starring DR. RYAN A. STEWART and MARIO ALVAREZ | produced by ROB BRINKLEY | styling by SAM SALADINO | photographs by STEVE WRUBEL | photographed at Museum Tower and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Grooming ASHLEY ROBINSON / The Kim Dawson Agency. Accessories editor BRADLEY AGATHER / FD Luxe. Prop styling ROB BRINKLEY / FD Luxe. Photographer’s assistant RAY DETWILER. Stylist’s assistant COURTNEY WALKER. Special thanks to Barbara Buzzell and Alyssa Harker/The Buzzell Company, Jenny Moss and Tim Kelly/Museum Tower, Becky Mayad/Becky Mayad Public Relations, Kurt Fegraeus and Zach Kent /John Eagle Aston Martin, Abby and Wlodek Malowanczyk/Collage 20th Century Classics, Chris McCullough/Timothy Oulton, Nick Simpson, Eastin Johnson
BEHIND OUR SPY/VILLAIN TALE
THE INSPIRATION: A certain British secret agent — and his 50 years on the silver screen, beginning with the Oct. 5, 1962, premiere of Dr. No.
OUR TWO CHARACTERS: I met the gregarious Dr. Ryan A. Stewart when I started visiting the Dallas Wellness Center in Uptown for some chiropractic work. Stewart, an associate of DWC founder Dr. Doug Kirkpatrick, is a bundle of nuclear energy — and, as it turns out, a former model. Face, body and brains. The adventurous Dr. S didn’t hesitate when I asked him to be our Bond. As the necessary evil to our good spy, I envisioned a villain — but not a purely terrifying one. I wanted our bad guy to have an over-the-top sophistication. EnterMario Alvarez, of Ojeda’s Restaurant on Maple Avenue, where I’ve been going since 1995. Alvarez’s look is appropriately mysterious, and something about his jovial personality told me he would go for the challenge. His reaction to my proposition? “I’vealways wanted to model in a magazine. Are you serious?”
THE LOCATIONS: What says sleek and riveting more than Museum Tower? We spent two days inside the 42-story stunner, using the nearly $3 million model residence decorated by Emily Summers as our base camp and as our modernist spy’s airy dwelling. The $2.35 million residence decorated by Ann Schooler was perfect for our villain, as he has more opulent leanings. The rooftop car sequence and the shots in that amazing, pipe-laden staircase all happened at The Dallas Morning Newsheadquarters downtown. The icing on the location cake? The soon-to-open Perot Museum of Nature and Science. It took three rounds of asking — the building was far from ready for its opening during our Aug. 25 and 26 shoot — but I wanted its otherworldly look and texture in our story. The OK came the day before our shoot, to photograph at one corner of that incredible building by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects in California.
THE PROPS: I tapped into my inner Q — the man who supplies Bond with his cars and gadgets — and hunted/gathered props for weeks.
The guns: We used two replicas of Bond’s beloved Walther PPK, in this case Airsoft pellet guns made by UKArms, model K12B. I cut off their telltale orange tips, required by law to indicate they are not real firearms, with a hacksaw, then sprayed one gun entirely in gold, a nod to the Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. The tarot cards: Ours are authorized replicas (found on amazon.com) of the deck Bond used to seduce Solitaire, the psychic played so seductively by Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die.
The villain’s ring: Throughout the story, Mario wears a copy (an eBay find) of a gold ring worn by Scaramanga, the antagonist inThe Man with the Golden Gun. The spy’s book: Ian Fleming beautifully sketches in Bond’s character in his many books — down to Bond’s favorite author, Eric Ambler, the real-life British writer of spy novels. The tattered copy of Ambler’s 1962 The Light of Day, on page 53, was an eBay score. The martini: Hold the olives: Bond doesn’t take his that way. From Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?” The Aston Martin: The ultimate Bond prop, indeed. John Eagle Aston Martin graciously loaned a brand-new V8 Vantage Coupe (36 miles on the clock) for the weekend shoot. Its color? Silver Birch, the exact shade of the most famous Aston Martin of them all, Bond’s machine-gun-equipped 1960s Aston Martin DB5. — Rob Brinkley
PHOTOGRAPH: STEVE WRUBEL