Don Benjamin is a model/actor/rapper who also has a huge presence on social media. Don began his modeling career in Los Angeles in 2005, where he was able to leverage his natural good looks to attain modeling gigs. He rose to notoriety in 2013 when he earned a spot as a contestant in that year’s America’s Next Top Model, ending the season as a finalist and eighth in overall standing. He has since established himself as a hip-hop artist and has released over 5 singles, collaborating with Photronique and Eric Bellinger. He made his acting debut in ‘One Ten’ and ‘Matthew 18’ (2014), ‘Supermodel’ (2015), and ‘Judgement’ (2018). He also starred in Ariana Grande’s music video, ‘Into You’ in 2016. He is set to appear in the upcoming films ‘Bunny and Clyde’ and ‘3am in Hollywood.’
Love You Better is available now exclusively on Radish
Hi Don Benjamin, please tell us a little about you?
I’m Don Benjamin I am a actor model rapper producer, influencer and the list goes on lol I feel like you can do anything you want in this world so try to do at all with balance.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Driven, loving, focused.
Name one your strengths?
One of my strengths, I think a personal strength Is forgiving and moving on. It’s hard to let things go in life but I fine forgive and let go and you live a lot less stressful life.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is the love I have for what I do. Everything I do I love and have dreamed about doing my whole life. When I wake up to work I enjoy everything about it. The struggles to make it further and the appreciate for how far I have come.
Why and how did you get started in acting?
I moved to LA 13 years ago and got started doing background work on shows and movies. Then got an agent a few years in that helped me start going on auditions. Most of my bigger roles have however come more from networking and meeting the right people.
What roles do you like to play? And why?
I love drama and comedy. I love to be able to dig deep in emotions and try to portray that On screen and I also love making people laugh.
What acting projects you have been part of?
My most recent I just shot a pilot TV show that I am in the midst of pitching to networks. But I co-wrote it and co produced it and starred in it.
Tell us about your new project “Love You Better” on Radish? What is about and how often you will share content?
It is a digital book. Since everyone is glued to there phones and tablets now a days figured I’d give them an amazing love story they can read without having to pick up an actual book. The first 5 chapters were released immediately and the remaining chapters will come out each week.
On the modeling side, how did you get started in modeling?
I got my first break on America’s next top model cycle 20. First time Tyra had guys on the show. I didn’t win but it definitely set me up for the success I was looking for
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
The fun part for me is free clothes and free travel hahaa 2 things I would normally spend a lot of money on. It saves me a lot haha. Things I don’t like are having to try on a ton of clothes each shoot. Puttin then on and taking them off over and over. And I also always feel so creative and modeling isn’t that creative I just pose lol.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
The most important thing is to have confidence and take direction well so you can hit the poses you need to and get the shots done quick.
Out of all of the photos the photographer took of you, which is your favorite and why?
Good question. I’m not really sure what one is my favorite honestly. I think the ones that make me look a little bigger haha I’m a skinny guy so when I can look big in pics it’s a win for me.
What’s your advice for the newer models?
Be willing to take criticism and have patients to grow. It’s a very judgmental industry and a lot of people modeling so you will hear no a lot and will have to wait your turn to get gigs.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
I think modeling wise for me is my guess campaign. It was always a dream for me. And to be the first male African American model and first tattoo model for them was huge!
How does a normal day in your life look like?
Normal day is wake up and write out my list of to do’s. Some days it is gym, photoshoot and shoot social content other days I have auditions and studio. It’s kinda all over the place cus I try to balance different things so the writing out and scheduling is key for me.
What has been the hardest part of your career?
I think the hardest part is the inconsistency. In the industry you can be working every day in a year then the next year only get a few gigs. You just never know how the table will turn and what companies are looking for. You don’t have a set 9-5 so you are waiting on companies to want to use you for a gig.
Best advice ever given?
Best advice ever has to be to never give up. No matter how hard or unpromising things may look stick it out and never give up. So many times I wanted to give up and move home and I didn’t and thankfully it paid off.
What’s your favorite show on T.V. right now?
Favorite show right now I think is Ozark.
What do you do when you have some time off?
When I have time off I like to paint, play basketball, go to the movies.
What is on your bucket list?
My bucket list is to do a movie with The Rock. That would be the dopest thing ever for me.
What quote do you live by?
My life is for a season my time is forever. I wrote it so long ago when I was struggling. And it’s pretty much saying time on earth is short but be someone that will he talked about forever after you leave.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Perfect Sunday for me is wake up have a good breakfast. Either go to church or watch it online. And lounge all days watching movies or sports if there is a game on.
What’s next for Don Benjamin in 2019?
What’s next for me is more acting and producing projects. Also a new music project as well. Those are my two focuses this year. More writing and creating.
Something people don’t know about you?
Umm well I’m actually not too bad at juggling hahah.
What is your own definition of happiness?
For me it’s seeing people around me few good. When they are in a happy in life I’m happy
How would you describe your fashion style?
Not really sure how to describe it. I guess upscale street. I like to mix Button down shirts with sneakers and hats.
How would your best friend describe you?
Caring, giving, always there for you, hard worker, faith driven. Won’t stop until the job is done.
Any fitness tips you want to share with us?
Eat good and you won’t have to workout as hard haha. Honesty though diet is key and for me I go to the gym a few times a week for an hour or 2 each time. And just try different stuff. But you def feel better when you work out and eat good.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love carrots and broccoli with ranch dressing.
And your favorite cheat food?
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
What music do you like?
I like hip hop, R&B and gospel music. Depending on my mood it is one of those 3.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I feel like I’ve met everyone alive I have ever dreamed of meeting. Would love to meet back up with my pops though. He passed away a couple years ago and the missing him feeling never goes away.
Do you support any charity?
I recently won 100k in a competition show called Scared Famous and I gave the money to peace over violence to help women dealing with domestic violence. I watched my mother deal with it growing up and always have a soft spot for women in that position.
How important is Social Media for you?
For me very. It’s how I connect with my fans. It gives me a way to express myself and gives me more control of my own career and creativity.
Where we can follow you?
And my personal website is iamdonbenjamin.com
Song: Drake – Lust for life
Travel destination: Australia
Movie: At the moment Bohemian Rhapsody
Actor: The Rock
Sports Team: Minnesota vikings