This is not on our list of things we thought we'd see Angelia Jolie posing with http://t.co/tDp4Do6nsJ pic.twitter.com/dmKxEyDmkh— New York Post (@nypost) September 3, 2015
George Holz’s new book was going to be called “25 Years of Portraits.”
Unfortunately, that was five years ago, and it took the famed celebrity photographer an extra half-decade to sort through all the images.
So now you’ll have to look for “Holz Hollywood: 30 Years of Portraits” (DAAB Media), out Sept. 15.
Holz, 58, worked as Helmut Newton’s assistant early on. He’s since shot for Italian Vogue, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, as well as for numerous ad campaigns.
For the book, Holz, who lives on an upstate farm near Phoenicia and maintains a studio in the city, dug through 15 large filing cabinets looking for the right shots.
The result is a collection of A-list images — many of which are outtakes that haven’t been published before.
“For a magazine, [usually] they’re looking for something where the person is beautiful and the clothes are perfect. Nothing too sexy or edgy,” Holz says. “I was after something more personal, more caught-off-guard, where the person looks interesting or sexier.”
Here are the stories behind some of the images from his book.
Brad Pitt, 1991
“I’m an avid fly fisherman,” says Holz, whose agent asked him to shoot “this young actor who’d been in ‘Thelma & Louise,’ ” while he was in Montana where Pitt was filming “A River Runs Through It.” “It was just him and his parents and his dog, Deacon. We kind of hung out all day fishing. I gave him some pointers, and I think that’s my rod in the photo. We didn’t catch anything. We might have spooked the fish. There was no stylist, no hair and makeup. He was handsome, rugged and articulate. He was like a young Robert Redford.”
Angelina Jolie, 1998
“She was probably a bit more of a wild child at that point . . . this fireball of wonderful energy. She had no entourage,” he says of this picture shot for People magazine. “We were shooting at Primal Light Studio in Chelsea, and we passed through the kitchen and there was this big kitchen knife, and she picked it up. Angelina was not afraid. I wasn’t worried that she was going to cut herself; that didn’t cross my mind. She’s an edgy person. I don’t think the editor was around for this. She would have had a heart attack.”
Donald Trump, 1999
“He wasn’t what you’d expect. He was not so much that strong presence you see on TV. He was very meticulous. We set up in his board room, it was literally 15 minutes. He arrived exactly on time. He was a professional and cordial. He came kind of hair- and makeup-ready. There wasn’t a lot of fussing with that on set. He was considering running for president back then. He’s an entertainer.”
Melania Knauss (Trump), 2000
“This was a really good angle for her,” says Holz of his shot for FHM magazine, which provided the skimpy outfit. “If Donald Trump does become president, I was thinking that Melania would be the first first lady to have done a lingerie shoot. Melania is drop-dead gorgeous and had no insecurities. She was really smart, very European and elegant.”
Monica Lewinsky, 2000
Just two years after news of President Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky first broke, the former White House intern posed for Holz at 2 a.m. on Greenwich Street, near the building where they both had apartments. “She lived across the hall. She would come over and borrow the fax machine or a cup of sugar,” says Holz. “She was very personable. She liked hanging out with the kids that lived in the building. People felt very protective of her. She had her handbag business at the time.” Of the shoot, he says, “We just went up to the Meatpacking District. I think that was the stylist’s personal coat. I lit it with the street light, and it felt like Versailles back in the ’30s.”
Bebe Neuwirth, 2003
“This was shot down at the 1st Precinct on Ericsson Place. Bebe loves New York and wanted to do something to honor the police after 9/11. She’s so tiny and petite, this horse just dwarfed her. There was something so magical about that moment. That image always stuck with me as one of my favorites. A funny thing happened afterward. I was in my downtown studio and there was a knock at the door, and here’s this handsome policeman [from the photo] who’s ridden over on a horse. My assistant thought I did something wrong, but he wanted to look at the pictures we shot. Only in New York will you have a horse tied up outside your studio.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1997
“This was a loft location, and they had this beautiful blue Mediterranean wall, and her blue eyes just popped. She was very elegant, like a cross between Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren. Had this shot run in a magazine, they might have retouched-out her nipple. But this is a book and a work of art. I didn’t want to do a lot of retouching. Skin, wrinkles — it all stays in. I’m old school.”
Carly Simon, 1995
“This was shot at her house in Martha’s Vineyard. We were there most of the day, and she was playing ‘You’re So Vain’ on the piano. Chills were going up my spine. The first thing that struck me was her magnetic and mesmerizing smile. I shot two entire rolls of still lifes of her amazing lips. This shot was very spontaneous. She was having lobster for dinner, so she thought she’d bring a live lobster into the tub with her. I’ve shot other people in the bathtub before, and usually the bubbles cover [their breasts]. Not the case here. She was very beautiful and sensual. I remember seeing her on those early album covers. She was very comfortable and we were having fun.”
Taylor Swift, 2008
“I think she was 19 when I photographed her. She was living in Nashville, and she’d come up to New York City. We were downtown on Broadway just north of Houston. She was looking out the window, and she looked over her shoulder. It seemed like a wonderful, innocent time. She didn’t seem overwhelmed by the city. I knew she was going to be a force to be reckoned with. I could just tell. She had a confidence and comfort level. You could sense that drive. She had the body of a supermodel and a work ethic. People and the camera just loved her.”