Trailblazers
of the
New Normal

October 6, 2021

Featuring

Zazie Beetz

The WIF Max Mara Face of the Future Award®

Zazie Beetz

The WIF Max Mara Face of the Future Award®

The German-born American actress Zazie Beetz is best known for her co-lead role as Donald Glover’s on-and-off-again girlfriend Vanessa in FX Networks’ Golden Globe winning series “Atlanta.” The show, which premiered its second season in March 2018, earned Beetz an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and will return for a highly anticipated season three in 2021. The critically acclaimed series has also scored an early season four pickup by FX.

Currently, Beetz stars alongside Winston Duke in the Sony Pictures Classics feature NINE DAYS, an existential fantasy that ponders purgatory, the afterlife, and the fate of unborn souls. The Edson Oda directorial debut feature released in theaters nationwide on August 6, 2021, with The New York Times signifying Duke and Beetz as delivering “performances of the ages.” The film first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and earned a nomination for the coveted Grand Jury Prize at the festival. The ensemble cast also includes Bill Skarsgård, Benedict Wong, and David Rysdahl.

Next, Beetz will star as the infamous Stagecoach Mary in the first-ever all Black American Western feature film from Netflix, THE HARDER THEY FALL. Beetz stars alongside Jonathan Majors leading an all-star ensemble cast which includes Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, Damon Wayans Jr., and Danielle Deadwyler, among others. The Jeymes Samuel-directed debut feature film will open the 2021 London Film Festival before releasing in theaters and on Netflix on November 3, 2021.

Later next year, Beetz will appear in the highly-anticipated Columbia Pictures action film BULLET TRAIN, directed by David Leitch. Beetz will appear alongside an ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Joey King, and Brian Tyree Henry, among others. The film is currently slated to release in theaters on April 8, 2022.

In 2019, Beetz appeared in the Oscar-winning DC Comics’ thriller JOKER alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro. The film premiered in competition at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, where it won the coveted Golden Lion Award, before receiving 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Recently, Beetz returned to the television screen in Jordan Peele’s anthology reboot of “The Twilight Zone” on CBS All Access. She appeared in the season finale, which premiered on May 30, 2019.

Among Beetz’s recent film credits include: Amazon’s SEBERG, Fox Searchlight’s LUCY IN THE SKY, Annapurna’s WOUNDS, Netflix’s HIGH FLYING BIRD, Marvel Studios’ blockbuster DEADPOOL 2 opposite Ryan Reynolds, A24’s SLICE opposite Chance the Rapper, and SOLLERS POINT.

Beetz is a native New Yorker.

Hannah Einbinder

Crystal Award
with Jean Smart

Hannah Einbinder

Crystal Award
with Jean Smart

Hannah Einbinder has quickly established herself as a highly sought-after actress and comedian. She can currently be seen starring in the HBO Max comedy series “Hacks,” opposite Jean Smart, as Ava, a young comedy writer who, after a Twitter controversy, lands the only job she can find: writing for legendary stand up comic Deborah Vance (Smart) in Las Vegas. Einbinder and the show’s critical acclaim earned them a renewal for season two, with Entertainment Weekly noting, “Einbinder, an L.A.-based stand-up comic tackling her first leading role, is immensely appealing as Ava. With her precision timing and bored California drawl, the actress brings such compelling confidence to her entitled, condescending character that it’s all the more effective when Ava finally begins to face some hard truths about herself.” Einbinder’s performance in “Hacks” earned her a few nominations including Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy at the HCA TV Awards, and Comedy Supporting Actress at the GoldDerby TV Awards.

Though the series marks Einbinder’s first major television role, she is no stranger to the comedy world and has owned the stage as a stand-up comedian at venues and festivals around the country. She was named one of Variety‘s “10 Comics to Watch for 2021,” a 2019 New Face of Comedy at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs comedy festival, and was also highlighted as one of Vulture‘s “Comics to Watch of 2019,” cementing herself as one of the wittiest emerging talents in the industry. Einbinder has opened for Chelsea Handler, Dana Gould, Demetri Martin, and Reggie Watts, to name a few. She recently made her network television debut performing stand-up on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award

