Interview with Photographer Alexi Lubomirski
conducted by Catherine Edwards
Photographer Alexi Lubomirski recently photographed Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy for GQ magazine, giving fans a peek into the somewhat private lives of two of the best-known Muppets on the planet. Lubomirski is world-renowned for his narrative-based fashion photography, having photographed the famous likenesses of Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, among others. His work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar US, Harper’s Bazaar UK, German Vogue, Russian Vogue, Spanish Vogue, GQ USA, Chinese Vogue, Vogue Nippon, China Men’s Vogue, and Wonderland. He was kind enough to answer some questions about his time with one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples.
CATHERINE: Mr. Lubomirski, you’ve photographed hundreds of famous people. Why did you decide to photograph Kermit and Miss Piggy?
ALEXI: Originally it was an English Magazine called POP that had asked me to shoot Kermit and Miss Piggy. The fashion designer Marc Jacobs had designed some clothes especially for them and I was to shoot a fashion shoot with them. Being a lifelong fan I was more than happy to do it!
ALEXI: The inspiration for the shoot was based loosely on Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton in “American Gigolo.” We wanted to create some emotional tension between them and to create a narrative that could be interpreted by the viewer. The famous Chateau Marmont hotel, in LA, provided the perfect backdrop for us to show an intimate chemistry between them.
CATHERINE: The clothing is iconic and chic. Did you help them decide what to wear, or work with their stylists to find things that suited your concept of the shoot?
CATHERINE: What was the hardest part about working with Kermit and Miss Piggy? Were there any special challenges to overcome?
ALEXI: One unforeseen problem was their size difference!! I had never really thought about it, but Miss Piggy is quite a bit bigger than Kermit! We had to use some creative positioning to make the size difference less apparent… Much like today‘s movies I imagine, when the leading man is a bit shorter than the leading lady!
CATHERINE: What was your favorite part of photographing one of Hollywood’s long-standing power couples?
ALEXI: Memories. Having grown up with them on TV, I heard them talking in my head as they “acted” out the scenes we put them in. Also being able to have my picture taken afterwards with Miss Piggy was a highlight. (One that made my wife rather jealous!)
CATHERINE: You’ve photographed many beautiful women. Was Miss Piggy really the diva we see on stage?
ALEXI: As we set the scenes, I could hear her diva come out! Complaining to Kermit that he wasn’t giving her enough attention as he gazed out of the window ignoring her, or her whimpering pleas to him as he dressed on the side of the bed before screaming at my assistant that “I CANT WORK LIKE THIS WITH YOU COUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND,” and then turning back to the set, “Kermie… don’t you love me…?”
CATHERINE: Was there anything you wanted to do with the shoot that you couldn’t do?
ALEXI: There were some set ups that I would have liked to recreate from certain famous movies which I could not do simply because of the height difference!
ALEXI: I would love to shoot Kermit and Miss Piggy again and create some more narratives. Also, I cannot remember their names, but I would love to re-create some classic movie scenes with the two old gents that heckle from the balcony.
CATHERINE: What would you like Muppet fans to know about your work?
ALEXI: For all details about my work, people can visit www.alexilubomirski.com
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org