Portraits of the stars

From a fascinating interview with star photographer Platon on what he's learned from his subjects.

When Platon's exuberance got the better of him and he asked if Al Pacino could recreate the late scene from The Godfather II where he's in the garden...Pacino leaned forward, touched him on the knee, and went, shhhhhh. Then he took on Michael Corleone for about 30 seconds. "I'm the only person to photograph Pacino as Michael Corleone," Platon says proudly.

On Keanu Reeves: "I'm not sure if this guy's really shy or really dim." He incessantly asked Platon, "What's my motivation?"

"No sex please, we're British," is apparently a well-known bit of Brit self-deprecation that Platon felt related to the following story about shooting Monica Bellucci, who he describes as one of the three sexiest women alive. He was in the dressing room talking with her before the shoot and mid-conversation she drops her towel and asks her gorgeous Italian assistants to rub baby oil "all over her curves" so she could slide into the skin-tight dress she'd chosen. "She knew exactly what she was doing," Platon insists. At the end of the shoot he asked to have a photo shot with her for his scrapbook, and, getting a little cheeky and no doubt intoxicated by her closeness he warned her, "I'm a married man." She whispered in his ear ("I can still feel her warm breath on my neck"), "Don't worry darling, I'm married too."

Benicio Del Toro: "No one touches the hair."

Platon on Matt Damon, who is "really nice, but a little square": "I had to help him look cooler than he really was."

On Christopher Walken, in the understatement of the night: "Now this guy is weird." Walken showed up for a shoot at Platon's house an hour early (unprecedented), alone (un-heard-of), and wearing black elastic pants pulled up to his armpits (what do you expect). He walked through the studio, straight into Platon's kitchen and started going through the cabinets. Platon, a little confused, asked him if he was hungry, and could he get him something to eat? "No," Walken replied, and kept opening cabinet doors. His advice on life? "It helps if you drink." The only way he would let Platon shoot his portrait? "You're going to say 'Chris' and I'm going to look at you and then I'm going to look away." "We did that for two hours," Platon says.


Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! I love the bit on Christopher Walken - what an odd man! And the part with Monica Bellucci - hehe, brilliant

Trebuchet said...

On K. Reeves: Dim. Most definitely dim.

What a great post. Gotta read that article!

Anonymous said...

I just spend the last hour on Palton's site. Beautiful and fabulously real. Bill Clinton's crotch shot is funny.