GOOD VIBES ONLY. DA MAN chatted with actor Johann Urb and discovered a radiant personality that glowed brightly
Shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren
Johann Urb created such a memorable presence in “Resident Evil: Retribution” (2012) that his absence in the upcoming movie in the franchise is very much noticeable. And regrettable too, since the Estonian-born actor looks like he’s born for the role of the strong and brave Leon Kennedy. It only took us a scroll through his Instagram photos, though, to know that there’s more to Urb than what his imposing posture would imply. An enthusiast of meditation and charity work, he possesses what one would call a—at the risk of sounding cheesy—delicate soul.
DA MAN: Hi Johann! Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
Johann Urb: Currently in development on a few projects, which I’m very excited about, but cannot yet share with the world. Top secret! As things unfold and come to fruition, I’ll definitely get the word out. Let’s just say I’m working on getting out a positive and inspiring message about how to live life.
DA MAN: Your character in “NCIS” is quite popular with fans. Any chance that you will be making a return to the show anytime soon?
Johann Urb: “NCIS” was a lot of fun, but it I have no idea if and when I may be back for more. It’s one of the most fun sets I’ve ever worked on—with really great people on board.
Outfit by Tommy Hilfiger
DA MAN: Can you tell us about the charity organization you’re involved in, GWHFC ?
Johann Urb: Some years back I started volunteering with The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (GWHFC), serving the huge homeless population in Los Angeles. Before that, I volunteered at a few different places, but this one spoke to my heart the most. The organization serves a hot meal every day, 365 days a year, rain or shine, since 1987. They put families into homes and get them off the streets, raise awareness about what’s going on and how we can help. There’s a mobile clinic that comes to the streets and serves the homeless through the UCLA hospital. Ted, Penny, Aarin and Sherry are amazing people and I am very grateful, proud and happy to be part of the team. I have learned that volunteering does not only feel good, but it’s also super fun and builds community. A lot of my friends volunteer now as well and more are joining every day. Come find out for yourself: For more info and to see how you can participate, check out www.gwhfc.org
DA MAN: Are you involved in other charity projects?
Johann Urb: I sometimes also volunteer with Dinner’s on Maxx and have a few other plans in the works.
“I have learned that volunteering does not only feel good, but it’s also super fun and builds community”
DA MAN: You came from a family of artists. What was growing up around them like?
Johann Urb: Growing up, I wanted nothing to do with art. It was pushed on me as a kid, and I did not—and still do not—respond well to that. [Laughs] I guess I had to find it on my own time, but it’s definitely in my blood for many generations. I started writing poetry when I was around 13, picked up a guitar when I was 17 and started experimenting with acting at the age of 20. It’s been and continues to be a spiritual journey of awakening, deepening and expanding for me. How to be more vulnerable, authentic and sensitive. It is a very humbling and rewarding path!
DA MAN: Is there anybody in particular who inspires you throughout your acting career?
Johann Urb: My uncle, Toomas Urb, is an amazing actor, and I remember seeing him in the theatre as a kid and being completely blown away by him. My dad and uncle also inspired me to play music, sing, write and express myself deeply. I also have many very talented friends who continually inspire and challenge me through their skill and performance. I am very lucky indeed.
Leather jacket by Beautiful Fül
DA MAN: Growing up, you also moved a lot. How did this experience shape you?
Johann Urb: Moving around as a kid was hard and beautiful at the same time. Not only from city to city, but from country to country. There was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, as well as many incredible connections and experiences where people got to be their best. It taught me compassion, survival, patience and ultimately that everyone just wants to be loved and acknowledged. We are one big tribe; we have just forgotten about it.
DA MAN: We love that your Instagram feed seems to radiate happiness and positivity!
Johann Urb: My Instagram is a small, yet a pretty true reflection of my life. I am beyond grateful for this amazing, ever unfolding moment we all are experiencing together.
Text M. Berlian
Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Styling Lauren LaRocca
Grooming Rachael Vang using Tarte Cosmetics, Mac Cosmetics, Serious Skin Care and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Styling Assistant Kirsti Shroder
Agency Ford Models