American Dream

24 June 2015

There’s an instant warmth that fills the air as soon as American boy, Jon Hermann at D1 Models strolls in. Maybe it's his sunkissed skin that glows when the sun infiltrates and dances across his face. He soon becomes mesmerised by Tilly the cat, as she purrs and prances her way around him. His tone and charismatic presence is enough to make any room light up.

The whole BBG office agrees that he seems like a typical American dude who surfs the waves on a weekend and hangs with his friends. Pre-judged too soon clearly, as Jon also shares an intuitive discussion on culture and society, keeping us engaged and intrigued with his honest words. You might also want to watch out for this guy on TV as he is also studying acting. We take a moment to picture him as Troy in High School Musical, that kind of vibe. Yes, we can see it. Summing himself up in one word as loyal, he expresses a strong and passionate nature. Our ears fixate on Jon’s accent as he shares details of what it's like growing up in young Hollywood.

Let's immediately talk about your acting, as this is the first time we have a Hollywood actor/model in our office!
I originally came out of school and went to college to major in theatrical arts, and then ended up signing with a modelling agency. Then I broke my leg though and I ended up leaving school to do full time modelling. I did that first and went to Milan, London and Australia. When I came back I had a couple of acting managers approach me and wanting to direct me, so I had a meeting with my dad and after that we ended up signing with a manager. I’ve been in LA for the last 3 months going to acting classes every week and I started going out on auditions and stuff. It’s been really good.

Instant analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.

Tell me more about where are you from.
I'm from San Diego in California. It’s kind of like Bondi Beach in Australia, the beaches are very hilly and then downtown there’s a nice city. It’s very beautiful. That’s where I was born and raised, but I don’t really live there anymore. I kind of just travel now.

Do you like travelling?
Yeah, I love it. I’d never been out of the country before I started modelling, so about a year ago it was my first time. It’s amazing. I’m still kind of shocked everywhere I go.

Where is the best place you’ve ever been too?
Definitely Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. It’s very similar to San Diego but in its own different way, different people.

How are people different from America to London do you think?
Erm, I don’t know, American people can be very stuck up. English people, I find them a little more stern and smarter with what they do, you know? Because I feel like America can be sometimes kind of fake, so you really need to watch out with what friends you are hanging around with.

Is that the case in the whole of America or specifically where you’re from?
Yeah, specifically California, just because I’m from there so that’s what I’ve seen. I wouldn’t know about all of America, it's just my perception. Americans kind of hide stuff a lot, when you’re talking to them they give you positive vibes to put you in a good mood, but you never really know what they are thinking.

I’m really interested in Hollywood, what’s it like being young in Hollywood?
Oh it’s crazy! You get so many different personalities of people and you have everything in Hollywood. You have all the singers, dancers, models, actors all coming in one place to make it big. When you’re in Hollywood you never hear someone say “yeah, I’m from Hollywood”, like every person you meet is from somewhere different - a different state or country. It’s a big crowd with a huge variety of different ethnicities.

The land of opportunities. So that means a lot of success and a lot of failure?
Yeah I guess, but that’s everywhere in the world. It’s sad, because a lot of people out there who say they wanna make it, they wanna do this, they wanna do that, but really they're just out there partying, not really doing what they should be doing. You don’t just say you want to act and go to acting classes and that’s it you know? Like, no professional sports player just practices basketball or football a little bit, they work hard every day. You have to study what you want to do and I just feel a lot of people out there say they wanna be big, but they're not willing to put the work in it.

What opportunities have you been able to do so far within acting?
I did a couple of feature films, but pretty much the only big thing was the X-Men movie, which I was close to getting, and would have been amazing.

What else do you do in your spare time?
I like to study my acting lines and I go on the internet and research what I don’t know about acting. I also love to hang out with friends and go surfing. Sometimes we’ll go and play some sports or we’ll go out to the club, here. I'm not 21 yet, so I can’t do that in America!

What would be your dream role?
Definitely something like a Brad Pitt role. I love his movies, have you ever seen the movie ‘Fight Club’? I love that movie. I mean not now, but when I get a little older and mature a little bit I would love to do something like that. But for now, some of my dream roles would be something like Zac Efron did, like a high school role.

Can you sing and dance?
Yeah, I can sing a little bit haha. I can learn how to dance. *whole office laughs* I’m not the best dancer. I can think I am, but I’m not!

What is different growing up in California, culture wise?
California is beachy and I feel like you grow up differently when you a have a beach around you. It gives you a different mind-set on life, because I feel like sports can kind of change your life in a way. Europe is really big for football and soccer and surfing’s big, American football is big and those sports are so different from each other, so I feel like the way you grow up can be so different from what kind of things are big on TV and stuff like that.

How would you describe yourself as a person?
Hmm that’s a big question. I haven’t been asked that a lot. If I could put it in one word it would be loyal. Loyal to my family, loyal to my friends and people I surround myself with. I can be nice, but I also have a temper too. Everyone has something that makes them angry.

What makes you angry?
A lot of things make me angry haha. That’s for sure! I just get annoyed pretty easily sometimes. If I’m going to castings and I can’t figure out my directions, like trying to come here and following my directions and it’s taking me the wrong way I’m like “are you kidding me?!”. I’m thinking I can’t walk in here pissed off! Gotta get back in a good mood haha.

Our new issue is called “The Trouble With Boys”. What are the troubles growing up in your generation today?
I feel like now things are starting to become so easy for kids. Even if you come from a poor family or a rich family, people know that they're going to get supported by someone, because they’re going to feel bad for them. People aren’t caring about life as much as they used to back in the day. I feel like we’ve slowed down a lot from where we were 50 years ago with the amount of work and effort people put in. You could not work at all or go to college or do anything and still be very rich, because you have connections with people you know. People are just doing things that aren’t going to progress.

It’s interesting to hear from a different perspective. Have you got any life advice that you’d give to people?
Just to work hard and treat others right, cause it can really stab you in the back. It’s such a small world. It’s huge, but at the same time you see so many people around in different countries and if you burn bridges with people, that’s where you are going to fail in life.

That’s really good advice, thanks Jon!

Interview and Words by Vilija Kasiginaite.

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