Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo are at home together – in every sense of the phrase. Speaking over Zoom from their kitchen bench in Melbourne’s leafy suburbs, the couple are comfortable and candid, sitting close and finishing each other’s sentences. “I’ve just got to wash my hands,” Fantauzzo shouts from behind the laptop screen.
“He’s got clay all over his hands. That’s nothing new,” explains Asher, with sunshine streaming into the kitchen from the window behind her. For the past week, the couple have been chasing light around their home, as Fantauzzo photographs his wife for this rather unique marie claire cover shoot. Unlike one of our usual productions, there was no digital operator, bright studio lights, hair and make-up team or a stylist with suitcases full of designer pieces. It was just Vincent, his camera and Asher’s natural beauty (plus a couple of cameo appearances from their son Valentino). Having graced our cover in 2017, marking the end of Offspring, and again in 2018, celebrating the smash-hit The Cry, Asher was more than comfortable taking on the role of creative director, make-up artist and stylist all by herself, selecting outfits from her own wardrobe and new season fashion from Myer (a perk of being the department store’s ambassador).
“We wanted the shoot to be spontaneous and organic, so we shot it over a number of days. Vincent likes to use natural light, so we had to find moments of sunshine in Melbourne’s descending winter,” says Asher, who has just appeared in the powerful ABC drama Stateless. “When the light was good, I’d put on a bit of make-up and get changed.”
“Asher would change out of her trackies and I’d grab the camera and shoot for half an hour or so,” adds Vincent.
“I don’t wear trackies!” interjects Asher playfully, adding that she doesn’t normally don a Paolo Sebastian designer gown to rake leaves in the backyard, either.
The couple, who celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary in April, have spent the past 10 weeks in isolation together with their kids Valentino, five, and Luca, 10, who is from Vincent’s previous marriage. They’ve had little contact with the outside world (except for semi-regular online shopping deliveries from Australia Post). But that’s exactly the way they like it, explains Asher: “After a few years together, we realised what works best for us as a couple is to be together 24/7. We’re a very tight-knit family. There’s not a lot of separation, unless I’m working.”
Her next project is her most exciting yet: Asher reveals she’s joining the US TV production of Nine Perfect Strangers (based on the hit novel by Liane Moriarty) alongside Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.
Vincent, on the other hand, is juggling a National Portrait Gallery commission – of Hugh Jackman, no less – with a very important clay project: fixing his son Luca’s lamp, which was accidentally broken by his little brother. “Instead of painting, he’s spent the past 48 hours re-claying and gluing the shattered lamp back together. How many dads would do that?” Asher marvels.
Asher and Vincent will look back fondly on these images captured during a truly remarkable moment in history. “This shoot will forever remind me of table tennis, fixing broken lamps and painting at home with the kids,” says Vincent. “This has been such a defining moment for the children, so I think these photos will reflect this time of enormous change.”
Asher adds, “I like to think these images are reflective of the intimacy we share and the creative partnership we enjoy. We’ve navigated a lot together – this is another extraordinary chapter.”
Read more in the July issue of marie claire on sale Thursday.