Happy Valentine’s Day from romance author Adele Downs and romantic leading man John Antorino.
Interview with John Antorino: Actor, Calvin Klein Model, and Romance Cover Model.
So many new subscribers have joined Down To Earth Romance since this interview with John was first posted in 2014, I thought it was worth repeating. Enjoy!
Q. Thanks for visiting with me and my readers, John. You’re a popular model, originally from New Jersey, home to many actors and singers, and the setting for some beloved novels. What do you like best about your hometown?
A. First and foremost, my family. I am very close to my family. Especially my Mom, who is my best friend, my 93-year-old Grandmom, and my little niece Morgan. My hometown is a small town near Atlantic City, NJ and the beaches, boardwalks, and casinos. So there was always something to do there and get into. I worked on the beach in the summers. Was fun! My hometown is just a tough, hard-working, family-oriented and down to earth town.
Q. You’ve got a BS in Psychology and are a certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Consultant. There’s an obvious connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. Tell us how you became interested in these fields.
A. Well, working out and nutrition was always in my blood. I was born into it, really. My family was always into working out and eating healthy. When I was a little boy my family owned a gym in New Jersey- Antorino’s gym. I remember being 5 years old and being at the gym and running around on the equipment and picking up little dumbbells.
My Uncle, Mike Antorino, was a great pro-bodybuilder in the 1980’s. He was Mr. America 1985. My mother also used to compete as well and still works out daily. So, it’s definitely a family affair! The Psychology part of it was something I’ve always been into. Human behavior. And why people do what they do. Say what they say, etc. Also, yes there is definitely a mind-muscle connection with working out and building a great body.
Q. What decision brought you to acting and modeling, and when?
A. It wasn’t my decision really. Was never something I really ever wanted to do or aspired to do. I’m not that crazy. Ha! But no really, kind of just happened. I was getting approached quite often in my late teens by agents and photographers. And they would say I should be a model. And that I had a great look. I appreciated the compliments always, but never really thought much of it. I was busy with school and sports (wrestling), oh and women. Bad! Anyway, it continued to happen more and more. So I went and talked to my Mom about it all. And she said let’s see what it’s all about. So we took the bus to NYC. And the rest is history and a few decades later and many magazines, underwear ads and book covers later here we are. I started when I was around 20 yrs old. I have truly been blessed. I’d never imagined that I’d still be going strong so many years later. Definitely has exceeded all my expectations.
Q. You have acted in commercials and TV shows and have aspirations for the big screen. Tell us about your experiences. Any favorites? (I especially loved you in Sex and The City and Lipstick Jungle!)
A. Thank you. Yes, well I’ve been on the big screen already. But, am really working hard now towards a nice substantial movie role.
I have really enjoyed most of my experiences. Lipstick Jungle was nice to work on. Brooke Shields and the cast were nice. I met some cool people on that set and some that are still my friends today. Also, I filmed a TV pilot in 2010 called The Republic. I play a modern day bounty hunter. We are hoping soon it gets picked up and ends up on TV’s across America. Was a great cast and we filmed all over Los Angeles and the San Diego area. Some great old time actors are making come backs on that: Actress Sean Young and Marc Singer. So that was pretty cool to work with them.
Q. Your modeling portfolio contains photographs from sizzling and sexy to clean cut and introspective. Your images have appeared in magazines all over the world. What’s it like to model professionally?
A. Yes, thank you. I’ve been blessed for sure. And it’s rare that someone can do such a wide-range of work. I am very versatile. And what’s it like? Hard work! I can tell you this. It’s not that easy at all. People that aren’t in the industry have no clue what goes into a photo shoot. They think an hour and a few clicks of the camera and it’s a wrap. Haha far from the truth. Most of my shoots last 6-10 hours. Several locations and hundreds of photos taken. Holding posing and having to give the right facial expressions. Not easy! Not to mention my grueling prep for the shoots. Strict diet and hardcore training. But it’s been great! I cannot complain. I’ve traveled all over the world with my career and have met some great people and have made a nice life for myself.
