For the 50th anniversary fall issue of Interview Magazine, Editor in Chief Nick Haramis looks back—and forward—at 50 years of Interview history. To celebrate our half-century in print, just about every story in this issue was ripped off from our archives. Below, all of our inspirations.
I didn’t want any silver wigs. That much I knew. I didn’t want to focus too heavily on the very famous founder of this publication. As integral as Andy Warhol was to the birth of this magazine, and as deeply felt as his spirit has been in every page since his death in 1987, this issue is a celebration of 50 years of Interview, which, a half-century after being born as a monthly film journal, has undergone many identities under the leadership of many incredible editors.
So I knew what I didn’t want. The tough part was sorting out what I did want. Any time our team came up with an idea, it had been done before. (Even here, I was planning to reference an episode of South Park called “The Simpsons Already Did It,” but I already did that, in one of my letters a few issues back.) Instead of buckling under the pressure to create something entirely new to commemorate something entirely not, we decided to lean in. Each story in this issue has ripped off something from the archives—whether it’s the staging of a picture, a design treatment, or a headline. In the case of Christina Ricci, the actor recreated her own iconic cover from the turn of the millennium. Austin Butler, who is poised for mega-fame as the star of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis biopic, sat for the same interview that Warhol conducted in 1983 with a then-newcomer named Matt Dillon. A fashion story, shot, styled, and chopped up into collage by Harry Freegard and Christian Denbigh, is a cheeky counterfeit of a Francesco Scavullo editorial from 1975, called, insanely, “Big Girls Small Men.”
We chose our cover star, the Saturday Night Live savior Kate McKinnon, because we could imagine nobody better to embody the art of imitation—and because she brings joy to people every week, which is something I think we could all use. In the pictures taken by Collier Schorr, she channels, among others, Rob Lowe, Kate Moss, and the photo of Warhol seen above. Although the idea for this issue was sort of born of necessity, it reflects our larger mission: to embrace the richness of our past while looking squarely to the future; to acknowledge history while also making it. At this point, I’m going to turn it over to the late Ingrid Sischy, the editor in chief of Interview for 18 years and, although I never met her, a personal hero of mine. I’ve taken the following from her first editor’s letter, in 1992, which, if you swapped out her criticism of Dan Quayle for our current president, could have been written today:
“We are poised between worlds, and there are those who are unwilling to let in the new, who are threatened by change, and those who are open to both, who embrace them, who are hungry for them. The latter group is always being accused by the former of being careless with life and ignorant of the past. In fact, it is the other way around. It is those who try to hold time back, who don’t respect both dreams and dissent, who are forgetting the past, ignoring the present, and, of course, not paying attention to the future.”
While we have no intention of forgetting the past, please join us as we now start paying attention to the next 50 years.
This article appears in the Fall 2019 50th anniversary issue of Interview magazine. Subscribe here.