Wednesday, November 11, 2015

World Premiere Interview: Tucker Des Lauriers

Don’t Worry, Be Happy:

with Model Tucker Des Lauriers

by Christopher Uvenio

Tucker Des Lauriers started modeling before he was 16 years old, and he has never looked back.  Tucker embraces life; he sets his goals high and pursues every avenue life has to offer with zeal, authenticity, and vigor.  Clearly, failure is not in his vocabulary.  And his wholesome, movie-star good looks add to the allure of this multi-talented man.   Almost 22, Tucker has walked in Milan, appeared in dozens of magazines and catalogs, acted on television, worked in the technical aspects of video production, gone on an African safari, and maintains a high GPA while studying at Hofstra University.  He is constantly seeking out new and exciting creative outlets. Tucker slowed down for a minute to talk with me about his career, life and dreams.

 Okay, let’s start with the basics.  Age, weight/height, hair & eye color?   What is your hometown?  Where do you currently reside?   And who represents you?
Tucker Des Lauriers: Hello! I am 21 years old, weigh 165-170lbs, 6’1.   I have dirty blonde/brown hair and brown eyes. My hometown is Franklin MA. I currently live in Park Slope in Brooklyn NY and I’m here until the end of December, 2015.  I am represented by Request Model Management in NYC, Wilhelmina in LA, Independent Models in Milan, and talent wise, I am represented by VCA and APA in LA!

So, when Bruce Weber shot you for A&F at age 16, was that your first modeling job?   What was it like working with Weber?
Actually it was the first shoot I ever did; I was 15 and a half.  My dad, brothers and I went on a family vacation to Provincetown, MA. We had rented bikes all weekend and were riding them around the town.  I have always had a crazy sweet tooth and there is this amazing candy shop there, so one night we rode our bikes to the candy shop.  My dad waited outside and when my brother Eric and I were leaving the store a man and a woman approached my dad and asked him if we were his sons.  My dad thought we had run someone over on our bikes or something but it turns out they were scouts for Bruce Weber.  

Long story short, they took pictures of us and about a month later my brother and I were going to shoot with Bruce and his team in Providence.  It was pouring rain that day,  I remember Bruce called my dad and told him that the location they were originally going to shoot at wouldn’t work with the rain, so they were going to come up to our house and just shoot us there and around our town. We shot all day and my Mom and Dad and girlfriend at the time all got into the story, it was truly an amazing experience and my brother and I ended up with a 28 page spread in Kids Wear International Magazine. I didn’t even know modeling was a career, and I didn’t pursue it until 6 months or so after this shoot. It was a ‘right place right time’ kind of thing and I was raised believing in karma and everything happens for a reason, so I decided to give it a chance and haven’t looked back since! And Bruce is one of the most humble and down to earth people I have met in this profession. He is a genuine, extremely talented, fun to be around and caring person, which helps makes him the legend he is today.

You seem extremely close to your family.   Tell us about that.   And how did they initially react to you going into modeling and entertainment?
TDL: My family is everything to me. Without them I wouldn’t be half the man that I am today, and I would not have been able to be as successful without them either. They keep me grounded and I love every time I get to be with them.  My father took pictures as a hobby his whole life.

Actually, thinking about it now, I can’t think of a time my dad didn’t have a camera on him when I was growing up. So having a lens in my face was pretty much an everyday thing to me. Every Father’s Day my mom would make my dad a big collage with all the pictures he took over the year and they lined the walls of my house. My mom was, and still is, a part of the entertainment industry in Boston. She is the best stage manager around and had acted in a few plays too when I was growing up. The two fields are very similar and so to relate this to your question, they all loved it and were super supportive of it!

As a teenager, you were really into wrestling.   Tell us about that.   I have covered so many models who are ex-wrestlers.   Any theory on why so many models are former amateur wrestlers?
Ahh wrestling was the greatest!!  My team was the first boys sports team in Massachusetts history to win a division 2 state title one year and then win the division 1 state title the following year. My brother Eric was also a wrestler so even when I was off the mat, the wrestling never stopped. I won the state sectional championship my junior year, but snapped my collarbone during the match. So I was unable to continue onto states that year. When my senior year came around, during a football game I tore my ulnar collateral ligament off my left arm. So my career as a wrestler was cut very short and it definitely had an emotional impact on me. But I tried to look at the bright side of things and took it as sign to continue pursuing modeling after high school and to not continue pursuing wrestling.  The two don’t go to well together because your face is constantly getting bruised and cut up and you get a lot of nasty skin diseases and stuff.  Although it was extremely hard for me to tell my team when I was a senior, and one of the top ranked wrestlers in the state, that I couldn’t wrestle anymore, it only made me stronger. And who knows, if I stuck with wrestling, I might have never pursued modeling and acting like I am now.

And my theory on why so many models are former wrestlers is because wrestling gets you in the best shape of your life, hands down.  So a lot of ex-wrestlers have good bodies and they can cut down to get more ripped for a shoot, too, so I think that has a lot to do with it.

