Alexandra Gavillet Covers Comedy for The Hollywood Reporter
In her latest cover stories with The Hollywood Reporter, photographer Alexandra Gavillet did not stop laughing on set with Trevor Noah and the Queens of Comedy as she captured their essence in larger than life scenes with extravagant backdrops.
Working with a mostly female team, the feminine energy was flowing on the set of the Queens of Comedy cover shoot. “I could have watched them interact with each other for hours because they were truly having so much fun with each other. It was so cool to witness everyone genuinely enjoying each other’s company, and taking inspiration from one another. It was such a special project," said Alexandra.
During the briefing process for the shoot, Alexandra connected with the set designer to chat about the concept. "We ended up on this Marie Antoinette idea, and we thought it would be really fun to give it a twist. This cover can kind of represent the struggle that most women face every day. Women in comedy, in general, was at first a rarity and that’s partially why all these women are so ground-breaking and inspiring. They’ve broken through and become figures in comedy and comedy has been a space so dominated by male actors. The small space reserved for female comedians and actresses have been typically pinholed in Hollywood,” explained Alexandra. “All these women are now taking up more space, representing and going against the grain of what the typical Hollywood actresses could do. So we decided to take a very prestigious feminine set and put little surprises in there, little Easter eggs, like hamburgers, and funny props that go against the typical, expected, Marie Antoinette aesthetic.”
Alexandra was inspired by the energy on set, and the comedians kept the good vibes flowing. Jane Fonda turned herself into a living portrait inside a frame while Tiffany Haddish balancing an apple on her head. “That was Tiffany’s idea, she literally took it and she just put it on her head, and posed. That was totally her idea. And she even balanced it for like a few minutes. She’s amazing.”
Following her Queens of Comedy endeavor with The Hollywood Reporter, Alexandra had the opportunity to collaborate with Trevor Noah in another cover story of epic proportions. “We used blow-up globes in the photoshoot that were sourced by the set designer. We had some hanging up with fish wire. We wanted to showcase the theme of this being very much about how Trevor has such a global point of view. People love him because he brings such a worldly view which isn’t always very common in America. It’s his global perspective that attracts so much of us.”
“Trevor had a lot of input. You can tell that in all of his work, he obviously has such a strong voice and I think that’s why people love him so much. People gravitate toward him because of his opinions and he carries that through in his everyday life too. I was really just blown away and inspired by how much he genuinely cared and how much input he had creatively, on everything we were working on.”
Music is an important part of Alexandra’s creative process, and luckily her subjects felt the same. Trevor Noah specifically requested Lizzo, one of the photographers favorite. “Jane Fonda liked Ella Fitzgerald and Maya Rudolph, who I love, was like ‘Let’s put on the Homecoming soundtrack!’ She knew every word of the entire sequence. That was really cool as well,” explained Alexandra. “Everyone was so kind. I’ve actually worked with Natasha Lyonne before at a different time in my career, closer to the beginning, so it was funny when she and I saw each other again and were able to share this moment about how far we’ve come in our careers, to be working together again on a project like this!”