In 1985, he was invited to participate to the creation of the clip Plus Grandir in which he played the role of “the rapist” (then under his name, Rambo Kowalski).
It’s not the only time he grants us his present on the screen. We see him again in 1986 in the famous clip Libertine in the role of the duelist (very beginning of the video)
But who is a mysterious Hervé Lewis? He is a man of many talents.
His work as a photographer is presented on his site: http://www.hervelewis.com/ . He is also a personal trainer for many celebrities.
Hervé Lewis is the French photographer who dares. Who hasn’t seen one of his photographs? If only his famous campaign “Aubade,” used in advertising and proposing luscious lessons ubiquitously in city streets.
But behind the image of the trail-blazing rock ‘n roll fan of American imagery, Hervé is a master in the art of a type of photography which is soft and sensual yet steeped in strength.
Hervé has always been an aficionado of sport, with a passion for fitness and combat sports, and other disciplines such as tennis or cycling. The physical aspect has always been a very important factor for the maestro. He devoted himself first to English boxing, then taking to French boxing. Several years later, Hervé became one of the first sports coaches in France, counting among his clients and friends: Johnny Halliday (with whom he rubbed shoulders and trained for nearly two decades), Mylène Farmer, Jean Reno and Christy Turlington.
Through this discipline, Hervé acquires real passion for form and structure, in which he finds truths, a desire to understand how the world works. He wants to discover the essence of each person through the study of forms.
Beneath the commonalities and similarities, Hervé senses that everyone has something unique that deserves to be captured, and it is this energy, “since all is but energy,” that he wants to recover, to appropriate – the only way for him to preserve something from the flow of women he meets.
Photography presents itself as the ideal instrument for capturing these moments, a creative process that has become his passion for twenty years. Beginning with taking portraits of actresses in the age of film-photography, his gaze moved to the body and then mixes the two to make his inimitable style: strength and beauty in harmony, always a minimalist setting and slightly offbeat.
His current fascination is the notion of privacy, in the truth hidden within the body. He endorses this quote from the painter Bonnard: “painting is a lot of little lies for a greater truth.” Maestro has a studio a few steps from the Champs-Elysées; a gym with multiple rooms and a recording studio.
Hervé Lewis continues to be Mylène’s physical trainer for all of her shows starting with the Tour 89 and all a way though the last series of concert in 2019.
Here is what Hervé Lewis shared about Mylene in one of the interviews and he is a man of a few words
I have been a coach for thirty, forty years.
We know each other by heart. I met her during Maman a tort and then, afterwards, we did several clips together: Plus Grandir and Libertine. I had a little gun fight with her. From there, gradually arose a friendship.
As I was a physical trainer, we started to play sports together. At the time, it was absolutely not fashionable, there was no coach, there was nothing, it was a bit at the beginning of it all.
Then we started training because Mylène likes to be on top physically. So, we started to prepare, to go for a run, to fight, well a whole set of things. Then it worked. When Mylène creates a team, she likes to keep it.
I took care of Mylène for her physical preparations before each of her concerts. Because you still have to go face 80,000 people in a stadium and it’s still not nothing. Especially since singing and dancing at the same time is physically hard.
We trained every day and she spent almost half the afternoon with me. We would prepare for two, three hours. Then she did the choreography, then she rehearsed.
Coaching with Mylène is primarily physical condition. Second, bodybuilding. So, we worked on weight training, we worked on gymnastics, we worked on combat to have fun, to relax, to let off steam.
Mylène, she really has many, many physical qualities. And tonicity and at the same time relaxation. That is to say, she knows how to go from a very tonic state to a completely relaxed state. I think that’s why she’s holding up because it’s actually pretty tough sessions anyway.
Mylène, as she is a very perfectionist, very demanding, if you have to do two hours, she will do two hours, if we add movements, she will do them in addition. On the other hand, there are movements that she is not going to like. There is a certain pain in the training because we repeat the movements regularly and the muscles tire and when she manages to do something, I always ask her a little more. You have to get used to a certain, I would say, self-discipline to be able to train well. Mylène has a lot of discipline.
I try not to be overworked so that she is not too tired afterwards to do choreography. It has to go a certain way, I would say with a certain humor. It shouldn’t be too austere, too off-putting. You have to find a way to train that is both hard and fun at the same time. This is the difficulty.
The goal is, and to get her in shape, that she is comfortable afterwards in her choreographies but that she is not broken, that she can still dance.
What Mylène brings up is an enormous emotion. The people are very moved. They feel everything she brings. It’s based on something solid.
Mylène, what she likes is pushing the limits.
MYLENE ABOUT WORKING WITH HERVÉ LEWIS
Concerts – Tour 89 – Preparations Herve Lewis: “Sport for the physical preparation of concerts. For now, I’m doing it at the minimum dose of four times a week for about four and a half hours. Then I will train every day. For example, I start in the morning, at 10:00 a.m., with a jogging session. The word has been overused a bit, but let’s say it’s about running with great strides and getting a heart rate in tune with running. The result must be to be able to run for an hour without stopping, without fatigue, and recovering your breath quickly. It’s high precision work, led by my trainer, Hervé Lewis.
