To some, DW Chase is a mystery model; modeling for over 7 years, in 4 countries, 10 states, and just recently in Japan. He isn’t signed with an agency, yet he gets published in magazines, blogs, and websites all over the world. He is a film critic, landscaper, model, gardener, magazine editor, personal assistant, skateboarder and every now and then grumbles that he has to put on a pair of pants to work in an office two days a week instead of outside in the sun. This 27 year old now lives in Texas on Galveston Island near the beach. Bliss caught up with the busy boy for an exclusive no holds bar interview featuring the final photo shoot between DW Chase and photographer Ev Dylan on the beaches of Hawaii’s Big Island.
BLISS: So you’re a native of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, yet you don’t seem like a country boy, how did that happen?
DW Chase: I grew up in a tiny community that has limited cell service, no grocery stores, nearly an hour drive to work, school or civilization. After college in Western North Carolina I headed for Los Angeles to pursue my journalism career. I never embraced the redneck side of things back home, never liked to fish or hunt; I worked through school and college as quickly as possible.
B: So what got you into modeling?
DWC: There wasn’t much to do back home, when I wasn’t reviewing films, or working I ended up taking pictures of myself, learning how to pose, it was really just for pictures on MySpace, but then I found Model Mayhem, got noticed, and everything went from there. I started to get into the artistic nature behind it; I always liked to work one on one with the photographer, planning the concepts and ideas. I’m not a model that just shows up and stands around waiting for direction.
B: On your profile you say that you don’t drink, don’t curse, don’t have sex, is that really appropriate for a modeling profile?
DCW: Probably not, but I get so many useless and thoughtless requests from people, wanting to see me naked, wanting to hook up. All of those things are true, I don’t do any of those things, I stay busy, focused and find fun in simple things like hanging out by the beach, watching a film I have already seen or working around the house. I can count the number of friends I have on one hand, and I understand I have isolated myself but I have always been a loner and I’m pretty happy that way.
B: So is your choice to stay a virgin religious or just personal?
DCW: Not that it is anyone’s business, but it’s both, I haven’t met anyone I would ever consider marrying or giving up what I have saved my entire life. I don’t really date, but it’s no surprise I am as picky with whom I date as I am with the friends I choose.
B: You just returned from your second trip to Hawaii shooting with Ev Dylan, why is this the last shoot for you guys?
DCW: Most of my success as a model is due to Ev Dylan’s work with me and the high standards he has always held me too. He is like a brother to me and I have enjoyed all 20 of the photoshoot’s we have done all over the world, but it was his choice to make this the final one. His direction of photography has just parted ways with my direction of modeling and we wanted to end on a great note, 20 seemed like a good number.
B: Looking back over the four years you and Ev Dylan have worked together, what were the most memorable shoots?
DCW: The photoshoot in Sydney Australia was fantastic, everything seemed to flow well there and those photo’s ended up on DNA, it was an exciting moment for both of us. Being featured on the cover of his book Lust was also a highlight, the work we did for the book was some of the best work we did. I must say though shooting in the woods where Twilight was filmed in Washington State was pretty amazing.
B: Your chest is shaved in the latest shoot in Hawaii, yet you are famous for your provocative body hair, why did you shave it and how did your body hair become such a selling point?
DCW: (laughing) Ev Dylan requested I shave the chest and facial hair for the shoot, I am usually pretty obedient when it comes to photographers requests for body hair, although most do ask me to have as much as possible. I really don’t know how it happened, body hair is a huge trend in male modeling, you can always spot the clueless models who think they are suppose to shave their legs or pits, which is gross. I’ve always had very hairy legs, and while I used to be one of those who trimmed I just finally embraced the hair and people seemed to take notice.
B: Can you list 5 things about yourself that even people who know you might be surprised to learn?
DCW: I hate pizza, love country music, I’ve never said the “F” word, I wear shorts all year round’, I collect postcards.
B: There isn’t a single smile in your MM portfolio, why is that?
DCW: Smiling is for Facebook. Honestly I don’t like my smile, there are photos of me smiling in photo shoots but I choose not to post them, I don’t find smiling modeling shots flattering.
B: You said you get a lot of emails from young male models asking for advice, what do you tell them?
DCW: To use Model Mayhem as a tool, post tags, comments, add talented people. You have to keep your profile updated and fresh, change your avatar once a week, maybe people know who you are. And remind them that very very few models actually do modeling for a living, I certainly don’t. Most models on there expect people to come to them, and it’s the opposite, you just have to make it happen for yourself. I once bugged/begged a photographer for over a year to shoot me, he finally gave in. If you present a photographer with a killer idea, concept and examples, most photographers are flattered by that initiative.