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Screenwriter Justin Haythe interviews Willem Dafoe for the November 2003 issue. See the veteran actor in theaters now, starring in Robert Eggers critically-acclaimed 2019 film The Lighthouse.

WILLEM: Sometimes you just feel like a phrase isn't part of the fabric. It's like a stain. You want to remove the stain unless the scene is going to be about the stain. On the other hand, I think actors sometimes have too much power to take away their own obstacles. I've seen that a lot — someone doesn't feel comfortable with something, so it gets changed. But if you give up the challenges, you may be pissing away an opportunity to get something unexpected.

Klaus Biesenbach interviews Hedi Slimane for the June 2002 issue.

KLAUS: What is your ambition? HEDI: I don’t really have one, I’m afraid. Everything I’ve done is part of a chain reaction. But I’m naturally determined, so I guess you could say that my ambition is just to make the next day interesting. Also, I’ve been lucky enough to meet people with whom I have a good understanding. So another ambition is to meet the people with whom I might develop future projects. Things arrive by accident. I really believe that.

We pay tribute to avant-garde designer Isabel Toledo, who died on August 26, 2019, with this 1997 interview from our archives. Read her full obituary in the New York Times.

Yes. I create. Creativity, nowadays, has been left to men. Not women. In the '30s, yes — women. Look at the great designers then. Today, creativity has to come from men. We accept it from men. Not the women. Women designers are supposed to be sensible and just get you dressed and without a fuss.

Bruce Benderson interviews JT Leroy for the November 2001 issue. Photography by Roe Ethridge.

Despite JT's new position as one of the best young talents in literature, he maintains a Garbo-esque seclusion. Staying incognito gives him the freedom to get used to his new identity as a lauded writer; it also protects his currently stable domestic life, and allows him to experiment with new personae. Over the years, he and I have spent countless hours on the phone together, but just when I think I know the real JT, another pops into view.

Bjork interviews Alexander Mcqueen April 2001 issue. Photography by Sam Taylor-Wood.

I've done loads of collections based on man and machine and man and nature, but ultimately my work is always in some way directed by nature. It needs to connect with the earth. Things that are processed and reprocessed lose their substance.

Meredith Danluck interviews Richard D. James April 2001 issue. Photography by Wolfgang Tillmans.

Actually, I do have a phone, but it's downstairs where I can't hear it. It used to be up here, then it went to another room, and then another that was further away. Finally, I turned the ringer off and just let the answering machine get it. But I could still hear the click of the tape, and that was enough to give me a molecule of stress, so I moved it downstairs. Then I changed my number a few times. Only gave it to my mates. Now nobody calls me — everyone has totally given up.

Bruce Labruce interviews Asia Argento for the September 2001 issue. Photography by Bruce Labruce.

People are very suspicious of us. They wonder what sort of life we lead, what kind of monsters we are — as if we were the Addams family. But to be honest, we don’t even think about it. I mean, my father writes scripts for me where I have to do all these radical things, but what can I say? I’m very happy to work with him. I’m a big fan. Maybe I don’t understand why he has to rape me. But my mother had to deal with similar issues — my father always killed her.

David Savage interviews David Sedaris for the May 1997 issue. Photography by Chris Buck.

If I'm going to make fun of something, I need to find that in myself and then exaggerate it. But I find that if I don't start with me, with the honest truth of it, then it's not going to work when it's blown up. It's going to be empty. […] I mean, it's hard to beat real life when you're thinking about really real absurdity.

In this 1998 interview, Amy Kellner interviews legendary poet
Eileen Myles. Photography by Catherine Opie.

When I think about my life, it's not a dyke talking to a dyke talking to a dyke, it's more like a dyke talking to a fag talking to an older straight guy talking to a child. It's stronger for me that way. Like if you wanted all your friends to be famous artists, that would be dazzling, but it would also be a disturbing constant performance of all these egos flapping their wings.

Lana Del Rey, originally known as Lizzy Grant, was interviewed by Brea Tremblay for index in 2008. The singer discussers her album Kill Kill, her trailer park home in New Jersey, and Tiger Beat magazine.

Susan Cianciolo with Dame Darcy. Photographed by Rosalie Knox.

Stanley Love with Bob Nickas and Leslie Singer. Photographed by Mark Borthwick.

Bruce La Bruce with Stephen Lafreniere. Photographed by Alan Belcher.

Vaginal Davis with John Sanchez. Photographed by John Dunne.

Survival Guide by
Ettore Sottsass. Photographed by Lucas Michael.

Our 1999 interview with
Brian Wilson. Photographed by David Ortega.

Read Emma Forrest's 2001 interview with Rachel Weisz from the index archives. Photographed by Juergen Teller.

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