Despite how borderline-sinister it looks – the isolation, the fog, the suicide hotspot behind me – I’m really pleased with how the photo from the Sun shoot turned out. Austin Hargrave flew in from LA (where he’d been photographing a director for Empire) to do the shoot, after David Lowe had already done the interview.
It could have been a total stitch-up; I knew that. The Sun had published this hit job on Michael’s company the previous week (c.f. this), so I could hardly be unaware of the risks. Then Hargrave (a Brit) showed up with a battered suitcase he’d bought before leaving LA. More interesting than my actual bag (which looks like this, but with black straps), he explained. This could get messy, I thought.
And so it was that I found myself first posing cross-legged on my bed at the Intercontinental, then out in the corridor – perched on the suitcase – and then finally driving twenty minutes out of town to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was windy as all hell and the reflector umbrella thing had to be weighed down with a succession of bags and boxes to avoid it ending up in the bay.
But for all of the potential for ridiculousness – me as a tragic Paddington Bear figure, ploughing a lonely furrow in the shadow of a suicide landmark – it turned out pretty great, for which I owe Hargrave a debt of gratitude. He was a lot of fun to work with as well: that helps.
As for the interview; that turned out pretty great too – especially given that Lowe and I talked for over an hour, starting at 2am. Even the obligatory Sunned-up quotes were funny…
“My mate and I then noticed loads of gorgeous women in black business suits.”
My “mate”, by the way, was Michael. Quelle ironie.