Category Archives: Model

Model Francois Angoston travels the world doing what he loves

Francois Angoston has always had one dream. It never was what he would do when he grew up or who he would be with, it was where. He wanted to travel. The Guadelopian native spent his childhood dreaming of seeing the world, and eventually he realized the best way he could live his dream and work hard: modeling. Since that time, he has never looked back, and now is an leader in the industry.

Throughout his esteemed career, Angoston has represented some of the world’s largest stores and brands. He has worked with the world-famous department stores JC Penney and Macy’s, as well as Belk, Bon-Ton, and brands like Pendleton, SanMar, Bonobos and IZOD.

“As a model, it’s a lot about being flexible and ready, to fulfill the client’s wishes and expectations when it comes to how they want you to highlight their clothes. The best way to promote a product is when you can relate to it. I love what I do,” said Angoston.

Angoston’s charisma comes through every photograph he takes, and he has contributed to the success of many campaigns. While working with the iconic shoe company Skechers, Angoston showed what he can do to the world, allowing all to see why he is considered one of the best.

“It’s always been a great experience working with Skechers. When I began to work for them, I met the director and I have to tell you, that she was quite a bit intimidating at first. She even got me a little bit shy,” said Angoston, laughing. “She is a fire ball of energy and she never stops. But you know, when you get to know her way of working through observing, you see that strong, ambitious and big-hearted woman with other eyes. She knows what she wants and there is no way around, but she would always make sure that everyone is happy in the end. I really admire her for being so tough and ambitious.”

Angoston represented Skechers through many different mediums, including television Commercials, print campaigns, catalogues, billboards, and in-store advertisements. He held the leading role of sole model for a print ad campaign the company ran in 2015. He could be seen across the country showing off the Relaxed Fit Footwear collection.

“I liked the fact that working with Skechers offered me a lot of exposure in different sources such as magazines, billboards, TV commercial, catalogs and so on.  On set, I worked with a lot of interesting people,” said Angoston.

One of those people was Lindsey Clarke, Vice President of Creative and Advertising at Skechers. Clarke believes Angoston’s talent is one-of-a-kind. She says he has the unique ability to look totally natural and at ease while consciously modeling, a skill that is not easily found. After his first shoot, Clarke was so impressed with Angoston that she invited him back for the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, as well as the television campaigns after seeing the success of the print ads.

“Having worked closely with Francois, I can attest to how commercially invaluable he is. His dashing good looks and extraordinary modelling abilities have established him as a highly sought-after model who brings immediate prestige to any publication, brand, or production he models for. Francois’ stature in the fashion and modeling industries is monumental,” said Clarke. “Though Francois undoubtedly looks exceptional no matter what he is wearing, he is able to combine his professional-looking clothing with the Skechers in such a way that the images emit a strong sense of poise and sureness that few models could pull off.”

This unique talent transcends to all of Angoston’s work. While working in London with the brand Express Gifts, Angoston was able to show a different audience what he is capable of. Express Gifts had seen Angoston before, and knew they wanted him to represent their brand. After meeting him, they were immediately convinced, and he has been working with them for years now.

“I worked a lot already for this client and we are always having a good time. Working with Express Gifts is easy for me, as I exactly know what the client expect from me on how I represent their brand. I shoot E-Commerce content and TV commercials with them. The TV commercials are always a lot of fun. Also I became their ‘Polo Guy‘. They love to shoot Polo Shirts on me, from Superdry to Ralph Lauren,” said Angoston.

Express Gifts is a company based out of the United Kingdom. They have many different brands, ranging from clothing, to greeting cards, gifts, and home and garden items. They are an extremely popular personal shopping service. But most importantly, working with Express Gifts once again gives Angoston that chance to live out his dream.

“At the shootings for Express Gifts, the team is always super nice and we’re always having a great time and good laughs. I get to travel all over Europe. Sometimes I really miss Europe, and especially the food there,” he concluded.

Dancer Jackson Williams has conquered the United Kingdom

 

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Jackson Williams as a barber during the Take That 3 Tour.

