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Although trained as an economist specialising in marketing, Gérard-Philippe Mabillard is a communications professional who has held positions of responsibility in the watch industry (Swatch Group) and the hotel industry (for the spa Les Bains de Saillon or the ski resort of Verbier, both in the Swiss canton of Valais) before becoming the director of the Interprofession de la vigne et du vin du Valais, an interprofessional association of wine producers (wine and wine of the Valais), both in the Swiss canton of Valais) before becoming the director of the Interprofession de la vigne et du vin du Valais, an interprofessional association of wine producers (winegrowers and winemakers) and wine merchants in the canton of Valais, in the south-west of Switzerland.

In 2014 he became involved in supporting the Moi pour Toit Foundation, a Swiss non-governmental, non-profit, non-profit organisation for disadvantaged children in the Pereira region of Colombia, founded by Christian Michellod in 1987, and coordinated the creation of Inspirations (Glénat, 2014), a book of photographs in which he asked a large number of personalities from various fields of culture, fashion and sport to send him a photograph of themselves posing with a glass of wine in their hands. The photographs were exhibited months later, in the spring of 2015, at the Valais Museum of Vine and Wine in Sierre.

That initiative was a success and eight years later, Mabillard has repeated the project, with one exception: now, the photographs are his own… The new book is called The Stars’ Share (teNeues, 2022) and, as Mabilard explains over the phone, in addition to supporting Valais wines, it also raises funds for the Moi pour Toit foundation. “There are recurring characters, but 90% of those who appear in it are completely new”. All those photographed are world famous, to a greater or lesser extent. From Clint Eastwood to the French composer Pascal Dusapin. From the young Swiss cellist Estelle Revaz to our own Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, who is not the only Spaniard among the 163 people featured in the pages of the book published by teNeues. Also appearing here are Alba Flores, who stars on the book’s cover – not surprisingly, given her international star status after her time on La casa de papel, where she played the role of “Nairobi” -, Antonio de la Torre, Assumpta Serna, Daniel Brühl, Sergi López, the chef Javier Abascal, the illustrator Sandra Torrano, the art historian Xavier Fornes, the art historian Xavier Fornes, the chef Javier Abascal, and the illustrator Sandra Torrano, the art historian Xavi Fornós – who is also the director of the Vinseum, the Museu de les Cultures del Vi de Catalunya, in Villafranca del Penedés – and the Hollywood couple Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who appear on the back cover of the book, completing the international recognition of our actors.

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The book consists mainly of photographs, but in some cases Mabillard has not resisted the temptation to tell anecdotes about how some of the pictures were taken. For example, the one of Toni Servillo – one of his favourite actors – was taken on the Venetian beach of the Lido, and was taken during an intermission of one of the maratorian promotional sessions of the Venice Film Festival, on the terrace of his hotel, but the actor showed the elegance and tranquillity of someone who was attending a guest in his own home, whom he had invited to enjoy his private beach? For Mabillard, the scene that the Italian gave him was “as if he were part of a Paolo Sorrentino film”.

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About Bardem, Mabillard remembers the closeness of his manner – he defines him as “the antithesis of a divo” – and a gaze that seems to pierce you: “when his eyes meet yours, you have a feeling as if he is also photographing you”. He photographed Alba Flores at the residence of the Swiss ambassador to Spain and was struck by her humility, in contrast to the fierce temperament of the aura she exudes. One can imagine that the encounters with Quentin Tarantino, Gérard Depardieu, Paul Smith, Willem Dafoe, Benicio del Toro or Christopher Walken could also have provided material for another book… Even if it didn’t have pictures, it would also be worth holding in your hands.

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