November 22, 2023

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When we launched Hollywood Authentic last year we had a simple ambition: to revive the type of Hollywood coverage found in vintage copies of Life, Look and Picture Post – the time when photographers were tasked with capturing the more intimate side of Hollywood.

Work that repeatedly caught my eye was Dennis Stock’s shots of James Dean. I first saw the photos aged 12 when my father bought me the In Our Time Magnum Photographers book. Stock took James Dean to the farm where he grew up and the Winslow family who raised him after Dean’s mother died. This device of taking an artist to the psychological and physical comfort zone of their childhood produced some amazing pictures, revealing and intimate. Back home in Fairmount, Indiana, the movie star dressed down in work clothes and hung out with the locals (both human and livestock) and played his bongos beneath a glum February sky. The personality became a person to the viewer.

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Linking James Dean with Austin Butler, the cover star of this issue, is not simply a lazy way of juxtaposing two actors who share striking good looks and charisma by the yard. ‘James Dean was the actor I obsessed over as a kid,’ Austin told me. He acknowledges they shared the pain of the early loss of a beloved mother. So, when I suggested a return to Anaheim, where he spent his formative years, I knew it was always going to be a bitter-sweet experience. Driving down in his two-seater 1970s Alfa Romeo we met his teachers at his primary school and visited his childhood home. Neither of which he’d been to in 20 years. I also filmed the experience. Please take the time to watch the 20-minute video online. This particular story has really cemented in my mind what I want Hollywood Authentic to do at its apex – look at an artist’s origin story to better understand their creative process.

This cover story for issue four of the magazine is exactly what Hollywood Authentic is all about. And the experience also has had an effect on its future. We’ve decided that with such unique access we should dedicate as many pages as are necessary to bring these moments to life. From now, Hollywood Authentic will run to more pages (twice the previous page count and on a much better paper stock), so that it can take you deeper behind the curtain and give you the best insight into the world of entertainment and its artists.

We also join Paolo Sorrentino for a first look from the set of his as yet untitled film in Capri. We meet Ava DuVernay in Venice, join the Clooneys at their Albie Awards in NYC and discuss “A Little Nonsense” with Jack Huston.

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Greg Williams, Founder, Hollywood Authentic

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