Jackson Williams has already had an extraordinary career. He has toured the world doing what he loves, performed on national television, and worked with those that inspire him. He truly is one of the best dancers in the United Kingdom.

After performing on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor television show, Williams went on tour with the artists around the UK. He journeyed around Europe dancing for Whitney Houston, and went around the Eastern Hemisphere with Kylie Minogue and her Aphrodite Tour. Last year, he travelled all around, performing alongside Ellie Goulding’s Delirium World Tour. But what he says may be the most fun he ever has had on tour was for the celebrated boy band’s Take That 3 Tour.

“They were my favorite boy band growing up. I had posters. I had cassettes. I was young, and I would watch TV and they were in a boxing ring doing break dancing. I remember Take That. They hit the world by storm. They were like The Beatles 2.0. They still pack out stadiums for eight nights,” said Williams. “It was one of the most successful tours that have ever come into the UK. You are on stage with the best, and you can’t complain.”

The stadium tour was entirely indoors, and very theatrical. It allowed Williams to not just be a dancer, but a true performer as well. He went from a sea urchin, to a ninja, and then a barber. They incorporated a variety of styles when dancing, including contemporary, break dancing, puppetry, and even judo.

“There is so much to do when you do a show like this. The stage moves in a circle, the B stage goes up and down, it has ramps, the screens are some of the biggest screens you can get. The manpower is like 250 techies. It is the most creative virtual experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a kid or an adult, it is pleasing to the eye. My dad hates stuff like this, but he went and watched the Take That tour and said that was one of the best things he’d ever seen,” said Williams.

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The Take That 3 Tour Stage.

The 3 Tour was Williams’ third time touring with the band. The experience for him is particularly enjoyable because it is always the same people touring. Some of the people on the tour have been with the band for over fifteen years. The creative director and choreographer of the tour, Kim Gavin, has worked with Take That for the last 20 years  and Williams says he has learned more from Gavin than he has with any other choreographer he has worked with.

“Some of the things Kim asks you to do you think is impossible and he wants it to happen, and it does, you adapt. He always pushes you to the limit. He is just a genius. When he tells you stuff, you think it will never happen, and then it comes alive and you are like how did that happen?” said Williams.

Gavin likes pushing Williams to his limits, and describes him as one of the most renowned dancers in the U.K., always in high demand, and says Williams was a critical factor of the success of the tour.

“Jackson backed the group up with extraordinarily skilled and distinct dance moves and incredibly energetic flow that gave the shows explosive energy. He completely stood out among the rest of the dancers as a leader in every routine, and helped the group captivate the masses with an unforgettable concert experience,” said Gavin. “Jackson was always able to pick up on choreography very quickly and was even able to recreate every dancer’s routine in the shows, and would consequentially step in as the replacement of any dancers who were absent and would perfectly execute these routines due to his diverse vocabulary of styles and ability to handle high pressure. He has an incredible audience connection and has shown a unique ability of bringing his own personality to the stage, and this has made Jackson invaluable to the reputation of the shows that keeps fans coming back for more.”

The audience connection is one of Williams’ favorite parts of touring with Take That. The screaming fans that have loved the band for decades create a high when dancing on stage that is contagious, and dancing alongside the same people that he has been for years is like being with a second family.

“I was dancing for the biggest boy band in the country that everyone loves and knows. If there is any tour I would want to do again, it would be with Take That. It is like putting the Piri Piri sauce on. It’s exciting. There is something about it. You never have a dull day. It always feels different,” said Williams. “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t in it; I wish I was out there watching it.”

One of the most unique and exhilarating nights of the tour involved doing a world exclusive in the cinema. There was a night doing a show at the O2 that streamed a live feed to cinemas all over the world.

“You aren’t just doing it for the people in theatre. You are doing it for 30 million people watching at the theatre,” said Williams. “There are cameras everywhere and people running around. You think about the safety of yourself and the band. We have birds flying around the sky with puppets, and we are dodging cables but the audience doesn’t see that, they see these beautiful birds. It was mental. It was hard work, but it was the best.”

