Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue is here, how did they do this year?

Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue used to be so good, back in the day. Like, in the 1990s, the Hollywood Issue was the bomb. Over the course of twenty years, it’s not the bomb. Bad editorial decisions, bad choices for cover stars, and a near-constant reminder that a major magazine like Vanity Fair simply does not want to put people of color on their covers.

This year’s Hollywood Issue cover features: Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Jodie Comer, Lily Gladstone, Greta Lee, Charles Melton, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Jenna Ortega, and Barry Keoghan. Many of those people had breakout years and/or got some big awards or nominations. I’m totally fine with Barry, Greta, Charles, Da’Vine, Pedro, Colman and Lily. Jenna Ortega’s breakout happened more in 2022, so they’re kind of late on that (plus it’s Beetlejuice 2 promo). Lily should have been in the first panel of the cover. Natalie Portman was good in May-December but that film was mostly shut out of the awards season. Bradley Cooper should not be included in this group, I don’t care if he scammed another Oscar nomination. Enough. And what has Jodie Comer even done in the past year? She’s a wonderful actress, no doubt, but her inclusion is random as hell!

I mean, if I was in charge, I would have kept most of these people but I would have put more of a focus on Lily, Greta, Da’Vine and probably Barry too. I don’t know. I’ll probably do some breakout stories once I read all of the cover interviews!

Cover courtesy of Vanity Fair.

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46 Responses to “Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue is here, how did they do this year?”

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  1. lbaxter1013 says:

    Pedro looks so damn good.

  2. Nif says:

    Natalie Portman looks weird… How tall is she?! Next to the guys… Come on…

    • Normades says:

      Yea Nathalie is tiny and Colman is a tall dude, non?

      • Emmy Rae says:

        Also, the juxtaposition of three guys just standing (although Colman and Pedro do a great job of it) and Natalie on one foot, holding her breath in so hard.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      haha, she’s short…it’s like someone selected her image and blew it up. She looks disproportionately large…her face is the same size as Colman’s.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Isn’t she less than 5 feet. And why is that the only one half naked ended up on the cover?

  3. Normades says:

    Nathalie and Bradley seem out of place with all these “hot” actors.
    So glad Charles is here. I miss his awards campaign so glad to see he’s still considered a heat-score.

    • Jais says:

      Yeah, I’d remove Natalie and Bradley. I’m good with Colman, Lily, Davine, Pedro, Charles, Greta, and Barry.

      • SquiddusMaximus says:

        So, yes — you are all correct. And yet I’m still here for Nat looking hot and throwing it in her smarmy cheating husband’s face. Good for her.

        Lily looks incredible. Pedro smokes my loins. We’re missing Ayo and Dev.

        And Bradley is inching ever closer to Tom Cruise wild-eye weirdness. One facelift at a time.

      • Jais says:

        I’m here for adding ayo and always dev.

      • Fabiola says:

        Maybe I’m getting old cuz I don’t know who the right side of the magazine people were other than Jenny Ortega

    • Fred says:

      I’m sure Bradley and Natalie’s publicists had a hand in getting them in this shoot and on that first panel….

  4. Laalaa says:

    No Margot??

  5. EM says:

    I assume Jodie Comer is featured for her theatre work. She just won a Tony (and Olivier Award) for her incredible performance in Prima Facie.

    • Mario says:

      I hear you, but still rather odd for a Hollywood issue. If anything, Jodie’s done some solid intermittent film work in recent years, but really has broken out this year as an even more formidable theatre actress than we’d already thought.

      It strikes me she and Jenna have really good publicists who got them included over other legit 2023 breakouts and stars.

      • Normades says:

        I think Jenna is a bit like the inclusion of Selena last year. A bit of an odd choice but very popular with the youngs on internet.

    • North of Boston says:

      Jodie Comer’s been getting good reviews (and some nominations in UK) for The End We Start From.

      Also agree BC and NP could have been skipped and the juxtaposition of Portman larger than life highly posed vs the 3 guys just standing, being was odd

  6. fineskylark says:

    Damn, Lily looks amazing there.

  7. Kimmy says:

    Lol, that video I was like aww, no Barry. Nope. Lots of Barry.

    I’m good with everyone except Coop and Natalie. Those two do not fit. The others really have had a heck of a breakout year.

  8. Carnivalbaby says:

    Switch out Cooper and Portman for Lily and Barry and the first panel would have been fine. Everybody else is perfect. In fact switch them out entirely for Margot and Robert Downey Jr if you wanted to keep in some traditional Hollywood.

  9. JW says:

    The lineup is fine with the exception of the desperation-reeking Bradley, and the wrong year Natalie and Jodie. Much better to add in Issa and Margot and ANY of the other best actor nominees. If they couldn’t get Cillian, Jeffrey Wright or Paul Giamatti would have been lovely and added some generational heft. The main problems are that the choice, as ever, of who is featured on the cover reveals the same old bigotries still hold, the photography is horrid and the palate against the plain white background is stultifying.

