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Here I feature, straight from Entertainment Weekly’s website, EW.com their BEST PHOTO OUTTAKES OF THE YEAR.

GUESS WHO’S IN THE LIST? GO INSIDE FOR MORE.


THE CAST OF GOSSIP GIRL
July 13, 2008 · New York City
Photograph by Frederike Helwig
The six-pack of stars (from left, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, Blake Lively, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, and Jessica Szohr) who headline The CW’s stylish drama proved quite the opposite of their scheming counterparts during a cover shoot at the Soho Grand Hotel for EW’s Fall TV Preview. They were low-maintenance (”It was Sunday morning, and they still showed up on time,” recalls EW photography director Lisa Berman) and chummy (no catfights over the Hervé Léger dresses to report). Still, it wasn’t hard to re-create the show’s signature upscale flair. Says Berman, ”We wanted it to look like they were going out for a swanky night on the town, and thankfully it doesn’t take a lot to make this group look attractive.”

My take: I love it black and white. But of course, Blake and Penn are the focus of the camera. Don’t you notice how Jessica Szohr looks so in love with Chace Crawford? Other than that, Leighton Meester looks smashing.

USHER
April 13, 2008 · New York City
Photograph by Martin Schoeller
Schoeller hoped a lit match (it took about 20 tries to get this take) would ignite a new image for the R&B star, who has faced criticism for marrying his stylist. ”I wanted to show that he’s not this little teenage sex symbol — that he’s his own person and has a little edge,” says the photographer. Schoeller adds that the singer was ”open to play and trying new things,” such as letting his head be doused with half-and-half for one shot. ”I would have never thought in my wildest dreams that that would happen. But sometimes you get lucky.”

My Take: I love flaming matchstick concept. Wonder how he is doing with his former Make-up artist wife. Is it rue that she is older than him, by, 10 years (to say the most)?

THE STARS OF TWILIGHT
June 6, 2008 · Canyon Country, Calif.
Photograph by Jeff Riedel
The inspiration for this shoot, which took place in a secluded area north of L.A., came from a romance-novel book jacket. Says Riedel, ”It’s a hero whisking his woman in distress away. It was a moment of passion.” It was also a moment of slight filthiness for subjects Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. ”They were getting wet [and] standing in a pond. If they were divas, I don’t think we would’ve been able to pull that off.”

My take: Funny how the pond became a puddle. This photo is 200x better than their cover image, to say the least. It looks like it came from a Calvin Klein ad, tres magnifique.

BEN STILLER, ROBERT DOWNEY JR., JACK BLACK
June 1, 2008 · Los Angeles
Photograph by Jake Chessum
The only thing harder than getting an A-lister to let loose at a photo shoot? Getting three of them to do it — at the same time. ”I didn’t know to what extent they’d go for it,” recalls Chessum, who conceptualized the first part of this Tropic Thunder cover shoot as a no-holds-barred brawl between the actors, complete with fake blood and black eyes. ”Then Jack Black walked in. I said, ‘Jack, are you ready for this? Have you got any energy?’ And he screamed, School of Rock-style, ‘I got energy for daaaaays!’ So at that point, I relaxed.”

BEN STILLER, ROBERT DOWNEY JR., JACK BLACK
June 1, 2008 · Los Angeles
Photographs by Jake Chessum
Later, the photographer got one-on-one time with each of the actors for portraits that he shot against the plain padded walls of a soundstage. ”They had slightly different personalities. Ben Stiller’s a bit more reserved, a bit more cautious. Robert Downey kind of goes along with it. He’s very calm.” And Jack? ”It’s just difficult to keep him still.”

My take: I always find spontaneity with these two pictures from Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr..the first image maes Ben Stiller look like some disfigured creature resembling a human being.

CONAN O’BRIEN
January 10, 2008 · New York City
Photograph by Justin Stephens
We all know O’Brien has a knack for making people laugh. But simians? They’re a tougher crowd. It took the best efforts of the comedian, Stephens, and two trainers to get a smile out of Louie, the chimp who posed with O’Brien for EW’s Writers’ Strike Survival Guide. ”It made for a very unusual dynamic,” says Stephens. ”It’s usually me trying to get something out of a celebrity. This time the celebrity and I were working together to get something out of the monkey.”

My take: I just love this man. Diggin’ the strike beard.

KATY PERRY
July 16, 2008 · Columbia, Md.
Photograph by Danielle Levitt
”She has so much charisma,” says Levitt, who shot the ultrafemme singer while she was in town with the Vans Warped Tour. ”I thought it would be fun to stick her into this simplified environment and let her personality come through without distraction.” Perry’s look emerged just as organically. ”It’s funny,” Levitt says. ”She works with one stylist, and he basically brings a suitcase. They open it up, and it’s just like playing dress-up!”

My take: The MOST HORRIFYING IMAGE OF ALL. She looks like a devil, only stupider. Busted, she is.

JOSH BROLIN
April 30, 2008 · Los Angeles
Photograph by Platon
EW’s session with Brolin (seen here as our 43rd president) was more than just a photo shoot — it was a dress rehearsal. Director Oliver Stone was on hand to coach the W. star as he tried on the personality — and prosthetic nose — of his onscreen alter ego. ”He didn’t just physically get into character,” recalls Platon, who has shot real-life politicians such as Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin. ”Everyone there witnessed George Bush, coming alive for this movie.”

SAMUEL L. JACKSON
June 6, 2008 · Los Angeles
Photograph by Michael Muller
Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. John Shaft in Shaft. Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace. Jackson has played more than a few guys you wouldn’t want to cross. But Muller says this smiling portrait is about as close to the real Jackson as you can get. ”He’s the most approachable sweetheart of a guy,” says the photographer. ”What you see on screen is not what you get in real life. Thank God.”

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