Working side by side with his idols since childhood was a surreal experience for Williams. He was part of the choreography, and the band members would ask his opinion on how things should be in the show. Not many get to have their idols turn to them for advice.

“I know all their songs. I couldn’t help but sing along when I was dancing,” he said.

Williams has conquered the dance field in the United Kingdom. There is not much more he can do in his country that he has not already done, which is why he is heading to Vegas to dance in Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live after turning down the opportunity to tour once again with Take That’s tour this year. In his words, he is “ticking off the boxes” to a career of perfection.

From the Screen to Magazines Andreas Holm-Hansen is Red Hot

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark international actor and model Andreas Holm-Hansen was born with perfect bone structure, fiery red hair and a freckled and fit physique that effortlessly turns heads.

Over the last few years redheaded models with a healthy dose of freckles have gotten a major boost in the eyes of the public thanks to the work of leading photographers like Michelle Marshall, Maja Topcagic and her 2015 photo series “Freckled,” and Keith Barraclough’s “The Redhead Project,” but the list would not be complete without mentioning the innovative work of Thomas Knights.

In 2014 Knights released the Red Hot 100 book, a photo series that has been called ‘the ultimate bible for hot ginger men,’ and with his good looks and natural red hair it’s not at all surprising that Andreas Holm-Hansen made the cut, which makes him one of ‘the 100 sexiest Red Hot Guys in the World.’

Knights and Holm-Hansen clearly had a successful collaboration as the photographer called him back to shoot his newest exhibition and book “Red Hot II” earlier this year. Not only is Holm-Hansen featured throughout the book, but he also nabbed the cover shot for the “Red Hot II,” which was released in October. You can also check out Holm-Hansen in the highly seductive video that was made to promote the book, which reveals him in all is red headed freckled glory. Anyone who watches the video would find it difficult to say that Holm-Hansen is anything but on fire.

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Andreas Holm-Hansen on the cover of Red Hot II by Thomas Knights

 

In 2012 Holm-Hansen also landed a featured role in the music video for three-time Grammy Award winning artist P!nk’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” which has been astonishingly well-received by fans earning more than 72 million views on YouTube.

As a model Holm-Hansen’s international appeal has been a driving force in his success. Earlier this year he landed a massive campaign for Väla Centrum in Helsingborg, Sweden; if the local Swedes didn’t know him before, they definitely know him now, considering his face is plastered to the outer walls of the popular shopping center, and he is featured on the cover of the center’s Winter issue of Väla Magazine.

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Andreas Holm-Hansen on a billboard at Väla Centrum

From massive billboards to a lengthy list of high-profile commercials, Holm-Hansen’s captivating aesthetic appeal has made him a go-to talent among advertisers across the world. Audiences across Europe will immediately recognize him for his featured roles in popular commercials for brands and organizations such as Miracle Whip, Telmore Play, Eovendo, Synoptik, Danske Bank, Norwegian Airlines, Komplett, The Zulu Comedy Festival and others.

In addition to being featured in a number of magazines such as Tantalum Magazine, Visionarios Magazine, Elléments Magazine and PAF Magazine, he’s also been the face of a number of massive print campaigns including B&O’s H6 Limited Edition, Phoamy, Arbejdernes Landsbank, DSB and Sundhedsstyrelsen’s Stop for 5.

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While his unique look has definitely put him in the spotlight, Andreas Holm-Hansen has a whole lot more than a just good-looking face going for him. Through a series of lead acting roles in productions such as Benjamin Murray’s crime mystery “The Hit” and “Don’t Bring Guns to a Knife Fight,” Jose Rico’s “Blood Legacy,” Jesper Holm Pedersen’s “Shit Happens” and David B. Sørensen’s “Bellum,” Holm-Hansen has proven himself to be a diversely talented actor who can bring virtually any character to life. His knock-out performances to date have revealed him as the rare kind of actor who is capable of captivating his audience regardless of the genre.

