With a new year quickly approaching, we’re doing more than stocking up on Champagne and re-remembering the lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne.” We’re also stopping to reflect on the year that was: and what a year 2010 was for fashion, music, and film. Ke$ha convinced us to throw away our toothbrushes; Justin Bieber melted 12-year-old hearts worldwide; and James Franco managed to juggle about nine careers at once. They (and 15 others) deserve to be recognized for their efforts! And so, without further ado, we are proud to present: Interview‘s Faces of 2010.Click here to see The Networker: Jesse Eisenberg
The Networker: Jesse Eisenberg
With Time‘s declaration this week that Mark Zuckerberg is officially 2010’s Person of the Year, it seems all the more necessary to recognize Jesse Eisenberg’s extraordinary performance as Zuckerberg in the year’s most-talked-about film, The Social Network. Eisenberg was rightly praised (and is, as of this week, Golden Globe-nominated) for his turn as the obsessive genius who founded Facebook. It wasn’t the only complicated character he played this year-he also starred in Holy Rollers, a film about a real-life group of Hasidic Jews who, in the late ’90s, began smuggling Ecstasy from Brooklyn to Europe. Next year, Eisenberg will voice an animated bird opposite Anne Hathaway in Rio, and star in 30 Minutes or Less, possibly the world’s first pizza-delivery/bank-robbery comedy, with Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari.
Quotable in 2010: Eisenberg told us in May that, despite playing Zuckerberg, he’s not a Facebook user. “I’m not. You know, because my job is already semi-public… You know, I get stopped on the street occasionally, and it traumatizes me for the day that somebody knows who I am. I think that if I did any kind of social networking interaction, it would probably freak me out.”
The Transformer: Blake Lively
Technically, yes, Blake Lively got her start in film, as the soccer-playing pal of America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But if there’s one thing Lively is known for, it’s her role as Upper East Side princess Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl-which is why it was such a shock, this year, to see Lively return to the silver screen in a decidedly un-Van Der Woodsian role. Lively played Krista Coughlin, a drug-addicted single mother, in Ben Affleck’s acclaimed crime drama The Town, and her performance made us forget all about the Upper East Side-for a few hours, at least. Up next: a role opposite Ryan Reynolds in 2011’s Green Lantern.
Quotable in 2010: Lively explained the appeal of acting to Ben Affleck in our September issue: “I actually think that was the reason I got into acting: the free food. I literally remember on my first job being like, ‘Yes! I get to have craft service every day!'”
The King of Tweens: Justin Bieber
Admit it, just between the two of us: you love Justin Bieber, just like everyone else in America does. When Bieber put out his first full studio release, My World 2.0, in March, his fate was sealed: he was fated to become the teenybopper prince of 2010. This was also the year Bieber decided to tell us his story: at the tender age of 16, he released a memoir, First Step 2 Forever, in October. Plus, September brought the news that Bieber accounts for three percent of all Twitter traffic. Not too bad for a kid who got his start at local singing contests.
Quotable in 2010: “I haven’t been in love yet. I’ve definitely loved girls. But it’s kinda like puppy love. It’s not the real thing, but that’s what you think at the time,” Bieber explained to Interview in April.Click here to see The Breakthrough Designer: Joseph Altuzarra
The Breakthrough Designer: Joseph Altuzarra
We haven’t had a lot of time to get acquainted with 27-year-old New York designer Joseph Altuzarra, but the more we know, the more we like-and, oddly, the less we know. In just five knockout seasons, the half-French, half-American (and now CFDA-nominated) designer has gone from red velvet and campy old-Hollywood slits to, for spring 2011, long, slim dresses in black snakeskin and hemlines that Cathy Horyn said “looked freely carved out with a knife.” With all the top editors and showflies (no exceptions!) flocking to his front row, Altuzarra hasn’t been afraid to take real risks, either: last season, he even re-attempted the famous cone bra. But he’s not just taking us back to the 1990s-he’s showing that humor and sex can safely share the runway again. We haven’t seen a breakout star this fast-flying since the early days of Altuzarra’s good friend, designer Alexander Wang.
Quotable in 2010: “You can build a brand very fast now, especially with bloggers and how fast images can get out-the message just goes out faster and stronger than ever before. But what I’m trying to do is something consistent every season, something strong. And I try to be nice-most of the time,” Altuzarra told Anna Della Russo in September.Click gere to see The Breakthrough Rapper: Nicki Minaj
The Breakthrough Rapper: Nicki Minaj
It takes some serious courage to release a debut album with a lead track called “I’m the Best.” But Nicki Minaj is nothing if not courageous-and even, if she doesn’t mind our saying so, a little ballsy. That brashness is what we love about Nicki’s rapping, along with the kind of kookiness that goes along with inventing multiple alter-egos, including “Cookie,” “Harajuku Barbie,” “Nicki Teresa,” and “Roman Zolanski.” And she’s got some impressive friends, to boot-one of the most memorable moments on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy comes during “Monster,” when Minaj guest-raps, “Let me get this straight, wait, I’m the rookie / But my features and my show’s ten times your pay? / 50K for a verse, no album out!” And she deserved every penny.
