“I knew it was going to be wild when I signed on,” says Carolyn Murphy, who stars in Ryan McGinley’s
exclusive short film Entrance Romance (it felt like a kiss)
. “Next thing I know, my manager is telling me that they're going to break glass on my head and my leading man's a dog. I'm like, 'That's it?' I was so sure I'd have to take my clothes off,” she says, laughing. Shot with a
Phantom camera (capable of capturing video at over 1000 frames per
second), Entrance Romance
sees the all-American beauty (since 2002 the face of Estée Lauder
) cheerfully turning a can of WD-40 into a flame thrower, passionately kissing a dog and smiling serenely as a bowl of goldfish smashes over her head. Murphy notes: "We did the fishbowl scene in just one take. As soon as it cracked against my head, everyone dove down and scrambled to pick up the goldfish. None were hurt in the making of this film!" The film's collision of innocence and thrill should be familiar to fans of the photographer's previous work—carefree, hazy shots of teenagers jumping off cliffs, skinny dipping or cavorting in remote locations (earlier this year, McGinley debuted a film for Pringle of Scotland featuring Tilda Swinton in a forest and caves)—but here the action is exquisitely drawn out, with the camera registering the most minute changes in Murphy's expression. Despite the relentless focus, her face remains unflinchingly calm, emphasized by beachy makeup, luminous golden lighting, and a meditative, chant-led soundtrack, all of which provide an intriguing contrast to the film’s explosions of glass shards. “We thought about going with a really rough punk rock look,” makeup artist James Kaliardos says. “But Ryan loved the idea of showing this iconic, fresh-faced California girl in an entirely new context, so I did fresh, 70s “no-makeup” makeup. We wanted her to look happy and in control, but still vulnerable.” So she does—and her bliss is infectious.