Hollywood's brightest sit down with W Magazine's Editor-at-Large, Lynn Hirschberg, to talk about "Five Things" that have made them who they are: a person, a place, an object, one positive event, and one negative event.
In part 2 of Lynn’s conversation with Quentin Tarantino, the filmmaker reflects on his first experience at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, when Reservoir Dogs premiered and, as he puts it, there was “an explosion of American independent cinema.” He also goes through every single film he saw in theaters in 1979—including The Deer Hunter, which he went to see six times.
In Part 1 of Lynn’s interview with Quentin Tarantino, the filmmaker covers everything from his decades-long admiration of the late New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael to how he rejects the characterization of Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood as a “love letter” to Los Angeles. He goes deep on the process of writing his first script, True Romance, with Roger Avary, and recalls his early attempts at screenwriting (he never made it past page 30). Tarantino says that, when he was younger, going after his dream of making movies felt almost non negotiable: “Everything else was just so depressing by comparison that I had no choice but to live my dream. It was the only outlet I had."
Charlize Theron opens up about family, her childhood in South Africa, and the people who helped her break into Hollywood. The Bombshell actress tells Lynn about JJ Harris, her late mentor, and speaks candidly about how therapy helped her balance her relationship with her home country and its traumatic history. She also shares a story of an unruly camel on her first modeling job in Morocco, confesses her love for Temptation Island and The Bachelor, and reflects on the enduring importance of one of her most vulnerable roles.
Saoirse Ronan sits down with Lynn Hirschberg to discuss pivotal moments in her life, ranging from early memories to professional milestones. The actress talks about working with filmmaker Greta Gerwig (whom she first met via Skype) on 2019's Little Women. She also highlights her favorite place in the world (the “heaven” that is New Zealand), gets into her love of the movie Dirty Dancing, and recalls how, when it came to dressing up when she was younger, she was more of a Tai than a Cher.
Greta Gerwig sits down with Lynn Hirschberg to discuss the process of adapting Little Women into her latest film, her relationship with her partner Noah Baumbach, and how getting “completely rejected by the world of academic art-making” pushed her to seek a broader education that ultimately brought her to where she is today. Gerwig tells Hirschberg about her love for Big Sur—a place that felt like “Brigadoon” to her while growing up—and how the day after attending the Academy Awards for Lady Bird, she packed up and retreated to a cabin in the woods to write. She also gets into the complex dynamics between the March sisters, the strangest part about making movies, and how she has a running list of future project ideas in the double digits.
Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach sits down with Hirschberg to discuss the films that impacted him the most as a child, his deep connection with Brooklyn, collaborating with his partner Greta Gerwig and the most difficult time in his professional career. Baumbach also talks about how the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers still comes up in therapy sessions and how, even though people rarely ask him about the autobiographical aspect of Francis Ha, there’s a line in the film that encapsulates how he felt in his late 20s.
Nicole Kidman sits down with Lynn Hirschberg to discuss everything from her early family life (including the fact that she was born in Hawaii) to how she met her husband, Keith Urban, at a get together in California for Australian-Americans called "G'Day L.A." (In fact, she and Urban had their picture taken together when they were first introduced—Kidman says they both look liked "stunned mullets.") The actress also shares deeply personal details about how she processes emotions, and how life, including childbirth, major shifts, and losses have fully informed her craft. She recalls her father's humble nature—including the fact that he refused to fly business class, even when Kidman offered—and, ultimately, concludes that her main inspiration is to "give, give, give artistically."
Awkwafina—the viral comedian-turned-actress—sits down with Lynn Hirschberg to talk about her role in The Farewell, the responsibility she feels when it comes to Asian representation in Hollywood, and growing up in Queens. She recalls the unconventional audition song she chose to play (on the trumpet, no less) when applying to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School (the performing arts school made famous by the film Fame). She also discusses how releasing her YouTube Hit “My Vag” was the scariest thing she’d ever done. It may have cost her a job at the time, but she describes the “full circle moment” she experienced on the set of Oceans 8, when filming on location in front of her former office. She also admits that, according to her grandmother, “My Vag” is the best thing she’s ever created.
Margot Robbie speaks candidly with Lynn Hirschberg about growing up on Australia’s Gold Coast and the people, places, and things that mean the most to her. The actress also talks about being blown away by the power of her costars Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron on the set of Bombshell, and reflects on working with Quentin Tarantino on the set of Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, in which she got to briefly reprise her role as a Pan Am flight attendant in addition to playing Sharon Tate. One of the highlights of her life, Robbie says, was being asked to join Frances McDormand on the Oscars stage during her acceptance speech.
For the premiere season of W Magazine's Five Things, Lynn Hirschberg sits down with Margot Robbie, Awkwafina, Nicole Kidman, Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, and Quentin Tarantino to discuss "five things" that have made them who they are. Subscribe to be the first to hear each new episode.