For those of you who have been following us on the journey that is Hollywood Authentic, you may notice some changes to this, the third issue. Principally, how we have gone big on the cover story – 16 pages big, to be exact. Hollywood Authentic is constantly evolving, and now you will start to find much more online at hollywoodauthentic.com, where I share videos, audio and update you more regularly on what we’re up to.
The printed magazine is therefore becoming more and more of what I always wanted it to be: an opportunity to create the kind of features on actors that inspired me when I first got into photography and were found in the pages of magazines like Life back in the day. The task, then, was to spend time with the artists and give readers a rare insight into the kind of people they really were, the type of insight that only comes if you break away from predictable, organised press access and instead get to do real stuff with these real people.
The response we have had to the first two editions of the magazine has been great. It seems that readers and industry insiders alike recognise that we are trying to create something different here. One studio executive went so far as to tell me, ‘Hollywood needs this’, by which I took him to mean that fans of film need to be reminded that the movie industry is made up of talented, complex, interesting, creative artists rather than “celebrities”.
One man who knows all about talent and complexity is this issue’s cover star, Brendan Fraser, Oscar-nominated for his extraordinary performance in The Whale, a powerful redemption story. Brendan’s own tale could in many ways be similarly described. From the early years when he spent much of his time wearing a loin cloth, he became a huge star and then gradually slowed down making movies. The reasons for his absence from our screens are what we discuss in the feature. And the way back he has found.
I asked Brendan to drive me around Los Angeles as a way of getting to know him, and he took me in a ’71 Chevy truck to some illuminating places, including the old Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. It was raining, and the closed-down movie theatre proved quite the metaphor. We discussed struggles with body shape, big and small. Earlier this month, the internet rushed to support Sam Smith after trolls tried to shame them for their size. Perhaps Brendan’s role in The Whale will help to usher in a new perspective on body image. It feels like a pivotal moment to me.
If Brendan is emerging back into the limelight, then Thuso Mbedu is just starting out on her career and shining brightly after starring in The Underground Railroad and The Woman King. She is utterly extraordinary in both. In our new slot “The Breakfast Club”, we meet over a bowl of cereal to discuss the higher purpose that drives her forward.
Greg Williams, Founder, Hollywood Authentic