In early November I was reading an article in The New Yorker called “The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood,” by Margaret Talbot. The piece detailed the work of women in behind-the-scenes film roles in the early-20th century, as the industry was becoming internationally dominant. But as studios started to consolidate, these women—directors, illustrators, script supervisors, and editors—found the doors to entry closing. Then, just like that, they were swept away by history.
I was struck by this story, and particularly the opening image of Mary Blair, one of the key animators of the era. So, I sent the portrait and the article to Olivia Wilde as inspiration for her Instyle cover shoot, our fourth issue dedicated to Badass Women. (See our homage to the image, inset). While this issue celebrates women who “show up, speak up, and get things done,” it’s important to honor those who came before. The concept had a particular resonance for Olivia, especially since she’s coming off the success of her directorial feature début, Booksmart, and preparing to both direct and star in her next film, Don’t Worry, Darling, a thriller set in the 1950s.
What I love about Olivia is her sheer comfort with herself, her humor, and her still-nascent voice as a director. She also proudly heralds, in her words, “the era of sisterhood” in a new Hollywood.
In a wonderful kismet twist, Olivia has recently spent time with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who, it is scientifically proven, is the baddest badass in the United States. At 79 years old, she suffers no fools and carries the weight of the Constitution not just on her shoulders but in her soul. It was only fitting that Speaker Pelosi (who rather enjoys the term “badass,” by the way) should open this issue’s portfolio of remarkable women. Thank you, Madam Speaker, for your tirelessness, your strength, and your total lack of BS.
The other women in this issue— #Metoo founder Tarana Burke, Euphoria star Hunter Schafer, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence
Sue Gordon, and the self-possessed La La Anthony, among others—all show that skill, spirit, and confidence come in splendidly different packages.
Enjoy the issue.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @instyle and follow me @laurabrown99 FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @instylemagazine and follow me @laurabrown99