Q. Your Playgirl magazine photo shoot really caught this interviewer’s attention. It’s the stuff of romance novels. What was it like to pose nude?
A. Haha yes!!! That was tough to do. Several people behind the scenes all focusing on ME! I mean I’m not shy and sure I’m proud of what I have. God blessed me for sure. But, I never wanted to do nudes. But they were pretty persistent with me. Offered more money and exposure (no pun intended). I talked it over with my agent and my family- Mom and Grandmom. Haaaa….They said go do it. It was done very tasteful and classy. So I did it!
Q. You have rigorous workout schedule. What’s your preferred exercise routine to stay in shape?
A. Yes I do. I do split-sessions. Cardio/Abs in the early AM on an empty stomach. Low impact cardio- treadmill on an incline, bike, and Stairmaster. Each day I vary my time speed intensity and incline. Some days I do intervals with my cardio. And in the PM I do my weight training. I typically do one body part per workout per day. I train hard and heavy most of the time. And then others times I lower the weights and do super sets and drop sets, but always train hard and intense!
Q. Though the entertainment industry is rife with drugs, alcohol, and overall bad behavior, you avoid these things and promote healthy living. We certainly admire that about you. Is there as much pressure to party as we non-industry types hear about?
A. Sure is. Sadly. It’s a mess. A shame that these people that have so much in life. Friends family talent success money and material things. But still aren’t happy. And don’t really believe in themselves and just aren’t happy with themselves. But to answer your question, I guess there is pressure for most. But not for me. It’s not hard at all for me. I have a strong mind. My own mind and heart. I listen to and follow no one in life. I am who I am. I believe in myself. I am happy with who I am and my life. I don’t need drugs or alcohol to have fun and stay up late or to wake up early. I am just high on life. True! But sad but true many and most aren’t this way. And they ultimately give in to it all. And get caught up in the mix.
Q. You are active in charity work, which is a top priority in your life. Tell us about that.
A. Yes, very much. Charity work and giving back, doing for others is my real true passion in life and my happiness. I’ve always just had that in me. As far back as I can remember I’ve always been this way. Caring giving compassionate and empathetic. I’ve been helping sick kids with cancer and their families for some time now. As well as giving to poor and less-fortunate families during Christmas. I also feed the homeless on a daily basis in LA. They all know me by name now. Thanksgiving I go to the Soup kitchens and help feed and donate food as well. I do all I can whenever I can. That’s for sure. I am planning on starting my own organization sometime in the future.
Q. Tell us about your favorite hobbies. (Including your love for riding motorcycles!) What do you do when you’re not working?
A. I do like to ride my motorcycles on a nice sunny day. I like to go fast. Great adrenaline rush. Makes me really feel alive. And it also helps clear my mind. I love the beach and the water. One of my favorite things to do is go for a run on the beach and then swim and then eat my food and then pass out on a blanket for a few hours. Ahhhhh so nice! I also have a few waverunners that I enjoy taking out once in a while. I love cars. I have several. I am big on traveling and not just for work. For pleasure too! I am very close to my family. So spending time with them is always nice. I like music a lot. So going to a good concert is fun to me. And cooking. Love to cook and bake. Oh and hug and kiss….smiles ;-)
Q. Share some things about yourself you don’t usually discuss and most wouldn’t know about you. We’re interested!
A. Hmmmm, well I’ve pretty much been an open book my entire career. But some things that people that don’t know me may not know. I am a clean freak. With my cars homes and myself. But not to the point of being OCD. Being clean is good. More people should be this way. Yup! My mom and grandmom call me- Johnny boy. And some close friends from way back call me Johnny or Johnny A. The first magazine I was ever in was in 1999. WOW! So long ago. One of my first few modeling jobs was in 1999. I landed a Calvin Klein campaign. My picture was on underwear boxes and billboards. Pretty cool stuff. Especially for such a young dude. And I was a school crisis counselor before my career really took off. Was a school for troubled youth. Tough yet rewarding job. So there are some things for you all. Many don’t know about me and I don’t discuss.
