Behind the Mask: 
Andy Gotts MBE portraits for BAFTA

Running for just over two weeks, Behind The Mask at Somerset House shows all the actors and actresses who have either won or been nominated for a BAFTA since 1954. Photographer Andy Gotts has captured them outside of their profession, allowing us to see the ‘real person’ behind the characters we see in the films. Some it seems are able to let go of their professional front more easily than others, but each has their own unique quality. Whether it’s Helen Mirren with her pink hair, Helena Bonham-Carter with her jester hat, or the back of Samuel L. Jackson’s head, no two photos have the same expression.

Robert De Niro and Thandie Newton by Andy Gotts

Robert De Niro and Thandie Newton by Andy Gotts

The collection has a raw, organic feel to it, with no excessive photo shopping to hide the odd wrinkle or even out skin tone like we see so often nowadays. Just a minor change in contrast to highlight the difference  between light and dark, which is continuous throughout the exhibition.

It’s interesting to see the list of nominations and wins for each actor/actress as well- Meryl Streep was one, who had two wins and ten nominations, two being for Leading Actress. People can crop up out of nowhere to win leading actor with no previous nominations (Jean Dujardin for The Artist) and I never realised that Christopher Lee has never won or been nominated for a BAFTA, but he has been awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship.

Helena Bonham-Carter by Andy Gotts

Helena Bonham-Carter by Andy Gotts

Sadly the exhibition is only on for a few more days to make way for London Fashion Week, but some of the portraits are being moved to BAFTA 195 Piccadilly from 9 February up until 16 February. If you have a spare half an hour wandering round London, this is a lovely way to fill the time (plus admission is free). More info can be found here.

Reporter: Jess Hawke

Source: Behind The Mask at Somerset House

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