I first met him exactly this time last year, at Katie Eary’s NewGen Menswear Installation at Somerset House. With his distinctive and unique look of deep skin and piercing bright blue eyes, it’s hard not to stare.
I instantly knew he was one talented individual, as not only was he paving his way in the modelling world (signed to Next Model Management) but also was showcasing his skills (alongside James Degale) as a top boxer in the West Ham Club. After seeing his beautiful face in top publications such as I-D and Arena Homme +, he has already carved a name for himself as one of London’s most exciting top male model. Everyone...meet Dudley O’Shaughnessy.
Dudley...Talk to me! How exactly did you first fall into the glamorous world of modelling?
'Well I got scouted while I was at college and I was going to go uni when I finished but with everything else going on it wouldn't have worked, plus I'm not really a ‘sitting down in a class’ type of person I'd rather go for a run. I'd never of even thought of being a model, my mum said to me a few times that I should try get into it but I was like no no no. Before Katie's show I was still kind of learning the ropes of modelling and was more into boxing at that stage, so wasn't doing it that much.'
I’m glad your mum was right...mums always are! If Miss Eary’s show was one of your first big moments, I must say you handled it very well. It’s a known fact that most girls yearn to become successful as a model in the media industry, but must be different as a heterosexual male. Tell me, how did your mates react when you first ventured into the male-modelling limelight?
'When I first started I didn't tell anyone, only people who knew were my family, but my pals soon found out after seeing me in places and stuff and soon enough everyone knew. I got a bit of stick at first, but now, they all understand and wouldn't mind doing it themselves!'
I’m sure they wouldn’t, you’re lifestyle is pretty envious to others Duds! Jetting off to locations, starring in campaigns, it’s what dreams are made of. But is the modelling world as glamorous as it seems to the outside world?
'It is and it isn't, the mad call times, crazy stuff you got to wear on shoots in poxy English weather , 2 hour queues at casting then being in there for not even 2 minutes PLUS getting paid 3 months after doing a job. But then u got banging food, VIP in places, people running around for you like your some king, free drinks, discount, girls, new pals....its MADNESS but I like it.'
I guess you have to be a certain type of character to cope with the continual change that this industry brings. Do you sometimes wish you had a 9-5 routine job instead?
'Yeah sometimes I do, but it's not for me, I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch and got bored after 2 weeks, same thing everyday, same faces, same music & you got to deal with angry customers who get even more pissed off at you because there out of stock on something and it's not even your fault, fair enough beggars can't be choosers but I'd rather clean up horse sh*t, I'd enjoy myself more.'
Wow. That obviously bought back painful memories for you, wish I’d never asked! Hahaha so it seems you’re the kind of guy that needs a constant challenge, mentally and physically, to keep your attention. This is a good thing! Do you have a favourite shoot so far, and if so why?
'Nix it's got to be ‘Stone Island’, was a dream come true. I already knew what it was before modelling but then when I saw the campaign I Wanted it baaaaaaaad! It’s funny how I booked it too. I was wearing my own stone island jacket waiting for the bus & the Casting Director happened to drive past in his motor and he said he was like baaaam! Had a casting a couple days later then a week or so after I was in Milan shooting it.'
Nice work honey! That is more than just a coincidence, sounds like pure fate. Now, I guess this is a stupid question considering you’re already a hit, but any regrets?
'Actually, a little bit. I kind of regret not trying harder in school, and not screwing my head on earlier but life goes on, everything happens for a reason.'
It does indeed darling, I’ve learnt that the hard way. Considering then that you're only 21, do you feel maybe you've lived too much too soon?
'Nah I don't think I've even lived yet, I've done and seen quite a lot for the average 21 year old but I've still got a long way to go.'
Very true. Am I allowed to just point out here, that not only are you beautiful, hard-worker and on the ball, you clearly also have a maturity that grounds you and is unlike most 21 year old hot guys hanging out in London these days. It’s totally refreshing and makes you suddenly so much more attractive. So as it’s been a year since we last hung out, fill me in on the large gap?
'This year has been big, moved to a bigger agency, decided to not put as much time into boxing after 10 years, got into acting. At the moment my exciting projects are films!!! I'm actually in the airport doing this interview while I wait for my plane to board so I can go Germany & start filming...it's my second short film in the space of 3 weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!'
Well I feel totally privileged that you’ve taken valuable airport time to work with me. I’m totally excited for you, I can imagine you’ll be a huge success in the film industry too! Now dish the dirt boy... Have you had any bad/embarrassing modelling moments, or thrown any tantrums?
'Hahaha nah never any tantrums, had a few bad things though, the main one that's happened is timing I've nearly missed my flight to places a few times, worst feeling ever, looool another one is when I called the agency from indoors to say I’m caught in traffic on my way to a shoot, but being stupid I didn't think about my house number showing up on the bloody phone...'
Oh.Dear. That’s a pretty dumb-ass thing to do by someone who is clearly so switched on! We live and learn though...bet you won’t make that mistake again! Do you feel weird when you see your face in a consumer magazine or online?
'Yeah it's weird, get the same feeling when I used to watch my boxing matches, feels like it's not me.'
Yeah I guess you’ve had past experience within the ring watching yourself on playback. Do you consider yourself vain (BE honest!)?
'Not at all, people who are vain piss me off, wouldn't want to be like that, you look like a muppet!'
So, in Dudley’s world, vain people = muppets. I like this summary! What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to break into the industry?
'Be patient, things take time. Don't get drawn into drugs, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.'
Once again...you display maturity beyond your years. I knew you were talented but I didn’t realise that beyond that beautiful face, you were so clued up and keeping your head on the straight and narrow. It’s commendable. Which is why I am in utter shock to say...Ladies, he is still single and up for grabs! *swoon* So for all the drooling girls out there, can you describe your ideal date?
'Ohhhh this is a good one, I haven't really got an ideal date, or girl, I don't have a type, but what I like is someone who I have a connection with sounds kind of weird but it's true, it won't work otherwise. (no it doesn’t, life is all about the connection!) They need to also be up for a laugh, don't dress to impress the whole bloody nation all the time or talk to every Tom, Dick & Harry, be understanding, passionate, ambitious, cheeky, not too girly and that's it really, not really bothered about looks, everyone is beautiful, some more than others but only on the inside. If you can sing it's a plus, you can sing me harmonies when I wake up & go sleep, But if not it's cool. We'll listen to my iPod. Oh and I hate girls who think they're the dogs bolloxs.'
Got that girls? If you’re high maintenance and up-your-own-ass, jump out of the queue because this boy wants a chilled out chic with personality that exposes her natural beauty. Rather than filling the stereotype of a male model and lusting after the 'girl who is fit but knows it', Dudley is looking for something a little less slutty and a little more sincere. So, if you didn't already love him just from his photographs, you certainly have fallen in love with him now. He's one of a kind and I feel rather lucky to have him in my life. So, let's all keep a beady eye on this dude, because I can tell you now, 'Dudley O'Shaughnessy' will become a world-wide success, and quite rightly deserved too.