Interview Magazine ArticleJuly 19, 2005
Credit Whitney from BreatheHeavy.com for this:
Interview’s editor in chief and one of pop’s friskiest couples have a phone date to talk about the images that follow, and on cue at the appointed time the telephone rings.
INGRID SISCHY: Hello, Britney.
BRITNEY SPEARS: Hi!
IS: How are you?
BS: I’m good, how are you?
IS: I’m good, thanks. So, let’s go straight to those hilarious pictures. They’re like performance art, and I love how they take the mickey out of the media. What led you to go down this path?
BS: I knew we were coming out with our reality show, and I wanted to capture [something about all this] in an art form. Through photography I wanted me and Kevin to do some kind of character pieces, with a fun essence that didn’t really take things too seriously.
IS: What makes the pictures so playful is that they’re really picking up on social stereotypes in general but also on stereotypes of you, stereotypes of Kevin, and stereotypes of your relationship.
BS: Right. I think we both have the sense of wanting to serve the other person. He has that for me, and I have that for him.
KEVIN FEDERLINE: Not to mention that you’re serving a “white trash” man. [Spears’ laughs]
IS: Who is that? Kevin? I didn’t know you’d arrived. I’m glad you’re on the line,too.
KF: Oh, yeah, I’ve been listening.
IS: Okay. So, have you both done these kinds of set-up, conceptual photos before?
KF: No, not like this. It was her idea.
IS: And then you commissioned Michelle Kole, the photographer, to capture your vision. Well, you seem to be having a hoot in the pictures.
BS: Instead of trying to deny what the public says or what they think our personas are, we –
KF: Make fun of it!
BS: You know, when you present it to their eyes blatantly and up-front, then it’s just where do you go from there?
IS: Which image did you plan first?
BS: Me in the maid outfit.
KF: Yeah, we wanted that for the cover. We were kind of confused about who was gonna be the server on the cover. [laughs] We were both saying that we were gonna have to do a flip cover so we would both feel like it was equal.
IS: Hey, guys . . .
BS: We’re not on the cover?! [Federline laughs]
IS: Oops. [laughs]
BS: Why am I even on the phone with you right now?! [Federline laughs]
IS: You should hang up on me!
BS: I know!
KF: No, I think it’s better off that way that it’s not on the cover because it’s more of an artistic statement.
IS: Yes, it’s like buried treasure.
BS: Ooh, I like that.
IS: You must have had a ball doing these shots.
KF: Of course. We always have fun.
IS: Britney, you’ve conceptualized things before for your albums and videos. Is this the first time you’ve made pop art out of your life?
BS: I’ve worked this way with my videos and photo shoots, but I’ve never done a whole out-there concept that is not attached to a movie or an album.
IS: The images attracted me because there’s this huge tradition in art for this kind of performance photography, you know? Cindy Sherman is the best known of these artists, but there have been plenty of others. I’m curious, how did you feel when the media started doing its thing with your relationship and bringing out all the stereotypes? What was your reaction?
KF: I laughed.
BS: We both laughed. But we never really said or did anything during that whole period before we got married. We were on the cover of a magazine, like, every other week. A lot of times when that happens, you’re out there working, and you’re out in front of the cameras, able to defend yourself, but you’re having some response. But I was nowhere to be found. Our reality series and these pictures really gave me the opportunity to let the public and the fans see the way things really are.
IS: And I imagine also to let people see that you both have a total sense of humor about it all.
IS: If a guy married a woman and the guy was more famous, the world wouldn’t deem it an inequal relationship. But if you have a guy marrying a woman who is more well-known, more, in quotes, “powerful,” more wealthy, then there’s a kind of reverse sexism that comes out, right?
KF: You’re speaking pretty highly of my wife, there, aren’t you? [Sischy laughs]
BS: Keep going! He loves it!
IS: So, Kevin, do you experience this reverse sexism?
KF: Uhh –
BS: Sexi – [everybody starts talking at once]
KF: I don’t really experience it. I’ll tell you why – because in our realtionship we’re equal. The photographs demonstrate that this is a 50-50 thing between us, even though she’s a goddess. Now she’s my goddess.
IS: Photography – the great democratizer . . . So, when your kid is born, what are you going to say when you show him or her these photographs?
KF: This is how we were being percieved in a moment in time.
IS: And you wanted to show the world what?
KF: That we don’t care!!! [Spears and Federline laugh]
Credit: To the LOVELY *Whitney*