One performance that really stands out though was when Holm-Hansen took to the screen in the recurring lead role of ‘Mad’ Mads Steen in the satirical series “Dreaming in Mono.” Presented mockumentary style, “Dreaming in Mono” follows the rivalry of two Nordic ski champions, one of which desperately wants to break a record on a monoski and starts his own team of underdog skiers who actually think it’s possible, they are Team Monoski!

We first encounter Holm-Hansen’s character ‘Mad’ Mads Steen trying to fix his broken down car in the middle of blizzard wearing nothing but his underwear, furry hat and boots, making it easy to see how he earned the nickname ‘Mad.’ Unfortunately for Mad his skiing skills have something to be desired, which makes total sense considering his prior ski experience consisted of using his ski poles to thrust himself across the flat grass-covered lands of Denmark. It’s not a stretch to say that Holm-Hansen is one of the leading comedy highlights in the series, as we continually watch his character lose his balance and flail uncontrollably down the slope every time he clicks into his skis and sets down on actual snow.

Mad could easily be considered Team Monoski’s awkward rebel, but his constant boundary pushing ways eventually put him on thin ice with his teammates. In fact, “Dreaming in Mono” dedicates an entire episode to an intervention with Holm-Hansen’s character where the team tries to get the brash Dane to curb his unsportsmanlike ways, which leads Mad to huff and puff and storm his way all the way back to his hotel room; but thankfully for the team he comes around in the end.

 

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Poster from “Dreaming in Mono”

 

Produced by the Swedish production company Happy Fiction and created by the international creative agency Perfect Fools “Dreaming in Mono” was written and directed by multi-award winner Jens Jonsson, who earned the Grand Jury Prize from the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for the film “Ping-pongkingen” in addition to being nominated for two Guldbagge Awards, which are the Sweden’s equivalent of an Academy Award.

The seven episode series was broadcast by four major TV networks in the Nordic countries, with Andreas Holm-Hansen dazzling audiences the whole way through. The series, which was ironically created to promote McDonald’s in the Nordic countries, but rarely,  if ever, mentions  the fast food chain verbally, also stars Bernard Cauchard (“Superhjältejul,” “It’s My Turn Now”) and Alexandra Alegren (“Gåsmamman,” “Madness of Many,” “Olivia Twist”).

With a rather astonishing list of leading roles in film and television projects, and even more high-profile modeling campaigns already under his belt, Andreas Holm-Hansen is one of the few actor/models we can confidently say will be doting his wide-spread talents upon both industries for years to come, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this talented Dane.

 

Gabriella Spacciari stars in Red appearing at New York Jazz Festival

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Gabriella Spacciari at the New York Jazz Film Festival

Gabriella Spacciari was always fascinated with acting. Growing up in a small town in the south of Brazil, she used to imitate her idols and favorite characters she saw on the screen. Now, she is the one on the screen.

Spacciari has a starring role in the film Red (also known as Vermelho). The film, which originally premiered at the Madalena Festival de Cinema at São Paulo in June, is being shown at the New York Jazz Film Festival this month.

“It was an amazing surprise to go to the New York Jazz Film Festival, especially after one year of living in the United States. It’s like starting your career again. It is a gift to have a project that I did back home selected to a film festival in Manhattan. I’m going to New York for the first time to check it out. It’s going to be an unforgettable experience,” said Spacciari.

The film Red is about Ana, played by Spacciari. While under narcotic substances, Ana tries to commit suicide.

“The film is very poetic and I needed to go deep into the scenes to convey in just a few seconds all the pain that is to be cheated and the depression and self-destruction that lead us to make decisions that can bring us serious consequences,” she said.

The film was written and directed by Guilherme (Guily) Machovec Rahner. He had Spacciari in mind for the role while writing, and knew she would be able to portray Ana the way he envisioned. He describes her as very important to the success of the film.

“Gabriella is a very deep actress. Besides the fact that the camera loves her, the emotional range required to go into the circumstances of the scene made it easy to work with her.  The scenes had a high emotional stake and her concentration kept uptake by take,” he said. “I loved working with her, she is a very committed and talented actress. It was a very demanding role, but it seemed effortless for her. I look forward to working with her again as soon as the opportunity arrives.”