Your resume is a long one.   You have been in countless magazines, walked runway shows, worn numerous brands, appeared on billboards, and shot with a who’s who of photographers.  What has been the key to sustaining your success?
TDL: I think the key to sustaining my success is to always be optimistic and never dwell on the negative things or take things personally. If you don’t book a job you can’t take it personally because the casting people have a certain image in mind, and just because you don’t meet that image doesn’t mean your not worthy of being a model or anything.  You’re just not the look they were going for. Just be happy and thankful that you were given the opportunity and hopefully more opportunities will come!

 I’m sure you enjoyed most of your shoots.  But, tell us about TWO of your most memorable shoots.
The most memorable shoot I had was the first one I ever did, the one for Kids Wear International that I explain about in question #2. It was my first shoot ever and Bruce Weber and his team setting up shop in my house was unreal and something I will never forget!

Another one of my most memorable shoots was my shoot for GQ Style Korea shot by Na Jung Moke. I was a sophomore at Hofstra University lying in bed about to go to sleep because I had class early the next morning.  Around 10:30pm on a Tuesday night I was called by Gaspard, an agent at Request Models.  He asked me if I wanted to go to Hawaii tomorrow morning on a 9am flight.  I freaked out and was obviously down for it, and then asked him what it was for. When he told me it was for GQ Style that was the icing on the cake haha, I was definitely going to do this shoot.  I was there for 4 days and had 3 close modeling friends there from my agency and it was the most relaxed shoot I’ve ever done. We ate chicken wings and pizza, sat in the back of a pick up while it cruised the border of Honolulu, drank beer, wrestled and swam in a pool that was carved out of a cliff hanging over the ocean.  It was an amazing experience and life is all about experiences and this is one I will never forget!

You have walked for Calvin Klein and Asaf Ganot among others, how does it feel to be on the catwalk in Milan?  Still get butterflies?   Compare the experience of runway to photographic shoots.
The catwalk in Milan was totally amazing.  I remember girls coming up to me after the show wanting to take pictures with me because I was this “Calvin Klein Model.”  I was also the first guy ever from my agency to be exclusive there in Milan for fashion week, so that was really cool too! I definitely still get a little nervous feeling but it’s mostly a fun, giggly, energetic feeling. Runway shows are definitely different from photo shoots but only for the obvious reasons. It still is the same vibe and you’re usually working with people you know or whom you have met at least once before. A show is kind of just like a fun reunion with your modeling friends verses a shoot.  Unless it’s a big shoot with a lot of models but they are both similar and always fun!

You worked with beautiful actress/singer Victoria Justice, who happens to be one of my favorites, in a shoot for Cosmo in late 2014.   How did you get that gig?  What was it like shooting with her?
I guess I just lucked out with that shoot.  I went to my agency one morning and they told me I should get a haircut.  So they made an appointment for me, and when I came back to the agency they loved how my hair looked and sent me to the Cosmo headquarters. I was the only model there, and they looked through my book and loved it!  Two days later I was confirmed for the shoot and in my email I saw I was going to be working with Victoria Justice.  It was a great shoot and she is a beautiful, nice and friendly girl.  It was great spending the day with her just having casual conversations the whole time. And the pictures came out great!

 Macy’s seems to have you on speed dial, Tucker.   Tell us about what they have meant to you.
TDL: Macy’s is amazing! Everyone who works there is so funny and nice, and every time I go to their studios to shoot, the time flies! They mean a lot to me and we always have a great time together, and I love working with them and always laugh a bunch when I’m in their studio. Their photographers are all so different but hilarious in their own unique way which makes it that much more enjoyable and entertaining working for them.

Your thick head of hair sometimes has a personality of its own.   How do you make it behave?
TDL: Hahaha my hair is a mess!!! It’s super thick and all the hair stylist love it at first, but when they have used a whole can of hairspray on it throughout the day, I think they might get a little annoyed.  It never stays in one place but I use Magic Moves to help tame the mane.

You are now a senior at Hofstra University, majoring in video/TV.    Tell us how hectic it gets squeezing castings in between your demanding school schedule.
Majoring in Television, Video and Film Production at Hofstra University takes up all my time. I’m constantly working on films that I have to write, produce, direct, shoot and edit. Now multiply that by 3 or 4, and that’s how crazy my schedule is.  And that’s not including all the shoots I am on set for to help out my friends who are also film majors.  It’s hectic and extremely stressful but my time management is key.  I’ve been a full-time student for three years at Hofstra and have managed to still model and act while maintaining an overall 3.48 GPA. However, just this semester I decided to go to Hofstra part time, so that I can pursue my acting career and continue taking classes in NYC.

Your work and interests are very diverse.   What would you love to be doing in 10 years?
I would love to be a working actor in 10 years, and to be an experienced world traveler by then too.

You photographed a music video for Just B. Polo called “Working For It.”   Would you like to be behind the scenes as a director, producer, or technician one day?
Yes, I was the director of photography for the “Working For It” music video and I also was the set designer, and a producer for it. That was the second music video I worked on with a friend of mine at Hofstra and it landed on! I see myself being a director/producer one day but I love designing sets, too.  I might mess around with those three positions for a while and see how it goes!