Q. What are some things that bother you/annoy you?
A. Geeeez, where do I start? Ok, here goes. Self-centered people. Jealous people. Fake and phony people. People that try to be something/someone they are not. Bad drivers. There are tons out there too. On both coasts. Messy people. People that talk too much. I remember back in the day. My old Italian grandpop said- “Johnny never trust someone that talks too much”. People that make fun of others. Bullying. And deadbeat parents. To name just a few. Laughing!!!
Q. Turn-ons and Turn-offs in a woman?
A. That’s an easy one. I surely know what I want and also what I don’t want. Turn-offs. I have many. Sorry. Yes I set high standards for myself. And I can. I have everything to give and offer. I am VERY selective and picky. I am not like most. And will never settle. Too many do and are so unhappy and miserable. And end up living like that or end up with divorces. I rather wait for exactly what I want. Ok sorry to ramble. Here goes: Messy women, self-centered, self-absorbed, cold, lazy, loud, partying women, smokers, women always on the phone, classless women, women with little or no manners. Women that are high maintenance. Ok Ok I’ll stop there….haha. Now turn-ons: Sweet and down to earth. Women that aren’t high maintenance, simple, kind, caring, thoughtful, low key, honest women. Pretty, but definitely don’t have to be a model.
Q. What would you consider to be the most romantic place in the world?
A. I am asked that often. It’s a tough question for me. First, because I’ve been all over the world. And second, romance can be found anywhere if you are with the right person and the moment is right. But Italy is up there for me. Venice. Great place! Many of the islands are romantic. St. Thomas, Mexico….NYC at Christmastime is always nice too.
Q. Any advice or words of encouragement for people wanting to become and actor or model or whatever it is they may want to be in life?
A. Just believe in yourself. Don’t ever let someone tell you can’t do something. Work hard. Set goals. Stay humble. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Give back and do for others as much as you can along the way. Be nice to people on your way up, because you might meet them on your way down. And for people wanting to be a model and/or an actor. Just understand it’s an extremely tough and cutthroat business. It’s surely not for everyone. There are tons and tons of people out there wanting to do this as well. It’s a very unqiue and crazy industry. You have to have thick skin. And understand that if you don’t make it or don’t get picked for a job doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. And here’s just a little advice for people about life and living: Never sit on the sidelines of life watching others live it. Go out and make things happen for yourself. Do what you want. Whatever makes you happy. Do it. Dream It…Do It!
Q. What’s next for John Antorino?
A. So much is next! I’m going to continue doing the book covers and magazines. I am in preparation right now for upcoming shoots for some magazines and book covers. Really working hard with my acting career. As we do this interview I am waiting for a second callback for the new show Pan Am. I’ll be playing a new pilot. So we’ll see with that. A movie I did in October called Infected is in post-production. I’m playing an army MP in that.
I just signed on with a new sponsor, see:
http://www.musclewiz.com/sponsored_athlete.html Great company and great products! Which I truly take and believe in. If anyone wants to order be sure and use the code: JohnAnt and get free shipping.
Will be traveling a lot the coming months, as usual. Will be making an appearance in London for a charity event. And will be doing lots of charity work and events and helping as many people as I can each day.
Q. Any closing words for your fans and admirers?
A. Thank you to all my fans, admirers, and followers all these years. I appreciate you all and all the kind words compliments and support.
Thank you, Adele, for interviewing me.
And anyone wishing to contact me for shoots, appearances, guest speaking, filming, nutritional consultations and workout programs etc….Can contact me at Superman530@yahoo.com or at my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JohnAntorino
(Please remember that all photos on this blog post are copyrighted and the property of John Antorino. They may not be copied, shared, or used for any personal or professional purpose without express permission.)