Alberta photographer celebrates Hollywood connection
CTVNews.ca Staff,, with files from CTV Calgary's Alesia Fieldberg and Michael Franklin
Published Sunday, January 20, 2019 1:08PM EST
One of 2017’s most memorable pictures – taken by an Alberta woman – has made its way into a Hollywood hit.
Cecila Wessels took a photo of her husband Theunis casually mowing their lawn in the shadow of a towering tornado that struck Three Hills, Alta., in June that year.
The image was shared around the world and was seen by the producers of ‘Vice,’ a biopic of former U.S. vice-president Dick Chaney. The producers of the film asked Wessels if they could use it for their movie.
The photo appears for a few seconds as Cheney, played by award winning British actor Christian Bale, decides how to proceed following the 9/11 attacks.
“When I saw my picture, it was really lovely. I do appreciate how they used it and when they used it,” Wessels told CTV Calgary.
“I really want to thank my daughter for waking me up so I could take this photo. Otherwise this all would have never happened.”
Cecila and Theunis would not reveal how much they were paid for the picture.
“It was a one-time licensing fee and it was only allowed to be used with the movie ‘Vice’ and any of the production about ‘Vice’ itself,” she said.
The movie, which has already earned Bale a Golden Globe and counts Brad Pitt among its producers, is expected to pick up Oscar nominations when they are announced on Tuesday.
Wessels has been contacted by soldiers who served in Afghanistan, who said her photo reflected their experience while stationed there.
“They just had to do their work with this storm so the picture was actually used personally for the soldiers mentioned in the movie but they used it to identify with the vice-president,” she said.
“It means a lot to a lot of people.”