Alexander Burchardt looks nothing like Michael Hutchence. Yes, he is handsome like the INXS singer and has a similarly defined jawline, but the resemblance ends there. But by chance and Hollywood magic, the 29-year-old web developer from Copenhagen recently became an unlikely replacement for Hutchence in the second season of the hugely popular HBO show. Euphoria.
Like many other teens and 20-somethings, Burchardt had taken to playing the viral teen drama. He was a few episodes into the recently concluded season 2 when he saw one of the show’s most tragically romantic scenes, in which viewers learn about the backstory of controversial patriarch Cal Jacobs. Cal’s best friend and potential lover walks to a bar’s jukebox to line up for INXS’ classic hit ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, from their 1987 album Kick. But upon closer inspection, Burchardt and his girlfriend noticed something was wrong: A quick shot of the album cover in the jukebox window didn’t reveal Hutchence’s face on the illustration, but Burchardt is from a stock photo he had been taking for almost a decade. earlier.
“That was me. In the split second we see the album cover, I saw it and I got so confused,” Burchardt says. “You’d be surprised how easily you could recognize yourself when you least expect it. I remember this photoshoot [and] the clothes I was wearing, but I was shocked. We thought it was impossible, so we rewound the scene, stopped again and watched, and my girlfriend was screaming.
He soon began sharing the development with friends and family, and released the Easter egg in Euphoria’s page repeats. Burchardt was not the only complement; the entire album has been spoofed as the last in goofy Hollywood history dopplegänger visual works, likely when a show or movie can’t get the licenses for the real thing. In this case, Euphoria made the album the equivalent of a stunt just convincing enough to pass a first glance, but making it a fun easter egg for the more focused viewer.
An unidentified, crouched, dark-haired man wearing a black T-shirt replaced drummer Jon Farriss, who was originally on the cover sporting a black and white striped shirt, while a slightly hunched blond man wearing dark sunglasses replaced guitarist-saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. Meanwhile, the font of the band name and the album title are slightly different, the stars between them have been replaced with Xs, and the skateboard at the top of the album cover has a different design. Viewers who don’t know much about INXS or didn’t pay enough attention to it wouldn’t notice the copycat cover, but others, like comedian Eliza Skinner, were quick to see the gap.
Wtf is that album cover, Euphoria? I almost thought I had my first undeniable Mandela effect! pic.twitter.com/AxD6oqgDO9
— Eliza Skinner (@elizaskinner) January 24, 2022
It makes for an unexpected appearance for Burchardt, who took the photos used by the show more than 10 years ago when he embarked on a short-lived modeling career. The days of modeling are long over, but these photos ended up on iStock, where they could be licensed for a wide range of personal and commercial uses, including film and TV shoots, according to the site. iStock’s website. (This is a similar reason Office star and producer BJ Novak’s face is on so many products around the world.)
Euphoria isn’t even the first HBO show of the last year to redo an album cover. As eagle-eyed spectators of sex and the city spin off And just like that underlinethe show used slightly altered album art from Todd Rundgren’s 1971 album something anything when Carrie released a vinyl cover of the record in the first episode.
Corn euphoria redo Kick is not so subtle compared to the initial artwork. And while it looks like the original image taken by Burchardt was slightly edited to give her hair highlights like Hutchence, the resemblance ends there. Burchardt has a very visible beard in his photo, while Hutchence is clean-shaven on the real album cover.
Burchardt and his girlfriend soon began scouring the iStock website for the photo after seeing the scene. (A reverse Google Images search helped Burchardt find the image.) “We scoured about 50 pages on iStock looking for ‘long dark haired man with a beard’ and couldn’t find me at the time,” Burchardt says. “We found a lot of other people who I thought looked a lot more like Michael Hutchence than I did, so I’m very happy they chose me.”
While Burchardt recalls being told at least once in his life that he bore a passing resemblance to Hutchence – the similarity was closer when he had the long, flowing hair seen in the stock image – he admits it’s not a perfect match. “I asked my mum after all this if she thought I looked like her and she said the opposite, ‘that I definitely didn’t look like her,'” he laughs.
Alexander Burchardt discovers himself on Euphoria
HBO declined to participate in this story or reveal any details about the creation of the album art, so it’s unclear what happened in this situation. What’s most likely is that the show couldn’t get the album cover licensed and made the copy instead. There are many reasons why a movie studio or production company may not license album art. As Christiane Kinney, a music industry copyright lawyer notes, individual members of INXS (or the estate of Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997) may not have given their agreement to use their name and likeness on the show. . This can be for purely financial or more personal or artistic reasons.
“There are a number of scenarios that could lead to this,” Kinney says. “There are publicity laws, some of which extend after death,” Kinney says. Even if the label has granted permission, beyond that it is generally common practice to contact third parties or their estates for permission. Maybe the producers couldn’t make it to those parties in time and decided to do the parody instead.
Kinney also notes that the album cover is similar enough that it could also be a derivative work – a case in which someone creates new art from an original but would still require a license. to create. (A famous derivative work is Marcel Duchamp’s famous LHOOQ) It is unclear if HBO had such a license.
Depending on whether the label — Atlantic Records, in this case — owns the rights to an album cover, the label could also have refused use. (Atlantic did not respond to a request for comment.) But given that the song itself was approved, Kinney said that’s unlikely. Another scenario is that Euphoria just didn’t want to go through the hassle and payment of licensing an album cover that would only be in a shot for half a second.
“The fact that they used the track itself – and that’s assuming they probably had the rights to use the song – coupled with the fact that they significantly stripped the album cover [and] then changing the musicians with stock footage makes me think it was more because of a potential name and likeness or publicity right,” Kinney says.
Whatever the reason, the strange loophole gave Burchardt a very unique experience: bragging rights. “Obviously it’s an amazing story to tell,” he says. “How often does something like this happen? »