Diversity and the evolving attitudes towards women are being celebrated in the latest issue of US Vogue, which features 14 female actresses from a range of backgrounds and countries.
The double April issue, which is dedicated to “global talent,” focuses on actresses who have been able to transcend their backgrounds and become internationally celebrated stars.
On the front cover, American actress Scarlett Johansson poses alongside South Korean actress Doona Bae and Indian actress Deepika Padukone.
The second cover is dedicated to French actress Lea Seydoux, Chinese actress Angelababy, Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, and Nigerian actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington, who also donned flower crowns for the photo shoot.
Apart from showcasing the talents of 14 women from 14 countries, the goal of the issue, according to the magazine, is to bring awareness to the positive changes happening in the working world – including the breaking down of barriers between cultures, countries, and fame.
But, according to Johansson, who is currently promoting her latest film Avengers: Endgame, global stardom wasn’t always like this – as she recalled a time when she was 17 and found it “really hard” filming Lost in Translation in Tokyo.
“It was a seven-week shoot; I missed my boyfriend; we had a Japanese crew, so there was a language barrier. I remember being quite lonely,” the actress said. “It was just a different time to be an American in Tokyo.”
Now, however, the star thinks “there’s a scope to entertainment,” as social media and the internet have contributed to the creation of “unrestricted fame”.
Despite the “broadening and receptiveness in the entertainment world,” borders still exist and there is still more to be done in terms of gender equality in the industry, according to the actresses.
For cover star Seydoux, this would mean being able to “have no nationality and no gender,” while actress Alba Rohrwacher said her goal is to “play a male part”.
“Like Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There or Tilda Swinton in Orlando,” she added.
According to Debicki: “A space has opened up, and people are saying what they want. Women talk to one another more about collaborating. There is, in a way there hasn’t been before, a sense of connective tissue.”
Golshifteh Farahani from Iran also touched on what it means to be a female actress now, describing women as “weapons of war” and revealing what it meant for her to be able to do a nude scene despite disapproval in Iran.
The actress, who splits her time between Portugal and Ibiza, said: “I don’t belong to you, my body doesn’t belong to you. You think I’m your property? No.”
The April issue also features Mexican actress Eiza González, Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar, British actress Vanessa Kirby, and German actress Liv Lisa Fries.
Vogue’s April issue will be available on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on 19 March and nationwide on 26 March.