Wednesday, November 11, 2015

World Premiere Interview: Dorian Reeves

The Simply Irresistible Dorian Reeves

By Christopher Uvenio 


Model/actor Dorian Reeves has always had that look – one that I simply cannot resist.  His look is fresh, vivacious, and full of optimism…a poster child for the sunny vision, “Better Days Ahead.”   From Alberta, Canada, Dorian is 1/2 English, 1/4 Irish, 1/8 French and 1/8 Spanish…how’s that for specificity?   He knows hard work; Dorian once worked road construction in the summer and actually enjoyed it.   And he loves extreme sports—skateboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.  Dorian’s agencies are Mode Models in Canada (mother agency);  Soul Artist Management (NYC);  Wilhelmina (LA);  and Place Models (Hamburg, Germany).   A 5 year modeling veteran, Dorian and I went in-depth from his early career to his big move to LA.

You have had such an amazing career, Dorian, and yet you’re only 22.   Where to begin?  So you liked playing dress up as a little kid growing up in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada…and your Mom was always taking photos of you!  Tell us about that…how old, the costumes, the entire low down? 

Dorian Reeves: To be honest, I hated to have my photo taken until I was about 17 years old. I would storm out of family photos and dress-up shoots in a fury! Haha! My Mom and Dad were hippies and always had a bunch of really cool clothes around the house. When I was around 3-5 years old, I would go digging through these bins of clothing and find a costume to play around in! I loved to dress up, it was and still is my favorite game.

With your chiseled chin, big smile, and lovely hair, did you suspect back then that your destiny would probably not be in Medicine Hat?

Dorian: I always thought I was going to stay a small city boy, for the rest of my life.  My Mom moved my family to the bigger city when I was in Grade 11, which was when I first met with Mode Models.

 So you just showed up at on open casting with Mode Models in Edmonton. How spontaneous was that or did you plan it in detail?   At what point prior to that casting call did you decide, ‘hey I want to model?

Dorian: Pretty much, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Coming back from Skateboard camp, seeing ‘Mode Models’ on my caller ID was one of the best moments in my lifetime. I had pointed out a menswear catalog to my Mom when I was 12, telling her that’s precisely what I wanted to do.

So your first year of modeling was 2011… you were 18 years old.   Legends like Scott Hoover were shooting you, and you’re in DNA Magazine out of Sydney!   Was your head spinning?   Looking back, did you even have a clue what you were doing? Was DNA the first time the public probably took notice of you?

Dorian: My head was definitely spinning. My mother agent, Michael @ Mode Models was pushing really hard for me, making sure I made all the right choices, shooting with all the right photographers. Scott Hoover is still a good friend of mine and we still shoot from time to time. DNA was one of the first major magazines to notice me, along with Perez Hilton on his infamous blog. That was a great surprise!

 How did you learn in 2012 that you would be walking for Versace in Milan? What was your first reaction? Looking back, what was the whole experience like?

Dorian: I had a casting with Barbara Pfeister at her office in Manhattan. My friends from Canada, the Smit twins and I were casting at the same time, which was pretty cool. The suit we all tried on was HUGE! I thought there was no way on earth I’d book the job. Yet I kept going back for Callbacks. Eventually, they confirmed me about a week before the job in Italy – also my first time in the country. I freaked out and called my mom immediately! What a cool experience it was.  The complete unknown and the dream.

You have since walked for many designers and for audiences as large as 30K. How is that experience now? Do you still get butterflies in your stomach?   What have been some highlights?

Dorian: I still get butterflies in my stomach, laying awake some nights thinking or writing down different experiences. I feel the same thrilling feeling that I had when friends ask me what it’s ACTUALLY like to do some of these jobs. One of the biggest highlights for me was the process of getting booked for Calvin Klein’s CK One fragrance.

 Compare shooting still photography to runway walking from a mental perspective.

