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He was doing so well that his agency decided to try him out on something a little bigger: Australia.
The country is a common “next step” for models who have promise but aren’t quite ready for the high stakes of Milan or Paris.
“not just closeted, but actually very homophobic.” There is a certain contradiction in the male modeling world where male models are expected to be not only beautiful and elegant but also masculine and strong, so Matt says there is a feeling that being gay or feminine is somehow antithetical to modeling. A lot of models overcompensating by acting tough and hyper-masculine.
When he showed up, towering and thin, the modeling agency signed him straight away. Matt’s first shoot, in his own words, was “horrible. I still am, but I had no idea how to be in front of a camera.” His first runway show was in a mall in the city a few miles from where he grew up.
Matt was always being told to “act straight,” even by his own agency.
“I remember there was this one casting for some alcohol brand, I can’t remember which, and the casting call actually said ‘no homosexuals.’” Compared to the friendly, fun atmosphere of Sydney, this new world was a harsh contrast.
I’m a model scout and you have a great look.” “I thought he was coming on to me,” Matt recalls. But then he gave me his business card.” Still, it took Matt a year to actually consider modeling.
By then his skin had cleared up and his braces had come off, leaving him with the smooth complexion and winning smile that would become his bread and butter.