If you were to explain what you do for a living to a small a child, what would you tell him or her?
(He starts laughing) Oh my God… I’d probably lie and I would tell him something cooler than what I do (he laughs self-mockingly). I would tell him ‘Just don’t do what I do with your pure soul, keep your innocence!’. I would probably describe it to him and he would tell me ‘Oh, so you’re a prostitute? So people just hire you for the day?’ I’d tell him ‘Yeah, mhm, well… Shut up. I’m a basketball player.’
What current projects are you excited about?
I am excited about this house that I bought: it’s a financial responsibility, I’m gonna have a relationship to this place, I’m embedding myself to Venice, the energy needs to be good here. As far as work I’m gonna continue to model, especially with people like Dolce & Gabbana, I have some stuff coming up with them. I get to take a little more ownership towards my modeling now: you do have to be a little bit of an ambassador for the brands that you work for, especially through social media, which I love. Also, it’s still early, but I’ve been working on my own sweatshirt warm up athletic line: those essentials that I live with everyday.
What’s been the most important encounter of your career?
Dolce & Gabbana has been a long long relationship. Those guys have kept me afloat. There were times that I wasn’t really working that much, but I always worked for them and they always believed in me. Also, in modeling, you don’t build that many relationships. In this field, usually, you’re kind of a gun for hire. With them, well, it became a relationship, I felt that they wanted my personality, they wanted “Noah” (he laughs). When I look back at it, it’s crazy, it has been ten years or something like that. Hopefully I’ll be able to work with them to some capacity for a really long time. I think they’ve gotten to a place and a confidence within themselves where they are just doing what they wanna do and the brand continues to be successful, it’s inspiring. I love their collections.
You’ve travelled all over. What’s been your favorite destination so far?
Traveling a lot for work makes you really just end up loving being home, you know? But besides that, Italy. As far as my experience goes, the women are so beautiful, the food is incredible, the pace of life suits me. It has a nice mixture of being very influential towards the international world while keeping its smallness and its very specific cultural identity intact. I love Italy.
I’m curious, do women approach you first or you approach them first? Usually?
I feel like a lot of women approach me, but I’m also not scared to approach a woman I like. I do think in general in this time and age women are very aggressive and that’s great (he laughs), but that’s in America and with American women. In France it’s completely different, for example. You know, when I was in France, I was very attracted to some French women, and I’d think ‘Man this girl hates me.’ and then someone would come up to me ‘No, she actually wants to talk to you or get to know you better.’ and I’d be so surprised. And then they would remind me ‘Yeah, here in France you gotta go and be that guy and be like ‘You’re so beautiful, I wanna take you out.’, but with American women it is not like that. It’s so not in our culture: to be like that is desperate, weird and creepy. Here’s like play it cool: you’ll know if the girl wants to talk to you, then you’ll go on a date or whatever. American women and European women are just very different. American women will let you know very blatantly if they are interested, in other places in the world not so much. You know, I wasn’t trained in the school of pursuing, I could use a little more of that.
What’s the sexiest quality in a woman?
I would have to say compassion and care (he tries not to laugh with poor results). No, but really, I truly would say that’s it. It can come across in many different ways, but when a girl has that compassion and care and gentleness, well, that’s ultimately what the dudes are looking for, including myself, and that’s…
Oh, com’on Noah…
…com’on? All the films and stuff, yeah! The cowboy! That’s American ideology. Coming home off the land for the woman that you care about, and you’ve had her picture in your pocket, you think of her every day. And, yeah, she wants to have sex with you and everything, but she’s also gonna stroke your back and wash you and change your clothes and…
…back to reality. Those might be the qualities you maybe think are ultimately the most attractive, but generalizing, I feel that with most men these days, the moment a woman shows that vulnerability, well…
You’re right… Ok. Natalia, you’re right.
…a woman saying “I really care about you” not to a friend, but in a romantic setting? Most of the times you’ll see the guy running towards the opposite end of the planet.
Listen, I do think you’re right… It’s interesting, but (he pauses) just because it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that it’s not the truth. In fact it’s so much the truth and that’s such a shame about our modern day society, I am unfortunately a big by product of it. When I answer the question I answer it honestly: compassion and care in a woman are incredibly attractive. Now, do I go and seek out women that have compassion and care? Fuck, no (we both laugh). You know? I remember when I was firstly in love, that feeling was everything. It wasn’t the sex: that was my girl and she loved me and cared about me. It was beautiful, it is a beautiful thing and that is the truth of a lot of guys. And you’re also right, some women wanna give that, we can get thrown by the intensity of it and there’s that dance ‘I’d love to cook you dinner.’ ‘Wait, I don’t know you that well’. Is that too intimate? What’s too intimate? It all becomes weird and…
Why do you think that is?
