For decades, men have wanted to be one of two characters; Superman or James Bond. These icons represent the epitome of masculinity. While the caped son of Krypton generally appeals to mostly prepubescent males, once a boy’s hormones begin stirring there is no one more representative of a real life scenario of having it all than 007. This charismatic, suave, self-assured archetype embodies all the qualities to which most men aspire. He almost always wins and even when he doesn’t, he handles the situation with class and composure…and he somehow always manages to capture the attention of the women he sets his sights upon. The actors who have portrayed Bond are legendary. They number in the single digits but a very select few have joined them in different mediums. Noted Brazilian model Dan Wainer has appeared representing a number of clients and graced the covers of such internationally recognized publications as Men’s Health and others but it was his work appearing in Playboy magazine for a pictorial that celebrated 007 which he counts among his career high points. No doubt Wainer was able to live out the dream, however brief, of millions of males across the globe to become James Bond for the most celebrated men’s magazine of all time. Nothing short of a Nobel Prize, winning the World Cup, or the Superbowl could have elevated his “cool” level among his gender.
When Dan’s modeling agency pitched him to Playboy for the Bond shoot, it was because he shares so many qualities with the book & film character. There’s no waifish quality to the steely stare that Wainer possesses, an it’s one that’s full of gravitas. That’s not to say that this model took the job lightly; he put plenty of time in studying the body movement and attitude of his all-time favorite 007, Sean Connery. The unexaggerated charm, strength, and humor of Connery is clearly seen in this Playboy editorial. The potentially fatal circumstances which Bond frequently finds himself in never causes his emotional barometer too skyrocket, nor does it do so in the many trysts he also experiences. What we love about Bond is that he is always a measured man regardless of the positivity or negativity of his situation, yet he’s far from cold. Viewing the photos of Wainer, this is as natural for him as any of the actors who played the spy.
There is an emotional component to modeling but it is conveyed primarily through physicality. To create this for Playboy’s Bond editorial, Dan reveals, “This job was actually very different from most in my career because it did involve acting. I’ve done my share of studying cinema, television, and theater…as any good model does. It helps you to become a better professional. I love my job and I want to be the best I can possibly be. I didn’t have a specific Bond film that I was trying to ‘copy’ or recreate. What I wanted to do was to contain and communicate the feelings and qualities of Bond: confidence in critical moments and risk, a charm and kind way of talking to women, he always knows what to do, etc. This is a time when I feel that modeling is like acting because I need to feel these things in myself for the camera to capture them. The biggest difference between the two in this instance is that in a film the action helps you to feel the emotion but in a photograph the emotion must happen at a specific second and be frozen in the photo.”
Even though this 007 editorial is shown in a series of still pictures, there is still a story communicated. The series of less than a dozen photos transports each of us to our favorite Bond film, proof that the template is something that so many of us hold dear and admire. Photographer Sasha Hochstetter’s images are truly cinematic and rival any of the cold war era films, with Dan perfectly placed as the centerpiece. Through the series we see Wainer and the 007 accoutrements of guns, beautiful women, and bad guys played by Aline Samie and Michel Serdan a well-known wrestling fighter in Brazil. The ubiquity of Bond includes Brazil and the trio were all well-versed in the character’s lineage. Each member of this combative trio gleefully threw themselves into the archetype characters they were embodying. Dan relates that there were some intense physical moments that were painful but all a part of being Bond. In typical 007 fashion, the final photo saw Wainer getting his in the last chapter of the story. He explains, “The last photo in the editorial was also the last photo that we shot. It shows myself in an inflatable raft in the ocean, alongside four very beautiful women while there is an explosion in the background…obviously my nemesis meeting their just ends. I have a sly smile on my face and have lost my jacket and tie but am still composed and relaxed. While everyone looks relaxed and at ease, it was far from the reality of the situation. It was the most difficult photo of the day. We had been working for more than 8 hours in several different locations in the city. Everyone was very tired but we still had to make the last epic photo. There was a small boat inside the studio, but the hull of the boat did not allow stability, even more with 4 people moving inside it. The photographer was far up on a ladder, taking the photos from top to bottom. Everyone had to be well positioned. As the boat moved, it was difficult for everyone to be balanced and still have a happy face because they had been victorious. It was certainly the most time consuming and tiring picture of the whole day. But in the end everything went well and it was a beautiful job, very rewarding.”
The James Bond editorial caused quite a stir and resulted in greater acclaim for Wainer. This specific editorial was cited as one of the reasons he was chosen by Nova Cosmopolitan as the “Gato de Nova.” Simply being chosen by an iconic men’s publication like Playboy to portray their view of all things a man should be in James Bond, it’s an award in itself. Dan definitely thinks of it as such. He concedes that he often was stopped for months following the publication of this issue of the magazine, by men and women alike, with congratulations and recognition. While he finds it flattering, the real compensation is being able to know that if just for a little while, he became the one and only James Bond. Dan Wainer is a proud member of a very select group.