Dorian: I feel the most like a ‘model’ while walking the runway. Still photography allows me get creative and really have fun with the clothes. Runway is like getting to know the outfit and style era in real life time.
So in 2013, you appeared wearing Versace underwear on the cover of Vogue Italia with model Rachel Zimmerman by photographer Steven Meisel.    Tell us about this career break-thru.
Dorian: What an amazing few days. Both my mother agent and my NYC agent called me when they found out about the details of the shoot. The phone call that every model wishes to get! I remember the call from Jason Kanner, what a day! Though I felt as if I was on the brink of a career break-thru, I was constantly worrying myself that maybe they wouldn’t actually use me for the shoot. Maybe I’d be in the background, or maybe they would have me wear a mask. It kept me up most nights! Even after the photo shoot, I was still in denial – convinced that they wouldn’t use my photo for the cover. Finally, the release day came. Woohoo! I was breathless! And absolutely relieved!! Even now when I look at the physical copy of the magazine, it still gives me the weirdies.
 The list of accomplished photographers whom you have shot with is very lengthy.   You say you love coming alive in front of the camera.    How do you approach trusting a photographer to show you in the best light, and adapting to their different styles.
Dorian: Communication is a key element to gaining trust for me. I love to chat and get to know who I’m working with.

How do you keep humble in a sometimes glamorous and often cutthroat industry?
Dorian: Keeping in touch with my family and friends always grounds me,
 I’ve seen you talk about branding in modeling…how do you define the brand, DORIAN REEVES?
Dorian: Ask my agent! Lol.

 I read you once described yourself as “optimistic, relaxed, instinctive, ambitious and naughty.”    Those happen to be great characteristics for a male model.   But, what is one additional characteristic that you have that is not always beneficial for a model?
Dorian: When I want something, I don’t let anything stop me. I would say I can be stubborn at times.
In 2014, you chose to wear your blonde hair very long.  I called it your Fabio phase. So, tell us what that was all about?  Why did you do it?  Why did you eventually cut it?  How did fans respond to your long hair?
Dorian: Haha yes! The Fabio phase of course. A day did not pass with at least one person making Fabio comments. The desire to grow my hair started in London. My agent convinced me to shave off the sides for a more edgy look. Even though the clients liked it, I felt embarrassed and told myself I’d never do it again, haha! Luckily, when I arrived back in NYC, a few clients and photographers promised me work if I grew it longer, thank God!!
A lot of people were fans of the longer hair, many even hassle me still about cutting it. Can’t please everyone!

You say you have always been an exuberant dreamer, but we get cynical as we grow older. Pushing 5 years in modeling, any cynicism creeping in…what makes you most cynical about the industry?
Dorian: Having spent the last 5 years modeling, I’ve found that I really am getting a grasp of the industry. It’s very important to understand all the angles of the industry, not just from a models’ point of view, but also from the agent, client and photographer etc. For me, the more I understand, the more acceptance and love I have for the whole industry and people in it. I don’t let myself feel cynical. :-)
 In late 2014, you made the big move to Los Angeles to pursue acting, leaving NYC. Tell us what you’ve been doing in your acting endeavors and classes, etc.
Dorian: There have been some 90, 180 and even 360 degree spins on my career and life over the past year or so and I am thankful for everything that is happening. Leaving NYC for a while was not an easy decision for me. I learned SO MUCH about myself on the west coast and was able to land a couple of small gigs as an actor. Modeling has always been, and continues to be my great passion. I’ve been working a lot with Wilhelmina in LA, they are a fantastic agency.

 You name Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as your acting heroes… and Brad rocked the long blonde hair, once, too.   So, were you a big fan of their collaboration, “Interview With a Vampire?”
Dorian: Yes! I see you’ve done your homework. :) Interview With a Vampire was a cool film. My acting coach in LA, Howard Fine, actually coached Brad on that film!
 Where do you see yourself fitting in…acting wise…what genre is Dorian Reeves a natural fit?
Dorian: I find that I lean towards the more dramatic, romantic roles. Though I also have a great time with comedy!

So what is it like when you go back home to Canada?   Is the family proud of that little boy who wore costumes and did extreme sports as a child?
Dorian: My family is very proud! I am always overwhelmed with the amount of gratitude I feel for the family and friends I have back at home. I spend a lot of time hanging with friends, seeing old crushes and I usually pick up new sport while at home.
Now, the Flash Bulb Round…quick answers from Dorian:
  • Fave Meal: Sushi!
  • Fave Musical Artist: Drake.
  • All-time Fave TWO movies: Vanilla Sky and Lawrence of Arabia.
  • Personal biggest Fashion Faux Pas: Stripes with Plaid :-(
  • Fave Foreign Places to Visit: Mykonos, Greece and London.
  • Biggest vice: Peanut Butter!
  • What issue could drive you to be a political activist? Solving world hunger.
  • Your one body part that you might want to take out an insurance policy on? My hands.
  • East coast or West coast? West coast in the winter, east coast in the fall.
  • Your best hair color (on you) Dark blond.

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