Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss, Sept. 7, 2006

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER FILM FESTIVAL. I'm not complaining - I wasn't then, either - since the film festival has always been pretty much the only week every year where I got to do as much portrait work as I wanted to the rest of the year. 2006 was even more busy than previous years, while the next year would be my busiest ever at the free daily. I wish I'd known at the time the opportunity I was being given.

My first subject was Carrie-Anne Moss, who'd rocketed to stardom with the Matrix films a few years earlier and was at the festival promoting either Fido or Snow Cake, or both. Moss was probably at the zenith of her career at the time - though she's kept working pretty consistently since then, even finding herself a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing a recurring character across the franchise's TV series.

Carrie-Anne Moss, Sept. 7, 2006

I got access to names like Moss thanks to the free daily, and my editor Jodi's decision to make celebrity entertainment coverage a big part of its package. Previously, working for NOW magazine, I might have occasionally been assigned a movie star, but the emphasis was on art films and directors. Today, access to big names is far more restricted; I don't think publicists were ever enamoured with putting their talent in front of a random selection of photographers in the midst of a hectic press day, and with fewer big publications (but a lot more small, internet-based ones) they've rationed access like this to only the biggest.

For her part, Moss was a more than cooperative subject. Once I'd found my spot of light - easier to find now, after a couple of years shooting at the Intercontinental on Bloor - it was simply a matter of framing her up close and letting Moss engage the persona that had made her a star: A mature woman, smart and able to beguile with a direct look that made you feel like you might be allowed into her confidence, provided you proved worthwhile. Another example of a portrait that works mostly because the subject knew how they looked, and met my camera at least halfway.

Carrie-Anne Moss, Sept. 7, 2006

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