Meet Ben. He might look a bit familiar. This stand-up (and total cut-up) dude is one of the faces of our Call it Spring summer 2014 campaign. We sat down with him to chat in the spring and now we are catching up with him once again!
What’s your full name and how old are you?
Benjamin Eli Roy. I am 22. I don’t say my name to a lot of people so consider yourself lucky!
Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Longueuil, Quebec actually.
You are bilingual I would assume? Are you trilingual?
I try to be. I speak Spanish. Yo hablo Espagnol un poco.
How long have you been taking Spanish lessons ?
I have several Spanish friends in my group of friends. So I practice here and there, I got a translator app on my phone… But I am not taking lessons per se. More slowly building it.
Have you been to any Spanish speaking countries?
I have, Mexico. Fell in love. I’ve been to Riviera Maya and that was quite the trip.
How did you get into modelling?
I’ll have to say I kind of have had a head start. My brother, my older brother Nathan was pounding the pavement a good year before he got a contract with Mexx and then I went in to the agency one day and said ‘‘Hey I want to do this too.’’ They took pictures, they liked my potential and eventually they signed me.
How old were you at the time?
What was it like when you first saw yourself in print?
I was like wow I can do this! It was actually seeing myself in a Sport Experts magazine. That’s when it hit. I had done a couple of non-paid gigs before and some photoshoots with friends and stuff but until that first professional contract appeared on papers and stuff in magazine, that is when I was like ‘Ok I can do this!’’ maybe I can take it internationally and try to get my face out there to the world.
Is it what you are doing full time now?
No it’s part time. I’m in school actually full time. I don’t have that amount of hours to give yet. By the summer and by the end of my program, I’ll be full time.
What are you taking right now in school?
I am in Theater.
Ouh, no shocker there.
Yeah! I am taking it in John Abbott.
Is it your third year?
Second year, I am finishing my second year. There is a big play coming up, we are going to be performing the American Clock by Arthur Miller. Wonderful play. Arthur Miller is a great play write.
Does your brother still model? Is it a family affair?
Yes and now the youngest one is getting into it too.
Youngest. We are four. Four boys, crazy at home, holes in the walls, broken couches every time. Testosterone flies high. The oldest one is 25, turning 26. This one just turned 24. I am turning 23 and the youngest one is 19.
Do you guys look a lot alike?
Oh no he has a square jaw and he kinds of looks like Will Smith. I got the Chris Brown going on. Totally different.
The theme for this campaign season, Fruit Loops, was inspired by the lush landscape of Jamaica. Have you ever been to Jamaica?
No, my brother has and I am tremendously jealous. I’d like to go but he had told me about it and he said it was beautiful: the water, the people actually are really different form here. Not as stressed, and they have an ease to them.
Have you travelled a lot for work?
I’ve been to Mexico. I’ve been to Hong Kong for two months where I tried to make it in the industry. Actually I was kind of upset with Canada, with people, with fast paced living which is kind of odd because I went to Hong Kong where it is even more fast-paced. I had plans to not come back. I wanted to go there, clinch a deal with an agency and set off from there and travel the world. That didn’t work out because the industry is a little different over there.
Do you find that you came back a little disenchanted with the industry or was it more specific to that area?
Oh yeah. I was a little shocked at how people don’t really care about you. It actually hurt my soul a little that as a model they see you as an object and not as a person first. That goes with a lot of industries in the world and that’s a whole subject just as of itself like how we treat each other but besides that, I was a little unmotivated at first but at the same time that boiling feeling was… how can I say this… that perseverance feeling was boiling up inside me. I know I was coming back relaxed, get my mind off things and make sure I take time for myself but I knew that I had to do this full on again because I had failed so I wanted to see. Here I am once again and I am ready to travel again with greater aspirations this time and better planning for sure.
What kind of personal changes did you make within yourself?
I saw a lot of [models] escape. They would dive into drugs, alcohol and these [people] were in their early twenties and stuff and already picking up addictions. I saw a lot of people kind of be fake, starting to pretend to be someone else. I mean to protect yourself, I guess that’s what people have to do at the end of the day but I think you stray away from your true origins in that case when you start trying to find means to escape. I just took it all in. I just saw it for what it was. People will be cold, people will be mean so I just got to deal with it. I kind of have this model: just kill them with kindness. Smile. No one can knock a smile though. They might tell you ‘‘wipe that smirk off your face.’’ But in your head you’re still laughing because you’re happy.
Wow that is great attitude, I am impressed.
Alright, I’ll let you get back to your makeup routine. Thanks again Ben