Last fall, you appeared as “Jake” in the Oxygen Network TV show, “My Crazy Love.”   Jake was a New England Patriot fanatic as well (that part probably wasn’t a stretch for you).   This was your first big acting gig, correct?   Tell us about how you got the part and what that experience was like.
Yes this was my first big acting gig.  I went to the audition one day, and the only thing I knew was that it was an improv audition.  I arrived there and waited for a few minutes and then this older woman brought me into a hallway and had her camera there.  She told me to be a huge Patriots fan with a Boston accent and I just went to town–haha definitely made a fool of myself but she loved it!  My brothers and I always mess around with each other and talk in thick Boston accents so I just pretended I was with them. When I left she told me she hadn’t seen that great of an audition in a very long time.  I told my manager when I got out, and she said that’s great but they were looking for a named actor.  Two days later I got a call that they wanted me and I was so excited!!  It was the perfect first acting experience for me!

 So, Tucker, you have a little Boston accent. 
And I know you have taken some acting classes.   So, is the accent an advantage or disadvantage?
Luckily I don’t have a hard time turning the accent off or amping it up, so I think it’s only an advantage because more and more movies are being filmed in Boston, but so many actors struggle with a Boston accent.  It helped me book one job so I’ll take that as an advantage for sure!

So I know you do a lot of model casting calls in NYC, but you have also attended numerous TV/acting castings in LA.    I would assume the acting castings are more stressful.   Tell us about the difference in the two from your perspective.   What was one TV (or movie) casting you attended that you most regret not landing?
You’re right, the LA auditions are more stressful, but I think that’s why I like them more. It’s more of a challenge memorizing lines and then delivering them in a room, while on camera, with someone you’ve never read with before.  I love it!

I wouldn’t say that I regret not landing this role, because even being considered was an honor, but when I was in LA last summer I had an audition for “Modern Family.”  I went there and killed it but had to fly back to Massachusetts the next day. So when I was in Massachusetts,  I received an e-mail for a call back for the part.  I got the next flight first thing in the morning, and landed back in LA around 11am and had the audition at 2pm. I went there and met the director, producer, writer, and casting director for Modern Family and auditioned in front of all them that day.  It was an amazing experience, and a few days later I was pinned for the role!  Then a day or two after hearing that news, I heard they dropped and re-casted the entire family because they were going for something different. I was supposed to be a skater punk kind of kid but they changed that and the family to be more redneck-ish.  I was just grateful to be there and have that experience in my life; I hope to one day be on the show!
You love traveling within the US and abroad.  I know you have had some awesome family vacations.  What was your favorite trip abroad?  Where is your favorite escape in the US?
My favorite trip abroad was Africa. I’m a National Geographic fanatic, and so are my brothers and dad.  So being there and seeing all these animals in the wild that typically you only see on TV or at zoos was unreal.  It was most beautiful place I have ever been to and the beauty resonates in the people there and their personalities too.  My favorite escape in the US is going to my families ranch in Hamilton, Montana.  Big sky country is the best!  I’m a huge outdoorsman and Montana has everything an outdoorsman could ask for.

Your 21st birthday on October 17, 2014 was like a 72-hour epic party!!!   Should I ask if #22 in a few weeks will be more sedated? 
Haha oh man last year was crazy!   I don’t know if we could top that one this year.  My dad went all out for me for my 21st, but the party ideas are in the works right now, so I guess you will have to stay tuned via social media to see how the weekend unfolds!

 So what’s next for Tucker Des Lauriers?
To go with the flow of the wind and live day-by-day enjoying the little things in life, while always remembering what my grandfather taught all of his grandkids, “to thine own self be true”.

Flash Bulb Round:  Quick responses

  • Your favorite location for a shoot that you have done: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • You are 60 and can only frame one magazine cover you appeared on in your living room. Which one?  Oh man, I don’t know. If I could, I would make a collage of them all and make it look like one cover somehow.
  • East or West Coast: It’s so hard to pick, but I was born on the East coast, so that will always be my home but the west coast weather is unstoppable.
  • Two most effective exercises for you: Running and HIIT workouts.
  • Should QB Tom Brady have received punishment for Deflate Gate? Absolutely not and he’s free now!!
  • Fishing or golfing: Ahhh another wicked hard question, depends on my mood that day I guess. I would golf a lot more if it wasn’t expensive, and fishing is the opposite I’ll just need some bait and a beer and I’ll be good to go fishing!
  • Favorite actor & actress: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence
  • Your all-time favorite a) action film b) tearjerker film c) comedy movie: a) “Gladiator”; b) “Friday Night Lights,” the first movie to ever make me cry because I was so into football at the time; c) either “Tropic Thunder” or “Old School.”

 What is the best way, Tucker, for readers to reach you on social media?
I’m always on Instagram (
@tsdeslauriers), way more than Twitter (@model_tucker) or Facebook so messaging me on there would be the best way to reach me!

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