Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton, Toronto, Sept. 10, 2007

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER BEAUTY. I suppose I could rank my film festivals by the number of leading actresses I was able to photograph, since you can measure your access and status by how many movie stars you photograph who come with hair and makeup people to make sure they look their best. If you don't have a reputation for taking flattering portraits of these people, it's likely your access will be more restricted, even for shoots that barely last a minute. In retrospect, 2007 would be my biggest year.

Newton had made her reputation over a decade earlier with films like Flirting, Interview with the Vampire and Jefferson in Paris, where she played Sally Hemings to Nick Nolte's Thomas Jefferson. If she was typecast as anything, it was the "smart beauty" - the love interest as defined by her native intelligence as her looks. (She would play Condoleezza Rice in Oliver Stone's W. a year later.)

Thandie Newton, Toronto, Sept. 10, 2007

Newton was at the festival promoting Run Fatboy Run, a comedy co-starring Simon Pegg and directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame - another smart beauty, whose love Pegg has to win back at the end of a story full of physical and emotional humiliation. Like many of the actors I photographed in my heyday, she has moved to premium cable for better roles, like the sentient robot Maeve on HBO's reboot of Westworld.

The combination of room and light at the Intercontinental on Bloor gave a monochrome effect to the portraits I shot there for the free daily, so I'm grateful to the makeup person who decided to put purple eye shadow on Newton. I've accentuated it in Photoshop to accent Newton's eyes - the sort of detail work I could only have dreamed about doing in the days of film photography, and as I said earlier, shoot like this are probably the peak of my portrait work for the free daily.

Thandie Newton, Toronto, Sept. 10, 2007

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