Marc Hom Gets Classic with Michael Shannon and Esquire
Michael Shannon is one of those actors that disappears into everything. It’s not just the roles he plays that seem to consume him, it’s everything around him. He fits every world he enters, whether it’s 1950s suburbia or the stars around Krypton. “He’s a chameleon in many ways,” says Marc Hom who photographed the actor for the cover of Esquire’s ‘The Big Black Book,’ an issue that goes through all the ins and outs of what’s happening in menswear. It was Shannon’s chameleon abilities that made the shoot run so smoothly and so successfully and allowed Marc to get photographs at the height of his artistic expectation. “I wanted to be able to look at these pictures again and again and again and feel they’re quite timeless. So that’s how we treated it,” explains Marc.
There’s the famous story that Laurence Olivier needed to know the nose of his character before he could act the part. It seems that with Shannon, it’s all about a costume. Every time Shannon was dressed in a new piece of apparel he understood it immediately, making Marc’s job that much more exciting. “He’s amazing because he’s one of those guys, it’s very rare, who understands clothes in a very strange way. He knows what kinds of movements fit what he’s wearing. It’s something rare and very organic,” says Marc. “It was one of those great organic days when everything just fits in terms of character and styling and what I wanted to do, so when you have all those elements together you can just keep shooting.” Every time they did a new set up it was a new story, each gesture and movement tailored for the exact piece, materials, and aesthetic.
Part of Shannon’s power is his energy that is solid and still. Marc recognized that power and made sure to suffuse it through every photo. “There’s a certain silence to it,” Marc says. “I was trying to do was trying to have, have a little bit more movement in the color than the black and the white. I wanted to keep the darkness of the more graphic portraiture with the black and white, and then modernize it a bit with the movement of the color pictures. So you have a little bit of both feelings and exploring his repertoire.” Shannon’s abilities extend through the 75+ roles he’s played in film and television, and beyond a single shoot for the cover of Esquire, but he and Marc got to explore everything they could together and the results are dripping with style.