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In this 2005 interview, a young Letitia James — then NYC Councilwoman, now New York's first black attorney general — talks to Ariana Speyer about defending her constituents in the face of the inequities of New York's corporate-fueled real estate development. 

"We've got a serious problem in our inner cities. The Community Service Society says that in the greater New York City area, 48% of black men are unemployed."

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.

"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."

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. 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.

"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. […] 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. My father writes scripts for me where I have to do all these radical things, but what can I say? […] 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. […] 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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