Sometimes I’m angry that that is so much part of the time that I get to live on this planet, but I do think that these days there’s some real fear of intimacy, there’s some real fear of kind of releasing the reins and just letting fully divulging yourself into something, into someone. It keeps people so open to everything, without really having any relationships or committing to anything. I think it comes from having so many options and distractions and things to do all the time. It is really scary to just abandon yourself. It’s a weird fear and I definitely have it. Intimacy, and love, and having a partner, is definitely abandonment. If I look at my past I know I could have had real relationships, even if they would have ended, if only I had let myself go in a little and not had gotten scared by the care and the intimacy. It would be much more interesting than, what also a lot of other people do, you know, date and talk and keep your options open and pursue lots of “precious” activities everywhere.
What can be the biggest turn off about a woman?
Her care and compassion (we both explode in laughter, I tell him that I was right). Well, there’s some truth in that, so I guess, yeah. I don’t think that’s an actual “turn off”, but it can be so scary… You know, guys are fucking stupid.
What makes you laugh?
People. Laughter is such a natural high (I tell him that he makes people laugh). I’m fortunate to have a lot of funny friends. That’s something that I love about LA, I do have a group of friends that I really adore. I have more laughter in my life now, than I ever had or I thought I would ever have, it’s interesting. I like the ability to be self-deprecating and have humor about this life, because it is scary, and it is ridiculous and really the best therapy is to laugh about it all.
What scares you?
The fact that I laugh about my life a lot (he giggles). Honestly, I am a scared person (we both laugh). Every day, copious amounts of fear (he smiles, but he does turn serious for a while). A fear of not living the life that I soulfully feel that I was meant to live. It’s something that I’ve struggled with, but it has also been a drive: it’s a double-edged sward. I also fear of having regrets. You know when we were talking earlier today about our parents, when our parents get old? I don’t want to regret not having that truthful connection with them before they won’t be here anymore.
Regrets in love: was I able to really give myself to that person, whether it worked out or not? I’ve lived on both sides of that: I’ve seen myself really step up to the plate and then walk away and say ‘I was invested in that, my actions responded to the care and that feels amazing and right”. And then I’ve been very much on the other side ‘I cared about it and I treated it so poorly, I lied to myself that I didn’t care about it and it’s gone now and I’ll never get that back.’.
Unfortunately, I have the ability to do that, to disguise choices or feelings with “It’s life!”, but no, fuck no. You admit you’re wrong, you admit you can do better and you try to be better. It’s just a pain because it doesn’t happen so very easily (he laughs). I’ll never be able to shake that internal voice telling me ‘You’re being a piece of shit right now, you can be better.’
When are you vulnerable?
I know I am very vulnerable all the time, but I keep that very hidden, because I really think that vulnerability is something that innately we only want to show when we’re a very comfortable and I don’t think I am that comfortable with people very often. I’m either vulnerable alone and, a few times, with very close friends.
What would make you go out of your way for a woman? Does it ever happen?
Oh, yeah, for sure. You know, I think that if I feel that I have found somebody that I am comfortable to express and expose that vulnerability that we were talking about, then I know that it is something special, and I’ll go to the ends of the earth, in all honesty, as cheesy as it sounds. If I find a piece of comfort and attraction with a woman, well, I really think there’s nothing more important than that… It doesn’t happen very often and sometimes it’s the wrong girl, it can be quite painful. Passed the pursue or the casualness of the flirtation, once you pass all of that, it moves really quickly in a different room. It either ends or it’s important. Once I find myself in the latter, I am a romantic, I do care and I will let somebody know how much I care. When intimacy is there, it gets followed by a whole different set of actions.
What’s your favorite quality about people?
Integrity. Courage and integrity, to just be unwavering and unapologetic for who you are.
What do you like the least?
Surface. When people use the least amount of energy exerted to seemingly care. It sounds like an equation (he laughs).
What about you, what’s the best quality about you and what’s your biggest flaw?
I think I got a good heart. I care for my friends and family, even if I don’t show it all the time, and I care about being a good person. I was bullied growing up and I’ve been so affected by other people’s perceptions that now I am so sensitive about it. I never want people to feel outed. I would never wanna pick on somebody or make somebody feel embarrassed or ashamed for something that they’ve done, I really try to transcend that for other people. Be nice, be gentle, be kind: there’s enough drama and angry people out there. I think my biggest flaw is probably not fully committing and following through with projects, decisions, characteristics. If I were to choose one thing to work on myself for the next year it would be to work on commitment.
If you were to be able to meet your fifteen year old self and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?
Oh my… I find that incredibly sad for some reason, maybe it says something about me and my life (he can’t stop laughing). I would start to cry and I would hold him and I would whisper into his ear ‘Don’t go’ (he says that comically and theatrically). Oh my God, that’s a great question, everyone should be asked that question every other month. I think I would say… Well, if I could say something that could transcend the intelligence of a fifteen year old, because you can say a lot of things to a fifteen year old and you know they are not gonna listen… I would tell him to ‘Not be scared of what other people think. Just do you.’ Yeah. I would tell him that.