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Is Tom Cruise an Icon?

Tom Cruise

Perhaps we should be clearer: the question at hand is whether Tom Cruise is a style icon. It’s a fair question, and one we’ve found ourselves pondering for whatever reason in these slow-going post-Oscar, pre-summer-blockbuster months.

First, there are all kinds of reasons he’s not: he isn’t exactly Ryan Gosling off screen; he almost definitely relies on a stylist for the red carpet; and, oh yeah, he’s the leading member of a batshit pseudo-religious organization that may or may not run hard-labor prison camps. [Ed. Note for legal reasons: Allegedly. ]

But, but, but...

After the jump, a few reasons Tom might be an icon after all...»

Ben Affleck Is Not Justin Bieber

Ben Affleck used to be as reliably close-cropped as anyone in Hollywood—but it would appear those days are over.

Any discussion about Ben Affleck’s more recent coiffure these days seems to liken his man-mop to Justin Bieber’s, inferring that the 39-year-old A-list actor/director/father of three is taking style advice from a barely pubescent half-pint crooner (who, incidentally, is no longer rocking his own haircut).

In actuality, Mr. Affleck is starring in (and directing) the film Argo, set in 1979 and based on the true story of how the CIA used a fake sci-fi film to rescue Americans during the Iran hostage crisis—and he’s doing so alongside John Goodman and Alan Arkin. That’s about as un-Bieber as it gets, if you ask us.

Here are a few photos from the set...»

Bonnie, Clyde and the Invisi-Tie

Bonnie & Clyde

Once upon a time, Warren Beatty was a pretty sharp guy. And circa 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, he was one of the sharpest men in California—pushing the French New Wave into Hollywood, head-faking studio heads for a percentage of the gross and walking away from the movie with a cool $27 million.

So we thought we’d take a look back at the classic bank robber flick, and all its glorious gangster suits, billowy shirtsleeves and invisi-ties.

A few choice frames from Bonnie & Clyde»

Catherine McNeil is Watching You Right Now


Don’t Look Now: From the picture, we’re assuming she has super strength. [Fashion Spot]

Hands Down, The Funniest Thing you Will Read All Day: Pac Man hits thirty hard, and comes clean about his long-standing speed addiction. [The Awl]

The Player: A guide to the life and style of a Hollywood power broker. [LA Times]

On the Other Foot: Tres Bien lands a Mark McNairy interview and, somehow, beats us to the “Jack of all Trads” pun. [Tres Bien]

Enter the Machete


We’ve seen this guy’s face before—adding some authentic menace to dozens of otherwise dull action movies—but after this interview, we’re ready to call him our favorite person in Hollywood.

His name’s Danny Trejo, and over the course of a few pages he drops the following fascinating tidbits: 1) He got into the acting business as a combination boxing coach/drug counselor/armed robbery consultant. 2) Before that, he was the lightweight and welterweight champion of San Quentin. 3) Before that he robbed grocery stores for a living. Also, apparently he really liked Up in the Air.

It’s the kind of out-of-nowhere story Old Hollywood used to specialize in, but it’s good to see it can still happen in the modern age—especially when it means reminding audiences what a genuine badass looks like. Better yet, he’s about to get his first starring role in the Grindhouse-spinoff Machete, and, judging from the trailer, it should be the craziest thing in theaters all year.

At least until Hobo with a Shotgun comes out.

Goodbye, Mr. Bond


James Bond has faced down quite a lot—highlights include solar powered ray guns, a squad of brainwashed, agriculture-destroying ingénues, and Yaphet Kotto—but the world of international finance may have been more than he could handle. With Mr. Bond’s parent studio MGM buried under nearly $4 billion in debt, the 23rd Bond movie has been put on indefinite hiatus. Which is a shame, because it sounded kind of awesome, and Daniel Craig was on quite a roll.

Of course, knowing Hollywood, it’s hard to say how long this will last, but for now things look pretty grim. Count us as shaken.

