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The Pirelli calendar has taken a turn away from its sexy heritage, with photographer Peter Lindbergh foregoing Photoshop and filters to focus his lens on Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, and Helen Mirren in this year’s edition.
The trio were on hand this morning in Paris to debut a short film alongside the tire company’s annual Christmas calendar.
It’s a veritable who’s who of A-listers — all shot in analog, without makeup and in natural lighting – featuring Robin Wright, Charlotte Rampling, Julianne Moore, Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet alongside Lea Seydoux, Jessica Chastain, Alicia Vikander, Zhang Ziyi and Lupita Nyong’o.
The actresses agreed it was intimidating — Mirren called it downright “dangerous” — to be shot without digital trickery, and said that the age of Instagram has taken away the art of photography.
“In a way our eyes need to become readjusted, because we’re so used to these spectacularly enhanced digital images and here we’re saying, ‘No let’s go back to a portrait of humanity,’” said Mirren. It’s a big departure from the traditional sexy and decadent Pirelli look. “It undoubtedly represents a culture shift,” she said.
The series was shot in industrial locations in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and Paris.
Mirren said she came to the set fully made up before Lindbergh asked her to take it off. Kidman said she thought they were doing test shoots of her in her T-shirt, before she realized that was the final cut.
And while Kidman said that husband Keith Urban “totally” prefers her without makeup, she realizes women can gain confidence from wearing it.
“It’s a choice and we’re allowed to have those choices, and that’s a very important conversation for the next generation, for women and little girls,” Kidman said.
Perhaps alluding to the recent election of Donald Trump in the U.S., Thurman said the calendar is riding a wave of the authenticity that modern audiences are searching for.
“To maintain your optimism, we’re a big ocean and there are different currents. There’s an undoubtedly regressive current towards women and minorities going in a negative direction and then there’s a positive — let’s call it a jet stream — of fast-moving, hot water that we need to fuel moving in the loving direction towards all people. This is a loving gesture coming from Peter from seeing women as real people.”
“The reality is that we live, love, continue and contribute, and that’s the role of women,” said Mirren, sending a message to young women: “The reality is that life goes on for a long time, and you will be many things in that time.”
And while she encouraged people to buy the calendar as a gift for girls to look up to, it’s exclusively available to Pirelli VIPs.
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