Jane Fonda is a two-time Academy Award winning actor (Best Actress in 1971 for KLUTE and in 1978 for COMING HOME), author, activist, and fitness guru. Her career has spanned over 50 years, accumulating a body of film work that includes over 45 films and crucial work on behalf of political causes such as women’s rights, Native Americans, and the environment. She is a seven-time Golden Globe® winner and was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2021, Honorary Palme d’Or honoree, 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award winner, and the 2019 recipient of the Stanley Kubrick Excellence in Film Award as part of BAFTA’s Britannia Awards. Fonda will next be seen in the seventh and final season of “Grace & Frankie,” which will be Netflix’s longest running original series. It is for her work on the series that she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017. She was last seen on the big screen in Paramount’s comedy BOOK CLUB, in which she starred alongside Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen. Fonda also premiered JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS, a documentary for HBO chronicling her life and activism, at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special in 2019. Jane celebrated her 80th birthday by raising $1 million for each of her nonprofits, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and The Women’s Media Center. Currently, Jane is leading the charge on Fire Drill Fridays, a national movement to protest government inaction on climate change. her latest book, What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action details her personal journey with the movement and provides solutions for communities to combat the climate crisis, and was released last Fall via Penguin Press.

Siân Heder

Crystal Award
with Marlee Matlin

Siân Heder

Crystal Award
with Marlee Matlin

Siân Hder grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a family of visual artists. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she works as a writer, director, and showrunner. Her most recent work includes executive producing and co-showrunning “Little America” for Apple TV+ and directing CODA. She wrote and produced for three seasons on the acclaimed Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” receiving multiple WGA nominations for her work.

Her other television credits include “Men of a Certain Age,” which earned her a Peabody Award. She has directed episodes of Netflix’s “GLOW” and “Orange Is the New Black,” Hulu’s “The Path,” and “Little America.” Her first short film, MOTHER, was awarded the Cinéfondation Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Her debut feature film, TALLULAH, starring Elliot Page and Allison Janney, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released as a Netflix original.

Ashley Levinson

Crystal Award
with Zendaya

Ashley Levinson

Crystal Award
with Zendaya

Ashley Levinson is an American film producer and a co-founder of Little Lamb Productions. Founded alongside Sam Levinson and Kevin Turen, Little Lamb is best known for the HBO series “Euphoria,” starring Zendaya, who received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role. Along with Turen, Levinson also produced the feature PIECES OF A WOMAN (2021), directed by Kornél Mundruczó, and starred Vanessa Kirby, who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance. In the middle of 2020, Little Lamb produced MALCOLM & MARIE (2021), starring Zendaya and John David Washington. The film was one of the first to have been written, shot safely, and released within the pandemic and portions of the film’s proceeds from its record-breaking sale to Netflix were donated to Feeding America.

In 2020, Levinson was featured in Variety‘s 10 Producers to Watch List and The Hollywood Reporter‘s Producer Roundtable in 2021. She serves as an Executive Producer on BOMBSHELL (2019), THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD (2021), and Co-Executive Producer on QUEEN & SLIM (2019), and A24’s THE GREEN KNIGHT (2020), starring Dev Patel. Her other producing credits include several projects with HBO, including “The Idol” starring The Weeknd, “Irma Vep” starring Alicia Vikander, and “Ohio,” an adaptation of the book by Stephen Markley. Most recently, Levinson is a producer on 892, a veteran drama feature starring John Boyega.

Anointed by The Hollywood Reporter as “a Sundance darling and veteran of Soho House’s executive team,” and named one of Elle‘s 2012 Women in Hollywood Power List, Levinson started her career in entertainment before moving into fashion, real estate, and performing arts before returning to entertainment. In 2009, Levinson joined the Soho House Group where she created and led artistic programming in art, fashion, music, film, performance art, dance, and literary events across New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Toronto, and Berlin; overseeing marketing, press, and partnerships. Following Soho House, she worked as Head of Alumni Relations department at Sundance Institute, where she developed and implemented strategic alumni relations to generate revenue, support the Institute story with press and artists, liaised with marketing, was responsible for talent programming, and led the Sundance Advisory Board. In 2014, Levinson served as the president of REX, a mobile app for sharing and curating cultural recommendations, until she was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Annapurna Pictures and subsequently BRON Studios in 2018, where she served as the Chief Strategy Officer until 2021.

Marlee Matlin

Crystal Award
with Siân Heder

Marlee Matlin

Crystal Award
with Siân Heder

Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her motion picture debut in CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, a performance the film community chose to recognize with its highest honor—the Academy Award for Best Actress. At age 21, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and one of only four actresses to receive that honor for a film debut. In addition to the Oscar, Matlin was honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama.

Matlin made her television debut starring alongside Lee Remick in “Bride to Silence.” She went on to star for two seasons in the series “Reasonable Doubts,” opposite Mark Harmon. She was twice nominated for both a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Dramatic Television Series, as well as the People’s Choice Award. Matlin was nominated for two Emmy Awards for her guest turns on “Seinfeld” and “Picket Fences.” She also starred in AGAINST HER WILL: THE CARRIE BUCK STORY, a movie for Lifetime Television for which she was nominated for a CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series. Matlin broke yet another barrier with the role, playing a character that was not Deaf. Matlin later returned to CBS’ “Picket Fences” for two seasons to reprise her Emmy-nominated role.

