CHLOE BY RAUL ROMO
Photographer: Tatyana Nagaeva, Stylist: Raytell Bridges, Makeup: Soo Park, Hair: Aziza Rasulova using Living Proof, Models: Hannah Middleton @ Wilhelmina, Jane Koivich @ Muse NYC, Special Thanks to Don O Donghue for flowers, Photo Assistants: En Lin, Joey Wang, Tatiana Katkova, Stylist Assistant: Zach Lindsay, Hair Stylist Assistant: Peggie
Dress: Saya Zalel
Coat: Saya Zalel
Dress and Coat by Versace
Photographers: Fionayeduardo @fionayeduardo
Art Direction: Louis Liu @herecomeslouis
Styling: Marc Sifuentes @marc.sifuentes
Hair: Austin Burns @austinkburns
Make-up: Agus Suga @Agus Suga
Production Assistant: Benjamin Price @benprice4real
Location: Colony Studios @colonystudios
Interview by Regina Moretto
Top by Marc Jacobs
Hunger Games alum Willow Shields deftly navigates her acting career with the confident beauty and grace of an ice skater.
The beguiling illusion of easy jumps and spins requires many hours of handwork and tenacity; quite similar to the dedication, preparation and training expected of an actor, which makes watching this young star transcend new roles all the more intriguing. Starting out with a box office smash at the early age of 12, surrounded by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the precedent was set for Shield’s strong work ethic which helps drive her blossoming career.
We sat down with Shields amidst her busy schedule to talk about her latest project; Netflix series Spinning Out. Spinning Out, created by Samantha Stratton, is a series based on a figure skating Olympic hopeful struggling to balance her dreams of competition and the state of her family’s battle with mental health all while her dream of winning takes a dizzying hold. Never one to remain idle for too long, Shields shared with us a few additional projects her fans can look forward to seeing her in soon.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I started acting when I was about seven but working on my first big film and experiencing the creativity and tight knit community involved in the acting world was when I knew I would love this job.
What was your first big break into entertainment?
I did an episode of a show called In Plain Site when I was about eight and that was my first experience on set. But I guess my big break into entertainment was two years later when I did the first Hunger Games film.
Fans know you from your role as Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games, can you tell us the best part of working on these films?
I truly feel like I learned so much from working on these films. I grew up on set for five years learning from the most brilliant actors from Jennifer Lawrence, to Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and so many more but aside from being able to watch and learn from them everyday I was also able to witness other brilliance from the technical side of filmmaking watching our director Francis Lawrence working. I feel like after those films I had more of an understanding about filmmaking and every detail that goes into making a great film.
Being cast in Hunger Games at age 12 and being surrounded by a cast of seasoned actors, what are the most important lesson you learned on set with this crew?
To work hard, show up on time but to also give yourself room to be creative and have fun at the same time.
Do you have any funny or memorable Hunger Games stories you could share?
We had so many cast members as a part of our whole series that there was always so many fun stories being told everyday on set. When you’re in a room with Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson, you know you’re gonna be laughing all day with those two.
Jacket by Zadig & Voltaire
Tell us about your new Netflix series Spinning Out and how did you land the central role as Serena Baker?
Spinning Out was a very exciting project for me after reading the script. The story elements are something I’d never seen in a show before and it deals with a lot of pivotal emotional and physical stories that I feel need to be seen.
I fell in love with the character of Serena because she feels like a real teenage girl who’s very complicated. She has a very unusual home life and deals with a lot of emotional ups and downs between her family life and her time in competitive figure skating. It felt like a bit of a dream come true to play a figure skater as well.
Your character is training for ice-skating competitions, did you have any formal training in your past?
I did not. I came into this show with zero ice skating abilities but I trained for about two months everyday prior to filming the show. My goal was not only to be able to do as much of my own skating as possible but also experience what it was like to train that hard everyday. I came home black and blue all over my body from falling everyday but it helped me understand my character Serena and how figure skaters train.
The show brought on Sarah Kawahara, a former figure skater and Emmy winning choreographer who has worked on “Blades of Glory” and “I, Tonya”…what was it like to work with Sarah on this series?
Sarah is phenomenal. We were all so excited to work with someone so brilliant in this specific field. She helped us train in Toronto and choreographed all of our routines. The coolest thing about Sarah is she was right there with us on set when we filmed these scenes so any detail that was off she was able to help us fix in order to pull off all of the intense skating involved in our story.
Did you have any difficulties learning to ice skate or learning the choreography for the series and how did you work through these challenges?
