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Leonard Nimoy, who played the most famous TV scientist of all time, Mr. Spock, came from an arts and theater background and in real life is nothing like his character. Yet he told me that because Mr. Spock and “Star Trek” have inspired so many young viewers to become scientists, researchers who meet him are always desperate to give him lab tours and explain the projects they’re pursuing in peer-to-peer terms. Mr. Nimoy nods sagely and intones to each one, ‘Well, it certainly looks like you’re headed in the right direction.’
—  NYT
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Four Questions For Kat Dennings

(1) What’s the most annoying nickname people make out of “Kat”?
(2) What’s the brokest you’ve ever been?
(3) What’s the crummiest job you’ve ever had?
(4) Can you please explain the bio section of your Twitter feed?

[Video by Two Penguins]

Prelude To a Katniss

Here at the GQ tumblr–and at GQ.com, and in GQ Magazine–we’ve been on the record about our Jennifer Lawrence addiction for a long, long time. (OK, since 2010.) Now that she’s less than a weekend away from being a global mega-duper-superstar, we wanted to share the beautiful photos we took of her way back when. Enjoy. And click here to see a bunch more. Oh, and go see The Hunger Games. It rocks.

X-Men Style: Costume Designer Sammy Sheldon on The Movie’s First Class Look

The Marvel blockbuster is a modish trip back to 1962, where the mutant supergroup looks more like the Mad X-Men than contemporary crusaders. GQ’s Mike Ryan spoke with costume designer Sammy Sheldon about nailing the movie’s period look. Click here to see the full slideshow, with Sheldon explaining each outfit, including sultry shots of Jennifer Lawrence and January Jones. Below, Sheldon on Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore.

“Her character is a go-go girl, so we made the go-go outfits for her and the boots with the laces up the side. And due to the fact that she has wings—and that she reveals them quite often—we had to make all her clothes halter-neck. Everything we made for her was halter-neck so that you could see the tattoo all of the time. So that was quite a tricky one, actually. Because we had to make the clothing fit around the tattoo so it could reveal as much as possible.”

On The Cover This Month: Dave Franco

The last of our three April 2012 cover subjects, for our special inaugural Style Bible issue. Click here to read GQ associate editor Lauren Bans’s profile of the 21 Jump Street bad guy and kid brother of you-know-who. Below, a quick bit from the story:

Dave’s knack for douchebaggery troubles him deeply. “Oh man, I’ve stopped trying to analyze it, because it makes me upset,” the 26-year-old says. He bends over, placing his face into his palms, then pops up and presses his hands together in prayer. “Once I was complaining about it to someone, and they said, ‘It’s because you have an asshole face.’ I was like, 'Um, thank you. Thank you very much.’ ”

GQ’s Badasses of the Year:
The Men of Breaking Bad

Our culture critic Tom Carson on the AMC meth-dealer-in-the-desert epic’s ensemble cast and its mesmerizing fourth season. A quick bit from Carson below. His full take is here.

With just one season left to go, Breaking Bad has shifted from being all about Bryan Cranston’s triple-Emmy’d (so far) lead performance to the best ensemble show on TV. This year, we were spun around four compromised points of the male compass: brains (the increasingly Machiavellian Walt), ego (Giancarlo Esposito’s drug kingpin Gus), heart (Aaron Paul’s Jesse, Walt’s reluctant sorcerer’s apprentice), and pure testosterone (Dean Norris as Hank, Walt’s DEA-agent brother-in-law—who’s got a supernally wise dark-side twin in Jonathan Banks, Gus’s head enforcer). Which one we get off on most says as much about us as picking our favorite Beatle.

[Photograph by Robert Maxwell]

GQ March 2012:
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston

Our cover story this month was supposed to be a light-hearted Q+A with two old friends (and co-stars of the very funny new comedy Wanderlust) about love, sex, relationships, blah blah blah. So naturally Aniston and Rudd’s conversation with GQ’s Brett Martin started off with a frank discussion of… death and decay. Whee!

Jennifer Aniston: We have one white shepherd, but I had another dog who died last year. We actually have three dead dogs on our mantel right now. The whole mantel is dead dogs. Their ashes. It’s kind of morbid.
Paul Rudd: Morbid would be the way that I first imagined it, with three dogs stuffed on your mantel.
Jennifer Aniston: Don’t think I didn’t think about it! Or hold his little paw and think, Would it be weird if I turned this into a key chain?

GQ: Do they do that?
Jennifer Aniston: No! It’s horrible! A terrible thing!

GQ: This is supposed to be a light, screwball conversation about relationships…
Paul Rudd: Wait, I’ve just got five more minutes on death. I have my father’s ashes…

GQ: We’re escalating here.
Paul Rudd: Most of them we scattered all over Ireland. Getting them there was a comedy show in and of itself. You think it’s hard to go through airport security with toothpaste…
Jennifer Aniston: How did you do it?
Paul Rudd: The security guy asked, “What’s in that Adidas bag?” “Um…my dad.”

[Photograph by Terry Richardson]

GQ June 2012: Michael Fassbender

If you know a lot about Michael Fassbender, you’re probably obsessed with him. If you know only a little about Michael Fassbender, it’s probably one thing in particular–that he’s well, ahem, represented in certain, ahem, places. What is it like simultaneously living with the mantle of being the next great actor of your generation and being reduced to a caricature of a single sex organ. GQ correspondent Chris Heath finds out in our cover story this month about the Irish actor and star of the upcoming Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s sort-of-prequel to Alien. Below, an excerpt. Click here for the full story. And here for more scorching photos of Fassbender from Mario Testino.

