We catch up with a good friend of DA MAN, the one and only Harry Goodwins, about his journey transitioning from modelling to acting. Interview by Ronald Liem.
Having accumulated more than a decade of experience in the modeling world, Harry Goodwins is ready for more. As it happens, acting has always been a passion of his, so Goodwins made the decision to pursue his lifelong dream while still juggling modelling gigs at the same time. He has travelled all around the world, worked with the biggest names in the industry and therefore learned to take the good with the all bad. In a very good state of mind, Goodwins has now relocated into Los Angeles and is ready to commit to his new path. DA MAN chats with the charismatic model turned actor.
DA MAN: Hi Harry, good to connect with you again. How are you today and how are things in Los Angeles?
Harry Goodwins: Good morning DAMAN! Always a pleasure catching up. I’m just getting my day going with cup of the good stuff and the usual morning yoga ritual in lovely L.A. sunshine.
DA: On that note, what made you decide to move from London to sunny California?
HG: Well, I actually moved from New York to L.A. But for me, it was that I’ve had enough of running the rat race and pursuing that wasn’t my passion. My passion is acting and always has been, so it was now or never to get the wheels in motion and take a bit of control in the direction I wanted my life to head towards.
DA: Your modelling career started in London but it has taken you all over the world, from the U.K. to Australia to Bali and now to California. Can you tell us a bit of your journey zig zagging across the globe? How did you end up in all those places?
HG: Yes, it’s been a hell of a rollercoaster over the years. It all started in London, on Oxford Street when I got scouted at the age of 15 by the lovely Sherrill Smith. Soon after that I was on a plane to Boston to shoot with Bruce Weber. My first ever long-haul flight. Then I did the rounds in Europe as you do, spent three to four months in Tokyo. Then it was between Europe and New York until I was about 20 years old, at which point I just wanted a really big holiday, so I decided on Australia for a month. To do the whole backpacker thing. But when I got there, I had never been so busy, so I ended up staying for a year. And I continued to go back for their summers for the next three years. Which lead me to living in a Bali for a few months as it’s so close to Australia. There I was mostly just chilling and worked on a clothing brand: Born in Bali. You should check them out at www.borninbali.com. But I had to get back to reality and get back to it, so I moved back to the States. And here I am.
DA: How has the pandemic affected you thus far professionally and personally?
HG: Professionally, it has absolutely f—-d me as all my productions got shut down and I haven’t been able to travel anywhere. So, it really sucks. But personally, I have had plenty of time to really hone in on my craft and myself. Also picked up a camera.
DA: When we last caught up in Los Angeles a year ago, we were discussing about the direction your career and how you were keen to explore the acting route. How is that going?
HG: Yes, that’s right and that is still the case. Everything is heading in the right direction and still full steam ahead with it. I’m just waiting to see how the pandemic pans out and how to combat it when it comes to productions.
DA: As for modelling, you have been in the industry for many years. And during that time you fronted numerous global campaigns, walked in major fashion runways, worked with some of the greatest talents in the industry. What is it about the industry that you like and also dislike?
HG: For me, I love to travel and I love to meet new people. I think life is all about the experiences you have and modeling really has given me a chance to do that. I’ve lived all over and met some of the coolest people, but also a lot of not so cool people. But that’s all part of it. Lived in amazing places, hotels, etc. But also, some of the worst! You just got to take the good with the bad. Not the biggest fan of getting make up done, though, I must admit.
DA: Any particular highlights of the good parts?
HG: The biggest highlight for me will always be shooting for Prada. It really kicked off my career and opened up a lot of doors. Bearing in mind, I had barely even left school.
DA: What are some of the misperceptions that the public or your friends have of professional modeling as a career?
HG: I think the biggest misconception is that it’s all glitz and glam. And yes, there are aspects of glitz and glam. But what you don’t see is the crappy places you have to stay, being on your own in big cities with no friends or family around you. It gets lonely and depressive. Constantly being told how to look, what to wear. Worrying about when your next pay check comes out etc. I could go on but you get the gist. So yeah, no one really sees that side of it.
DA: Moving on to acting. It was around the same time last year that we were together to attend the Hollywood premiere of Shia LaBeouf’s new film “Honey Boy.” Behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, it is a tough industry to crack into. Why did you decide to transplant yourself to Los Angeles, rather than, perhaps, trying it out in London?
HG: I was acting in London when I was younger and also planned on going to drama school. But for me, London is just so uninspiring. So, I always ended falling off the wagon or getting distracted. But here in America, everyone is so ambitious and hungry. I love it. I need to be around that energy. I’m also at a stage in my life where I’m ready to commit, so it’s all or nothing
DA: Who are your favorite directors and what genre would like to most work in?
HG: I mean, Quentin Tarantino without a doubt, for all the obvious reasons. I know he said that he won’t do any more movies, but I would love to be in something touched by him. I’m also a big, big fan of Taika Waititi. I think he is a genius and I love a bit of Guy Ritchie. Very easy for me relate to his movies seeing as I grew up in the thick of London. And sign me up for a comic book franchise any day—who wouldn’t? But I’d like to play a real dark and messed up character. Think Night Crawler from . I think it would a real good challenge.
DA: Being an outsider, an Englishman in the U.S., who is living through very interesting times from the pandemic to the recent divisive Presidential election, what is it like to be there right now?
HG: It’s very strange times indeed and the country is in need of a new leader, that’s for sure. The fact I’m English doesn’t really matter as what’s happening here is also affecting the world.
DA: All in all, what is your current state of mind?
HG: I’m in a very good state of mind. Life is going well and I’m optimistic as ever.
DA: And what do you look forward to in 2021?
HG: I look forward to coming and catching up with DA MAN in Bali! Get the cocktails ready.
DA: And to end, do you have a favorite motto in life?
HG: Live, laugh and love.
PHOTOGRAPHY Mitch @mitchellprojects
STYLING Kimberly Goodnight
GROOMING Dylan Michael using Shu Uemuera haircare and Kho Gen Do skincare
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