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Andrew Eccles has photographed plenty of 24-karat celebrities for Texas Monthly, but his session with Lou Diamond Phillips was a truly golden experience. “In an industry that’s marked by jaded people,” Eccles says, “Lou was a breath of fresh air. He’s down to earth, talkative, enthusiastic—an incredibly sweet guy.”
In his career, 35-year-old Eccles has progressed from working in a Corpus Christi photo lab to assisting Annie Leibovitz to shooting his own celebrity portraits; for TM alone he has contributed images of Tommy Lee Jones, Walter Cronkite, Tommy Tune, Hakeem Olajuwon, Liz Smith, Meat Loaf, Anna Nicole Smith, Betty Buckley, Bridget Hall, and more. He notes, “I originally planned to photograph Lou on the set of The King and I because it’s so rich and exotic—everything on the set is gold-leafed. But I’ve always wanted to do someone in metallic body paint. So I suggested it to Lou. I’ve gotten so used to people saying, ‘I’m not comfortable with that’ or ‘That’ll take too long,’ that I was stunned when he said, ‘Okay, sure. When do we start? Do you want me nude?’ The gold paint also seemed like a fitting concept because, given his current success, Lou is one of Texas’ golden boys.”