When I began First-Time last year, it was meant to feature some of my favorites actors in their film debuts. I thought of the series after catching a young Matt Dillon in on TCM in 1979's Over the Edge. I started to find the theme a bit limiting so have morphed into something that fits closer to FH's 'first' theme for 2017.
The series will not feature movies and roles that first had really paying attention to an actor. It may be an early role, or it may be one more recent. It may not necessarily be their best role nor is it always a role in a particularly good movie. For me, About Time was that movie and Tim was the character that had me wanting to learn more about Ireland born actor Domhnall Gleeson.
Domhnall in About Time (2012)
Domhnall has been acting professionally since 2001 and many of you may have first met him as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films. In the past few years, Domhnall has had break out roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant and in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. Even though About Time didn't break out to be as successful as these blockbusters, it so far, is my favorite Domhnall film.
I decided to buy About Time after reading it was was written by Richard Curtis, the writer responsible for the screenplays for Love Actually, Bridget Jones and Notting Hill, not to mention many other film and television projects I liked including Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley. Richard's projects are ones that I have enjoyed watching again and again.
If Domhnall's co-star Rachel McAdams didn't give it away, About Time is a romantic comedy, but one with a twist. The film opens with Tim's dad (Bill Nighy) pulling him aside on New Year's morning to share a family secret. That secret, is that the men in the family have the ability to go back in time and alter the trajection of their lives. I am not usually a huge fan of 'time travel' in films, especially a romance, but in this film it is used sparingly and smartly. It is not used as the plot, but as part of the telling of the story of Tim's romantic journey.
Domhnall was so adorable as Tim, and his talent as an actor had me engaged from the very beginning. It also has me looking forward to checking out more of his work, especially Brooklyn, a movie I know is well done, but for some reason have avoided. Domhnall also has over a half dozen movies coming out in the next year or two including Mother with Jennifer Lawrence, American Made with Tom Cruise and Star Wars: Episode VIII.
In addition to the nude gif near the top of Domhnall from Room for Dessert, Part Two'-Immaturity for Charity (HERE:) Domhnall also had a brief nude scene in Unbroken. You can search for it if you want, it is brief butt shot. I didn't include it because of scenes contest and torture element.
Domhnall as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Domhnall with director Angelina Jolie and the cast of Unbroken (2014)
You all know how important 'story' is my presentation of an artist and models work. My joy in continuing FH derives from learning about the creative process and the experiences of both model and photographer. Every story and story comment is important in putting the pieces together. Some photographers and models prefer to share the surface story, basically the facts that played into the shoot coming together. Most though, put up with my questions and give some detail to help me assemble a story that I hope in most cases, does justice to the images I am presenting.
Sometimes however, I encounter a model or photographer who wants to use their FH feature, to go a little deeper, to share something about themselves, their lives and the journey that let them to shoot I am featuring. Model Samuel Boux was one of those artists, and the model that first introduced me to the work of photographerMatt Kulisch. I was first sent images of the model and musician from Chris Teel back in 2010. Over the next couple of years I featured close to a dozen pieces featuring both Samuel's songs, and his modeling work with several different photographers.
Samuel wanted to go a bit furthers, and in Métamorphose, Samuel shared his experience of transforming from a loner and outcast to the more confident and outgoing person he had become. As part of that story, I was lucky to be able to include many of Matt's shots as part of the story. The was tranquil beauty in Matt's images. Part of this stemmed from the natural light Matt used, but the largest part, was Matt's focus. It was clear from the images, that Matt wanted to capture more than the surface, looking at, then past Samuel's beautiful body to the essence and soul beyond it.
That same focus, and that same beautiful natural light were exquisitly present when I recently discovered Matt's work with actor and model Josiah Blount. In addition to his work as a model, Josiah's acting has led to appearances on television shows including Suburgatory and The Mentalist, and on film in The Conjuring, The Gambler and Ted 2. I loved Josiah's look, his expressive face and beautiful eyes. I love the long lean lines the 6' 2" model created and story that he and Matt were telling. I didn't initially know where the story was going, but I knew I wanted to continue visually enjoying every chapter created.