Quotable in 2010: “I don’t mind being called a weirdo,” Minaj told Interview in June. “There are a lot of people in hip-hop who are probably never going to get what I do. But, by just being myself, I end up touching a lot more people who might never have paid much attention to a female rapper.”Click here to see The Consummate Professional: Ryan Gosling
The Consummate Professional: Ryan Gosling
Personally, we’ve been fully Team Gosling since he broke our hearts in Half Nelson back in 2006. So after three long Gosling-free years, it was gratifying to see him finally get his due in 2010. Whether Gosling is playing a sociopathic real-estate scion (All Good Things) or garnering Oscar buzz for his role as a regular guy trying to make a relationship work (Blue Valentine), he’s the most compelling young actor of his generation. (We also admire him for calling the MPAA out on the sexism of their backwards ratings system, after Blue Valentine received a surprise NC-17 rating that’s since been overturned.) We can’t wait for next year, when Gosling will star in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone, as well as the Clooney-directed The Ides of March with, well, pretty much every outstanding actor currently working.Quotable in 2010: “I should let you know before we get into this that the pictures which will be accompanying this interview are basically of me in tight, wet T-shirts and tiny leather jackets going around in the rain and pretending that I’m a lot cooler than I am,” Gosling warned Steve Carell in November.
The Newly-Minted Icon: Carey Mulligan
We fell in love with Carey Mulligan last year, after her star-making role in An Education. So it was with great pleasure that we watched her flourish in 2010: starring in The Greatest, with Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan; the heart-wrenching Never Let Me Go; and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, with Michael Douglas and Shia LaBoeuf. Mulligan’s reputation as Hollywood’s best young actress was cemented in November, when she beat out an impressive slate of peers (Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Amanda Seyfried-the list goes on) to be cast as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Mulligan will take on another iconic role soon, as well: she’s playing Eliza Doolittle a remake My Fair Lady written by Emma Thompson.
Quotable in 2010: “I do remember when Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes came to see The Seagull. I didn’t know that they were there until afterwards, but it was one of those nights where I just couldn’t get myself into the play, where I get offstage and get into a taxi to go home and am like, ‘That was horrible.’ But afterwards, I was taking off my costume, and someone said, ‘Oh my god-Kate Winslet was here!’ I just burst into tears,” Mulligan confessed in April.
The Party Animal: Ke$ha
More than probably anyone else in music today, Ke$ha has embraced the low-art aesthetic with a boundless enthusiasm. Her debut album, Animal, dropped in January, and it’s been the year of Ke$ha ever since: the ironic dollar sign, the neon makeup, the wild hair and “derelicte”-aesthetic clothing choices, and most of all, the music. Reviews of Animal included phrases like “banality, hedonism, and superficiality,” “not good,” “a towering triumph,” “an effective way to kill the morning-after blues,” and, from Rolling Stone, “repulsive, obnoxious, and ridiculously catchy.” What we love most about Ke$ha is that she genuinely just wants to have fun. “What I’m bringing to the pop table is that I’m not pretentious,” she explained to Interview.
Quotable in 2010: In April, Ke$ha clarified for Interview the unusual provenance of her distinctive makeup choices: “I am a diver, and this barracuda tried to eat me once. I realized it was because I was wearing a gold bikini, a lot of piercings, and was covered in glitter. Apparently most animals are instinctively very attracted to glittery things-our brains are just drawn to them. So I figured, Why not smear it all over my face?”
The Cameo Queen: Winona Ryder
It’s been two decades since Heathers and Edward Scissorhands, but Winona Ryder proved this year that she’s definitely still got it. Though she wasn’t onscreen long, Ryder still managed to deliver one of the year’s most memorable performances as an ousted prima ballerina in Black Swan. She played her creepy, menacing role to such perfection that we found ourselves looking over our shoulders as we left the theater-just in case she happened to be lurking behind us. This may be the start of a legit comeback for Ryder, who has booked upcoming roles in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Ron Howard’s The Dilemma, and Armand Mastroianni’s Gardel.
Quotable in 2010: “Sometimes I’ll watch a movie, and it’s got some big star in it playing a working-class person, and the character is in a grocery store, and you can kind of tell, from just watching the scene, that this actor doesn’t do their own shopping. So you have to have some sense of reality. That’s why, at the height of everything, I used to go to the Laundromat to do my laundry-just because I had to sort of maintain,” Ryder said in October.