You’re Finished in This Town


In a business that judges impoliteness pretty harshly, we’re kind of amazed Vincent Gallo hasn’t been run out of town yet. But we’re glad because it means that from time to time, we get to hear batshit rants like this.

Over the course of 39 minutes, Mr. Gallo manages to mortally insult Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorcese, Wes Anderson, Abel Ferrera, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola, Eric Roberts, Dennis Hopper, Honda, and the Directors Guild of America. To be honest, it’s pretty rough going—and decidedly ungentlemanly throughout—but it should be a cautionary tale of what an out-of-control ego can make you sound like.

A word to the wise: If you find yourself trash-talking the director of The Godfather—who, coincidentally, gave you your most recent starring role—you may want to reconsider yourself as a human being.

On the plus side, he has nothing but nice things to say about Mickey Rourke.

The Lifer


By all accounts, Rip Torn has been having a pretty rough February, but we wanted to take a moment to appreciate why we care about him in the first place, and why we hope he’s doing all right.

It’s hard being a Hollywood lifer, but Mr. Torn pulls it off better than just about everyone, which is one reason he’s spent the last few years as a go-to curmudgeon for comedies. Don’t be fooled; he’s a whole lot cooler than that. For one: he’s friends with both Harry Nilsson and Miles Davis—which is quite a feat by any standards.

For firsthand proof, we’d suggest the Larry Sanders Show, where his producer Artie was both a career peak but quite possibly the perfect specimen of the showbiz fixer. One particular high note: He describes his beloved Glenlivet by saying, “When you die and go to heaven, you’ll say hello to God, and when God says hello, this is what you’ll smell on his breath.”

But only in moderation…

Penelope Cruz Cannot Be Tamed by Writer-Directors


Cruz Control: Ladies and gentlemen, the best reason to see Nine. [Vanity Fair]

Let’s Go Make a Picture: When Hollywood starts being compared to Detroit, you know things are getting bad. The good news? At least Coraline was a hit… [Thompson on Hollywood]

Man Up: A discourse on masculinity, courtesy of the internet. [This Recording]

The Daily Nudes: There is no problem that cannot be solved by nude calendars. [NY Daily News]

A Beard Too Good for this World


Time for another entry in our ongoing series on the taxonomy of beards.

Imagine you’re a creative type unbound by dress codes and only the thinnest pretense of nine-to-five regularity. You’ve met with some early success—people even started throwing the word “genius” around—but it scared the suits, and you’ve spent the rest of your career being suffocated by unimaginative businessmen, the stolid nature of the entertainment industry and the ultimate venality of the world.

Look on the bright side: While your existence may be plagued with self-doubt, your facial hair problems are pretty much solved.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we present the Stifled Genius Beard.

Perhaps further explanation is required»

Kept at Bay


Anyone who’s seen an action movie in the last ten years can probably recognize the work of Michael Bay—our particular favorite would be The Rock which, along with Armageddon, has the honor of being the unlikeliest Criterion edition we’ve come across—but now that he’s the recipient of everything from fake screenplays to a fake twitter persona, it might be time to dig a little deeper into the enigma that is Mr. Bay.

Luckily, some hapless assistant on the western coast has spent their morning uploading all of Mr. Bay’s commercial work onto Vimeo, with an almost unbelievably pretentious title card at the beginning of each spot. If you were looking for the core of the Bay aesthetic, this is pretty much it. Let the car commercials begin!

See our favorites after the jump, including the timeless “Aaron Burr”»



Angry outbursts never look good, but we’re going to have to call this one as fair play. Or at least not obviously foul.

A true gentleman would have exercised a little more politeness, but frustration is just a byproduct of passion, and passion is always a good thing. Hundreds of actors would have let a few slips from the crew slide, and in the process accepted less from the movie and less from themselves. Much as the gossip press wishes it were otherwise, there’s no shame in caring about what you do.

Even if it means getting a little unkempt.