Instagram is a site I joined awhile ago, but only recently have begun to enjoy it on a regular basis. I'm glad I started making regular visits, as it was on Matt's Instagram page, that I saw his images of Josiah. When I contacted Matt, he welcomed my request to feature their work together, and even let me know, that my request to showcase his work with Samuel over six years ago, was his first request to be featured on a website. Given my 'first' theme for this year, it was fitting to wait and feature Matt's work in the New Year. Mine may have been the first request, but it certainly wasn't the last and Matt's work has been seen on many sites showcasing the male form including Fashionably Male
and Summer Diary Project.
This set of images were shot this past September in Los Angeles, and was Matt's second collaboration with Josiah. The original editorial title was going to be How Deep the Father's Love, based on the words tattooed on Josiah's chest. Josiah shares the words are the title of old hymn and that he got it when he was 16, knowing putting a reminder of God the Father's Love on his body was a tattoo he was sure he would never regret getting. Ultimately however, Josiah and Matt ended up shooting many images in which the tattoo was not visible and the focus became more expansive in scope.
It was Instagram again that first connected Matt with Josiah. Matt reports much of his work and finding of new models now come this way. Matt says that many agencies and casting agents are using Instagram, and are are encouraging models and actors to do so as well. The relationship began as only an Instagram established one can, with both Matt and Josiah 'liking' each other's work. Being this was their second time shooting, this one was easy to organize. Josiah already had a plan for location and styling with Matt providing a concept sheet, some mood boarding, inspiration shots, and a few keywords and to help guide the vision.
'I would characterize our shoot as freeing, comfortable, and cozy. Matty is so good at making his models feel safe and open. I never feel like it's too structured and it's lovely not putting on a mask of any sort. When we shoot I am my goofy, talkative, thoughtful self. Which I think helps capture my essence in pictures! I think Matty is so wonderful at capturing specific moods in his shoots. For this shoot I think he wonderfully captured the cozy, laziness of a Saturday morning at home. The shoot reminds me of being in my apartment with a loved one. I love his work!'
That Saturday morning at home feel Josiah mentioned was certainly felt by me. There was certainly a relaxed, peaceful and sensual feel that radiated from each of the images, and the story they created. There was something reflective, especially with Josiah' eyes and facial expressions in many of the shots. I love how Matt captured the morning sun cascading over Josiah's skin, and some of the small choices that made the story feel so authentic.
I noticed some of the underwear looked worn and torn and was sure they were made to look that way for the shoot. I was wrong. The torn, vintage looking briefs are actually gtp, H & M. and the worn look, the result of much use. Matt wanted the clothing used to look comfy and relaxed, more domestic that sexual. When not trying to impress anyone, we usually go for 'comfy' over 'sexy' and most guys don't usually hang around at home drinking Earl Grey in a thong, or our favorite pair of lucky come hither undies.
'Obviously it was Josiah's hair and freckles that drew me. In my experience, gingers comes in one of two stripes: (1) oddly incongruous or (2) drop-dead gorgeous. There's really no middle area... I'm sure you can agree that Josiah fits into the latter category.'
'It's strange, too, because I'd say that my work is oddly incongruous as well--with a lot of the other male form photography I see in the world. I'm not about hard angles or muscles or bravado. My images are not about money-shots, literal or otherwise. The kind of perfection most male form photographers espouse, while often very pretty, feels perfunctory and empty to me. Not because there's anything wrong with possessing a perfect body. But because most ideal forms empty people or experiences of their context. While I do think my work has a signature softness to it, in the end, I want Josiah to be Josiah. At least the Josiah I see, the Josiah I'm presenting to you. It's a trick, of course. But it's a trick I'm aiming for every time I shoot with someone: Josiah is not yours, he's not anyone's, but I hope to make images that entertain the possibility of desire and simultaneously withhold it.'