GQ Men of The Year 2004

Covers: Tom Cruise, James Gandolfini, Jude Law

Portfolio: A Year of Memorable Men

Exclusive Poll: The State of The American Man

War Stories: The Men of The Iraqi Occupation

Fashion: Designer of The Year Helmut Lang

Profile: Chef Jean-Georges Is Overcooked

Plus: Five Women Who Made Life Worth Living In '04

Nov 15, 2004, 00:00 ET from GQ

    NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ --
     GARDEN STATE WARRIOR: James Gandolfini, by Chris Heath, page 303 -- This
 year, James Gandolfini's character, Tony Soprano, went deeper than we ever
 thought he would.  And yet the actor who plays this man we know so well has
 remained a mystery -- at least until now.  Writer-at-large Chris Heath settles
 in with the GQ Man of the Year for a candid conversation about life, death,
 and a guy called "T."
     SCREEN SAVER: Jude Law, by Chris Norris, page 307 -- Jude Law had it easy.
 All he had to do was keep looking good and stay the course.  Instead, Law
 chose to display mad range and courage in three first-rate roles this year.
 Writer Chris Norris talks to the wildly deserving GQ Man of the Year about
 how, exactly, he does what he does.
     BORN AGAIN: Tom Cruise, by Lucy Kaylin, page 312 -- In 2004, Tom Cruise,
 the biggest star we've ever had, showed that he can still surprise us.  In
 doing so, he proved to be even greater than we thought.  Features editor Lucy
 Kaylin talks to Cruise about his commitment to Scientology and what it really
 feels like to be Tom Cruise.
     TEAMSTERS:  Detroit Pistons, page 318 -- In an ode to his home team and
 this year's NBA champs, Kid Rock explains the Motor City's madness: "Too often
 these days, whoever has the most money has the best team. But the Pistons
 shattered that notion.  The 2004 finals proved that you can have the two best
 players in the world, but if there's not a sense of family and friendship
 there, then it's just not the same."
     LIFE OF THE PARTY:  Barack Obama, page 320 -- Unruffled in the biggest
 speech of his life, Barack Obama took the podium at this year's Democratic
 National Convention and unified the party. By the time he'd finished, his fate
 was sealed as the man who would deliver a miracle.
     BOSSMAN: Donald Trump, page 321 -- This year, Trump's name has been on
 everything, in slabs of reflective gold that always seem slightly too big. How
 did he get millions of people to watch MBAs market toothpaste?  We think maybe
 it's because he manages to be both obscene and likable at the same time.
     INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY: Gael Garcia Bernal, page 322 -- At 26, Gael
 Garcia Bernal is becoming Mexico's version of an early-70's Al Pacino -- the
 actor whose mere presence in a movie certifies that this is where the action
     COMEBACK KID: Quentin Tarantino, page 324 -- In 2004, after seven years
 spent hiding out in Hollywood, the Kill Bill director embarked on twelve
 months of parties, film fests, and shilling Bill.
     CULTURE MULCHERS: Kanye West and Danger Mouse, page 327 -- Danger Mouse is
 the laid-back genius who melded Jay-Z's The Black Album with the Beatles' The
 White Album to create The Grey Album, a bootleg masterpiece. Kanye West is the
 Roc-a-Fella producer who went platinum as an MC on The College Dropout. The
 two wax wise on the state of music in 2004.
     FUNKMASTER: Prince, page 327 -- Prince's 2004 performance in Madison
 Square Garden was so good you had to hold onto something -- your seat, maybe,
 or the person next to you -- to keep yourself together.
     MEDAL HEAD: Michael Phelps, page 329 -- Think of Michael Phelps as the
 Dark Angel of Athens: He swooped down, dove in, and took what he wanted --
 specifically, six gold medals in swimming.
     SUNDAY'S BEST: Tom Brady, page 329 -- Sometimes greatness is fitting
 squarely into a well-conceived system or scratching for two yards on second
 down to set up third and four instead of third and six-humble things that
 Brady, who has earned his place beside the NFL's best quarterbacks, does
 better than anyone else.
     BADASS: Ian McShane, page 331 -- It's not enough to say he's the best TV
 villain since J.R. Ewing; McShane's character, Al Swearengen, is the