It’s definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I trained for hours everyday and was so determined to learn as much as I could. But one of the most challenging things I did was for the final episode of the show I did a portion of my routine in front of an actual crowd of about five hundred extras so it really felt like a performance for me. Which is both stressful and exciting.
In what way is the character you play in this project different from the roles you’ve played in the past?
Her athleticism is unlike any character I’ve played in the past so that’s very different for me. But just like any young woman she’s full of so much life, emotion, drive, and confusion in her teenage life so those were similarities that I’ve seen in characters I’ve played in the past.
The series seems to focus on mental health. What steps did you take to ensure your role was true to her character when handling her mother and sisters disorders?
My first step was to allow room for Kaya and January (my sister and mom in the show) to dive into those emotions and have room to experience that. I tried everyday to approach playing Serena in a very honest way, I thought through a lot of what she would go through on a daily basis living with her mom and sister who are both bi polar and how hard that truly is for a young woman who is struggling herself with things. But at the end of the day they love each other more than anyone and that was most important to portray.
Top and Skirt by Marc Jacobs
How have your fans reacted to your role in Spinning Out?
They are so excited! It feels great to have fans that follow and appreciate any project I’m a part of.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects When Time Got Louder and A Fall From Grace?
I am currently filming When Time Got Louder in Vancouver and it’s been an incredible experience. Our story is complex and raw following my character Abbie and her family including her brother Kayden who has non verbal autism. Abbie leaves home to go to school and falls in love with a girl named Karly while at college but struggles with being away from Kayden after being there for him his whole life.
Do you have any other projects coming down the pipeline that you can tell us about?
Nothing I can talk about yet haha
Do you have a daily mantra?
Just to be open minded and open to learning from your accomplishments and mistakes throughout everyday.
Photographer: Karl Simone, Stylist: Kevin Breen, Model: Kinga @ New York Models, Hair: Linh Nguyen @ See Management, Makeup: Mariko Arai @ The Wall Group using Nars, Casting: Jym Benzing, Studio: Blonde + Co
Suit and Shirt by Boss, Corset by Yaqkuoa
Scarf by Hermes
STUDIO 54 ON TOP OF THE WORLD!
On Saturday, December 7th the New York glitterati from the worlds of Art, Fashion, and Nightlife mingled with the society set from Zurich in a Studio 54 themed gala atop One World Trade.
The event, to celebrate the Swiss beauty innovators Haleh and Goli Abivardi, culminated with a private concert by Boy George. Transforming the entire floor of the event space ASPIRE, MAO PR outfitted the cavernous space with 15 foot high disco ball inspired islands, a 25 foot LED wall projecting pulsating lights which synced with the retro disco music played and even recreated Studio 54 famous Moon with the coke spoon (replacing the spoon with a toothbrush with a nod to the Abivardi sister’s dental care brand).
Guests, who took the 70s dress code to heart, included Lynn Ban, Michael Musto, Peter Davis, James Aguiar, Gabriella Forte, Grazia D’Annunzio, Edmundo Castillo, Stephen Knoll, Shannon Hoey, Christopher Makos, Mathew Yokobosky, Miss Jay Alexander, Susanne Bartsch, model Dara Allen, Dianne Brill, Romero Jennings, Victoria Hayes, Joey Arias, Freddie Leiba, Amanda Lepore and the original Studio 54’s very own Carmen D’Alessio.
All photos courtesy Andrew Werner
Robert Christy as Divine
Corey Grant Tippin
Miss Jay Alexander
Yana Dobroliubova,Valou Weemering, Luisa Laemmel, Grace Valentine
Goli Abivardi, Boy George, Haleh Abivardi
All photos courtesy Andrew Werner
Shirt by Givenchy
Jewelry by Eli Halili
Interview by Matthew Rettenmund
Jonathan Tucker is one of the best parts of all your favorite shows. The actor, who is currently playing devil to the women of Charlie’s Angels as the new film’s villain, is killer-with-a-conscience Frankie on the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced Boston crime drama City on a Hill; was mercurial Low Key on American Gods; and was a highlight of Season 2 of Westworld as intense, self-unaware host Major Craddock, to name a few.
Perhaps most memorably, and in a role that will leave a mark, the Boston native trained like a fiend to play MMA fighter Jay Kulina on Kingdom opposite Nick Jonas — and still has the abs to prove it.
