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!”
Alexandra Gavillet Goes Neon With Blackpink
Some of America’s most influential music groups come from abroad. A band’s first American tour sets the stage for their international success - pun intended. In her latest collaboration with Billboard Magazine, Alexandra Gavillet was one of the first American photographers to shoot the K-Pop artists, Blackpink, during their debut tour of the US.
A female photographer shooting an all-female South Korean girl group during their first tour of the US is a moment that America has not seen many times before. “Music is my number one inspiration and I primarily listen to music that is made outside of the US. This project was really exciting for me because it’s something I chat about all the time - how incredible the music scene is internationally and how important it is to work with, listen to and support international talent," explains Alexandra on why this project was a great fit. "Blackpink is so major, they're huge superstars. To have the opportunity to photograph their first US cover was major. I just felt so proud because it's so important that American media is more supportive of international artists, so this felt like a really meaningful first step for the k-pop community. I was so grateful to be a part of that.”
Although it was their first trip to the US, the girls had little time to sit back and relax. The girl group kicked off their stay with a performance at the Universal Music Group’s annual showcase and made morning and late-night appearances on primetime television talk shows, including Late Night with Stephen Colbert. The girls looked soft during their photo shoot with Alexandra at Smashbox Studios, accentuating the vibrant fashions and fantastical sets showcased in each photo. The band members stretched out on velvet couches in front of luxurious backdrops featuring green and fuschia hues of satin and fur and posed in a lilac room with whispy bunches of florals floating mid-air around the singers.
In addition to the cover image of all four band members laying in a sea of luxurious neon pink fabrics beneath a plethora of different floral arrangements, Billboard Magazine produced four covers featuring a portrait of each of the stars from their photoshoot with Alexandra. Billboard even produced a commemorative collector’s box set with all five covers and full-size posters of Alexandra’s images. Blackpink brought their A game to set for Alexandra, ready to show face and announce to America that the group, in fact, has arrived.
Enroll in Tinder University with Alexandra Gavillet
The digital age has allowed all of us to create our lives in the shape that we want them. Everything is available at an arm’s reach: delivered food, concierge laundry, and even phone-initiated relationships. Apps like Tinder have connected strangers and formed relationships that are unique to the digital age, and even as we’re still discovering what the contours of those relationships are, we can celebrate the new landscape. Alexandra Gavillet recently photographed Tinder’s latest campaign, dubbed "Tinder University," that imagines all of these new relationships formed through more traditional routes. More specifically: it sees what Tinder looks like in action in a University setting.
Alexandra has shot an entire campaign for them already, with three unique images releasing to the public, each playing with different conventions. In all of them we see how the life of a curious student lines up parallel to the needs that Tinder satisfies while still staying true to the cheeky concept.
The first image of Alexandra’s features a young woman in a library, doing her “research” both in the science of Chemistry and ostensibly the chemistry between the curious she’s meeting through her phone. In another, a couple is studying together, doing the work necessary before a test, and they’re “just trying to figure shit out” – both in their subjects and between each other. Finally, we a see a crowd of seven young people, each offering their unique qualities with the title “Thank Goodness for Multiple Choice.” Each image is filled with the humor and a balance of authentic accessibility and expert crafting that Alexandra is known for.
This is our first presentation of Alexandra Gavillet’s work, and we’re looking forward to showing you more. Please join us in welcoming her to the B&A roster.