 heart(lessness) and soul(lessness) of HBO's Deadwood.
     OFFICEMATE: Ricky Gervais, page 331 -- Gervais's tiny little British
 mockumentary The Office -- a spot-on look at middle-management buffoonery --
 is the funniest, most dead-on TV series in a long time.
     PRIDE OF THE COUNTY: Men of The OC, page 332 -- It's the women who make
 The OC a soap opera. But while the female characters are driving the plot all
 over kingdom come, it's the men of the show that make it so much fun to watch.
     "To Those We'd Like to Smack," pages 334 - 335 -- GQ lists the most
 scurrilous, scandalous, arrogant, overexposed, smackable men of the year, from
 Michael Bergin, Dan Rather, and Bill O'Reilly to Smarty Jones, Rick Salomon,
 Craig Kilborn, and Michael Powell.
     Kate Winslet, by Andrew Corsello, page 336 -- Perhaps it has something to
 do with her face -- that radiance and stillness that one usually sees only in
 paintings -- with the sense she imparts of coming from another time.  Whatever
 the case, the effect of Kate Winslet is unnerving, reports GQ writer-at-large
 Andrew Corsello.
     Uma Thurman, by Devin Friedman, page 339 -- In Kill Bill 2 we learn about
 a supersecret karate move known as the Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart
 Technique.  There is only one single person alive who can do it. GQ senior
 writer Devin Friedman notes that it is appropriate that the last woman who can
 explode a man's heart in his chest would be Uma Thurman.
     Maria Sharapova, by Jason Gay, page 339 -- The first time we heard about
 Maria Sharapova, 17 and straight outta Siberia, we thought: Nyet again, writes
 senior editor Jason Gay. We'd been suckered by this package before:  Russian,
 blond, beautiful.  But then we saw her play.
     Loretta Lynn, by Andy Ward, page 340 -- Lynn's voice, forty-five years
 after her first recording, is still borderline absurd in its purity and
 beauty. Her '04 collaboration with Jack White had the potential to be
 misbegotten and gimmicky, writes GQ executive editor Andy Ward. Instead it
 turned out to be the rarest thing in music these days:  a surprise.
     Gwen Stefani, by Brian Raftery, page 343 -- Gwen Stefani's solo album,
 Love. Angel. Music. Baby, reaffirms everything we love about the Orange County
 punkette:  a voice that melts between teasing charm and crackling sarcasm, and
 a seriously awesome record collection, writes associate editor Brian Raftery.
     EXCLUSIVE POLL:  "Who Is the Twenty-First Century Man?" pages 223 - 242 --
 In this exclusive GQ poll on the state of man in 2004, you will discover that
 he is an activist and a renegade, warrior and an icon.
     ACTIVIST: Russell Simmons, "The Believer," by Lisa DePaulo, page 244 --
 Russell Simmons has spent the past twenty-five years building a hip-hop empire
 worth billions; now he plans to spend the rest of his life giving much of it
 away in the name of democracy, reports GQ writer-at-large Lisa DePaulo.
     HUSTLER: Bob Berney, "How to Sell a Movie," by Robert Moritz, page 254 --
 Bob Berney takes films that no one will touch and reaps millions off them. The
 independent distributor (The Passion of the Christ, Monster) sits down with
 west coast editor Robert Moritz to explain the secrets of beating those
 major-studio schnooks at their own game.
     RENEGADE: Sean Thackrey, "Wino," by Charles Bowden, page 258 -- Sean
 Thackrey is a virtuosic one-man winery in Bolinas, California. GQ writer-at-
 large Charles Bowden visits Thackrey and discovers that apart from grapes,
 great wine has just one ingredient-the winemaker-and that's exactly why
 Thackrey's wine is so good.
     FUTURIST: Craig Venter, "The Next Big Thing," by Wil S. Hylton, page 267
 -- Craig Venter unraveled life's genetic code, making him a superstar in the
 world of science. GQ writer-at-large Wyl S. Hylton reconnects with Venter, who
 is preparing his next big move: creating new microorganisms that will cure
 diseases and make free energy.
     ICON: Dustin Hoffman, "Marathon Man," by Michael Hainey, page 273 -- Over
 five decades, Hoffman has created characters that show us what it means to be
 a man. This year, at 67, he roared back with roles in I Heart Huckabees and
 Meet the Fockers that showed us he never stopped being great, reports deputy
