Chris Evans, Brad Pitt and seven other stars grace the front cover of W's Best Performances 2020 Issue, and inside, dish on their romances, hopes and goals.
Photographer Juergen Teller captures the magic of Pitt (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Ad Astra), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Evans (Knives Out and Avengers: Endgame), Laura Dern (Marriage Story and Little Women), Adam Driver (Marriage Story, The Report, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems) and Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit) in nine classic Hollywood locales – strip malls, parking lots, hotel rooms, et al.
Evans spills: "The first time I sang onstage was in the sixth grade. It was my first play. I sang a song called ‘Don't Want No Real Job,' and the popular girl in school magically liked me. I had a lead role, and we began dating during the play. When the play ended, she dumped me. It doesn't take a genius to figure out this equation: I had to get more leads."
Pitt says: "Her name was Lisa. It was in her garage. Fourth grade. She was one street over, and I ran home afterward. I was pretty excited — the anticipation was a bit nerve-wracking. A few kids were already in on it."
The 56-year-old Pitt hopes to do some more dancing: "I had a 20-year hiatus where I didn't dance at all, and now I kind of see dance as my future. I know I'll be throwing arms out of joint and dislocating things, but yeah, I feel like I've got the green light in my soul to explore dance. I don't know what that means yet, but I'm feeling moved by the spirit."
Don't hold your breath, Pitt says. "I sing very badly. Animals flee. I can start stampedes. As a kid, I had the rock star fantasy, but I couldn't sing or play any instruments, so I had to go to the next best thing."
The 45-year-old Phoenix dishes on his extreme dieting and social isolation in preparation for Joker: "Well, I was living like a hermit because I was on an extreme diet. You can't really socialize when you're not eating or drinking."
Did the role creep into his dreams? "Yes. I was always dreaming about food. I'd dream that I ate a huge meal. And I'd wake up feeling so guilty."