The Story Behind Steven Soderbergh’s Quirky Headshots
When news broke in late February that Steven Soderbergh would be teaming with Zoe Kravitz on the New Line Max Original feature KIMI, it came accompanied with dramatic black-and-white headshots of the pair. But the filmmaker’s caused some on Twitter to do a double-take as it features Soderbergh in a long, light-colored wig with a middle part and a credit to Peter Andrews (an oft-used pseudonym).
“The time has come to discuss the glory of Steven Soderbergh’s recent press pics,” posted Franklin Leonard, referencing the KIMI photo and another used in December when it was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that he had signed on to produce the Oscars alongside Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher. That colorful image, shot by photographer Doron Gild, features Soderbergh in a pink ensemble — reminiscent of what The Beatles wore on the cover of their eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — made by a costume designer for Halloween.
I gotta step up my headshot game.
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) February 25, 2021
Eagle-eyed insiders know that Soderbergh has leaned on both photos for various appearances and promotions in recent years, including a DGA Awards program and the Toronto International Film Festival, among others. The Oscars headshot, which sources indicate that Soderbergh often uses for ID cards on set, was done approximately three years ago, recalls Gild, who hosted Soderbergh at his Brooklyn studio.
“It was just fun,” Gild recalls of the shoot, which was part of a promotional campaign for his spirit brand, Singani 63. (Gild also shoots for Jon Bon Jovi’s Hampton Water.) “That whole day is seared into my brain as one of the strangest days in my studio because I usually come up with these dark or storytelling ideas, and it’s a whole production. This worked out in such a sweet way because he was game to do whatever.”
Gild, who recently moved his operation to Hudson Valley, where he’s building a larger studio, said a day like he experienced with Soderbergh is “best case scenario” because he was a willing subject who trusted him to do something creative. “It ended up being wonderful.”
A version of this story first appeared in the March 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.