July 2012. Client: The British Museum
I photographed the actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor ) who plays Henry V in the BBC’s Shakespeare season. The British Museum invited him to see their new Shakespeare exhibition before it opened and hosted a screening of the movie. As you can see by the blue surgical gloves, no one is famous enough to touch the nation’s antiquities with bare hands and the museum was keen to show this. The seal-die he is holding depicts the young Henry on horseback and is over 600 years old. I asked Tom what the reason might be for his character to be wearing a light blue latex glove…”throttling the French”. But of course! I used a soft box close to Tom’s face while he skillfully angled the seal to the light for me. The light falls away quickly into the darkness and creates the dramatic effect I was after while still illuminating the face softly. I blasted the background with another flash set right against to the wall to bring out the subtle texture of the theatre setting.