For seven seasons, Matlin starred opposite Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits, and Bradley Whitford as pollster Joey Lucas on the Emmy Award-winning series “The West Wing.” Matlin received her third Emmy nomination for her work on “The Practice,” and guest-starred on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” receiving her fourth nomination for her performance.

Matlin was an executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated short film FEELING THROUGH, which is the first film to feature a DeafBlind actor in a leading role.

Matlin’s New York Times best-selling autobiography I’ll Scream Later was published by Simon Spotlight, a division of Simon and Schuster, in April 2009. In addition, Matlin published a novel for children titled Deaf Child Crossing for Simon and Schuster.

Matlin has been instrumental in many activities that are aiding the Deaf and hard of hearing communities—this is the first year that all Academy screeners will have closed captions. She helped get legislation passed that mandated ASL interpreters be present at all COVID-19 press conferences. She also organized a PSA that included leaders in the Deaf and hard of hearing community that aided the 20 million Deaf and hard of hearing Americans in accessing resources on how to vote in the past elections.

She makes her home in the greater Los Angeles area with her husband and their four children.

Jean Smart

Crystal Award
with Hannah Einbinder

Jean Smart

Crystal Award
with Hannah Einbinder

Winner of three Emmys and an additional eight nominations, as well as a Tony® nomination, Grammy® nomination, and two Critics’ Choice Awards wins, Jean Smart recently received rave reviews for her performances as Deborah Vance in the HBO Max comedy “Hacks,” and as Helen Fahey in the HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown.” Both performances earned her 2021 Emmy nominations in the categories of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie, respectively. “Hacks” has been picked up for a second season that will air TBD in 2022.

Smart is currently in production with Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie on Academy Award winning director Damien Chazelle’s feature film BABYLON. Written and directed by Chazelle, the film is set in the late 1920s during the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies. An ode to Hollywood’s golden age, BABYLON explores the rise and fall of multiple characters. Paramount is planning a platform release, with a limited opening on December 25, 2022, before going wide on January 6, 2023.

“Hacks,” a ten episode single camera comedy project for HBO Max that premiered in May 2021, was created and written by “Broad City” alumni Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky, and executive produced by the trio alongside Michael Schur. The comedy explores a dark mentorship that forms between a Las Vegas diva (Smart) and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old. In addition to her Emmy nomination for this role, Smart has been nominated for Hollywood Critics Association Awards, Television Critics Association Awards, Gold Derby Awards, and honored with Comedy Performance of the Year by Just For Laughs Awards. Of her performance, reviewers have said: “Jean Smart Delivers Everything You Want and More,” IndiWire; “Smart has a lead role worthy of her prodigious intellect and ferocious delivery,” Variety; “…her starring role here allows her to finally showcase her wild versatility,” The Hollywood Reporter; “Her performance is so balanced and rich that it’s easily one of the best of her career,” AwardsWatch; “It’s impossible to watch ‘Hacks’ and not be in awe of the power that is Jean Smart,” Decider; “And Smart, the reigning Meryl Streep of tough broad types, excels at absolutely everything…. Only Jean Smart, kids,” EW.

In the HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown,” which premiered in April 2021, Smart portrayed Kate Winslet’s mother. The story focuses on a small-town Pennsylvania detective (Winslet) whose life crumbles around her as she investigates a local murder. In addition to her Emmy nomination, she has been nominated by the Hollywood Critics Association Awards for this performance.

In 2019, Smart received accolades for her role as Special Agent Laurie Blake alongside Regina King and Jeremy Irons in the HBO series “Watchmen,” based on the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name. She won the 2020 Critics Choice Award and received a 2020 Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in a Drama for this performance.

Also announced, Smart will star in and executive produce the feature film MISS MACY, directed and produced by Tate Taylor along with Amblin Partners. The movie is based on the true story of Trisha Mitchell Coburn, a small-town girl from Alabama who attended the Miss Macy charm school before being launched as a successful model. The indie, with a screenplay by Beth Henley, will portray Smart as the titular Miss Macy, an eccentric woman who sees something in the young Trisha and sets her on a path to success.

