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Vanity Fair: In Character 2.


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Photographer Howard Schatz had an idea: photograph actors in a series of roles and dramatic situations to reveal the essence of their characters. Such is the premise behind Schatz's new book, In Character: Actors Acting (Bulfinch), which captures some of Hollywood's most emotive stars in the act of, well, making faces. Ranging from Martin Landau (playing a husband at his 50th-wedding-anniversary party) to Natasha Richardson (pretending to be a rock star on the way to her high-school reunion) to Rosie Perez (at right), the ensemble in Schatz's photographs—some of which are showcased here on—illustrate the extraordinary power of pure and spontaneous imagination. Enjoy the show. —JESSICA FLINT

You are a man: 1. Seeing a shooting on your quiet, tree-shaded block in Brooklyn. 2. Hearing the speeches at your 50th-wedding-anniversary party.
You are: 1. A salesman back from a long road trip being welcomed by your wife in a particularly intimate way. 2. A small-business owner just realizing that your brother-in-law has been pocketing the profits. 3. A gambling addict, deep in debt to a ruthless bookie, urging your horse to pass the leader down the homestretch.
You are responding to a very dirty joke.
You are: 1. A fiftysomething veteran middle manager learning that a merger will cost you your job. 2. A high-school drama teacher watching the Academy Awards, hearing your name mentioned by an Oscar winner. 3. A woman scorned.
You are a man at a bar: 1. Overhearing another man telling his friend about your wife. 2. Realizing the conversation is actually about your sister-in-law.
You are: 1. A man listening to your wife and daughter scream at each other at Thanksgiving dinner. 2. A middle-aged tax accountant told by a beautiful young colleague that you're "incredibly sexy." 3. A C.E.O. who knows that the compensation committee is going to O.K. your massive raise. 4. A struggling restaurant owner confronting two protection-racket collectors: "That's it, you bloodsucking bastards, not one more penny!"
You are: 1. A woman who thinks your husband has forgotten your birthday, walking into your house to find all your friends shouting,"Surprise!" 2. The mother of the bride, hearing your daughter say, "I do."
You are: 1. A four-year-old letting the family's pet parakeet out of its cage. 2. A four-year-old shutting out your mother's angry reprimand after the bird flies out the front door. You are: 3. A man imploring your partner to come with you to visit your parents. 4. A man betrayed.
You are a retired cop who has just been told "Fuck you, Gramps" by a couple of young punks on the block.
You are an actor: 1. Hearing from your agent that, after weeks of callbacks and readings, you got the part. 2. Hearing the next day that the director has changed his mind and wants someone else instead.
You are: 1. A woman beginning to wonder if the man you've been dating for a year is just stringing you along. 2. The former class weirdo, now a rock star, in your limousine on the way to your high-school reunion. 3. A computer whiz who hacked into your English teacher's files and has just aced the final.
"Where the fuck is the money?"
You are: 1. A pediatrician with a bright five-year-old cancer patient who is making up an intriguing fairy tale. 2. A senior senator giving a speech on the glory of the American way.
You are: 1. A woman talking with your girlfriends about boyfriends. 2. A young teenager seeing the love of your life kissing another girl.
You are: 1. A maximum-security-prison warden hearing that there's a riot in C Block—two guards killed, four held hostage—and the ringleader is a multiple murderer serving four consecutive life sentences. 2. A desperate real-estate agent watching a buyer about to sign a contract for an overpriced white elephant: "Sign, don't read; sign, don't read … "
You are: 1. A 10-year-old taunted by your older brother's friends. 2. The Wicked Witch watching the Scarecrow catch fire.
You are: 1. An elementary-school teacher on vacation, flirting with the cabana boy at your resort in Cancun. 2. A working mother coming upon your husband kissing the babysitter. 3. A woman who has just received the failing grades of your daughter in college after she's been lying about how well she's doing.


You are: 1. A deli owner, late at night, handing the day's cash to a crackhead pointing a gun at your chest. 2. A big-time Mob gambler sending one of your goons to pay a visit to a college basketball player who broke an agreement to shave points: "I don't want the kid dead. Just make sure he never plays ball again. Am I clear?"



Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard

Left: You’re an African-American lawyer at a benefit dinner, sitting across from a businessman who has launched into the “Your people! So talented! … jazz … basketball … ” spiel.

Center, left: You’re standing at the altar as your resplendent bride-to-be is led up the aisle—and you realize that you are about to make a huge mistake.

Center, right: You’re a New York cabbie having just received a $1 tip on a $45 ride from the airport, restraining yourself from saying, “Keep it, you cheap-ass muthaf—.”

Right: You’re a powerful Hollywood producer who has decided to “take a meeting” with a young, naïve ingénue … and you have one thing on your mind.



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