In a year defined by distance, few entertainers have worked harder to connect with their fans—both in front of the camera and directly, on social media—than LaKeith Stanfield, our Winter 2020 cover star. The star of such films as Short Term 12, Knives Out, Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, and the TV series Atlanta, his latest role as the FBI informant William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah, is, as he tells the actor Idris Elba, the hardest he’s ever played. In their candid and searching conversation, the actors, who star in the upcoming Netflix movie The Harder They Fall, also discuss the therapy of rap, the beauty of infallibility, and the necessity of Black brotherhood. Meanwhile, Hollywood legend Glenn Close tells her friend Whoopi Goldberg, why, after years of bringing so many memorable characters to the screen, she has no regrets. The writer Cazzie David, who has built a career on cataloguing her most debilitating embarrassments and insecurities, connects with her friend, the pop superstar Lorde, to discuss tabloid culture, casual sex, and their friendship forged on the internet. Then, the writers Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham talk to the filmmaker Janicza Bravo about their new book Black Futures, which gives voice and breadth to the Black experience in today’s America. Elsewhere in the issue, Adam Sandler can barely contain his excitement while talking to his friend Aubrey Plaza about her mind-blowing new role, while comedy’s not-so-secret weapon Maya Rudolph breaks character long enough to answer questions from 26 famous friends and admirers. We also make contact with the one and only Joan Didion, who answers some questions from the writings of Andy Warhol, while the supergroup Red Velvet take Diplo inside the world of K-Pop superstardom. All that and much, much more.
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