In November 2020, HBO Mac premiered the action-comedy SUPERINTELLIGENCE. Smart appeared alongside Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Ben Falcone, and James Corden. Some additional recent credits include Dan Fogelman’s LIFE, ITSELF with Olivia Wilde, Samuel L. Jackson, and Oscar Isaac, as well as Paul Feig’s A SIMPLE FAVOR, with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. She also appeared in the Bravo series “Dirty John,” starring alongside Connie Britton, Jake Abel, and Eric Bana.

During her career, Smart has showcased her talents alongside numerous top Hollywood actors including Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana in LUCKY YOU, Reese Witherspoon in SWEET HOME ALABAMA, Steve Martin in BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE, Mark Wahlberg in I HEART HUCKABEES, Zach Braff and Peter Sarsgaard in GARDEN STATE, Bruce Willis in THE KID, Robert De Niro and Martin Landau in MISTRESS, and Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in THE ODD COUPLE II.

Notably, she was seen starring alongside Anna Kendrick and Ben Affleck in director Gavin O’Connor’s THE ACCOUNTANT. Smart made her presence known on the big screen and garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her critically-acclaimed performance in the Miramax feature film GUINEVERE. On stage, she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Last Summer at Bluefish Cove and for a Tony Award for Best Actress for her starring role on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane in The Man Who Came to Dinner. In 2016, she also received a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for her work on Patience and Sarah.

On television, Smart guest starred on Noah Hawley’s FX series, “Legion.” She also starred as Floyd Gerhardt on the second season of Hawley’s acclaimed series “Fargo” on FX, for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Other recent film work includes HOPE SPRINGS with Meryl Streep, BARRY MUNDAY with Patrick Wilson and Judy Greer, YOUTH IN REVOLT with Michael Cera, the dark comedy MISS MEADOWS opposite Katie Holmes and James Badge Dale, and SENIOR MOMENT with William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd.

During the course of her career, Smart has won three Emmy Awards and received an additional six Emmy nominations. She has also won two Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and was nominated in 1999 for an Independent Spirit Award for her role in GUINEVERE, in 1981 for a Drama Desk Award for Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, and in 2000 for a Tony Award for her tole in The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Zendaya

Crystal Award
with Ashley Levinson

Zendaya

Crystal Award
with Ashley Levinson

Emmy Award winning actor Zendaya is one of the most prominent and influential names in the entertainment industry today. Born and raised in Oakland, California to two teachers, Zendaya grew up performing, having spent a lot of her time at the local theater where her mother worked. Zendaya launched her career as an actress on Disney Channel starring in the hit series “Shake It Up” for three seasons and “K.C. Undercover” for three seasons, which she also helped produce.

Zendaya moved to the big screen in 2017 where she played MJ alongside Tom Holland in Marvel’s newest SPIDER-MAN trilogy, with the final film SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME premiering in December 2021. Other credits include THE GREATEST SHOWMAN and animated film SMALLFOOT.

Most recently, Zendaya can also be seen as titular character Marie in Netflix’s MALCOLM & MARIE, a film she helped create and produce in the beginning of the pandemic. Zendaya also starred in HBO and A24’s “Euphoria,” for which she won an Emmy Award for her performance as Rue, making Zendaya the youngest woman to win an Emmy for lead drama actress. Zendaya can next be seen in Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated film DUNE, premiering October 2021, and season two of “Euphoria,” which is currently in production.

Outside of acting, Zendaya has established herself as a fashion authority. She has graced the covers of VogueMarie ClaireCR Fashion BookEssence, and InStyle, and is a regular red carpet favorite. Vogue has called her a “fashion chameleon at heart,” saying that, “she has demonstrated her versatility at events, always toeing the line between edgy and elegant without missing a beat.”

Zendaya launched her first fashion collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger titled TommyXZendays in Spring 2019 and is currently the face of Lancôme.

Hosted by

Jenny Yang

Hosted by

Jenny Yang

Jenny Yang is a former labor organizer turned stand up comedian, writer, and actor. In 2020 she was selected as one of Variety‘s “10 Comics to Watch” and Vulture‘s “Comedians You Should Know.”

Yang is a co-producer on HBO Max’s new television series “Gordita Chronicles,” executive produced by Eva Longoria, and has written for Fox’s “Last Man Standing,” starring Tim Allen, and E!’s late-night talk show “Busy Tonight” with Busy Philipps.

Taiwan-born and Southern California-raised, Yang used her platform to amplify issues around immigration, diversity and media representation, pop culture, intersectional feminism, and social justice. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Yang founded “Comedy Crossing,” a hit stand up comedy show held inside the “Animal Crossing” video game and watched live via Zoom. Since June 2020, the show has raised nearly $40,000 for #BlackLivesMatter-related causes.

Yang was honored by President Obama as a “White House Champion of Change” for her leadership in Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling in 2016.