  10. Ameerah M says:

    I remember being so excited when these issues would land in newsstands. I remember VIVIDLY buying the very first issue. They have done some amazing covers and photographs (truly iconic photos) over the years. And now it’s so completely meh. Even this cover feels boring. It actually reminds me of the very first cover – except that cover had some REALLY exciting people on it. I do think that a lot of this has to do with celebrity today – stars just aren’t as interesting and I honestly think they just need to retire this issue altogether.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If I never have to see Bradley Cooper in anything, every again, I can die happy. I do NOT forgive him for that vile prosthetic nose he felt he needed to wear to play a Jewish man, and I doubt I ever will.
    And how is it even possible that this guy has WAY, WAY more Oscar nominations than Angela Bassett???

  12. Mario says:

    I used to rush to the store to buy this issue, every year. Not only was the selection and mix of stars inspired (save the annual glaring omissions re: breakout POC, especially darker POC, which was so much the norm back then I was resigned to it, assuming they felt the mix of skin tones messed up the often dreamy, monochromatic look they were going for), the shoots were really interesting and composed with care and intent.

    This feels like they were all shot separately and composited with minimal effort, and the focus on Cooper and Portman in the first two positions feels…incorrect. Neither did anything new or revelatory this year, nor advanced their place in Hollywood firmament in any meaningful way. Both did the kind of solid work they are known for, while Portman largely kept a low profile living abroad and Cooper’s film was somewhat muted by controversy.

    Comer and Ortega, who are very talented, are nonetheless giving “great publicist,” as there was no particular buzz , work, or contribution specific to their *film* careers in 2023 to merit this.

    Glen Powell, America Ferrera, Cillian Murphy, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Margot Robbie, Jacob Elordi come to mind without even thinking as to people who might fill some of those slots ane had genuinely big years this year. Obviously they wouldn’t want to double up on the same films too much, but with Portman and Melton from the same film, that clearly isn’t a huge concern for them when they want to make it work, and some, like Elordi, had more than one big role in their breakout *film* year.

    This is just…not good.

  13. Hello Kitty says:

    It’s a fail for me because America Ferrera for Barbie and Zendaya for Dune aren’t there

  14. Renee' says:

    Would they PLEASE give it a rest with Bradley Cooper? It is so thirsty…..I cannot.

    Yes, where is Margot Robbie? Why not Florence Pugh instead of Jodie Comer (whom I adore but this is the Hollywood edition of the mag)? The choices here are odd.

    I was so rooting for Charles Melton to get nominated.

    I hope Da’Vine wins an Oscar. Her portrayal in The Holdovers was brilliant.

  15. Kirsten says:

    Of who’s there, the first panel should be Lily, Greta, and Pedro. It seems like they picked people based on who had big projects in 2023? But then where are Margo and Cillian? They led the two biggest films of the year.

  16. Lau says:

    Given that Anne Hathaway walked out of the shoot in solidarity with Condé Nast’s striking workers it’s possible that they asked some other people who just declined to participate.

  17. Beff says:

    Holy photoshop. Jenna Ortega is unrecognizable, and Natalie just barely so. No offense to Lily Gladstone, but she has also been ‘shopped to the extreme. It’s distracting.

  18. Pomski says:

    Bradley Cooper is the only actor/writer/director/producer of note right now. No one is more Hollywood than he is and his inclusion makes sense. Unlike last year’s Young Hollywood, this issue doesn’t have a clear theme so I’m okay with it. Barry is dangerously close to um, overexposure.

    • Mario says:

      I think, in terms of multi-hyphenates who were hotter, buzzier, more accomplished, or who broke out/leveled up (critically or commercially) in *2023,* in Hollywood film as directors, writers, producers, and/or actors, Ava Duvernay and Margot Robbie pop immediately to mind, as does Great Gerwig (who was included but relegated to the back, despite helming a groundbreaking endeavor and the most successful film represented on the cover). And given the cover is three guys and one woman, it wouldn’t have ruined the balance to include any of them. Robbie, especially, sells magazines and Ava Duvernay would have expanded the newsstand appeal and places the issue would be amplified and publicized (Black women are a power customer demographic).

      I think Cooper is a decent fellow, solid movie star, but his pole position as the face of 2023 Hollywood’s triumphs, breakouts, and level-ups just isn’t it.

      • Pomski says:

        That’s Greta Lee not Greta Gerwig.

      • La Dolce Vita says:

        Oh no, Bradley Cooper is not decent – he is a racist. He made a horrifyingly racist movie called “American Sniper”. And he didn’t just star it – he drove the project, got the movie made and produced it.
        It’s about a religious extremist terrorist and it glorifies all the racist murders he committed.

    • Normades says:

      I think that’s definitely part of the problem here – no coherent theme. Some years they go up and coming, or legendary icons or sexy ingénues. This is just really random. They should have just gone all the way with the ’breakthrough year’ theme.

  19. tealily says:

    Bradley Cooper and Natalie Portman feel like throwbacks. I get it that Brad’s still chasing that Oscar, but come on. We’ve moved on.