October 10, 2008, 8:30 AM
The Making of the Halle Berry Cover
The PhotographerHaving already shot one of Esquire's Sexiest Women Alive, Jessica Biel, photographer Cliff Watts was familiar with the concept. He was also familiar with Halle Berry -- not only did he photograph her for us in May 2007, the two have been friends for ten years. Acknowledging his bias (Watts is the godfather of Berry's first child), we asked his opinion on this year's winner.
On the Shot: "When I first looked at the image, I thought, Are we really gonna do this with Halle? But after I talked to her about it, it just seemed right. She's a powerful woman; he's a powerful man. It's basically the female equivalent of the Clinton cover. There's a sensitivity and a sexuality there, but also the strength."
On Berry's New Title: "I've been around a lot of beautiful women, and Halle is truly a sexy, beautiful woman. I've seen guys who aren't really attracted to many women be attracted to her. I've seen women be attracted to her. She's so likable. Her sexiness goes beyond her good body and beautiful skin. There's some warmth about her. It's contagious."
On Who Looks Better in That Tie: "Bill Clinton, he's a cool cat. I was always a fan of his, but Halle, she's ruling that tie. I think Bill's going to be a little sorry when he sees that."
The Cover Subjects: A Comparison
|On the cover in December 2000 and December 2005.||On the cover in May 2007 and November 2008.|
|Elected governor of Arkansas in 1978 and president in 1992.||Named Miss Teen All American in 1985 and Miss Ohio in 1986.|
|First Caucasian elected into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.||First African-American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress.|
|Tore a tendon in his knee after slipping down Greg Norman's steps.||Broke her arm while filming Gothika.|
|Has a street named after him in Pristina, Kosovo.||Was named after a department store in Cleveland.|
|In 2005 was awarded the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions for his work to promote AIDS treatment and prevention.||In 2005 was awarded a Golden Raspberry Award, "saluting the worst Hollywood has to offer," for her role in Catwoman.|
"Platon's banter was spectacular. They were talking about their favorite Beatles. Every time Clinton would do something Platon liked, Platon would say, 'Top shot, Mr. President.' Or 'Show me the love, Mr. President.' Clinton was sort of amused and bemused at the same time. Everyone else was cracking up." -- Michael Paterniti, author of the December 2000 article accompanying the original Clinton cover, "The Last Will and Testament of William Jefferson Clinton," describing the photo session.