19. August 1998: Chuck Norris
Notable cover story excerpt: At 58, Norris is comfortable with the idea of growing older. “Sometimes I can see myself as an 85-year-old man with a walker, yelling ‘Halt!’”
Grade: C. It’s like, I know I should care? But I can’t care anymore.
18. Summer 1996: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Notable cover story excerpt: He grins impishly. “To me, it tastes great. I know your magazine is called Cigar Aficionado, but….” He shrugs, as if to say, he’s no expert; he just likes cigars.
Grade: C. More like SNOOZinator.
17. June 2004: Alec Baldwin
Notable cover story excerpt: “I look at Tom Cruise, and he is a fucking genius. He’s like Tiger Woods for me.”
Grade: C. [Sigh].
16. February 1999: John Travolta
Notable cover story excerpt: “Have a lobster,” Travolta says, holding out the platter. “They’re very fresh. And Peter steams them just the way they do in Maine. Very simple.”
Grade: C+. No complaints, but…meh?
15. August 2005: Michael Jordan
Notable cover story excerpt: “Determination. Competitiveness. Design. Creativity. Style. Those are all the things that make up my personality.”
Grade: C+. Too goody-goody.
14. December 1997: Pierce Brosnan
Notable cover story excerpt: “There was an old lady in there, Mrs. Slanie, and when I would come home from school she would take care of me and bring me into her living room with chintz and all these knick-knacks and bric-a-brac. She had budgies (canaries), she had two of them, and I’d sit with her after school.”
Grade: B–. I mean, it’s fine? It’s just kind of what you expect from Pierce.
13. February 2006: Kiefer Sutherland
Notable cover story excerpt: None of it, because it’s an awkward, boring write-around. Way to phone it in, Kiefer.
Grade: B–. Only good part is the vampire jean jacket thing going on.
12. August 2008: Kevin Costner
Notable cover story excerpt: Ironically, Costner’s proudest moment in cinema remains the film that has been called his biggest misfire: Waterworld.
Grade: B. He may or may not be on a boat?
11. Winter 1996: Danny Devito
Notable cover story excerpt: Fortunately, DeVito has always been enormously popular with his crews, and the crew on Matilda quickly erected a special “smoking tent” for him outside the sound stage, outfitting it with chairs, a table, a telephone, plants and a large ashtray.
Grade: B. I’m nervous about that match.
10. April 2011: Matthew McConaughey
Notable cover story excerpt: His older brother, Rooster, did, in fact, name one of his sons Miller Lyte McConaughey. And there is a basis to the persistent rumor that McConaughey avoids revolving doors.
Grade: B+. Good saucy grin. Needs more moustache.
9. Summer 1995: Jack Nicholson
Notable cover story excerpt: But he admits to being “almost reclusive. I’m nocturnal. That’s why I like Batman. That’s why I like basketball, night comics and night games.”
Grade: B+. Sure, he comes across like a megalomaniacal, sexist prick in the article, but no one could accuse him of not giving that photo his fucking all.
8. October 2009: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Notable cover story excerpt: “Cougar? I’ve never heard that expression.”
Grade: B+. Sure, you look great, but where’s the cigar???
7. June 2009: Jay-Z
Notable cover story excerpt: Jay-Z’s own music has earned him the title of world’s best rapper—whether as Jay-Z or his alter egos, Jigga and J-Hova.
Grade: A–. Very soulful.
6. December 2004: Bill Murray
Notable cover story excerpt: “It was one of those productions where everyone was determined to be much more professional than the guy next to him—because no one wanted to be less professional than the elephant.”
Grade: A–. Stylish and delightful! Not even in an ironic way.
5. Spring 1996: Matt Dillon
Notable cover story excerpt: The limo is crawling down the street due to the crowds. “I’ve had enough of this,” Dillon says, feeling cooped up in the back of the car. He makes a quick move for the door. “I’m getting out. I wanna be out there in the city.”
Grade: A. (OMG Matt! So cheeky. Also peep that chest hair.)
4. June 2000: Kevin Bacon
Notable cover story excerpt: “Jane I got from a pound in Martha’s Vineyard. It was summer. Everybody wants a dog, and she was there and she was perfect. I took her out and walked her around in a circle and I was like, ‘This is the dog.’”
Grade: A. There’s a DOG in the photo, you guys.
3. Autumn 1996: Demi Moore
Notable cover story excerpt: Moore makes a point, on all her films, of providing free massages for all crew members.
Grade: A. Girl’s got swag.
2. July/August 2013: Jeff Bridges
Notable cover story excerpt: “My granddaughter calls me ‘Dude-pa.’ It’s been shortened to Doody—I hope like Howdy Doody, not dog doody.”
Grade: A+. Bad. Ass.
1. February 1998: Denzel Washington
Notable cover story excerpt: He’s finished a delicious brunch in which he has counted no fat grams, cared not a whit about cholesterol counts.
Grade: A+. That hat. That pose. THAT STARE.