I never thought I would be doing a favorite 'hunk' post on actor Beau Bridges. It isn't that I didn't think he was talented and cute, but I have only really known Beau for his appearances on TV the last decade, usually playing the dopey grandfather. I have lusted after his brother Jeff, and posted about him in last Sunday's salute to the Oscars. Beau however, was never really on my radar until last week.
With Darren Criss in Broadway's How To Succeed in Business Without Even Trying (2012)
I love Sally Field, and always wanted to get around to watching her Oscar winning performance in Norma Rae. Finally a few weeks ago, it came up on one of the movie channels I subscribe to. I thoroughly enjoyed the move, especially the performances of Sally Field and actor Ron Leibman. The movie reminded a bit of Erin Brockavoch, with Beau Bridges in the Aaron Eckhart role, complete with hairy chest and shirtless scenes. I all of a sudden started looking at goofy Beau in an entirely different way.
The Family Business
According to ncdb, Beau has shown a little skin both Gaily Gaily (Chicago Chicago) in 1969, and Hammersmith is Out in 1972. As good a researcher as I think myself to be, I could not find copies to either buy, or download of either of these flicks. Neither, including Hammersmith which also starred Elizabeth Taylor, seem to have made to DVD, nor did I find any old VHS copies. I will keep looking and let you know if anything comes up!
With brother Jeff on Saturday Night Live (1983)
Village of the Giants (1965)
With Elizabeth Taylor in Hammersmith is Out (1972)
I often use the words 'art' and 'artist' within the profiles I write. Although not all photographers are necessarily artists, some just take pictures of naked men... most of the photographers and models I feature are art creators, generating visuals through both skill, as well as imaginative concepts and vision. Model Michael J Summer gives most of the credit for his extraordinary visuals, to the photographers who lit, captured and gave direction to him during the shooting process.
So often when I put together questions to send to a model, I try to convey a full picture of the person, not just the body, and body parts seen in their images. Although Michael's focus is on creating great art, it was refreshing that his favorite genre is fine art nudes. Michael is more comfortable with the focus on his body, not his face or a particular body part. Michael loves using his entire body in the creative process and it was fascinating to find out why.
'I guess I’ve always been in a love-hate relationship with my body. I get praises about having a good shape now and then, but have always lacked a bit of confidence about my height and small frame. The idea of becoming a model gave me the confidence of being ‘on par’ with people with really great physiques that I aspire to, and I probably still think that way. A photographer friend asked if I would do a shoot with him, so feeling shy, anxious, and excited all at the same time – I did it. And it was full nude in this first shoot as well.'
Favorite experience modeling thus far:
'It’s hard to pick a favorite as the various experiences are good in different ways. In general, I enjoy working with photographers with great creative ideas and artistic sense (thrilled to have worked with one just this past weekend!); and those who’re skilled at lighting and can make the model’s physique look awesome. These elements are ingredients to cook up a good shoot.'
Odd or strange stories from any shoots:
'A pretty interesting experience I guess was shooting in a small local bar in the Algarve. That’s something I’ve never imagined would happen, and didn’t expect that the owners would be so kind to let us shoot there just before its opening hours. The bar was so classy and beautifully decorated that inspired me to pose in certain ways to blend in as part of the ‘furniture’. Posing nude for the shoot while the owners and a few early customers were there felt strange, yet in a good way. This is a huge contrast with some other experiences posing outdoors when there were people passing by – some even stopped, looked, and started chatting with the photographer. That was plain uncomfortable!'
'Model Mayhem and sharing my images has been overall a pleasant experience getting to know artists and photographers from all over the world. Getting praises about my work of course brings a lot of satisfaction as well – after all, what model doesn’t like getting compliments? These compliments have been doses of confidence booster for me at times of low self-esteem. Some of the picture comments are also well-thought out and help me look at different artistic qualities of the images (I don’t otherwise have a background or training in art or photography). I do get a lot of requests specifically for a nude shoot, I suppose because many models simply don’t shoot nudes. I have been asked to get involved in videos, wearing strange underwear, or being covered in a food mess lol didn’t agree to any of those...'
Factors weighed before deciding to take it all off?
'I’d look carefully at the photographer’s work to see if they do nudes tastefully and in artistic ways, to create lines and shapes in the images, and to emphasize the beauty of the human form, rather than having an overwhelming focus on the ‘goods’.'
What part of your body are you most happy with? What part gets the most attention from others?
'The chest. It has always been the most developed part that looks the best without too much effort. I have to make a great deal of effort to work on my arms and shoulders to match that! Part that gets the most attention – it really varies from person to person. But I guess most people notice and comment on the chest, and some on the nipples, and a lot of attention to the penis when it’s not covered – I guess that’s inevitable when that’s hidden in the vast majority of everyday images.'
Do you have any dance background, your create some beautiful lines and poses?
'Nope, not a dancer or athlete in training. In fact, I’d definitely see myself as above-average clumsy! The beauty in the poses you see in the images are a product of the photographer’s direction, the lighting and angle, the setting and props, and the mood I was in taking in all the above.' Last four images from Mark Leighton
Why do you think you like modeling?
'I enjoy the creative process, and I enjoy the compliments about my physique (by the photographers and the viewers of the images). It gives me confidence boosts, and feeds the narcissist in me. And although it’s not the original purpose, I have genuinely learned a lot about art and photography through modeling, and have met many interesting and talented people around the world I otherwise wouldn’t. Guess that’s part of the reason why I tried retiring but couldn’t.'
You describe fine art nude as your favorite genre to shoot, but you seem to keep the focus on your body more than your face. Many models say they don't show their penis because they want to keep a bit of 'mystery' in their work, is mystery part of the reason you keep a piece of yourself... to yourself?
'I keep the focus on my body because I admire the human form and how it can be a form of art in itself or be involved in the artistic process. What photographers and drawing artists are able to create from the human form never ceases to amaze me. I’ve never really thought about deliberately keeping a bit of ‘mystery’ in my work until you mentioned the idea. I guess keeping a bit of ‘mystery’ can be interesting in a piece of art work, which leaves people thinking, imagining, and savoring the piece of work. So it could well be part of the work’s appeal!'