Kate McKinnon featured in the latest Vanity Fair issue – November 2017. She was photographed by very talented Annie Leibovitz. At the moment you can check recent photos from this shoot in the photo gallery as well as a cover of the Magazine.
With a resurgent Saturday Night Live providing weekly catharsis for a politically obsessed America, Emmy-winning Kate McKinnon has hit a new level of fame. It’s also taught her just how personal the political can be.
If journalists played it straight with movie stars, they’d call it an interrogation not an interview. It’d be conducted at a police station—some grimy, windowless room at the back, cramped and full of the hot stink of fear and funk. After bouncing the star off a wall or two, ignoring the pitiful pleas for a phone call, a lawyer, a mommy, the journalist would shine a light in those pretty, pretty eyes, and start grilling. What did you have to do to get your big break? How long do you think you can turn the trick, keep the public interested, huh? Who are you sleeping with? Who are you sleeping with? Who are you sleeping with?
O.K., maybe I’m overstating the case. I’m not, however, mis-stating it. Encounters between movie stars and the journalists who cover them are edgy, deeply. They are, by their very nature, transactional: the journalist offers the star, usually with a new project or venture to promote, exposure; the star offers the journalist revelation, a couple of juicy details with which to titillate readers. Use and be used, give and take, a mutual hustle and the way of the world. Couldn’t be clearer, right? Where things get murky is in the trappings. The interview is made to look like the opposite of what it is: a friendly social interaction. The star and I always meet at a restaurant—the garden terrace at the Chateau Marmont or the Clement at the Peninsula—almost always for lunch. There’s conversation (one-sided, but still) and an attentive waiter and imported mineral water and a salad of wild arugula, locally grown, and it’s easy to forget that our interests are at odds and that the relationship is, at heart, antagonistic.
Only I couldn’t forget with Kate McKinnon, the Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live mainstay (S.N.L. is the venture she’s currently promoting, Season 43, set to premiere on September 30), perhaps the most gifted of a gifted generation of young comics, her flair for mimicry and slapstick allowing her to create characters and impressions that are both spookily exact and totally off the wall. Mind you, I’m not proposing that Kate herself is antagonistic. She isn’t. In fact, her niceness is as pronounced, extreme, and undeniable as her talent—it’s the quality of hers you’re struck by first.