No makeup, no problem!
The 2017 Pirelli calendar debuted in Paris Tuesday morning, featuring 14 of the most prolific actresses from around the world. The latest list of talent includes Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Penélope Cruz (Zoolander 2), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Rooney Mara (Lion), Helen Mirren (Collateral Beauty), Julianne Moore (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Lupita Nyong'o (Queen of Katwe), Charlotte Rampling (The Sense of an Ending), Léa Seydoux (It's Only the End of the World), Uma Thurman (The Brits Are Coming), Alicia Vikander (The Light Between Oceans), Kate Winslet (Collateral Beauty), Robin Wright (Wonder Woman) and Zhang Ziyi (Run for Love).
Taking a cue from 2016's photographer Annie Liebovitz, whose calendar celebrated "strong but natural women," Peter Lindbergh wanted zero airbrushing or retouching. "I wanted to use the 2017 Calendar to convey a different kind of beauty," Lindbergh says. "Since it's based on consumption, the present system offers a single kind of beauty, which is essentially one of youth and perfection, since its objective is to get people to consume. But this idea of beauty has nothing to do with the real world or with women. Through the Pirelli Calendar I've tried to convey a different message, which is that beauty is far more than what advertising offers us today. My aim was therefore to portray women in a different way: and I did this by calling in actresses who've played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos."
The photos were taken between May and June in five different cities: Berlin, Le Touque, London, L.A. and New York. "I think it's amazing to look at someone like Nicole Kidman – who was the first I photographed – in a totally different way," he says. "It's a sensational experience to look at someone who's looking at you through the camera, and to form a direct bond with them—it was a unique experience, unlike anything I'd had before. When, after an hour or two of shooting, Nicole turned to me and said, 'I don't know why I'm having so much fun. No one has ever photographed me like this. No one has ever seen this part of me and it's really beautiful,' she captured the essence of what I was trying to do with the 2017 Pirelli Calendar."
More than 40 images appear in the 2017 calendar.
Overall, Lindbergh is pleased with the black and white series. "I wanted to portray women not in terms of their perfection, but through their feelings and emotions," the photographer explains. "That's why I called this edition of the Calendar 'Emotional': not some artificial perfection, but the real world and the emotions that well up behind the faces of these women."
Lindbergh, who also shot the 1996 and 2002 calendars, has always been inspired by the movies. "I think photography is as interesting as cinema because you can use just the slightest thing to make a whole lot of things visible. You see someone crossing the street: in cinema it would be nothing, whereas in photography time stops at a given moment—a wonderful, strange, intensely profound and emotional moment—a moment that comes from nothing, simply because time has stopped," he says. "I think this is what makes photography so fascinating."