In an exclusive interview with Iris Cover Book, the 37-year-old actor talked about his myriad roles on TV and in film, what he’s carried with him from his youthful pursuit of ballet (#JayKulinaDancesToo) and how he hopes to be remembered.
I’ve seen you in so many things over the last few years, but only recently connected that you were the teenager in The Deep End (2001), the dark, gay-themed story with Tilda Swinton.
That movie changed my whole life! I turned 18 the day I shot the sex scene with Josh Lucas.
It’s interesting how choices can lead us in totally different directions. I wondered how you decided early on in favor of acting over ballet, which you’d studied?
My second-grade teacher had seen an advertisement for a national call for a  movie called Lorenzo’s Oil. I’d really fallen in love with ballet, particularly with being onstage, so I took him up on this offer and I went to the audition. I didn’t end up getting the movie, but I ended up getting on the radar of the local casting director’s office, and they’d call me back for national commercials they were shooting in Boston, and I ended up getting one for Fruit Roll-Ups. The moment I was there on set with the camera and the crew and understanding the process, I was like, ‘This is what I wanna do.”
I remember coming back with my parents saying, “We need to get an agent — do you guys know what an agent is? I found a woman who I think is very reputable, I think we should have a meeting with her,’ so I certainly steered that ship early on, and I was very lucky to have supportive parents that helped make it happen for me. I was 10 years old.
Though you changed courses, have you retained anything from your ballet training?
I think self-discipline, the ability to listen and take direction, punctuality. As much as one can work on the interior of a character — we’re all spiritual vessels — physicality is a really important part of being a human being. That’s a critical component to the process of creating a character. Being in your body is something ballet dancers understand.
Being committed physically is something you did for Kingdom. You can be committed to playing a doctor but you won’t be ready to go into surgery, yet on Kingdom, your training had you ready to walk into the ring and be an MMA fighter.
I was living that life. Actors are always toggling between “truth” and “truthful.” Everybody wants truth in their lives, but sometimes we have to settle for truthful, as an actor. Certain roles afford you the ability to get closer to truth, but it’s an actor’s responsibility to be the voice for at least truthful, as the bare minimum. No one’s gonna buy you as a fighter, if you don’t look like a fighter.
That must’ve been a tremendous commitment.
I like tremendous commitments and setting goals and achieving them, and discipline. I think my wife had a significantly more challenging time with what was required to keep and maintain Jake than I did; your mood is profoundly affected. When you hear about people who are imprisoned, they get out and the first thing they wanna do, they don’t care about revenge, they want to eat. That was very understandable for me at that point.
You’d been acting since you were so young, did you have a special bond with Nick Jonas when you were shooting Kingdom?
He’s a very important friend to me for a lot of reasons. I would say when you have been through the crucible of this profession and the craft, you then realize you’re always in it. It provides a great deal of wisdom that you can’t buy. People who have stood with you, people you thought would who don’t, people you didn’t think would support you when things were tough but who end up being the most supportive, making money, losing money, fame, no fame, successful movies, bomb TV shows — it’s a business that provides these artificial highs and lows until after a certain point in time, you start to realize what’s really important. Those people who have that understanding can spot each other from across a crowded room. I feel that way about Nick, and he’s had even more complicated experiences than I have. Growing up in the business and getting to see it for as many years as we both have is certainly a connection that we both share — and we value.
Were there any older actors you’ve worked with who served as role models?
You learn early on there are many classrooms providing an education, not all of them academic, and the teachers are not always society’s notable ones. It’s not just the famous people, it’s the dolly grip sharing how they made a lot of money when they were young, but now their back and knees are gone but they can’t do anything else because they didn’t take a larger perspective on their life.
I wanna have people say, when I die, that I was able to honor different kinds of people and reflect honestly a variety of worlds, or a host of experiences. So, if I could bring that authentic light and shine it in those places or on those people, it’s exciting to me. I don’t see the world in blacks and whites. The more educated I am on certain topics, the less clear they become. What ends up becoming immutable are certain themes in terms of how I want to live my life, rather than unequivocal truths about kinds of people or certain political topics or certain systems. What I’m looking for is truth, and I find that characters that interest me are significantly more complicated than people think they are — sometimes more than even the writer thinks they are — and I’m interested in that sort of dynamic.
You’ve been in the industry long enough to see the push for diversity. Would you agree that Westworld is an example of a show that is diverse, and organically so?