The Renaissance Man: James Franco
Is there anything James Franco doesn’t do? This year, the chameleonic star has opened five films (Howl, Date Night, William Vincent, Eat Pray Love, and 127 Hours), had a solo visual-art show at Clocktower Gallery, released a book of short stories called Palo Alto, guest-starred on General Hospital as a sort of funhouse-mirror version of himself (named Franco), and taken graduate classes at Columbia, Brooklyn College, Tisch, RISD, and Yale’s Ph.D. program. We can’t imagine how he’ll make time to attend 2011’s Oscars ceremony, when he’ll almost certainly be nominated for his role as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston in 127 Hours. And Franco shows no signs of slowing down in 2011: IMDB already lists six films, in various stages of production, that he’ll appear in next year.
Quotable in 2010: “[Adolescence] creates this huge feeling that can’t come out in articulate ways-it creates this bubble that wants to burst,” Franco told us, by way of explanation for why Palo Alto centers on the formative years, at his book party in October.
The Breakthrough Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Though it was released in the midst of the summer heat, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone didn’t fail to inspire chills down the spines of anyone who saw it; and Jennifer Lawrence, the film’s star, gave the most powerful performance we’ve seen all year. Lawrence brought an understated dignity to the role of Ree Dolly, a tough 17-year-old in the Ozarks tasked with finding her delinquent, meth-dealing father in order to save her family’s modest home-a character who’s still haunting us half a year later. Still, one indie film, no matter how acclaimed, does not a career make-which is why we’re psyched to see Lawrence as Mystique in next year’s sure-to-be-blockbuster X-Men: First Class.
Quotable in 2010: “I wanted to write this one director a letter, so I wrote him a handwritten note,” Lawrence told Jodie Foster in November. “But then I was like, How many people are writing this guy handwritten letters? Is it going to seem cheesy? What do I do? Do I sleep outside of his house until he agrees to give me the part? … It makes you feel supercrazy. It’s like, ‘Please give me this part! I’ll boil a rabbit!'”Click here to see The Ruler of the Free World: Jay-Z
The Ruler of the Free World: Jay-Z
By 2010, no one could be left in doubt that Jay-Z is the king of hip-hop (and, after 2009’s “Empire State of Mind,” of New York as well). But when Jay, worth an estimated $450 million, appeared on the cover of Forbes-with Warren Buffett!-in September, that sealed it: he’s officially the king of the world. The release of his memoir, Decoded, in November was just the proverbial icing. Even the notoriously prickly New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani lauded, “The author himself magically stacks rhymes upon rhymes, mixing and matching metaphors even as he makes unexpected stream-of-consciousness leaps that rework old clichés and play clever aural jokes on the listener.” No one can resist the power of Hova.
Quotable in 2010: “All these ways we classify things as R&B and hip-hop and rock . . . It’s bullshit. It’s all music. If you put yourself in that box, then you won’t be able to hear that it’s all music at its soul. When people say stuff like, “Oh, that’s soft rock. I don’t listen to that,” I find that elitist. It’s music-racist,” Jay laughed in February.
The Wise-Beyond-Her-Years Beauty: Mia Wasikowska
The Wise Beauty: When it was announced that a relatively unknown Australian actress, Mia Wasikowska, would take on the title role in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, some wondered whether she could hold up the weight of two mega-successful brands: Alice lovers and Burton lovers alike had high expectations. Thankfully, Wasikowska, with her curious combination of intellect, maturity, and ethereal, doe-eyed innocence, fit the bill. And later in the year, she held her own with screen legends Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in Lisa Cholodenko’s perfectly charming indie comedy The Kids Are All Right. Next year, she’ll take on multiple prestigious projects: Gus Van Sant’s Restless, Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre (which, from its trailer, looks fantastic), and Rodrigo Garcia’s Albert Nobbs, to name a few.
Quotable in 2010: Wasikowska had once been a serious ballerina before changing her focus to acting. “I started not to enjoy ballet so much… You work so hard and get little reward. I also found the atmosphere strict and competitive. What I liked about dance was how it made me feel, but it became more about feeling bad about my body and having a low self-esteem,” she said in February.
The Graduate: Emma Watson
We have a special place in our hearts for Emma Watson, whom we-and the rest of the world-have literally watched grow up onscreen, from a frizzy-haired 11-year-old in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the beautiful, self-assured 20-year-old woman she is today. Watson has been selective about her film roles; besides the Harry Potter franchise, the only other projects she’s been attached to so far have been a TV adaptation of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes and the animated kids’ flick The Tale of Desperaux. Which is not to say that her role as Hermione Granger has left us wanting: this year’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I was the best Potter film we’ve seen yet, and Watson’s performance her best so far. After the series ends with Part 2 in July, Watson will play a wardrobe assistant in My Week with Marilyn, a Marilyn Monroe biopic starring Michelle Williams-but, mostly, the Brown sophomore is focusing on being just another Ivy Leaguer.
