The Jennifer Aniston shoot: Behind the scenes with Chris McMillan
For W‘s April issue, Jennifer Aniston’s longtime hairstylist and close friend, Chris McMillan, was right by the star’s side during our two-day shoot in Canyon Country, California. We chatted with the creator of the “Rachel” cut about Aniston’s (unwashed) hair, their relationship and ignoring the haters.
What was the initial idea for the photo shoot?
I talked to Alex White [W's Fashion Director], and she said 2010 spring/summer Stella McCartney. So I was like, “Great! Jennifer looking like Jennifer.”
But this is not exactly Jennifer as we know her.
We got there and the storyboards were kind of Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks. Which is even better, because then it started getting good.
How did you arrive at this particular look for Jennifer’s hair?
Well, Steven [Klein] was talking to Jennifer for about an hour and a half while she was doing fittings and her hair dried into this naturally curly head of hair. So we just refined it from there. But it’s not her typical blown-out hairstyle. It’s a little rougher, we liked seeing the flyaways.
What about day two of the shoot?
At the end of the first day Steven came up to me and goes, “Could you please ask her if she could not wash her hair tonight and just show up tomorrow?” I mean, she was rolling in the dirt, it was windy and she had hairspray in her hair.
She said yes to that? Dirty hair?
Yeah, we left her hair dirty. It just created a nice chunky texture. The key to Jennifer’s hair is no matter what you do with it — straight, frizzy, dirty — it looks like it actually grows out of her head. She’s someone for whom her hair doesn’t wear her, she wears it.
Did she enjoy herself on set?
Jen’s always really super game. Steven’s so cinematic about his photographs, and she’s an actress. It’s all reminiscent of an old movie.
How long have you two been working together now?
Oh God! I think 73 years now! Probably about 15 years. She’s been a great loyal friend and client. We’ve had a pretty good run.
Do you think people will be shocked to see this side of her?
They’re going to be talking s–t as usual, but who cares? We don’t care about that.
See the photos and shop Aniston’s looks from the shoot here.
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