On Tuesday, the Pirelli Calendar revealed all of the images for its 2020 calendar and that the first time ever, it merged photography and video with an accompanying short film. The theme of the 2020 calendar is “Looking for Juliet,” and Paolo Roversi photographed eight celebs who are, according to the calendar, “suited to playing the Shakespearian character today.”
In the 18-minute film, photographer Paolo Roversi plays himself as a film director interviewing candidates for the role of Juliet, according to a press release, “who pass one-by-one before the director’s lens to portray the multifaceted character with a broad gamut of emotions and expressions.”
“I was looking for a pure soul, someone full of innocence that combined strength, beauty, tenderness and courage,” the photographer said in the same release. “I found this in the glimmer of an eye, in the gestures and words of Emma and Yara, Indya and Mia and in the smiles and tears of Kristen and Claire...in the voices and chants of Chris and Rosalía. In Stella we have the innocence. There’s a Juliet in every woman,” he concludes. “And I will never stop looking for her.”
“Eight [stars] that all embody a concept of love and who, because of the roles they have performed and the lives they have lived, could easily play the part of a modern Juliet,” the calendar’s website reads. The featured talent includes actress Emma Watson, actress Claire Foy, actor and model Indya Moore, Catalan singer Rosalia, Chinese pop star Chris Lee, actress Kristen Stewart, actress Mia Goth, and actress Yara Shahidi.
Shahidi, who is an outspoken activist and the star of Grown-ish, was a choice for the modern day Juliet because of her commitment to social justice. Moore was cast because the Pirelli version of Juliet shows that everyone is worthy of love. “I’m not a woman. My pronouns are they/them,” Moore tells the calendar. Moore’s inclusion in the Pirelli calendar, and their overall career, represents progress toward a more inclusive future. As Pirelli notes on its website, “Time has crowned [Indya] one of the 100 most influential people in the world for teaching everybody the beauty of diversity.”
For more than 50 years, the Pirelli calendar has served as a milestone for both a photographer and a model's careers. Last year's calendar featured Albert Watson’s exploration of the changing nature of ambition. In that version of the calendar, success is told through female and male protagonists like models Gigi Hadid and Laetitia Casta, ballet dancers Misty Copeland and Sergei Poullunin, designer Alexander Wang, actress Julia Garner, and more. And the year before that, an all-Black cast was shot by Tim Walker. During one of fashion's most politically charged eras, Paolo Roversi ask us to take a break from all of the noise and reexamine what a heroine looks like.