Quotable in 2010: “Bagels-they’re the best thing ever! Americans just love variety; there’s so much choice, it’s overwhelming. But I love trying the blueberry and raisin and cinnamon bagels. Luckily, I exercise a lot,” Watson said in November.Click here to see The Denizen of Downtown Chic: Alexander Wang
The Denizen of Downtown Chic: Alexander Wang
It’s been two years since Alexander Wang won the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award, and the edgy designer has firmly established his place in the pantheon of America’s biggest names in fashion. At his fall Fashion Week runway show this year, Agyness Deyn walked; M.I.A., Erin Wasson, and Lenny Kravitz attended; and seemingly tout le demi-monde gathered afterwards to fête him at a full-scale carnival (complete with Skee-ball and pulled-pork sandwiches) built in an 18th Street parking lot. And as for the clothes, well-his collections have gotten richer and more mature with every passing season. And judging by the crowds at this week’s sample sale, the world knows it.
Quotable in 2010: “The funny thing is there’s this impression that everyone in fashion is so glamorous and that they live these tall-tale lives. For me, what I love most about my social life now is that it’s exactly the same as it was before: hole-in-the-wall restaurants, bad movies, and a lot of sitting around with friends doing absolutely nothing,” Wang declared to Diane von Furstenberg in March.Click here to see The Breakthrough Actor: Andrew Garfield
The Breakthrough Actor: Andrew Garfield
In two of 2010’s most prominent films, Andrew Garfield’s was the character you were left thinking about long after the film was over. Garfield starred first as Tommy, the tragic love interest to Carey Mulligan’s Kathy, in Mark Romanek’s adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s tearjerker novel Never Let Me Go. Then, in The Social Network, Garfield brought some much-needed humanity to Aaron Sorkin’s tale of the founding of Facebook in his role as young Brazilian billionaire Eduardo Saverin. Garfield, with his quiet, serious charm and his highly expressive face, turned quite a few heads this year-including that of director Mark Webb, who cast him as Peter Parker in the upcoming 3-D Spider-Man film.
Quotable in 2010: “I was also into gymnastics when I was younger. I remember having a horribly traumatic experience where this fat guy sat on my back while I was doing the splits, and I was looking for my mother in the group of mothers on the sidelines, but I couldn’t find her. I remember sitting there, watching all of these kids do cartwheels-it just looked terrible to me,” Garfield reminisced to Terry Gilliam in October.
The Crossover Actress: Greta Gerwig
Okay, so the mumblecore genre, popular among twentysomething South by Southwest types, isn’t a brand in the typical sense. But if it were, Greta Gerwig would be its perfect ambassador. She’s starred in seminal mumblecore films, like Baghead, Hannah Takes the Stairs, and LOL, but this year she proved she has crossover appeal with her role as Ben Stiller’s love interest in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg. Next year, she’ll take her mainstream turn a little further, with roles in Arthur (with Russell Brand and Helen Mirren) and No Strings Attached (with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher). But rest assured, she hasn’t abandoned her roots: she recently completed filming The Dish & The Spoon, a new low-budget movie by the writer of Buffalo ’66.
Quotable in 2010: In April, Gerwig was concerned with keeping things in perspective: “My lease is up, and they’re raising my rent. I don’t even know where I’m going to live next month. So thinking along the lines of, like, ‘I need to get my superhero franchise locked down’ seems a little premature,” she said.Click here to see The Breakthrough Singer: Oh Land
The Breakthrough Singer: Oh Land
Oh Land’s Nanna Fabricius grew up thinking she’d be a ballet dancer. But when she was 18, a back injury ended her dance career, and Fabricius turned to music-much to the benefit of those who have been caught under the spell of her dreamy electro-pop. We were especially entranced by the video she released in October for “Sun of a Gun,” which features the gorgeous Fabricius sporting multiple sartorial personalities. She’s already released an album, 2008’s Fauna, and an EP this year, and she has another full-length due for 2011. We’d tell you to keep an eye out for her next year, but we have the feeling we don’t even have to.
Quotable in 2010: In October, Oh Land described her fairy-tale childhood to Interview: “We had turtles and rabbits and cats and guinea pigs and birds and chickens… We had sewing machines and instruments and there were always the craziest people coming in and out because my mom was teaching opera or my dad was rehearsing with some musicians or my sister was making clothes.”