Spacciari agrees that they make a good team. Machovec Rahner, who teaches and produces at Operahauss in São Paulo, met each Spacciari through another producer, and knew she was the right person for his film.

“Guily said he thought about me while writing the film,” said Spacciari. “It was a very special gift to play this role.”

Spacciari has a life full of experience. Also a model, she decided to get into acting at a young age when she enrolled in the theater group in her home town. She relocated to São Paulo when she was just sixteen to pursue my career further.

“The theater group was very small. The director used to write and produce. He emphasized the importance of the classics and had us read them,” described Spacciari. “It was very important to me to understand the work of the artist – not from the glamour, but from the stage work.”

Since that time, Spacciari has had a variety of roles that explore her versatility as an actress. She was in the film Julia that premiered at 8o. CineFantasy, and Aluga-se o Ponto, which was nominated for the Prize FICC for Audiovisual at Campinas
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“I think the most difficult thing about acting is to deal always hearing the word “no”. But you have to just keep practicing your technique, cultivating good friendships, communicating with other artists, and making art,” she said.

Spacciari also has a successful modelling career, and has appeared in a variety of successful commercial campaigns, including Cultura Inglesa and Quem Disse Berenice. She was also in a multi-national Pepsi commercial.

“Acting is the art that deals with the intricate and wonderful condition that is human nature,” she concluded. “I think nowadays we are so full of information that acting is a powerful way to combat this, through sensibility.”

You can view the trailer for Red here.

Actress and model Jordan Claire Robbins talks upcoming projects and living her dream

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Jordan Claire Robbins has worked around the world as both a model and actress.

It’s amazing and rare for people to be able to know and identify what their passion and dreams are from childhood, and go on to follow through with these dreams. This is exactly the case for model and actress Jordan Claire Robbins. She knew she wanted to perform from a very young age, and since moving to Toronto she has taken advantage of every opportunity to realize these dreams. Not many can say this.

Robbins has appeared in a variety of successful campaigns and worked worldwide as a model. She has shot music videos for The Midway State and Down With Webster. She is in the upcoming film Anon with an all-star cast including Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, and she was in the television series 12 Monkeys and Man Seeking Woman. That being said, she still sometimes thinks back to her childhood in Bermuda, and fantasizing of one day having the career she has now.

“I remember playing alone in my backyard acting out different characters and making up stories. I  would choreograph dances and write plays, then make my family watch me perform them” she said.

Despite a passion for singing and doing musical theatre throughout school, the process of film always fascinated Robbins. Upon graduating high school, she decided she wanted to seriously pursue acting abroad and moved to Toronto.

“I love the storytelling aspect of acting,” she said. “The investigative angle you must take to understand your character’s motivations and experiences, why they are the way they are. It’s an opportunity to walk in the shoes of someone who has led a very different life from the one you may have led so far.”

Robbins has shot commercials for companies such as Rogers, Mini Cooper, Open Wines, Air Canada, Reitmans, Engage Diamonds, the German clothing company Ernsting’s Family, Canadian shopping mall Shops at Don Mills, and French cable company Canal Sat. She worked with Jonathan Popalis, a supervising producer/director at the Bell Media Agency, on a TV commercial for CP24, one of Bell Media’s biggest news brands and the most watched news channels in Canada.

“Jordan was fantastic to work with and a bright, positive person to have on set during a fast-paced and hectic day of shooting,” said Popalis. “She took direction wonderfully and gave a nuanced and elevated performance to bring a very high concept idea to reality. Jordan can effortlessly bring a character to life while also being able to make changes on a dime when it’s needed. She has a stunning star quality look and backs this up with a fearlessness and willingness to create and do great things.”

She also worked with director Anton Josef on a commercial for Engage Diamonds The ad was featured on numerous media outlets around the world including ‘Best Ads on TV’ and won a 2014 AICE Award in Chicago. He describes Robbins as committed, passionate, hardworking and easily adaptable no matter how difficult the situation can become.

