You recently had a five-episode part on Quantico. What was the experience like?
It was incredible!! The team was excellent and they all made me feel at home. I remember the warm welcome of Priyanka Chopra the first day of shooting and how she made me feel part of the team straight away.
The whole experience was fantastic. They called me for two episodes and I stayed for five more until the end of the season. I enjoyed it a lot and I learnt very interesting things as an actor and as a person. When you work in a language that is not your own, it’s also a big challenge with which I felt very comfortable.
Is that the start of you exploring more TV projects in the US?
As an actor I’m always searching for good projects, and after A Single Man I really wanted to keep exploring in the US. My goal is to tell to the world cool stories so people can think, enjoy them or just have another point of view. Life is huge and I think I can help to open people’s minds, to make them experience compassion, gratitude, anger or simply curiosity. If one day I can achieve that as an actor, it will be a bigger reward than any award.
What are your acting aspirations?
As I told you, my goal is to tell stories that makes people think and feel. I want to entertain them in a constructive way. And also being an actor allows me to explore inside of myself and my creativity. I love to have work that gives me the freedom and the space to grow, to explore and to feel free.
You have worked with both Madonna and Tom Ford, both of whom are perfectionists. What did you learn from them?
I learnt why perfectionism works. They both are the perfect example of how very different people do very different things. They get the success based on their talent. But the talent sometimes is not enough. They work really hard to make it happen and trust themselves and their work. They are so demanding with themselves that they keep on searching for excellence and they constantly question themselves and what they do. All this It might sound cliche, but it’s not. It’s harder than what it sounds. We all should try it in whatever we do.
You are one of the most in-demand models who worked with virtually every fashion label. What “insider information” can you tell us about the fashion industry?
That it could be an amazing industry full of opportunities or a waste of time. It depends on how you take it and what you make of it. But after so many years, I think It’s only worth it if you are lucky enough to work at the highest level, with the most creative and intelligent people. Otherwise it can be very superficial and boring.
How do you think men’s fashion has evolved over the years?
Some brands are changing men’s fashion step by step. For us guys, it is slower and our needs are different from women. We don’t need new clothes every six months, but we want quality, we want masculinity and sometimes some of us, like to get a little crazy and have fun with clothes.
You have 1.4 million followers on Instagram. How has social media changed the fashion industry?
Very much. Before it was just a social thing, now it’s part of the business. Now more people can see your work as soon as it comes out and that gives you terrific exposure. And on top of that, people can see a little bit more about your personality without you losing your intimacy. At the end of the day I choose what I post and what I feel comfortable sharing.
You have been hailed as one of the best-looking male models of all time. What can you tell us about style/looking good?
That’s something that I really appreciate eepecially coming from Vogue, but I’m not one of the best male looking models of all the time…. Ha ha. I might be one of the most successful ones, but that’s related more to who you are, how you do things and what you represent rather than being a beautiful face (which it’s necessary too) but I have seen a million guys better looking than me and it didn’t mean they got the job. I feel very honoured for the recognition, but success and a good looking face do not necessarily go together.
It has been said that you were the male muse for photographers like Steven Klein and Testino. What is your secret to taking a good photograph?
When you are in their hands there is not much you need to do. They know exactly what they want and my trust on their work is total, so I just try to listen and give them the shoot they are looking for. It’s fun!
You were recently named Bulgari Watch Ambassador. What do you love about the brand?
It’s a dream for me to work as a Bulgari ambassador. They taught me all I know about the watch industry. They made me understand the meaning of a good watch on a man and I’m happy to show the world the most exclusive ones.
Photographer: James ‘Buzz’ White
Styling: Steven Doan
Styling assistant: Brian Conway A
Art direction: Ibnu Aswan
Grooming: John Christopher
Modeling agency: View Managementt