"Where are you? Why do you hide?"
Here is one more unpublished/unseen portrait. It is of the wonderful French actor Michael Lonsdale. This was taken in my last photo-shoot, so far, this year before the lockdown. When the world was a little different. It was an honour to have spent this glorious afternoon with this wonderful man. Not only a gentleman, but also the oldest living #007 villain.
I travelled over to Monsieur Lonsdale’s gorgeous Paris apartment that had a staggering view of the Eiffel Tower. To say I was thrilled whilst sat on the first flight to Paris to shoot Michael was an understatement. There are not that many people left that I have a passion to photograph, but this shoot I was en route to was absolute one which I was.
"Dr Gotts you look similar to me when I was younger. You could have been Drax."
Not a speaker of the French language I had only seen Michael in English speaking movies and his face had popped up in to many great movies over the years. I think #TheDayOfTheJackal was one of the earliest movies I watched along with #TheNameOfTheRose and #ChariotsofFire. Of course not to forget playing the formidable Hugo Drax, the foe of #JamesBond, in #Moonraker. But it was about 15 years ago when I watched the #StevenSpielberg powerful epic #Munich that I had an urge to take his portrait. Unfortunately the opportunity never came up until the end of last year when I started planning my new exhibition when I realised Michael could be part of it. This exhibition shall hopefully be happening at the end of October this year…if the world has changed back to one where exhibition can be enjoyed!?
I knew M.Lonsdale was a tall man, 6ft 1 (1.85m) and quite ‘stocky’. So I was a little taken-aback when I arrived at his residence to see this fragile figure in a wheelchair. The sands of time are not kind to anyone and it had escaped me that a man 88 years old, who had been retired for a number of years, would look quite as delicate.
We sat and chatted over a drink before I set up. I was fascinated to hear how his love for movies happened during World War II. The US army officers showed American films to the children, when his family were living in Morocco. It was also interesting to find out the job which he was most proud of was #SmileysPeople with his hero #AlecGuinness.
It was an honour to have spent this glorious afternoon with this wonderful man. Not only a gentleman, but also the oldest living #007 villain. Many many happy returns and bon anniversaire on your 89th birthday!!!
#MichaelLonsdale #TheDayOfTheJackal #TheNameOfTheRose #ChariotsofFire #Moonraker #JamesBond #007 #Galileo #Enigma #SmileysPeople #TheRemainsofTheDay #JeffersonInParis #Ronin #Munich #GoyasGhost #OfGodsAndMen #photography #blackandwhitephotography #celebrityphotographer #AndyGotts #OneShotGotts #Paris