Then we go back to his apartment, where Rambo has set up a gym. A job comparable to that of a dancer.“
8 p.m. Paris Première – Paris Première , 05/30/1996:
“I have little time to rest. I do a lot of sport. I try to continue before the concerts. So it’s training with Hervé Lewis who is a very, very good coach and a friend as well. It’s bodybuilding and a lot of endurance, therefore, running.“
Concerts – Tour 1996 (preparations) Herve Lewis Sport Bel RTL , 07/12/1996:
“I brought in a trainer I had worked with on the previous scene. First of all, he is serious, very generous. As for the exercise itself, it’s a lot of endurance, so running and then some strength training. Food, we have to be serious, there too, so forget the Coca Cola – take a lot of slow sugars.“
Le Parisien , 09/25/2020:
“(Normally, I do sports) less diligently, but I often meet Hervé Lewis and we play table tennis where we train… I also walk a lot in the forest with my dogs. Every day.“
Beyond being Mylene’s personal fitness trainer for many years /decades Hervé Lewis also contributed into the creating programs for Mylenium Tour, 2009 Tour and also for the poster of Timeless 2013
He occasionally takes her photos in the recent years. But it has been more of his other relative’s job – Nathalie Delepine. Clearly, Mylene’s loyalty to her connections are legendary.
One of the photos will be used by Harve is for both the Timeless 2013 concert poster and the Monkey Me album cover. It was the first time that the same photo was used for a show poster and an album.
Mylène Farmer – Photographer: Herve Lewis – 2009 – Photo shoot for the “Tour 2009” program
Mylenium Tour program photos By Hervé Lewis:
INTERVIEW Hervé Lewis in 2005
You have a lot of artistic caps, can you tell us about them?
I was a physical trainer for thirty years. And besides that, I did photography like for Aubade for example. Now I make music videos and films. I have two films that will be released on DVD in September, for Canal +. And I do consulting for companies around fitness and dietetics.
How did you meet Laurent Boutonnat and Mylène Farmer?
It seems to me that I met them when they made their first record. I think it was at a festival where there were a whole bunch of new singers, but I don’t remember where… There was Mylène, we had talked and hit it off and one day she called me back. She and Laurent asked me if I wanted to play in their clips. In “Plus Grandir” I enter the room and I throw myself at her (laughs), and in “Libertine”, I had a revolver duel with her. Then afterwards, I trained her for her first show in 1989.
Why this pseudonym of Rambo that we can read in the credits of the clips?
It was a nickname to do something a little funny. It was more of a wink, I didn’t want to put my real name. And as at the time I was quite sturdy, quite big, I was often nicknamed Rambo. I was doing spot before fashion!
What memories do you keep of the filming of the two clips?
It was always quite grandiose, with castles, stuff… What I like about Laurent is that he knows what he wants, he is very precise. And since I’m like that too, it wasn’t bad. As for Mylène, we got along quite well from the start, because she is demanding and it suited us well. She already knew what she wanted.
By getting yourself killed in “Libertine“, did you think that was the revenge for the rape in “Plus Grandir“?
(Laughs) Look, maybe! But hey, it was consensual rape. Even very consented. Not really rape, and maybe even hoped for by the girl, apparently, in the story.
How do you physically prepare for a tour?
With Mylène, we went to Los Angeles where we did the physical part with jogging, bodybuilding, combat and after that she rehearsed all day with her dancers as well. Then, I was also there for all that is massage, physical relaxation.
Did the preparation take place in Los Angeles for the 1989 tour?
I don’t know which tour we left for in Los Angeles. We trained there, then in Paris.
For this preparation, is it Mylène who adapts to you or vice versa?
We adapted to each other. A good coach must adapt to what is best for his student. Mylène was quite open. Physically, she is toned. It pleased him to discover the physical. It wasn’t something she was too used to working on initially, but she enjoyed the challenge of training. Given the energy to be deployed for the show, she wanted even more by getting ready and being in good condition, especially since there were choreographies…
On the other hand, in certain interviews, she says that apart from the tours, she does not play any sports…
Yes, but she is quite gifted physically. She says she does not practice any sport, but all the dances she does are already sport. She has a very toned body, very strong. She has a small frame, so she doesn’t have big needs, as long as she dances for her shows or on TV. And she doesn’t eat a lot. She keeps up quite well, she is naturally gifted. When it stops and resumes, it’s ready pretty quickly. And on horseback, she is very good, she has been riding since she was very young. Even in the gym, she is gifted. She has excellent muscle memory.
Is it true that it was you who introduced Mylène to Johnny Hallyday?
Yes, but I don’t know when. We had lunch together, I believe. I only vaguely remember.
Are you going to participate in the physical preparation for his concerts in 2006 (note: this interview was carried out more than six months before these concerts)?
I don’t know… As now I take a lot of photos, I have less time for physical preparation. If she calls me, maybe, I don’t know yet if I can. It’s not sure (note: it will ultimately be him who will take care of Mylène’s physical preparation).
Why did you photograph Mylène’s hands for the 1999 program?
You know everything ! In fact when Mylène was training, I was already taking pictures. And one day she said to me: “Hey, it’s nice what you’re doing, wouldn’t you like to take pictures of my hands? “. I said there was no problem. We did that pretty quickly one afternoon, because Mylène doesn’t like to pose too much. In 1996, I also took pictures of his musicians in Los Angeles.
What are your current projects ?
Apart from the DVDs, I’m working on a new photo book and a new lingerie campaign. It’s already not bad, all that!
What if you had a message for Mylène?
Keep it up, but apparently it’s working fine. What else could I say to her? Oh yes, the coyote is still running, she will understand (laughs)!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave me comments if you have a few minutes. Let me know who else you would like to write about from Mylene’s entourage .