Empire's 'Iconic Performances Recreated' Nostalgic Photo Shoot
Empire released their 20th anniversary issue back in April, which you may remember because they had all sort of brilliant photo debuts and exclusives. The main reason they were able to pull off so much is because they had Steven Spielberg guest editing that issue. Well, one of the features in that issue was a photo shoot where they recreated iconic performances using the actual actor. It's not as complicated as it sounds, as you can simply see by looking at any of these photos, but it is pretty brilliant. We saw a lot of these back in April when they first hit, but now Empire has debuted an entire gallery of photos. You need to check these out!
I've pulled some of my favorites above and you can click any them to be taken to the gallery on Empire. As Dave Chen from SlashFilm points out, there's some minor discussion worth having over whether the role they chose to feature for each specific actor was truly their most iconic role. Then again, maybe it had to do with what would look good on camera and what could be recreated quickly (as in, with the actor wearing a suit and using minimal props). I just think these are very cool to look at and quite nostalgic for anyone who loves any of these actors. Plus, I'm happy to see Vanity Fair isn't the only one doing creative photo shoots!
Reader Feedback - 35 Comments
Saw them today. Arnold still looks like he could be in Commando 2. The one who was really out of place was Gerald Butler. And Ben Stiller has really gotten an old droopy face since Zoolander.
Greedo on Dec 2, 2009
really, #1? the most out of place was definitely the harry potter folks...
crumb on Dec 2, 2009
i thought they all looked great
samuel j on Dec 2, 2009
The pegg/Frost one's are good...
Crapola on Dec 2, 2009
tom cruise should have been in a flight suit.
Batman on Dec 2, 2009
yea most of them seem to be theyre most iconic movies, except morgan freeman, should have been dressed up like ms daisys driver or in prison garb for shawshank. same with jack nicholson, cuckoos nest or taxi driver were more iconic roles
harrison on Dec 2, 2009
Nicholson wasn't in Taxi Driver
Chuck Norris on Dec 2, 2009
Who in his right mind would give Mel Gibson a sword these days...
Dreckent on Dec 2, 2009
I like the concept but I don't think they were well thought out or photographed well. Vanity Fair still takes the cake for awesome ideas and execution.
Traveler on Dec 2, 2009
I liked Sam Neil one with Jurassic park the best. Don't think 300 with Gerard was that iconic. Would of liked to see some homage to john hughes
rblitz7 on Dec 2, 2009
@8 Hahahaha. I thought the same thing when I saw that photo. Funny comment. Even though I'm sure both photos represented "American Psycho", I thought the first could be a representation of Batman (The second photo is an obvious homage to AP). In the first photo, the way the shadows are cast across the face almost feel like a mask that's hiding something deeper within. However, we all know that there was something sinister, dark, and hidden within the character of Patrick Bateman... Cool photo shoot. I agree with #2 Crumb. The Harry Potter photos felt out of place, but the films are iconic none-the-less (At least to my 11, 13, and 15 year old kids they are).
Quanah on Dec 2, 2009
Oh I'll give YOU nostalgia alright... Could you imagine a close-up on a certain SOMEBODY smiling ever so slightly holding up a single "JOKER" card w/ two fingers?... :/ too bad, that would've been awesome lol! Feels great to see Pegg&Frost again too :]
Toucmyinfection on Dec 2, 2009
nicholson's smile was perfect. bale should of held the axe with a grin too.
lego on Dec 2, 2009
(Daniel Radcliffe) and (Ben Stiller) have the worst look in the photos ....
Shero on Dec 3, 2009
Arnie looks good in the motobike from Terminator film. 🙂
Cineprog on Dec 3, 2009
poorly executed overall ... does not work for me. except morpheus. he knows whats goin on
benjoi on Dec 3, 2009
Morpheus is spot on. The rest is soso. Harry potter kids as iconic performances ? Any 10 year old could do their part.
Shige on Dec 3, 2009
saw some of them a few days ago.... matt damon's skin colour is... ehm, strange Oo
peter on Dec 3, 2009
Agree with #12 🙁 Why did they choose Minority Report for Tom Cruise? Just because Spielberg guest-edited the issue? Should have been Top Gun or something. And yes, Daniel Radcliffe looked ridiculous.
