The Rise Of The Roman

27 November 2012

The lovely 19-year-old Roman Kemp (Models 1) was an absolute pleasure to meet. You should definitely recognise Roman from his recent and exclusive Boys by Girls editorial “Suit Up” photographed by Cecilie Harris; and if not, then go and check him and Sam Harwood looking super hot in their dapper attire. Meanwhile, the day of the shoot, we took some time out to get to know Roman and find out what makes him tick. In fact it turns out he’s a pretty talented guy, so multi-talented in our eyes that he is surely destined for greatness.

While we’re not exactly sure how he could possibly bring together all of his amazing skills in one go; we do know that if he manages it the result would definitely be the greatest job in the world. Ever. Don’t believe us? You need only read on to find out more!

So Roman where are you from?
I was born in LA. But I live in Hertfordshire.

Why did you go into a really deep sexy voice?
That’s what I do haha! That’s the formal voice. My phone voice, my camera voice!

Tell us how you got into this world that is modelling and fashion?
I only got into about 7 months ago. My sister’s friend took some photos of me when she asked me to do a test, for lighting and stuff like that. Models 1 use her a lot for test shoots and when they saw mine, they asked me to come in to meet them. Just kind of went from there to be honest.

What have modelling jobs have you done so far?
I’ve been quite lucky, I’ve had some good jobs so far. I’ve got to do a Topman Denim campaign that was good. I’ve also done ASOS and some quite cool editorials.

What’s been your favourite editorial?
I did some quite weird ones, my first day of modelling. I ended up being on an Ellen Von Unwerth shoot like for PonyStep Magazine, it was the weirdest thing in the world! It was the craziest shoot I’ve ever done in my life. So yeah, that was my introduction to fashion.

Well if you survived that one then…
Exactly! After that, nothing could match that, so that’s good.

What would your ideal or dream campaign be?
I think probably the high-end stuff. Versace. I love Versace’s stuff. I think I always look so slick on the runway and catwalk. I think it looks great.

Have you done catwalk?
I have. I did one three weeks ago. They put me on in a corset!

Haha! I want to see that!
No, you don't want to see it!

But he clearly discovered your feminine side.
Yeah haha! But in terms of my ideal campaign, it would be Versace and I’d love to do River Island, 'cause I always think their campaigns are quite fun. And they look cool!

Ok I want to go to your random list.
OK the random list will be: I’ve nearly got my pilots license.

Tell us about it.
I started out training in Miles Magister planes, which is the plane that they trained the young pilots for before they went on to Spitfires for WWII. So I started out on that and it’s quite a fast plane to start out with. So once I did that, the slower plane become so much easier to fly and I just need a couple more hours, then I can take my full test.

How did you get to the choice of saying, “Yes, I think I want to be a pilot”?
I had the biggest fear of flying, to the point where I couldn’t get on a commercial flight. I’d just refuse to get on it and that would be absolutely terrible and I have panic attacks. It’s horrible. So when the opportunity came to do some flying on own, I just took it and said, you know, I’ll try it out. You just find out how easy it is and how little there is to be scared of. The big one is you start viewing turbulence differently; it's like driving car on a dirt or gravel road. It’s exactly the same thing.

So has that really helped your fear of flying then?
Yeah, completely. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who has a fear of flying. That’s one of the best things I’ve really ever done in my life to be honest.

Ok… another random fact, I’ve worked for several quite big outlets as a sports journalist.

Yeah, but I’ve been doing that since I was about 13. I went under a pseudonym for 4 or 5 years, I still do it now. I’ve done that for some quite big companies as well, doing football research, match reports and stuff like that. I’ve done a lot of work for betting companies. So yeah, that’s the other random fact.

I left school when I was 15 and got a record deal with Universal music, which at the time was massive; well it probably still is now. But a series of unfortunate events saw it the other way so, that didn't really work out and then I kind of just got into acting and modelling.

Are there YouTube clips of you so we could see you singing?
I wasn’t singing I was in the band, I was the bass player.

Ah I should Google that…
Yeah you should, I directed the video too! Haha!

What are your 3 favourite things?
First and foremost, my most favourite thing ever in the world and always will be is Arsenal football club.

Is your girlfriend going to like this answer?
Yeah she’s come to a appoint of acceptance of that. I travel everywhere to go and see Arsenal, it is my favourite thing in the world. I guess home to me is like the biggest thing, I stay at home all the time. I love my mums cooking and my own bed. I’m not one of those people that goes out all the time so, home is definitely a very good place for me.

Ahhh Another favourite thing... Film, I love film.

What’s your favourite film?
‘Oldboy’, it's a Korean film done by Park Chan-Wook and its so messed up but its really, really amazing. It is a superb concept. I genuinely like a lot of world cinema and all that comes with it.

If you were to direct a film yourself what would you create?
Do you know Paul Thomas Addison; he did ‘There Will Be Blood’, watch that, that's the type of film I would definitely make. I love 19th century America and like ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and that kind of 1920s style America, I would definitely do a film from that kind of era.

Who would play the lead role?
I’m a big Leonardo Di Caprio fan!

The ‘Leonardo’ of today, or when he had that cute hair?
Acting wise the one of now, but looks wise, then.

But he was so cool in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ he was amazing in that!
Yeah but he’s still young at that point, he was still perfecting his craft then.

What about female actresses, who’s your favourite?
I can’t think… who did Margaret Thatcher? Meryl Streep, that was phenomenal, I think that was one of the best pieces of acting I’ve ever seen in my life; that film was probably the best thing I’ve ever seen.

What is your favourite clothes brand to wear yourself?
If I was able to afford it, probably a mixture of American Apparel and quite high-end brands, for jackets, overcoats and jumpers, stuff like that I like Versace and stuff. But I think American Apparel I like to wear quite plain stuff most of the time, like plain coloured t-shirts.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I went on safari not long ago in Mozambique; it was the best place I think I’ve ever been in my life. It was absolutely crazy to see true wildlife in its own environment.

Is it scary, are you right up close to the animals?
Yeah a full-grown male lion would be where that table is. But they are so used to cars coming through its become a part of their environment. So if I was sat down in the car, because they see basically the shape of the car and they recognise that, but if I were to stand up in the car and change the silhouette. The slightest change in silhouette could frustrate them and they attack like that. Then you see the Americans come in on their massive open top Landrovers and stand up top with their flashing cameras! I’d definitely go back on safari, it's the most amazing thing I’ve done.

Do you have any closing things to say?
Yeah – not all models have to smoke, that's it.

Thanks Roman, we hope to capture more pretty pictures of you very soon!

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