John Malkovich Channels Alfred Hitchcock — and Marilyn Monroe? — in a New Photo Series

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Gwynne Watkins
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John Malkovich as Marilyn Monroe
John Malkovich as Marilyn Monroe

John Malkovich as Marilyn Monroe

You’ve seen Being John Malkovich, but have you ever seen John Malkovich being Marilyn Monroe? How about John Malkovich being John Lennon…or Alfred Hitchcock…or Mick Jagger? Malkovich assumes all of these roles in the fascinating photo series Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich, named for one of actor’s most bizarre and iconic film scenes.

The 35 photos, shot by Chicago-based photographer Sandro Miller, re-create iconic portraits, with Malkovich as the subject. (View them all here.) The Red 2 actor wears Joker makeup in homage to Herb Ritts’ pictures of Jack Nicholson; sticks out his tongue to play Albert Einstein; clutches flowers to his chest like Ms. Monroe in Bert Sterns’ picture Marilyn with Pink Roses; and holds a dead goose in the manner of Alfred Hitchcock.

John Malkovich as Alfred Hitchcock
John Malkovich as Alfred Hitchcock

John Malkovich as Alfred Hitchcock

Alongside these celebrity tributes are recreations of other famous photographs of less famous names, like Diane Arbus’ “Identical Twins” and Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother.” The seamless insertion of Malkovich into these photos can be funny, grotesque, or, in some cases, barely noticeable.

John Malkovich as Albert Einstein
John Malkovich as Albert Einstein

John Malkovich as Albert Einstein

Sandro Miller has worked on several projects with Malkovich since meeting the actor in the late 1990s at the Steppenwolf Theater. “John is the most brilliant, prolific person I know,” the photographer says of his collaborator. “I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes.” Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters will be on display at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago beginning Nov. 7.

Photo credit: © Sandro Miller courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, 7-Post and the Liberation Newspaper