Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jacinda Barrett

Jacinda Barrett, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2006

IT WAS A BUSY MONDAY, AND IN MY MEMORY IT WAS BARELY A MINUTE after Rachel Bilson had left the hotel room before Jacinda Barrett walked in and introduced herself. Chris, the writer, and I must have visibly reacted because the first words out of her mouth were:

"Yeah, I know - tall, right?"

Indeed, she was tall where Bilson had been tiny - an Australian and a former model who had become famous as part of the cast of MTV's Real World: London ten years previous and turned that into a springboard for a movie career. There had been a few small films and a couple of slasher pics before she landed a prestige role supporting Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman in the movie adaptation of Philip Roth's The Human Stain.

Jacinda Barrett, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2006

That was followed by the Bridget Jones sequel and Wolfgang Petersen's remake of The Poseidon Adventure before the film that brought her to Toronto on this day - a remake of an Italian romantic comedy directed by her co-star Zach Braff, with Bilson making up the third leg of a triangle. Since I was already in place to take a photo, it was a simple matter of having Barrett step into the spot where Bilson had just stood for a quick portrait shoot.

Her model's training made Barrett even more at ease in front of the camera, and it didn't take much to coax a little performance from her. It was one of those shoots that you knew had worked before it was over. Neither of the shots above would have looked like this when I handed them into the free daily; I would have been asked what was wrong with my camera if the top shot had such a warm ochre cast, and there was no way I could have submitted anything in black and white.

Bilson has continued to have a career in movies and on TV, where she recently had the lead role in Bloodline, a Netflix series. She also played a recurring character in Suits, alongside her husband Gabriel Macht, which burnished her celebrity status by putting the couple on the guest list for the recent royal wedding.

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