Jason Lee may be best known for his eponymous role on the hit NBC television series, ‘My Name is Earl,’ but he is as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it.
Photographer and writer Tatiana Hopper has a series on YouTube, called ‘Silver Screen,’ where Hopper discusses the photographic work and projects of actors. There have been five episodes so far, with the one focused on Jason Lee, the most recent among them. Other actors Hopper has considered include Jeff Bridges, Dennis Hopper, Leonard Nimoy and Gina Lollobrigida.
Jason Lee grew up in California during the 1970s and 80s, and his surroundings had a major influence on him. Lee joined the skateboarding scene and became a professional skater during the late 80s and early 90s before pivoting to acting work. One of his first major roles was in Kevin Smith’s cult classic, ‘Mallrats’ in 1995. Lee later teamed up with Smith again in ‘Chasing Amy,’ ‘Dogma’ and ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.’ Lee has also graced the silver screen as a voice actor, including in Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles.’ After starring as Earl Hickey in ‘My Name is Earl’ from 2005 through 2009, Lee has focused more on voice work.
He has also doubled down on his photographic work. The shutterbug bit Lee while on set in 2002, when he started to pay close attention to the cameras that had been pointed at him for nearly a decade. Lee had dabbled with Super 8 film and instant cameras during his skateboarding days, but it wasn’t something he had seriously explored.
In addition to returning to his instant camera roots, Lee also works with 35mm, medium format and large format film cameras. Despite some of these cameras requiring significant time and attention, especially compared to instant cameras, Lee likes to keep his photography spontaneous. Lee works fast and focuses on moments. In some cases, his subjects are expansive, stunning vistas. In other cases, his subjects are reflections of typical everyday experiences.
For further reading on Jason Lee and his photography, check out this Q&A with Intrepid Camera. Lee also spoke with Vanity Fair about his photography, specifically his work in Texas and Oklahoma. Hopper mentioned Lee’s book of instant film photography, which can be viewed and downloaded here. You can also go directly to the source by visiting Lee’s website.