Even at the bottom of a secluded rock quarry 100 kilometers outside Madrid, David and Victoria Beckham, arguably the most famous couple in Englandif not the soccer-playing worldremain in character.
It's a hot May afternoon, and Victoria, clad in a tight red tank top and short shorts, is berating a rather hapless-looking gentleman with a long list of items she needs for her imminent move to Los Angelesnow! Tabloid readers would instantly recognize her petulant expression. Then David appears, sporting only low-slung combat shorts, his Dolce & Gabbana briefs visible below his tanned, rippling, tattooed torso. Extracting a digital camera from his pocket, he begins snapping photos of his wife. "She's shy, isn't she?" he says mischievously.
Suddenly, a director yells, "Cut!" and all at once Victoria seems a different person, cracking a broad smile. The aforementioned scene, it turns out, was just that: a scene for the reality show she is doing for NBC. A sizable camera crew from the program has descended upon the quarry to capture the Beckhams posing for photographer Steven Klein, who is taking the photos that appear on these pages. Airing on July 16, the show, Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, is produced by Victoria's longtime manager, Simon Fuller, and follows the Beckhams as they relocate from Europe to Los Angeles, where David will play for the city's Major League Soccer team, the Galaxy. Victoria has her own ambitions Stateside: She's launching a jeans line, a collection of sunglasses and two fragrances. In short, the Beckham brand is poised to invade America. The question on the minds of Posh and Becks-watchers everywhere: Will America care? After all, soccer has never taken root here, and there is no shortage of imported pop superstarsfrom Kylie Minogue to Robbie Williamswho have failed to achieve their American dreams.
The Beckhams, however, don't appear to be feeling the pressure. With the cameras down, Victoria is disarmingly funny and self-deprecating as she walks hand in hand through the quarry with her husband. She seems to be bursting with glee about her upcoming move. "What part of Beverly Hills is your new house in?" one of the crew asks, as the pair stop to rest on director's chairs. "The best," she replies saucily.
David is clearly a man of fewer words, though when he does open his mouth, he too is funny, even sly. "How did you two meet?" someone asks.
"She stalked me," he replies as his wife arches her eyebrows. A moment later, in a low tone, he admits, "I fancied her."
The next day, the two expand somewhat on their relationship in an interview at their large, leafy property just outside Madrid, where David has played for the powerhouse team Real Madrid for the past four years. He seems natural and relaxed, perched on a picnic bench overlooking the pool, but Victoria, sitting beside him, holding his hand, is slightly guarded. "I'm not at all worried about this, by the way," she quips, before putting her game face on to describe her upcoming move to L.A. as "an exciting challenge." Almost a decade after their wedding, David tells the story of their first encounter with ardor that still seems fresh. Even before they met, he says, he knew Victoria was the one for him. He recalls watching TV after a match with his Manchester United teammate Gary Neville late in 1996 when a Spice Girls video came on. Spotting Victoria in a catsuit, he was transfixed: "I turned around to Gary and said, 'That one there, that's the girl I'm going to marry.' "