“I feel like if I lose touch with humanity by only surrounding myself with privilege then I won’t be able to play my roles honestly anymore.” Amy Adams
“You just have to hope that he’s written your name on a little scrap of paper somewhere and that one day he will call and say: I’ve got a script I want you to read.” Cate Blanchett on Woody Allen
“Whatever you do, do it completely. Don’t do it half-arsed. Do it more than anybody else would.” Christian Bale
“You live in an environment where you’re influenced by people telling you to make a lot of money and strike while the iron’s hot. But if there’s one thing that I’m very proud of, it’s being a young man who was sticking to my guns.” Leonardo DiCaprio
“But then Donie Courtney, who’s a past pupil of St. Brendan’s, went to the Gaiety School of Acting and he came back and set up one of these comedy and drama workshop classes. I did one or two of these and I was like ‘God, this feels right.’ I really felt like this was a medium that I could express myself in and all these people in my head could finally find a place!” Michael Fassbender
“It’s the rudest word in the dictionary, ‘retire’. And ‘old’ is another one. I don’t allow that in my house. And being called ‘vintage’. I don’t want any of those old words. I like ‘enthusiastic’ and I like the word ‘cut’ because that means you’ve finished the shot.” Judi Dench
“I’m not arrogant enough to boohoo anything I’ve ever done in my career. I wouldn’t be sitting here now if I hadn’t done the films I did. I made a conscious decision and said, ‘I don’t really feel like doing some of the roles I’ve done in the past.’ I gained some anonymity by sitting back in the shadows and I became this fresh idea to people like Steven Soderbergh and William Friedkin.” Matthew McConaughey
“The older you get, the more fragile you understand life to be. I think that’s good motivation for getting out of bed joyfully each day.” Julia Roberts
“It’s my favorite one because they scraped all the crap off my face,” Streep said about this 2002 portrait by Brigitte Lacombe.
“If you understand that what makes your work good is not the way you look, as you grow older you take different parts. It’s like women in real life who want to hang on to a certain part of their life, and to look younger. They miss every other stage of their life. To try to stop the time, to look young—it’s such a futile, absurd way to look at life in general, and it’s very detrimental to their work. They may think that it prolongs their work, and maybe they might get one or two parts more, but their face is their tool, and also what they understand about life, what they go through in life. If you alter it, you deprive yourself of some of what you need to do your work well.” Meryl Streep
“What was so extraordinary about Patsey was that she was filled with so much light despite the darkness. [Writer] Khalil Gibran says, ‘The deeper sorrow carves itself into your being, the more joy you can contain.’ That was my experience of working on 12 Years a Slave.” Lupita Nyong’o
These are some of my favourite portraits of ten of this year’s Academy Awards nominees.
photos: 1-Norman Jean Roy for Vanity Fair, October 2007 (Amy Adams) / 2-Annie Leibovitz for Vogue, December 2004 (Cate Blanchett) / 3-Vincent Peters for GQ, August 2008 (Christian Bale) / 4-Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair, January 1998 (Leonardo DiCaprio) / 5-Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair (Michael Fassbender) / 6-Vanity Fair (Judi Dench) / 7-Mark Seliger for Details, April 2013 (Mattew McConaughey) / 8-Herb Ritts for Vanity Fair, 1993 (Julia Roberts) / 9-Brigitte Lacombe, 2002 (Meryl Streep) / 9-Miller Mobley for The Hollywood Reporter (Lupita Nyong’o)