In his new book, -"In Character: Actors Acting"- (Bulfinch Press/April 2006), acclaimed photographer Howard Schatz captures actors who are doing what they do best: acting. Schatz takes portraiture of actors into another realm altogether, by directing them in the development of specific characters.
Schatz has put himself in the director's chair to invent the scenarios that project the emotions and display the talents of 100 of our finest stage, screen and television performers. His subjects reveled in the idea of being given "something to play" (i.e., F. Murray Abraham: "You are a teenage girl chosen to go backstage at a Justin Timberlake concert") instead of simply posing to look attractive, provocative or distinguished.
Schatz recorded interviews with the actors during his session and the book contains their fresh insights about the creative processes of acting and character development, as well as anecdotes from working in different entertainment forms.
Foreword by Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize winning critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.
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"Schatz's portraiture is...a vital, thrilling window into the breadth of an actor's range".
"Designed to showcase thespians in the act, this coffee-table tome serves up one arresting photo after another."
"Put Schatz on that very short list (with Richard Avedon and perhaps Annie Leibovitz) of photographers who can make celebrity portraiture something more than forgettable fluff."
"Schatz's acclaimed cast includes popular performers such as Edie Falco, Don Cheadle and Hal Holbrook, and steadfast talents whose names may not always spring readily to mind, such as Dylan Baker, Robert Loggia and J.K. Simmons. Among the most mesmerizing is Martin Landau, currently stealing scenes on ABC's crime show "The Evidence," who demonstrates his remarkably rubbery visage here in a series of closeups."
"Schatz's photographs...achieve a level of intimacy that glamour photos never achieve..at times as unsettling as it is fascinating.".
"(It's) as fun to read as it is to look through, thanks to the multitude of outrageous scenarious Schatz dreamed up for his subjects and the actors' comments on their craft."
"Takes us up close and personal with 100 actors [and] achieves a level of intimacy that glamour photos never achieve".
"Schatz and his players deliver human vitality and performative intelligence on a grand scale".
"Close-ups, focused just on the face with the occasional use of hand gestures puts the emphasis squarely on non-vocal communication, the result is a stunning look at the actors craft and the subtle yet universal language of facial features in all their nuances.".
"In Character is a well-designed, thoughtfully sequenced and beautifully compiled book. Schatz's photographs defy the rules of flattering portrait, yet celebrate an actor's skill and passion."
IN CHARACTER by Howard Schatz
Publication date: April 2006
Page count: 264 pages
Trim size: 9 x 12