Kate Winslet and Scarlett Johansson are the latest A-listers to be photographed without make-up, in a series of raw photographs for the 20th annual Vanity Fair Hollywood edition.
The photographs were taken by award-winning photographer Chuck Close. But make-up isn't the only thing he makes his celebrities go without.
For the photo shoot, no entourages were allowed. One partner or close friend was acceptable. They had to make their own way to and from the studio. Lunch was nothing fancy, just a coffee and sandwich.
The stars were required for three hours, there was no leaving early. And what they wore was their own responsibility.
In Vanity Fair's "Up Close and Personal" video, Close says, "I don't do glamour shots, and they're not airbrushed or whatever. So they can be, um... they can be rough. So I need to talk people through it.
"They have to give up a great deal of vanity in order to do it. And it takes a real act of generosity and faith on the part of the subject to go with it and to give me their image without having any control over what's gonna happen."
Wearing a plain shirt and simple necklace, the natural beauties were asked to sit on a stool while Close held his Polaroid camera inches away from their faces. Helen Mirren, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and many other stars also feature in the issue.
"The reason I use Polaroid is that I'm not stealing anyone's image," says Close.
After each picture is taken, it goes on the wall for Close and his subject to look at. From there, the next one is taken closer, and the next one. Until they have what they want, says Close. "It's a slow process."
The stars really have to trust Close - if they think he's taking less than flattering photos they can become quite defensive, he says.
Aware of possible criticism, Close is anticipating some people to find his series "shocking" and "cruel" for not "glamourising" his subjects.
On the other hand, he hopes some are thankful that somebody is showing real people the way they are.
At the time of shooting, Winslet was pregnant with her third child.
Other stars featured in the series for Vanity Fair include Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, who has facial acne scars usually hidden by concealer.
Recently, Johansson was set to star in a Superbowl ad for Sodastream. However, the ad delivered a sneaky dig at soft drink competitors and was cancelled.
Following her ad campaign, Johansson quit her role as Oxfam ambassador over disputes regarding Sodastream having a factory in an Israeli settlement.
Seeing an image of celebrities without make-up isn't exactly a new concept.
In what appears to have turned into a Hollywood tradition, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba and now Beyonce have all taken to Instagram to show off their natural beauty.
Even if filters are used, there's something endearing about baring all that makes celebrities more relatable to fans.
But it's also reassuring to know that superstars are human too.
For more, check out this video or grab Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue ...
- Sydney Morning Herald
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