This week I had the opportunity to interview aspiring actor and model Brandon Schinaman. His feature that ran last month, that can be seen here, stirred up a lot of interest and talk amongst you Man Crushers. So much in fact that I decided we needed to “hook up” with the hot L.A. model and get to know him a bit better. Check out this exclusive interview with Brandon where we talk about everything from model misconceptions to his acting and career ambitions.
Man Crush: Let’s break into the interview with some random questions to get you warmed up, shall we? What song do you listen to in order to put you in that “modeling” mood?
Brandon Schinaman: It all depends on the type of vibe were going for, usually I’ll throw on some Drake or The Weekend, or usually some type of house music.
Man Crush: What’s the most annoying stereotype you’ve had to deal with in being labeled a male model?
Brandon Schinaman: It’s not really annoying because it’s just presumptuous but being called gay. It’s just asinine for someone to automatically associate you with being gay when you model.
Man Crush: Besides modeling, what’s a hidden talent you have that not many are aware of?
Brandon Schinaman: I’ll name a few. The main one is that I am a actor, that is my passion; that’s why I came out here to L.A. I like to express myself and to have fun so, acting is all that. I look at that as my hobby, and not as a job. I also just started playing tennis, and am actually pretty good at it! I golf on the regular as well.
Man Crush: I think tattoos are rather hot so when I first saw pics of you I noticed the one that you have on your chest. Care to describe that tattoo or others that you may have that we may not be able to easily see?
Brandon Schinaman: It says, “Try to discover/ The road to success/ And you will seek/ But never find/ But blaze your own path/ And the road to success/ Will trail right behind.” I got that tat before moving to L.A. so I make sure I live by those words. Instead of following in what someone else did, or try and do it like others have done it, create your own way and do your own thing. Don’t listen to anyone who knew you and don’t listen to anyone who isn’t doing what you’re doing. I just mind my own business, and really focus on making it by my own means.
Man Crush: For many, they may not be that familiar with you. So pretend you’re a contestant on The Dating Game. How’d you introduce and describe yourself to the world? Make it memorable!
Brandon Schinaman: I would more than likely keep it simple, Just say, “Hi I’m Brandon,” and lift my shirt to show my abdominal region, point at them and say, “This is what I do.” [laughs]
Man Crush: You’re primarily into modeling underwear. What have you got against wearing clothes? How’d your develop this whole desire to be an underwear model?
Brandon Schinaman: Good question! A great photographer named Jay Plogman started it all when he approached me to do a shoot. I was a little nervous and unsure, not knowing if I had “it.” So after doing that shoot I gained confidence and everyone wanted to shoot me in underwear, and they still do. I have a team behind me now so I can’t focus just on underwear and am starting to do more fashion and editorials now. I’m doing things that will push my acting career further. But I do enjoy being shirtless! Any chance I get I will have my shirt off.
Man Crush: Much to the delight of all your fans and admirers, I’m sure. When interviewing models I like to ask about your motivation for modeling. Is modeling for you more of a career or a means of providing you a way of getting to somewhere else you’d like to be in your life. What’s modeling mean to you?
Brandon Schinaman: I enjoy modeling. A lot of people think it’s a way of making money … but it’s not. [laughs] A big billboard campaign is only, like, $500. You have to be one of the top 5 models in the world to make millions. Modeling is a very short career; there is always someone hotter and younger coming up.
For me, I love to model because I get to have fun and express myself; I enjoy being in front of the camera. I am using it as a stepping stone into acting. It’s good for publicity. It really has helped me get noticed so far by the higher ups and to be seen by the right power Hollywood execs. I will always continue to model and especially as time goes on, more people will be on my side so I will do it for them.
My ultimate goal for modeling is to get a big campaign for some designer. But in the near future I have someone in the works that will be very big! Basically, it goes with what my tattoo says, “Create your own way,” You will see a big campaign from me soon that me and my brother Richie Nuzzolese started.
Man Crush: You’ve mentioned you how important your acting career is to you. Do you at all worry about being viewed solely as eye candy and not really being taken seriously as an actor?
Brandon Schinaman: I’ll let everyone be the judge and decide for themselves once they see me in the movie I am in, Voodoo Academy 2 . It’s my first lead in a feature film. I know what I am capable of. I still have work to do, and room for improvement. I have to constantly grow and push myself further. That’s how Hollywood is now—It’s about talent, yes, but also about how you appeal to the world. Looks matter, as well as fan base. There are many actors out there now, who cannot act and just look good. I plan on being a good looking guy who can also act! I mean, I must be doing something right if I am featured on The Man Crush Blog again this month!
Man Crush: Well duh, only the hot ones get another run on this blog! Since you’re into underwear, is there a certain brand or underwear company that you wish you’d land a gig with?
Brandon Schinaman: Calvin Klein and Diesel! I love seeing Calvin Klein billboards on Sunset Boulevard. They are so sick! The guys on the billboard motivate me to train harder.
Man Crush: Being an underwear model where you’re often unclothed and exposed, your body and how fit it is seems to be more important to your success than any other kind of model. What does it take to get your kind of body?
Brandon Schinaman: Well actually I am going to be doing a fitness video and posting it as well as a new blog entry on my site that will help give insight to that question you just asked. All I’ll say right now is hard work and dedication. Train hard and eat right! Eat smart—don’t believe in diets, because your body NEEDS a little bit of everything.
Man Crush: You have that hard to obtain Apollo’s Belt or V-cut. What’s your secret to carving out that area of your body?