 editor Michael Hainey.
     THE WAR: "Dispatches from a Disaster," by Jeffrey Gettleman, page 284 --
 New York Times correspondent Jeffrey Gettleman saw street battles with Marines
 and was kidnapped by militants. Gettleman looks back on the year in Iraq and
 the unraveling of the occupation.
     "What I Did in Iraq" pages 288 -298 -- GQ presents a collection of
 personal stories about the war in Iraq as told by the soldiers, policymakers,
 businessmen, volunteers, and journalists who fought it, were held hostage by
 it, got rich off it, or otherwise lived to tell their harrowing tales.
     FOOD: "Stick a Fork in Jean-Georges," by Alan Richman, page 212 -- He was
 once the most innovative chef in America, and his early restaurants, such as
 Vong, revolutionized dining.  But after he hatched Spice Market and a string
 of mediocre joints, GQ writer-at-large Alan Richman wonders: is Jean-Georges
 Vongerichten cooked?
     THE BODY, pages 169-180 -- GQ looks at the longest marathon, the deepest
 water, and the fastest car crash that a body can handle in this month's look
 at amazing bodies of 2004.  From the first man to climb the Biographie
 Extension in France to Justin Gatlin, the world's fastest man, these ten men
 make the extraordinary look easy and tell us how they survive.
     THE VERGE, pages 183-218 -- The 2004 most overrated, underrated, and so
 overrated they've become underrated.  Are you a Kobe guy or a Shaq guy;
 Hallelujah! Judas Priest screams again; rock music you can dance to;
 affliction of the moment: the BlackBerry; Tom Selleck vs. a housecat; the
 other brain behind Saturday Night Live; GQ picks the ten best albums of 2004,
 from Kanye West to Loretta Lynn.  Plus the compilations, reissues, and unknown
 pleasures that you should buy, borrow, or somehow get your hands on.
     THE CRITIC: "Recovering Catholic Fights Back," by Tom Carson, page 207 --
 National Magazine Award winner and GQ writer-at-large Tom Carson examines
 Pedro Almodovar's audacious new film, Bad Education, where Spain's greatest
 director takes on choirboys, drag queens, and the dark secrets of the Church.
     APPRECIATION: "The Master," as remembered by GQ creative director Jim
 Moore page 218 -- Photographer Richard Avedon (1923 - 2004) shot some sixty GQ
 covers, from Michael Caine (his first) to Michael Jordan (his last), and
 helped establish the very identity of what it means to look "very GQ."
 Following Avedon's passing, creative director Jim Moore remembers the
 legendary photographer.
     OPEN LETTER, page 372 -- In this month's open letter, GQ offers some
 self-help advice to Dr. Phil:  stop patronizing us, stop being so trite and so
 creepy, and consider a vow of silence.
     DESIGNER OF THE YEAR:  Helmut Lang, by Lucy Kaylin, page 344 -- How is it
 that the man who nailed a formula for perfect clothes from jeans to suits
 never fails to surprise?  Blame it on the quiet genius that is Helmut Lang.
     MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:  Usher, pages 348-355 -- No man lit up the night
 this year like Usher.  In an eight-page photo spread, the tireless showman
 pulls on the season's best and boldest threads and does the evening right.
     "The (Real) Reason Men Ski," featuring Jeremy Bloom, pages 356-365 --
 Yeah, the powder, the jumps, and the back bowls are all good, but as pro skier
 Jeremy Bloom shows us, sometimes it's all that mountain-friendly gear -- or
 lack thereof -- that really draws us to the slopes.
     STYLEBOOK, pages 87 - 116 -- Man of the Moment: actor Don Cheadle; how to
 pull off leather pants; six soothing solutions for razor burn; how to pack for
 the perfect ski trip this fall; trend spotting: snorkel parkas; GQ Style Guy
 Glenn O'Brien solves your sartorial conundrums; more.
     ROCK THE TUX:  GQ's Guide to Modern Black Tie, pages 119 - 130 --
 Formalwear, like real estate, employs a single golden rule: It is better to
 buy than rent.  GQ outlines four steps to perfecting the modern-day tuxedo.
 Plus ten do's and don'ts of formalwear and four new ways to wear a tux.
     GQ's Best Stuff of the Year, pages 139 - 158 -- The gadgets, gear, tools,
 and accessories that will change your life from tech and tools to sports and