting up much of a fight.”
Tracee Ellis Ross
Talking about where she likes to sing at home: “More in the car. Or when I’m cleaning. During this pandemic, I’ve noticed that I’m a hummer. I hum a lot. And I end up humming Christmas songs. A lot of “Jingle Bells.”
Leslie Odom Jr.
Remembering the first song he ever sang: “Greatest Love of All,” by Whitney Houston, was the first pop song I remember playing over and over again. I didn’t think it was hard to sing. I thought I sounded beautiful.”
On whether she knew Rudy Giuliani before she filmed the infamous scene in Borat Subsequent Movie Film: “I did, because of 9/11 and how he handled 9/11. But I’m not American; I’m not into the American political system. But I did my best to prepare myself to be Rudy Giuliani’s biggest fan! I was nervous. Sacha told me many times, “Use this; just convert your nervousness into part of your performance.”
On what she misses about your home country: “My family, my cat, and some Bulgarian meals, because I can’t find them here. Bulgarian food is more salty. I miss that.”
On his go-to karaoke song: “It’s embarrassing. Or maybe liberating: O-Town’s “All or Nothing.” It’s just so singable.”
On never being in a boy band: “I’m too moody to be in a boy band. I don’t think I could handle the stress of a life like that.”
[Photo Credit: Juergen Teller for W Magazine]
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