Mad Men star Christina Hendricks reveals that she was the hand model on the iconic poster for Oscar-winning film American Beauty. Released in 1999, American Beauty stars Kevin Spacey as a suburban father who, in the throes of a mid-life crisis, develops a dangerous infatuation with his daughter’s teenage friend, played by Mena Suvari. Directed by Sam Mendes, the provocative film became a hit at the box office with $356 million in worldwide grosses and went on to win five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Spacey.
However, though American Beauty was indeed almost universally acclaimed in its time, the film has undergone a major critical reassessment in recent years, and is now considered by many to have been wildly overrated. Some would even argue that American Beauty is downright offensive in the era of #MeToo, with its story centered on a depressed middle-aged man who becomes sexually obsessed with a teenage girl. The presence of lead actor Spacey, who has himself become a pariah in Hollywood after sexual assault allegations, also causes many to cringe when they watch the Oscar-winning film today.
If there is any aspect of American Beauty that most agree does stand the test of time, it has to be the film’s poster, which has become iconic. Now, it’s been revealed that the memorable poster image was hiding a secret for the last 20 years. On Instagram, Emmy-nominee Hendricks revealed that it’s actually her hand holding the rose beside a different model’s bare belly-button in the unforgettable image. As the actress explained, “I used to be a model and sometimes a hand model....this is my hand and another model’s stomach.” See Hendricks’ full post in the space below:
So carefully did Hendricks guard the secret of her American Beauty connection for all these years that her many celebrity Instagram pals and acting colleagues apparently didn’t even have a clue. “This is important. How come I didn’t know this?” Hendricks’ Mad Men co-star January Jones posted in the Instagram comments after the revelation. Another of Hendricks’ Mad Men co-stars, Alison Brie, chimed in with a simple “WOAH," while Busy Phillips simply exclaimed "Wait.... What!?" Model Coco Rocha summed up the thoughts of many when she commented “This is the most incredible fact I have learnt all year!! My mind is blown.”
It’s impossible to say why Hendricks decided to keep her American Beauty poster role a secret for all this time, but now that the world knows whose hand it actually was clutching that rose in that iconic image, it seems everyone’s mind is utterly blown. Unfortunately, Hendricks' revelation won't help the movie's overall reputation, which has diminished greatly in the twenty years since its release.
Source: Christina Hendricks