11 Photos Offer A Revealing Look At Hollywood Boulevard Characters

Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
If you're anything like most L.A. locals, you avoid the Hollywood Walk of Fame like the plague. The traffic, the tourists — it's all too much to handle if you're not a wide-eyed out-of-towner visiting for the first time. Suffice to say, if you ever get roped into bringing your cousin to the famed boulevard, you're probably not thinking much about the costume-clad performers lining the street. But photographer Ken Hermann aims to change that.

The Copenhagen-based lensman shot a series of portraits titled "Behind The Mask." He captured striking, personal images of street characters on Hollywood Boulevard and got to know the men and women behind the fantastical images. But digging deeper was no easy task. "Some of the characters were reluctant to show their real face or even break character, citing professionalism," Hermann told us. "For the first few days, I found myself negotiating a photo shoot through a giant Minnie Mouse head."

Hermann was inspired by the characters' pursuit of the American dream. "I found this ambition meshed with the innocent fantasy world of dressing up intriguing," he said. Click through to peek 11 fascinating photos of these performers like you've never seen them.
Advertisement
1 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Tobias Santiago As Charlie Chaplin
"Tobias is a grand old man — he was one of the first characters on the boulevard. He has his own corner. He’s been acting there for 15 years and is well respected by the others."
2 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Jason Huges As Captain Boulevard
"[This is a] homemade superhero character. He told us that him and his friend Solar Flare, another homemade superhero, were living on the street."
Advertisement
3 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Jabari Farrow As Chewbacca
"He is 21 years old and is the youngest of all the characters. He's a full-time student."
4 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Victor Borboa As Bumblebee
"Victor is a full-time electrician and just does this for fun about two times a week. It all started with him and his son making these kinds of costumes for a school competition, and he just got really into it."
5 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Jason As Mad Hatter
"Jason was already acting in Australia and moved to L.A. because he won the green-card lottery. He now has a full-time job as an impersonator, where he plays different characters, including the Mad Hatter."
6 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
April Q Russell As Marilyn Monroe
"She only does this part-time; she’s a full-time producer."
7 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Milagro Aguilar As Minnie Mouse
"I chose her because I wanted some of the classic characters. The funny thing is that she didn’t remove the head before the actual pictures were taken, so I had no idea who was inside."
Advertisement
8 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Vasyl Litvynchuk As Thor
"There was a dumpster with this old couch near where we stayed. I thought it would be nice to stand him on top of something, but without him looking too masculine. He’s also holding his cape in quite a sensitive way."
9 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Javier Francisco As Superman
"This guy had quite a lot of problems in the beginning — there’s another Superman on the boulevard, so there’s been a turf war."
10 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Jordi Lluch as Zorro
"We took this picture on an overpass in the outskirts of L.A. I wanted to play around with his shadow, so that's how I came up with this idea."
11 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ken Hermann.
Joe As Darth Vader
"He is a full-time actor and [dresses up on Hollywood Boulevard] to get extra cash."
Advertisement