In the middle of the room is a mini Ping-Pong table, borrowed from his British agent, who lives nearby. “Now that it’s here,” says Fassbender, “it’s not going. This table has been the best contribution for fun I’ve had in a long time. This table has seen some action…” He pauses, laughs. “That sounds wrong.”

But has it? I say, gently pushing.

“Just the paddles,” he deflects, and of course he then realizes that this sounds wrong, too, in exactly the same way.

No matter. Just an inconsequential bit of innuendo. Except that right now, and ever since the release of Shame, I’m not sure that in the life of Michael Fassbender there is such a thing as an inconsequential bit of innuendo. For every person who actually saw the movie, and Fassbender’s monumental, unflinching portrayal of a man lost in the abyss of his unappeasable sexual appetite, there are dozens more who only know it as the movie in which he shows absolutely everything. And so, for the past few months Fassbender has been cast adrift in a shoreless ocean of innuendo. It has been relentless. He has been required to smile through endless hilarious penis-joke interviews. (Here’s a representative example, from the prime-time British boys-and-cars TV show Top Gear: “You had to do, let’s be honest, a full-frontal nude scene—was it hard?” Next, the pithy follow-up remark: “I mean, this was an impressive sausage….”) He has been required to grin appreciatively at playful public mockery from his peers. (Most notably, George Clooney’s speech at this year’s Golden Globes: “Michael, honestly, you can play golf…with your hands behind your back.”) And he has been required—this really happened—to identify a series of screen shots of famous penises in the movies. (Twice. Both times on MTV. The second time while standing on an awards-show red carpet.)

All of this he has done with apparent good humor, at least if you don’t try to read too much into his body language or the way his eyes shift or the flickering edges of his smile. Next to all that, what’s a gentle double entendre about sex on a very small Ping-Pong table? Go with it.

“Paddles,” he repeats. “And balls.”

And he grins, exactly as you would grin if you found this funny, though it’s easy to understand why he also says, “So it starts.”

Introducing GQ’s October 2011 Cover Man

Hot damn, is it just us or is Leo lookin’ positively feral right now? Head over to GQ.com for an excerpt from our Leonardo DiCaprio cover story (a Q+A with him and his J Edgar director Clint Eastwood) plus a bunch more photos. From the man himself:

“My introduction to acting in films was with De Niro in This Boy’s Life. When I got the part I was 15, and somebody said, ‘Do you realize who you’re gonna work with?’ I said, 'Yeah, I guess.’ And they said, 'No, no, no. Go watch all of his films, and then go see these people’s films.’ So I obsessively watched films on VHS, and I remember feeling so overwhelmed by what had been done in cinema already. Watching a young Brando or James Dean or Montgomery Clift, I was like, Oh, my God, how can anyone ever hope to achieve that type of greatness?”

See the rest here.

Matt Damon Is Wicked Smaht

Our current GQ cover fella, shown here lifting cartoonishly large weights like a boss, is annoyingly good at everything— acting, being an Internet meme, and talking to “ailing Siberian tigers” (seriously, it happens in his new movie!). One thing he’s notoriously not so good at: letting himself be profiled in magazines. Writers always try to get him to spill secrets about himself–not gonna happen–and so when that fails, they have no Plan B. So GQ’s Amy Wallace tried a different approach: getting others to talk about him first. Read the full piece here. A choice cut below:

[Soderbergh] calls Damon “probably the least vain person in his position"—meaning movie star—"out there. He has no interest in protecting any sort of idea of himself as an actor.”

What he does have, however, is an interest in using his power as an actor to champion the underdog and right what he perceives to be wrong. He has thrown his full weight (and his money) behind a charity, Water.org, that seeks to provide sources of clean water to the Third World. Over the years, he has spoken up about public-school teachers (he supports them), the middle class (he thinks they’re getting the shaft), and President Obama (he feels he’s not delivering on his promise). At the White House Correspondents’ dinner this year, Obama responded directly, saying, “Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau…”

Damon tells me he didn’t see that speech live but got thirty e-mails from friends the next morning and watched the president’s remarks online. “I have to say, it was pretty funny,” he says, getting in his own dig: “Whoever came up with it, it was a terrific joke.”

[Photograph by Ben Watts]

GQ’s Comic Genius of the Year: Louis CK

Few comics have ever had a better year than this guy. On top of another killer stand-up special, Louis CK pulled off something unprecedented in television: the perfect season. The second season of his FX series, Louie, didn’t have a single less-than-great episode. To pay tribute, we got one of his most memorable guest stars from the season: Joan Rivers. Her full piece is here. A taste below:

Judging from the way he dresses, I’m not sure Louis C.K. ever reads GQ, but just in case he picks this up by mistake during one of his late night newsstand porno runs, here’s my advice:

Dear Louis:

Here’s the good news, kid: You’re here to stay. The bad news? Your chosen life’s work, comedy, is a steaming shithole of cruelty and degeneracy owned and operated by deranged, unattractive thieves. Ignore them. Push forward. Play by your rules and KEEP GOING. Wear blinders if necessary, but KEEP GOING. Don’t let other people tell you what’s funny. Don’t read your reviews— the bad ones hurt too much and the good ones make you weak. It’s all about ego and the moment you start to think you’re wonderful, it’s over—you’ve peaked.

[Photograph by Martin Schoeller]