“When you work with Jordan, you have a sense that she’s not only a complete professional, but someone who genuinely loves her art form, bringing a contagious enthusiasm to every frame that inspires everyone around her. Our film would never had been so successful without her and everything she poured into it,” said Josef. “Jordan is that very rare blend of natural beauty, charisma and sublime talent. Having worked around the world for many years with some incredibly talented artists, Jordan easily comes to mind as one of the very best with the brightest futures, gleaming with potential. She has that special ability to roll with loosely scripted ideas and be captivating to watch as she naturally and effortlessly molds the role into her own. It’s a highly demanding and competitive field no doubt – but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see her landing even more ambitious projects among the best in the industry.”

Despite the pursuit of an acting career being Robbins’ main motivator, she also jumped into the modelling industry after being approached on the street. She sees modeling as beneficial to her acting career, because both involve playing a character to her.

“I’m pretty goofy and I never felt particularly attractive when I was growing up, so when I started shooting things such as sexy lingerie and high fashion, I learned to tap into parts of myself I don’t generally show on a day-to-day basis,” she described. “This was good preparation for taking on characters in my acting work that aren’t very similar to me.”

Needless to say, all of the experience in front of a camera combined with a passion for what she does has led to a successful career.

“I am so grateful to be able to do something I’m passionate about – that I can be 14 hours into a day of shooting and still not want the day to end,” she concluded. “I love that film and TV can transport an audience, provide an escape and change their perspective. It’s amazing to have a hand in that.”

XIAO SUN: LEADING A MODEL LIFE

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Xiao Sun in an accomplished actress with numerous TV and Film credits to her name but she began her career achieving fame in Canada as a model. Miss Universe Canada was a springboard for her to work with Vogue Italia and Cosmo TV, which would eventually lead to acting roles in films such as Les 3 P’tits Cochons 2, Anna, Tidal Waves, and even work on X-Men: Days of Future Past,. Trained as a dancer in China, and the emigrating to Canada in 2009, Xiao has followed suit with Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, and so many other models turned actress. Proving that you can’t contain natural charisma and talent, Sun has crossed from print and runway into TV and silver screen at a swift pace. While excited about her current success as an actress, she looks back toward those early days, what she learned, and how to apply it to her current status.

It is difficult to imagine that just seven years ago, Xiao Sun was living in China with great aspirations inside her head and heart. In just those few years she has moved across the planet, began a highly successful global modeling career, and is now a celebrated actress. Iconic names like Vogue and Cosmo are part of her resume which now includes monikers like “leading actress.” To those of us on the outside, viewing her career, it all seems fast. Xiao will tell you that it is all a product of focus and hard work, but also notes that she had early indicators of inclinations. Sun states, “I was obsessed with clothes and style at very young age. I used to often dream about the clothes I would wear for different moments in my life. I love how creative you can get on a piece of cloth; you can transform a person into a totally different look, feeling and energy with different styles of clothes.”

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Xiao moved to Canada in 2009 with her parents and entered into Ms. Universe Canada where she placed in the Top 10 national finalist and won Best Model Award (Sun was the first Asian Canadian to ever win the Best Model Award). While she learned more about interacting with the press and public presentation, she especially enjoyed the interaction with youth (in the form of motivational speaking) and interacting with charities as an ambassador of Canada. Denis Martin Davila is the President of Beauties of Canada which runs the Miss Canada Universe organization and pageant. Speaking of Sun’s win for Best Model, Davila comments, “This achievement of Ms. Sun’s is no small feat, and truly signifies her extraordinary talents as one of Canada’s top models. To win such an award, let alone place so highly in the national pageant, is only a possible achievement for the most capable and experienced of models, and Ms. Sun proved her talent with this. Miss Universe Canada is the biggest national beauty pageant in Canada, and its only 60 contestants are selected from thousands of applications across Canada after rounds of regional competition each year. Ms. Sun shined among these thousands of other beautiful and talented models and proved her high stature in her field. To win such an award from the biggest pageant in Canada is one of the biggest national honors for a model in this country.”