Westworld was diverse before this was a national conversation, or at least a business conversation, and I think it’s a really important point to share because diversity, just throwing around “diversity” as a cultural token does a disservice, rather than trying to address in a meaningful way a system that hasn’t been able to offer the same sort of opportunities to groups of people that it should.
It also comes from the system that [Westworld creators] Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have created and cultivated, which is, “How do we mentor different and unique voices and support and guide them?” versus trying to plug holes for the sake of optics. The business has a lot to offer every culture, every faith, every skin color, every economic background, we’re all storytellers.
Being on Westworld thrust you into the realm of a series where storylines are top-secret. Are you good at keeping secrets?
I like secrets. As an actor, you never want to tell anyone anything about your work. Your experiences are bifurcated between work and employment — you’re oftentimes working more than you’re employed. People say, “What’s going on?” What, are you gonna tell them about all the auditions you went on that you probably won’t get? About the movie that’s coming together that probably won’t come together? So, I’m pretty good about being tight-lipped. I might not even talk about it when it comes out — I’ll let you see it. I’ve sat next to people that have been cut out of movies and they had a great role and we’re at the premiere. [Laughs] It’s like — just keep your mouth shut.
Can you keep your mouth open about Charlie’s Angels?
There’s something great about making a movie that’s simply a lot of fun, about three very talented young actresses kicking ass. It doesn’t need to say anything more than that. A great movie stands on its own, so if it happens to be about three young women doing things that we typically expect only three young males to do, I think that sends a greater message than having to explain to everybody what the message is.
Your character in that seems thrillingly without merit as a human being.
I would say certainly without merit, but not without a clear intention. [Laughs] I think I was cast as the manifestation of violence against women.
How was director Elizabeth Banks, who also acts in the film, to work with?
She’s pretty, pretty outstanding. I’ve known her for quite a few years, so when this opportunity came we jumped on the phone and I said, “I’m gonna send you a text of what I think this character looks like, aesthetically speaking,” and she said, “You’ve gotta be kidding, check your texts,” and she had sent me the same model — different picture, but the same very distinctive model, so we were on the same page from the jump.
You’ve been in so many things, I don’t think there is a type that screams “Jonathan Tucker character.” Is there a role you’ve played to which you most relate, that’s closest to you?
I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that. It’s kind of like: you’re a pitcher, you have a certain kind of pitch you know you’re really good at, and you have a strike box you know you’re guaranteed to get an umpire to call a strike in, and you’re trying to work the corners a whole bunch. You’re always you, but if it’s not a strike, then at least you attempted it.
Being scared to throw in the corners, being scared of being unsuccessful with the choices you’re making as an actor is the death of a good actor. You have to be willing to throw a few balls or have that errant pitch.
Are you an actor who enjoys photo shoots, like the one you did for Iris Covet Book?
You gotta commit to those things. You’re relying on the team so you can walk in there and just jump. You wanna commit to things in your life. If you’re not willing to do that, don’t show up.
Photographer: Dustin Mansyur @dmansyur
Stylist: Julia Morris at Utopia @juliaamorris
Hair: Koji Ichikawa @koji_ichikawa at The Club New York using Laicale
Makeup: Daniel Avilan @danavilan at The Industry MGMT using Pat McGrath Labs
Floral Design: Marcos Toledo @influorescent
Model: Reese Robert @reeserobert_ at Muse
Digital Tech: Johnny Vicari @johnnyvicari
Stylists Assistants: Beatrice Goudet and Bethany Mong
Hair Assistant: Megumi Kubo
Otherworld explores the existence of inner worlds through the lens of surrealism. The power of those called visionaries, artists, or mystics is the ability to identify this world, and through their works, synthesize it into reality. The internal fantasia is imagined as a surreal landscape, familiar but alien in its appearance. Layering imagery through the use of projections is a technique that furthers it’s quixotic, dreamlike interpretation. Heritage-inspired clothing depicts a world ambiguous of time. Floral themes reinforce the metaphor of the inception of an otherworld as germination of the seed, to its manifestation as it blossoms. Personal evolution occurs the more time spent inside this world. The idea of escapism becomes inverted, with an emphasis on the beauty and luxury of solitude.
– Dustin Mansyur
Floral arrangement by Influorescent
Floral arrangement by Influorescent
Photographer: Kimber Capriotti @kimbercapriotti
Model: Leah Svoboda @leahsvoboda, @anthmmgmt
Stylist: Molly Haring @mollyruthharing_styling
Hair and Make-Up: Lydia Brock @lydiabrock
Style Assistant: Shane Mastel @mastonianwarlord