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Steve's widow Barbara McQueen Brunsvold and co-author Marshall Terrill
have just released a new photo book titled Steve McQueen - The Last Mile.
Consisting of photographs taken by Barbara along with her personal stories
about Steve and their relationship, the 240-page book takes it's readers on a
deeply personal journey with Steve McQueen during the years 1977 to 1980.
|In an exclusive interview Barbara talks with McQueenOnline about the book.|
|MO: When you and Steve began your relationship in 1977 you said, "The camera goes where I go." What was your inspiration and philosophy as a photographer at the time?|
Barbara: (Laughs out loud) At the time I started taking photos of Steve, I was a novice, so I had no
real philosophy. I was just lucky I knew how to keep the camera in focus! Serious, what was my inspiration?
Steve was my inspiration. He was a beautiful subject. I didn't view him as a movie star, just a normal person.
I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. He knew at the time I wasn't going to sell the pictures to a tabloid
or do anything bad with them. It just happened.|
MO: On the back jacket of your book and in a recent interview with the 'Sunday Times' you stated that you and Steve talked about writing a book (tentatively titled The Long Haul) with his stories and your photographs, but were too busy to get it down. Steve McQueen was known as a recluse at this point in his life. How did this change come about in that he was ready to release these private images and thoughts to the public?
Barbara: I don't know if he was ready to release it or not, but he was going to write the captions to go along with my pictures that I had already taken. In addition, we were going to travel to his old haunts, places where he grew up, including Slater, Missouri. But that didn't happen, so we've turned this book into my story and a tribute to Steve.
MO: Was Steve a self-conscious subject while being photographed?
Barbara: Absolutely not. Good god, the man was an actor! He was very comfortable in front of the camera.
MO: What sort of display or attention did your pictures get around the house at the time they were taken?
Barbara: I never displayed the pictures around the house. This is the very first time the pictures have ever been displayed at all. These photos have basically been in the closet for 25 years.
MO: What are your feelings about sharing these photos with the world?
Barbara: I love it! I think it's great. It feels good. This shows that Steve wasn't that hard-ass guy in the movies. He was a real person who put his pants on just like everybody else. He was a guy who washed his own cars and planes, tinkered with motorcycles and made mashed potatoes and gravy, all of which are captured in this book. I feel good sharing them because it's done out of pure love and nothing else.
MO: As the photographer, I would assume you are not in a lot of the pictures. Are there any pictures with you in them and did you use a stand-in photographer?
Barbara: I am in some of the pictures as you'll see. The stand-in photographers were either friends when you see the two of us together, or when I'm alone in a picture Steve usually took the shot. Photographer Dave Friedman generously lent me approximately 20 pictures for the book and we ended up buying two or three from others to round out the book. I'm very proud of my work and this book.
MO: Besides Steve, who are the other photographic subjects in the book?
Barbara: My co-author, Marshall Terrill, insisted that readers wanted to know more about me, where I came
from and how I met Steve, so the first 30 pages are mostly pictures of me and my career. I also took pictures
of Steve's two kids, Terry and Chad, Steve's cars, motorcycles and our pets. But mostly the photos are of Steve.
It's a family coffee table book with a little salty language to spice things up (laughs). |
MO: Which are your favorite pictures and why?
Barbara: My favorite of Steve was of him wearing a leather bomber jacket and scarf, drinking coffee at the Santa Paula Airport right before he took off in his plane. He reminds me of a World War II pilot from another era. The other photos that are my favorites are taken by Dave Friedman, who snapped a photo of Steve playing with his dog Junior on the set of Tom Horn. He's so happy in that picture and his love for Junior is quite evident. They both have the same facial expression and it's priceless. The other picture I love was taken by Dave while in Chicago on the set of The Hunter. Steve's sitting down in a director's chair and I'm standing over him with my arms around him and my chin resting on the top of his head. It's a very sweet picture and captured perfectly our relationship.
MO: Which pictures featured in the book do you think would be Steve's favorites, and why?
Barbara: I think he liked everything. Remember, he had seen all the photos during his lifetime. He saw every single picture and loved them them all. It's a nice, tastefully done book and I think Steve would have not only approved but would be very proud of me and the book.
|Steve McQueen: The Last Mile is priced at $95, is a special limited edition run of 2,000 and is
signed by Barbara McQueen and her co-author, Marshall Terrill. The limited editions will include a slipcase and a
45-minute compact disc of the superstar going over script notes as he prepares to film Tom Horn.
To order Steve McQueen: The Last Mile, visit www.daltonwatson.com