It's February, and with Valentine's Day coming, I thought what better way to mark the day than with an interview with Richard Cerqueira, tall, dark and hot! This is the first part of the interview. Tune in tomorrow for Part Two.
Check my website for a picture and info on a Contest to win an autographed full-colored bookmark with a lucious picture of Richard and a set of homemade bookmarks!
Tell us a little about yourself first. Where you were born, family, hobbies, your education. What’s your sign? (LOL)
I was born in Elmhurst, Queens NY. My father was born in Portugal, and my mother was born in Brazil. I have a brother who is three years my junior and a sister who is only five years old. As far as hobbies, I love to create things; as such, I enjoy occupying my spare time with anything that has to do with designing, and fabricating. I am especially fond of home improvements and automotive customization; my main interest as of late has been Jeeps. I enrolled as a full time student at St. John’s University where I was a pre-med and fine arts student. I graduated with a BS in biology and a minor in fine art… I earned a master’s degree in cellular biology from Adelphi University… I have also completed several acting courses at three different drama schools in NYC. By the way, I am an Aries, born on April 17th.
When did you decide you wanted to become a cover model? Was it tough breaking into the business?
I really didn’t decide I wanted to be one, I was basically invited. At the time of my first cover, I was a fledgling TV actor and a part time mainstream model. I was doing skits on most of the then novelty daytime TV talk shows. Often acting wasn’t even involved; duties varied from dressing like an Egyptian slave carrying Cybil Shepard (Cleopatra) out to Rosie O'Donnell’s stage, to getting in bed with a sexy female model on the Ricki Lake Show while pretending to be a stuck-up lover that had very little to be stuck up about. On one of the shows that I worked on a nearly daily basis, The Richard Bey Show, Mr. Curvin Krout, a former Ford Models talent scout got in touch with the show’s producers and informed them that he was interested in working with me. In no time, he had me meet with a Media Photo Group studio rep, and about a week later, I did my first cover with Pino himself (the artist responsible for Fabio’s fame). After that, one cover just led to another.
How do you maintain that great body? Did you always have such a terrific physique? It’s the same for me as with anyone else, I eat healthy, either by watching my caloric intake or with a no-carbohydrate diet, and I go to the gym. I was never very athletic, but I always loved to bike and I love to ski. I would say my body has always been pretty good since I have always controlled the amount I consumed even before I really realized that this was the key to staying fit. Eating just the right amount seemed to come naturally; perhaps it was due to my rather attractive and vain parents’ upbringing or just my ability to recognize my body’s needs and not to over saturate it with that which it did not. My arms have always been muscular, so with heavy training they just responded that much better than most.
Tell us about your first big break. When was it? Did you feel nervous? And, inquiring minds want to know, was it with or without a shirt? It was a few years ago now. I think it’s been almost 10 years since my first cover…jeez time flies. I was very nervous, I didn’t know what to do. I also wanted to look as pumped up and lean as possible, so holding my muscles at maximum tension was on my mind the whole time we were shooting. It was quite awkward (but in a good way) to be in these very romantic embraces with a girl that I had only met for the first time a few minutes prior. I needed a lot of direction that first time, and I was eager to impress, the photographer, artist and female model. I think I succeeded, the cover came out very good… one of my nicer book covers I think. Of course the photographer, artist and other model also played a large role in that cover’s success. I was shirtless and was quite muscular and lean at the time since I was also a full time fitness and fashion model in addition to working on the TV shows, which we shot 99% of the time with no shirt on and wearing only skimpy hot shorts and construction boots.