Luisa Opalesky, Choreographer, Photographer, and Hype Girl
So explain what it is you do.
I work for the photographer Ryan McGinley, and my job is to make his models feel comfortable on shoots. So I’ll turn on music — usually Prince — and start dancing with them to try to guide them through different movements, but I’ll also talk with them and ask really personal questions, like what they do and if they’re in a relationship — general, important questions. I like to get real immediately. It ends up being almost like a therapy dance class, if that makes sense.
Were you there for Ryan’s recent shoot with Brad Pitt for GQ?
Yes, most of the time it was just me, Ryan, and Brad. My job was to put on music that he responded to and then dance, have him mimic what I was doing, and talk to him in intimate settings like in the back of a pickup truck. Brad is not really a statement guy. But he asked me a lot of questions and talked a lot about Marvin Gaye. He reminded me of an excited kid. I will say he is the best male model in the entire world, and I will put that statement in solid gold.
Jeans: “These are my Prince pants: I drew Prince lyrics all over them and a dove on the back pocket. I did the same thing with my sneakers.”
Favorite TV show: Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Favorite street in New York: Wooster. “I don’t know why, I just love that street so much.”
*This article appears in the May 29, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.