The People's Photographer

In his new book of portraits, British photographer Platon channel surfs through contemporary culture.

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MONICA BELLUCCI:

"It took me two weeks to recover from that shoot. At the end, I asked her if she'd mind taking a picture with me. She leaned very close and it made me sort of hot under the collar, so I said, 'You know, Monica, please don't lean too close. I'm a married man and it's troubling me.' And she whispered in my ear, 'Darling, I'm married too. In Italy we can do this kind of thing.'" (LOS ANGELES, 1997)

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN:

"This is a young Alexander. When he first started out [as a fashion designer] he was filled with this incredible bravado of youth and arrogance, but it wasn't in a negative way. It was this wonderful sure-footedness. I think this was after his second collection and there was this real buzz about him. He looks larger than life." (LONDON 1996)

MARTIN SCORSESE:

"Scorsese is an iconic figure for me. I loved his hand gestures, and I realized that he has a lot of the same gestures as Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. I didn't know if he adopted the gestures from working with them over the years or if they adopted them from him, or maybe they just all shared them because they were so bonded in the early years. His hands were so chunky and expressive, I wanted them to be important in the picture." (NEW YORK. 1997)

BENICIO DEL TORO:

"Benicio is a man's man. On this shoot they supplied a hairdresser, but he wouldn't let anyone touch his hair. Not because he was being a prima donna--he was saying, 'Look man, I'm a guy and no one touches the hair.' I think he smoked 40 cigarettes and drank eight Irish coffees throughout the day. He was like a modern-day Robert Mitchum." (LOS ANGELES, 2003)

DAVID BECKHAM:

"You have to remember that Beckham in Europe, there's nothing more important. So this is a picture of his celebrity in a way. You get a sense that this guy is very aware of his status, but in a shy, quiet way. He's a very gentlemanly type of person. This is a very quiet picture because you don't know what he's thinking and his face is expressionless. That's very Beckham--a quiet celebrity." (MANCHESTER, 1999)

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