Feature: Top 20 Celebrity Photos of 2019, by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com

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Average: 5 (5 votes)

Star 5. Actor Michael Shannon

Actor Michael Shannon
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Is there any actor of late that can project a bigger, badder and more villainous onscreen psychotic than Michael Shannon? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding “No!” Whether he is setting fire to Ashley Judd’s character in “Bug,” or raving about assaulting his mother (Kathy Bates) with a coffee table in “Revolutionary Road,” or being more monstrous than the actual monster in “The Shape of Water,” Michael Shannon is so brilliant at portraying crazy it’s downright scary. He possesses a skill set so deep, that like his character General Zod in “Man of Steel,” it almost demands that lesser actors kneel before him. TV’s “Family Guy” might have parodied it best when Peter Griffith was interrupted as he was giving the intense actor calming words, and Shannon then slaughters the entire film crew in the two seconds.

I’ve photographed the two-time Oscar nominee at least four times previously, and off screen he is the complete polar opposite of his menacing characters. Shannon playfully gifted me with a badass tongue shot – money in the bank! – at the red carpet premiere of “Knives Out” for the 55th Chicago International Film Festival. He was no doubt demonstrating his superb taste in selecting his over-the-top roles. Our readers absolutely lapped it up.

Star4. Actor Eddie Redmayne

Actor Eddie Redmayne
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Eddie Redmayne is a good candidate for the best actor of his generation. At age 37, he has already won an Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe, SAG award, BAFTA (British Oscar) and the Laurence Olivier Award. He was nominated for a second Oscar for “The Danish Girl” (2015), after winning his first for “The Theory of Everything” (2014), portraying physicist Stephen Hawking.
In addition to acting he has also modeled in ads for Burberry alongside supermodel Cara Delevingne, and was named the Number One Best Dressed British Man by GQ Magazine in 2015. It seems Eddie Redmayne has indeed experienced the theory of everything.

In his latest film “The Aeronauts,” it seems that even the sky isn’t the limit for this also-recipient of the British OBE medal. Teaming up with director Tom Harper and his “Theory of Everything” co-star Felicity Jones, Redmayne portrays meteorologist James Glaisher … who in 1862 soared 37,000 feet over England, collecting weather data while shattering the previous manned balloon record. I photographed both Eddie Redmayne and Director Tom Harper at the 55th Chicago International Film Festival premiere of “The Aeronauts.” The celebrated actor gave me a portrait good enough to leave his fans with their heads in the clouds. Up, Up and away!

Star3. Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Jeff Goldblum (A Poem)

Here we see tall man Jeff
Still always looking fly
Disney+’s King of Quirk
A worldly inquisitive guy

Be it Chaos Theory
Or Law and Order
I haven’t got a clue

So it’s brains over brawn
He turns them on
I guess nerds are sexy too

Star2. John Travolta

John Travolta
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

John Travolta (A Poem)

He’s been strutting across our screens
Since Nineteen Seventy-Five
SweatHog or Boy In the Plastic Bubble
Destined to Stay Alive.

Step-by-step through every role
Where dancing legends thrive
In Greased Lightning, and Urban Cowboy
Or Vincent Vega’s Jive.

Star1. Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

How much of a badass is Robert Downey Jr.? Do you know any other Hollywood actors who would simply pass on a studio’s offer to launch a major public relations campaign to win them their first Oscar? During an interview with Howard Stern, Downey Jr. revealed that he asked Disney Studios not to bother pushing him for an Oscar, despite overwhelming demand from Avengers fans. He didn’t feel like dealing with the campaign and simply said, ”Let’s not.” But Disney naturally went ahead anyway with it, because you know its not like he can just snap is fingers and end the world or anything.

Downey Jr. earned a reported $75 million dollars for “Avengers: Endgame” and has accumulated an estimated $250 million from the Disney/Marvel Studios Universe since first appearing as Iron Man Tony Stark in 2008. For this reason alone he doesn’t need any stinking golden statues. He’s the box office Man of Iron, and like his character Tony Stark, the mercurial Downey Jr. has also found his redemption through his family, friends and the fans that love him 3000.

I photographed Downey for the second time in June, as he was Master of Ceremony at The Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award Gala, honoring his buddy and Iron Man director, Jon Favreau. Downey pointed directly at my lens and instructed me to make him look at least ten years younger as he approached the red carpet cameras.

RIP to this list of the following celebrity subjects, who I had previous photographed, and that we sadly lost in 2019 (Click the highlighted link for the photo and article where applicable), Valerie Harper, Horror Icon Sid Haig, Carroll “Big Bird” Spinney, Peter Fonda, Luke Perry, Peter Mayhew, Carol Channing, Peter Tork, Jan Michael Vincent, Dick Miller and Julie Adams, French New Wave Icon Agnes Varda, Actress Carol Lynley, Denise Nickerson of “Willy Wonka”, David Hedison of “The Fly” (1958), Michael J. Pollard of “Bonnie and Clyde”, the great character actor Robert Forster and my spirit animal Tardar Sauce, AKA Grumpy Cat.

Photographed and Written by: Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com
Published and edited by: Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com

Thanks to the following events, organizations and venues for the opportunities to photograph (click on name for website) … Wizard World Chicago, Cinema/Chicago (facilitator of the Chicago International Film Festival), Anderson’s Bookshop, Music Box Theatre, Navy Pier Chicago, The Hollywood Show Chicago and the Gene Siskel Film Center. To directly access the portraits of photographer Joe Arce, of Starstruck Foto and HollywoodChicago.com, click here.

© 2020 Joe Arce, HollywoodChicago.com LLC

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