Pete on Dec 3, 2009
woops yea #7 brain fart i guess, but still..
harrison on Dec 3, 2009
Great gallery, would be awsum if they were big enough to be used as high reso wallpapers!
Pete on Dec 3, 2009
drunkimus on Dec 3, 2009
THEY SHOULD OF PUT JACK NICOLSON AS THE JOKER, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME TO HAVE TOM CRUISE IN THE JUMP SUIT FOR TOP GUN. IT ALSO SHOWS YOU THAT TOM CRUISE OBVIOUSLY HAS DISCOVERED THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH BECUASE THAT DUDE HAS NOT AGED. HE CAN EASILY DO ANOHTER MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, ANOTHER TOP GUN AND ANOTHER DAYS OF THUNDER. ARNOLD CAN ALSO DO ANOTHER TRUE LIES PART 2. VIGO AND SEAN BEAN CAN BE IN THE HOBBIT MOVIE. BUT LAWRENCE FISHBORN GAINED WEIGHT BUT I CAN STILL SEE HIM AS MORPHEOUS. MEL GIBSON IS THE MAN. CAN'T WAIT FOR "EDGE OF DARKNESS" HE CAN DEFINATELY DO A SEQUIL TO PAYBACK CAUSE EVEN THOUGH HE IS DYING AT THE END OF THE MOVIE, IT DOESN'T SHOW THAT HE REALLY DIES.
RICK on Dec 3, 2009
drunkimus on Dec 3, 2009
I can't believe how indifferent I am to these photos. When I read the description I couldn't wait, but then I saw the photos and they just have no effort in them. I feel like any one of us could create the same photos if we had the Rolodex that Empire does. Set up a gray background and give them a prop: done. Vanity Fair takes some of the most epic and gorgeous photographs I've seen. Just look at their Hitchcock series and see what an epic failure this Empire spread is.
Conor on Dec 3, 2009
Great idea for a photoshoot. Perhaps a little more though could have gone into the actual shots but still very cool.
Vold on Dec 3, 2009
Robbie on Dec 3, 2009
Some were awesome and others very blatantly sucked. Vanity Fair still takes the cake and as a photographer, these aren't as easy as they seem. It's interesting to see how they went out of their way to tell you a movie, like with Tom Cruise, and others were very casual. The casual ones excelled and were awesome. Sam Neil had a shadow and a flare but in the suit it was still pulled off beautifully as fashion photo goes. It was not suppose to be gritty and dirty. With Cruise they had to add in graphics, boo. I agree with some on just being shot and not hinting at any movie like Jack and Bale, the closeup. Jack always wears those sunglasses, it's more of him being an icon and Bale's closeup was? Him over the axe though was awesome with the business cards! AWESOME! Creative but just missing the bullseye, Vanity Fair stays ahead. Esquire has some great shoots too though.
Tra la la la la di da on Dec 3, 2009
Wow, thanks for posting these Alex! And good job for "Cherry-Picking" the best ones for this post. Following the link to the whole gallery was kind of a waste since you got the very best ones here. Nice job!!
Marc on Dec 3, 2009
@ 23: Caps are annoying. Please stop.
Hedgehog on Dec 3, 2009
Sean & Viggo: Kick-ass in suits.
Captain Deutschland on Dec 3, 2009
@ # 19 u idiot tht was a shot from mission impossible not minority report i havent even seen one of the mission impossible movies and i even knew wht it was from!
N. on Dec 3, 2009
seems like a lot of people completely missed the point. All of the people are wearing regular clothes and they sprinkle in parts of the movie. Having people dress up as characters is too on the nose, and no where near as cool as this. The idea that a simple pair of glasses, some records, a shotgun or an axe let you know immediately what role they're presenting is what makes it so cool. I mean Fishburne is just in a chair with a phone but there isn't a doubt in your mind they're presenting The Matrix. But isn't this MONTHS old? I saw this a long time ago? Why are people running it now?
Kent Lundblad on Dec 3, 2009
#32 you idiot. that is minority report...
bltzie on Dec 3, 2009
You people are waaaaay too critical, sheesh. I'm glad I don't live in whatever cynical pessimist-land ya'll reside in... I thought the pictures are all pretty great. The one with Anthony Hopkins & Jodie Foster representing Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorites I think, right next to the ones with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, classic.
Feydakin on Dec 10, 2009
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