Monday, 25 August 2014

Interview: Andrew Morrill


Hello Andrew! Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?
Hi readers, I’m Andrew. *waves*

Talk me through an average day in the life of you? 
Usually I have a casting or some other work related appointment that I’ll need to make so my days get built around those. These things frequently pop up at the last minute so flexibility with my time is always necessary. I’ve been going out for a lot of television/commercial work recently and those require so many castings – lots of people to get through before you get the job. The other daily priority is the gym. I go there 6 days a week typically for 90 minutes or so. Some days are slammed and others I end up with a good amount of free time. I don’t always know which it’s going to be at the beginning of the day, either. That’s just how it works out in ACM world.


So you're an American model living in London. How's that working out for you? 
I love London. I have been here over five years now, although I admit now in the beginning I did find it difficult to adjust. London is very British – I know that sounds obvious but it is different from other 'world' cities I’ve lived in (Hong Kong for example). Britain has a culture and outlook that is very much its own and British people are pretty proud of it, so you need time to assimilate… figure things out. But now I love it.


You're from Texas, right? 
Born and bred. I grew up in a city called San Antonio. Any Basketball fans will know The Spurs.

I know The Spurs!  Sorry, as you were saying...

Texas is one of those places that isn’t quite like anywhere else in the world and everyone seems to have an idea about it. Most people have a positive view of the place, thinking it’s all cowboys and oil wells – and for many people it is. I will always be proud to be from there.

Does that mean you often find the weather here terribly disappointing like all of the time? 
Ha. Initially that was hard. I moved here in October just at the beginning of what turned out to be a really harsh winter with snow and all. I’d never really lived in a place that was properly cold. The grey winter skies can be depressing at times but you know those of us that live here just get on with it. Work wise it makes shooting local summer swimwear campaigns a little more challenging when they are typically shot in Feb/Mar. There have been a number of times the photographer and crew have been wrapped head to toe goose down jackets while I’m in nothing but the tiniest speedos ever produced.  It’s fresh.


So how did you get your start in modelling? 
I started modelling when I was in University back in Texas. I did it as a part-time thing to make some extra money in college. I continued doing it when I was in Hong Kong and got my first cover over there with a magazine called MRMR. I remember I wore a Vivienne Westwood Snakeskin suit. The jacket was a little tight but they still asked me to jump around in it... and guess what, I ripped the shoulder sleeve joint. The Chinese wardrobe girl turned (more) white because it was a sample. I was more pleased because I felt like the hulk.


Is modelling something you always thought you would end up doing? You're like really pretty. 
You make me laugh. No it wasn’t. I never thought I was really pretty – to be honest I always assumed people who said anything like that were just flattering me cause they wanted something.  I think I’ve grown into my looks too. I never really knew what I wanted to do in terms of a job. It was always a big scary question for me because nothing ever seemed to fit.

What would you say is your best feature, and what part of your body receives the most compliments? 
It would have to be my legs. Straight, gay, men, women and everything in between seem to like my legs. Ironically they were one of the things I used to dislike about myself when I was younger. They are genetically huge and muscular and that made me different from every other skinny preteen boy from about age 11. Now that I’m older and know how difficult it is to build leg muscles I’m so thankful I have them. I do minimal leg workouts and they remain massive with calves large enough to feed a small country. My 65-year-old dad still has legs just like mine.  Praise genetics.

I couldn't help but notice that in a lot of your shoots (like 87% of them) there is a distinct lack of clothing present? Why do you think that is? 
I’m just really willing to take my clothes off. Play to your strengths!  I mean, in reality I have the body type that can look better without clothes. I’m big and certain clothes sometimes add bulk that disguises muscle. So I suppose when people hire me they want what they’ve paid for! Also in Europe, the sample sizes differ from those in the US. I am just too big waist and shoulder wise to fit into clothing samples here. I was advised if I lost 25lbs I could get more work as a clothing model but I decided against that. I’m happier being muscular and showing more flesh in shoots. Hopefully y’all are happy with that arrangement too.


So what exercise do you look most forward to in the gym? I personally love any exercise that involves lying on a mat for extended periods of time. 
It’s such a meathead thing to say but I love arm day.  Like all gyms, mine is filled with mirrors and I like watching the arms get pumped. It’s very satisfying seeing them grow before your eyes, veins popping and all.

And have you always been as big as you are *cough* or have you had to work hard to build your herculean frame?
When I came to London I weighed in at 75kgs and now I’m closer to 92kg.  So I was never small but I have put on a good amount of muscle in the last few years.


You have worked with lots of photographers. Who has been the most fun on set to work with? 
Haha I better tread carefully. I could never choose just one… Joseph Sinclair and Darren Black were two of my favourites from London. Dylan Rosser in Ibiza was amazing. The most fun was probably Gian Paolo Barbieri from Milan. The man is a legend and has shot most of the icons from the latter half of the 20th century. I was honoured to get to work with him. Thing was he only spoke Italian and I speak none. So communication was a lot of hand gestures and drawings – he is a talented sketch artist as well and actually drew the poses he wanted me to do!


What about your favourite shoot? 
A favourite shoot would have to be with Tim Mueller in Berlin. It was spread across two days both in crazy locations. The first was at the top of a skyscraper right next to the TV tower in East Berlin and the second was outside the city in an abandoned military hospital. This place was straight out of a WWII era or horror movie. It was immense, six or seven large buildings set out over dozens of acres of land – all in a complete state. Broken windows, old rusted beds, medical equipment, old propaganda posters and peeling paint.  It made for some really dramatic scenery. 

Sounds fantastic!  And your least favourite? 
When I was very new to modelling, this one guy hired me to take some pictures in this studio that had this awful faux gothic/Victorian looking furniture and decoration. It was all cheap old chintz and shit along with some other areas with a more ‘darker’ style furniture (think whips and chains – no we did not use those). The whole time the shoot was going on I knew not a single one of the photos was going to be useful for me. And I was right. Ah well, you learn.


Can you tell me about some of the projects you are working on at the moment? 
There are a few cool things coming up. One that was just released this week was an editorial I did for Archaic Press Magazine which is a quarterly fashion publication out of LA. My editorial was 10 pages which were taken by Troy Wise (Image Amplified). I did a fun shoot at the National Aquatic Centre for the National Lottery here in the UK a few weeks back and those photos should be coming out soon as well. I’m going to New York at the beginning of September for a project which I can’t talk too much about but while I’m there I’m going to shoot with Kevin Hoover and potentially one more big name that everybody would know. So good things are coming. 

How do you like to spend your time when not working? 
I spend a lot of my time traveling. When I’m at home I’m a homebody.  London offers so much to do – it’s part of why I love living here.


Which flavour of ice cream best describes your personality? 
Cookies & Cream. 

Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question? 
How did you become Portis Wasp? And what is your real name? 

So I started a blog and didn't want to use my real name because in some circles I'm considered an outlaw.  I chopped the 'head' off the band Portishead, and chose Wasp cos why the hell not?

If you could be any animal for the day, what would you be and what would you do? 
An eagle. American cliché? Maybe but there’s something about being able to fly under your own power that really appeals to me.  Plus you know they’re pretty...

So it's true.  You think your pretty?


How do you like your eggs in the morning? 
Sunny side up... with salsa. 

What happens next? 
I’m getting another Latte. Want one? 

Why of course.


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