Xiao was approached immediately following the competition to start her modeling career. The crowning achievement for any model on the planet is working with Vogue and Cosmo; something which Xiao achieved almost immediately. She recalls that being in Italy to work on Vogue Italia was the complete experience for her. She comments, “Vogue magazine is my favorite fashion magazine to read. I have visited Italy a few times, and loved each time. Needless to say, the street fashion, shops, and the food are amazing too!! I also love people dress up for different events, like they wear gowns to go to a concert. Makeup artist Paul Venoit’s simple but bold style was really inspiring. The first look Venoit created for me, was only foundation, with black rectangular eyebrows…super edgy, I never knew that I could rock that kind of look. I was shocked how amazing I looked like in the final pictures. It has brought my modelling career and the way I look at myself as a model into a new different level. Paul Venoit is a legendary beauty expert that I had heard a lot about before I worked with him. He has worked with many celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Lady Gaga, etc. I was very excited to work with him on this project, he is very fun and relaxed. He can effortlessly create stunning fashionable looks for everyone with his magic brushes. He could easily crack a joke and make anyone laugh on set.  We had a great time working for Vogue Italia, and we’ve worked together numerous times after this project.”

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Natalie Dean (producer/writer of the award-winning Entertainment Tonight Canada as well as director/producer of Cosmopolitan TV’s Oh, So Cosmo) saw Sun on Ms. Universe Canada and recalls, “I cast Ms. Sun on the heels of her winning the prestigious Best Model award from Miss Universe Canada and placing as a top 10 finalist in the nationwide competition, which is truly an accomplishment that only a very gifted and uniquely beautiful model can achieve. The Oh, So Cosmo production was very well received and achieved great ratings, reviews, and buzz. Ms. Sun’s modeling was highly effective and truly leading and critical to the production itself, and I am glad to have cast her.” This began Sun’s transition into being a personality on TV and would peak her interest in acting. Although she loved the talented professionals she worked with and the creative approach to style in her modeling career, there were certain aspects that did not suit her temperaments. Sun confirms, “What bothers me about modelling is that a lot of it is about your look, what you were born with…unlike acting. That’s not something that you can work on. The length of your legs, your body proportion, your face shape…these aren’t things that you can improve upon. Obviously everyone who is a model is very beautiful and has a nice body, but nobody is perfect. People have different tastes and preferences.  As models, we get judged by on our look first. and the idea of that stressed me out.

The progression of Xiao’s career path seems to be that each is more successful than the previous choice; dancer to model, model to television personality and actress, and now film actress. Being a part of the X-Men franchise and Les 3 P’tits Cochons 2 (one of this summer’s most popular films in Canada) bears the fruit of this driven actress’s hard work and desire to continually improve on her talents.

 

Top Model to Leading Lady On Screen: Ashiko Westguard

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Ashiko Westguard shot by Stephanie Daniel

 

Hollywood has no shortage of beautiful actors who first began their careers in the public eye as models. Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel all come to mind, and right along with them is Canadian beauty Ashiko Westguard. Growing up in the small town of Innisfil in Ontario, Canada, Ashiko was scouted by Next Models at the age of 18 and that is when everything really began taking off for her.

About signing with Next, Ashiko recalls, “They were amazing, one of the best if not the best. It was this hot fresh agency that had an amazing list of models. I was always told since I was so short not to expect to travel and do major runway shows or campaigns or even to travel to certain markets. But that did not faze me. I knew I was going to do all those things.”

And she did.

As a model Ashiko has been featured in massive campaigns for Honda, Garnier, L’Oreal, Lancome, Dita Von Teese Lingerie, Triumph, Nivea, Coca Cola, Revlon, Nike, Redkin and many other household name brands.

Her career as a model has taken her around the world several times over. An exotic beauty by anyone’s standards, Ashiko knows just how to use her looks and express emotion with her eyes to meet whatever a client needs; but even before becoming a model, Ashiko’s sights were set on acting.

