See John Malkovich Transform Into Meryl Streep, Che Guevara, Albert Einstein and More

·3 min read
Sandro Miller
Sandro Miller

I began working with John Malkovich more than 20 years ago, when he was an ensemble member of the world-renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I met John during a photo session, and we’ve been friends and collaborators ever since that initial meeting, creating 120 portraits to date. His belief and trust in my work is unprecedented. He has granted me many opportunities to work with him. Over the past years, I would approach John with various personal projects, ranging from short films to photographic stories. He has never said no, and has always been open to my ideas. For me, John is a beautiful clean canvas ready for paint. He is extremely open-minded, never fearful, and always willing to go to places most actors of his caliber would avoid. He is a genius willing to take chances—a talent that allows himself to become anything I ask.

Purchase Sandro Miller’s book Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich

In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. The illness took me down hard and left me thinking about my future as a father, husband, and photographer. As a photographer, I had experienced a pretty good run of nearly 38 years, working with some of the biggest clients in the advertising world, winning a handful of the photography industry’s top awards, and exhibiting my personal work in many beautiful galleries around the world. I felt I had achieved more than I ever thought possible as a self-taught photographer.

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Days would pass during my recovery and I would think, would I ever take another great picture? Several months after recovery and with much research I flew to France to see John, armed with a package of 30 iconic images by 28 master photographers. After consuming two bottles of wine, I showed John my idea and he fell in love. I chose John because deep in my heart, I knew he was the only actor who would be willing to morph into the numerous subjects portrayed in the original images. My biggest fear was that people wouldn’t take this project seriously. I didn’t want these to be a parody. I was serious about paying homage to these photographers and photographs that changed my perspective on photography. These images inspired me throughout my career and developed me into the photographer I am today. I wanted to honor these great photographers and needed the perfection of an actor who would put everything on the line. After eight months of research, I watched John become a boy, girl, man, woman, Marilyn, Picasso, Hitchcock, Bette Davis and Che Guevara.

Here are some of my favorite images of Malkovich:

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Albert Einstein by Arthur Sasse</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Albert Einstein by Arthur Sasse

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as John Ford by Richard Avedon</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as John Ford by Richard Avedon

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as (Ken Moody and) Robert Sherman by Robert Mapplethorpe</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as (Ken Moody and) Robert Sherman by Robert Mapplethorpe

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Igor Stravinsky by Arnold Newman</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Igor Stravinsky by Arnold Newman

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Che Guevara by Alberto Korda </p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Che Guevara by Alberto Korda

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Meryl Streep by Annie Leibovitz</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Meryl Streep by Annie Leibovitz

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Ronald Fisher, Beekeeper by Richard Avedon</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Ronald Fisher, Beekeeper by Richard Avedon

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Pablo Picasso by Irving Penn</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Pablo Picasso by Irving Penn

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Ernest Hemingway by Yousuf Karsh</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Ernest Hemingway by Yousuf Karsh

Sandro Miller
<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Sandro Miller</div>

John Malkovich by Sandro Miller as Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol

Sandro Miller

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