On the anniversary of his death, George Michael’s Freedom music video was remade by FourTwoNine magazine and filmmaker Max Mamurov. Paying homage to the original video that featured female supermodels, the new version features some very sexy male models instead.
“This week marks one year since we lost George Michael,” explains Creative Director Richard Klein. “Many of us will never get over it. This great talent, this light, showed the way for so many of us to accept our selves, to be strong in the world, to let ourselves love. His example, and his message, helped so many young LGBT people find their way, and we are forever indebted to him.”
“We asked filmmaker Max Mamurov to show us how he felt in this video tribute and what he created on a behind the scenes day far outweighed our high expectations — for beauty, for energy, for power,” Klein says. “Play it loud, move, cry, dance, let yourself go. Wake me up before you go go!”
The original video was created after George Michael decided he would no longer step in front of the camera. “At some point in your career, the situation between yourself and the camera reverses,” he told the LA Times. “For a certain number of years, you court it and you need it, but ultimately, it needs you more and it’s a bit like a relationship. The minute that happens, it turns you off … and it does feel like it is taking something from you.”
Inspired by Peter Lindbergh’s now-iconic portrait of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford for the January 1990 cover of the British edition of Vogue, Michael asked the five models to appear in the video.
Evangelista took some persuading before agreeing to appear in the Freedom music video, saying, “He thought it would make us into a big deal, that it would be good for us. I was like, ‘Please, we’re here. We’ve already arrived!'” After speaking with Michael, she was convinced, and rearranged her schedule.
In a 2015 interview, Evangelista reflected on her decision positively, saying, “Little did I know that to this day, when someone meets me for the first time, they bring up that video. That’s what they remember. So yeah, George was right.”