Brandon Schinaman: I do a lot of hanging leg raises and leg sweeps with a dumbbell in between my feet for added resistance. I do a lot of side leg ups. I don’t believe in any type of crunches because that’s mainly working hip flexors. Check out my website www.brandonschinaman.com for a video and more tips like this.
Man Crush: Every model seems to have his own way of achieving and maintaining his abs. What’s yours?
Brandon Schinaman: Mine is not doing ab exercises! I do core-based exercises and a lot of calisthenic workouts—Body weight workouts. Do upside-down pushups that will engage pretty much your whole body, especially your core, because you’ll have to keep your balance. Squats as well are great. But like I said before, doing crunches will not give you abs; you have to burn that layer of fat first then you can engage your core. Your core is your entire mid section which wraps around your whole body, from front to back. Hope that makes sense? [laughs]
Man Crush: It does! I’ve heard and read similar descriptions and advice in Men’s Health and other fitness magazines. What’s your least-favorite body part to workout and how do you motivate yourself to get past the dread to work it out?
Brandon Schinaman: I go through phases of not liking to work my legs, because it’s a body part that isn’t “seen” as much when I am in public. I feel like it’s my one area that needs the most work as well. That is my motivation to work it harder and twice a week. When I look in the mirror, I say to myself, “LETS GO! I’ve got to hit the legs hard.”
Man Crush: What’s the most common question you receive about keeping in shape and how do you usually respond?
Brandon Schinaman: I get a lot of questions about my abs. Mainly because everyone wants a good core! It’s the hardest group of muscles to develop. Once you get them you feel really good and you know you accomplished something. In my opinion, I would rather be ripped over looking bulky and buff any day. You should do a vote on your blog and see people’s responses, I know females prefer abs/shredded body over bloated abdominal and muscles.
The Wrap Up
Man Crush: Let’s touch on a few things we’ve discussed that need a little follow-up. You’ve mentioned that one of your biggest goals with your career is to actually be able to provide and give back to your family. Can you elaborate on what family means to you and why being successful for their sake acts as a motivator to you?
Brandon Schinaman: Well, mainly because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support I received from my family and a few select friends. I appreciate the ones who stuck by me and motivated me to give up my career I had back in Cincinnati to move to L.A. and to start all over. Yeah, I did it all on my own, but having the love and support from my family helped significantly. I had low points out here where I questioned what I was doing out here but those people were there to bring me back up and push me forward. I have a lot of people in my corner, but I also had a lot of people that wanted me to fail and didn’t think any of this was possible. Those people are my biggest motivation. I want to prove the doubters wrong. I don’t care what people think or say about me, my image or my goals, but I still hear and see everything and I put that behind me and use it as motivation.
Man Crush: You have a housemate that many visitors of The Man Crush Blog will be familiar with- our reigning 2011 crush Richie Nuzzolese. You’ve mentioned him a moment ago about working together on an upcoming project. How has seeing Richie’s achievements over the past year inspired you in your career aspirations?
Brandon Schinaman: He has been out here longer than me and meeting him was great because we are the same. We’re like long lost brothers. He gave me insight and a few pointers about how things are handled and done out here. We both use each other to push and motivate one another. He is like my brother so I would do anything for him and we’ve got each other’s backs out here. Like, we don’t get jealous of each other or anything like that when we get called out on a lot of the same auditions. The way we see it is that we’re going to make it together and be successful together. We are like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck: you will see our careers running parallel to each other and more than likely see more of us together on the big screen as leading men in the same movie. WATCH.
Man Crush: I believe you’ve also worked some with model and Internet “It” guy Benjamin Godfre. I like this whole sense of you male models working together, collaborating and taking control of your images and brands as you are. Are there other models or people in the industry you’d like to collaborate with on a shoot or project?
Brandon Schinaman: As far as models, no not really, maybe a couple of female models. My circle is small, though. I don’t like to let many people in due to trust issues. This town has so many grimy people that will stab you in your back in a heartbeat to get to where they want to be. I am weary of that so I keep clear of “making new friends.” Some actors I want to work with are Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, and Ryan Gosling. They are all great actors.
Man Crush: I’m always curious of model’s backup plans. How do you support yourself beyond modeling and acting? Is there some other occupation that you’d like to pursue?
Brandon Schinaman: For me, there is no backup plan. That’s why I will succeed because there is no other option but to succeed and make it big. I am not going back to Cincinnati unless I am buying a house or condo downtown. I am working my ass off out here, and I am seeing great rewards already. Hard work pays off, so no backup plan.
Man Crush: I always leave the final question as a bit open ended. Here’s your chance to address the readers of The Man Crush Blog. What’d you like to say or address that hasn’t already been touched upon in the other questions asked in this interview?
Brandon Schinaman: I just wanted to announce what I have going on and coming up in the near future. I am going to be featured in DNA magazine. It will be a 6 page spread and I will be interviewed about Voodoo Academy 2. Did I mention it will have an amazing photo spread? I am going to be in another feature film here soon and I am really excited for this because it’s a “never back down” type of movie. People are going to get beat down! It’s really bad-ass fighting thriller.
The thing I am most excited for is that myself and Richie started a clothing line. It’s not just a clothing line, it’s also a lifestyle that we live by. It will be huge. We have a lot of people interested in it, and it will be in stores right away, also. So excited for it! That’s all I am going to say for now. Stay tuned. Stay up to date with my website for blogs and exclusive posts, pics and videos. Thank you for the interview, it’s been really real!