But the actor’s new film, The Bang Bang Club, put him in a position to be a photographer himself, giving him the chance to see the positive influence photos can have in the media. Check out photos of Phillippe at last night’s premiere of the film during the Toronto Film Festival in the gallery.
“I wouldn’t give
paparazzi the same respect I would a combat photographer,” Phillippe told the Vancouver Sun. “I don’t think
there’s nearly the same thing at stake, or the same jeopardy. But what it did for me was re-illustrate the importance
of a person being in an area of turmoil or conflict in the media
capacity and getting the word out, opening people’s eyes.”
In the film, he plays a combat photographer whose pictures of rioting in South Africa in the 90s helped bring about majority rule in that country during the time of apartheid.
“To get too involved, you not only put yourself at risk, you put the job you’re there to do at risk,” Phillippe says. “I don’t know if it’s a position I could take, to not get involved and not help a person in need, but I think the position they have to take is that they are a device, to some extent. They are the eyes. They are there to document.”
He said that being a history buff drew him into the role, and that he found South Africa to be one of the most compelling places on the planet and hopes to take his kids there one day to experience how culturally rich it is.