She explains, “As a child I always dreamed of being an actress. My family had no idea what to do with me but my mother did enroll me into a theatre group. I had such a hard time overcoming being shy yet I wanted to be an actress more than anything. I laugh now at how silly that sounds but somewhere, somehow, I got over being shy.”

Ashiko first began honing her skill as an actress in the theatre in her youth, and despite having an incredibly busy modeling career, she has always found the time to take acting classes in order to perfect her craft.

One of Ashiko’s first on screen roles came in 2007 when she guest starred as Beverly on Syfy’s Leo Award winning action-packed drama series “Painkiller Jane,” where she acted alongside award-winning actress Kristanna Loken (“Burn Notice,” “The L Word”), Noah Danby (“Bitten,” “Defiance”) and Stephen Lobo (“Continuum”).

Shortly after “Painkiller Jane,” Ashiko landed a role on the series “Kaya” acting alongside Danielle Savre from “Heroes” and “Hollywood Heights,” Mike Dupod from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Man of Steel” and Cory Monteith from “Glee.”

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The role she has become best known for over the years however, was the critical role of Eve in the sci-fi crime thriller “A Dark Matter” directed by James Naylor (“Under the Bridge”).

Produced by Film Folks, “A Dark Matter” follows Angus, played by Daniel Briere (“The Parent Family,” “Antony and Cleopatra”), a talented but tormented artist whose girlfriend Laura, played by Shauna Bradley (“Hemlock Grove,” “Nikita”), leaves him without warning, the main catalyst in a chain of events that ultimately lead him into a dark underworld where he encounters a demonic mix of unsavory characters.

In search of answers to why she left, Angus discovers that Laura harboured a dark secret that ties her to The Albino, played by David Tompa (“The Conspiracy,” “The Returned”) and Ashiko’s character Eve.

While Eve at first appears to be a tool of seduction used by The Albino to distract Angus from his missing girlfriend, over the course of the film we begin to realize that devious Eve may just be the mastermind behind Angus’ slow descent into insanity, and the person who murdered his girlfriend.

Playing the femme fatale character Eve was very interesting. She was so vulnerable and dark and beautifully complicated. I feel like during the filming I really took on Eve in my life. I was happy to finish filming though. Eve was evil and used people as pawns… It was hard to be her for a few weeks… especially with consecutive night shoots,” explains Ashiko.

Regardless of the challenges though, in the end Ashiko’s portrayal of Eve was the standout performance of the entire film, unforgettable to say the least. The raw energy she brought to her character, and the way she seemed to effortlessly exude Eve’s dark and evil nature was enough to send a shiver down the spine of even the most jaded viewer, which makes it easy to understand why the actress was happy to release her character back into the story and return to her charismatic and bubbly self after the filming was over.

 

 

In addition to making her name known in film and television, Ashiko has also been a featured actress in several music videos over the years, including Crazy Town’s video for their hit song “Come Inside” off the album “The Brimstone Smugglers.” Released last year the music video for “Come Inside,” which garnered thousands of views on YouTube and was featured on The PRP, Pop Deflators, Metal Nerd and several other high profile music outlets, reveals Ashiko once again as an undeniably sexy vixen with a dark side on screen.

One area where Ashiko has brilliantly blended her work as a model and an actress has been as the lead in commercials, and she’s done many. From major roles in globally released commercials for Axe Deodorant to nationally released commercials for Honda, May Company, Workopolis and Leons in Canada, and those for Sony Ericsson and Nikon, which aired nationally across the U.S., Ashiko has proven her skill to immediately captivate an audience and leave a memorable impression in their minds every time.

 

 

In 2014 Ashiko was the lead actress in Old Spice’s ‘head to toes’ stairs commercial, which aired thousands of times across the country and followed a robot who claims to love human women, so naturally he uses Old Spice to smell more like a human man.  Not only does Ashiko look dolled up and dazzling in the commercial, but she plays her role so believably anyone would believe that robot or not, Old Spice products are enough to get the girl of their desires.

With beauty, charm and an impressive range on screen, Ashiko Westguard is one model turned actress that we cannot help but love.