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Thursday, 25 June 2015

GarconJon meets Samuel Bietenhader: Model Off Duty

Samuel Bietenhader, model with 3M Models.

When you were a wee boy, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a scientist. With music and art, you're famous but just for your generation. However with science, if you're able to find a cure for AIDs then you'll be a legend for generations to come. It's more rewarding for me. As a scientist you're working for the future which is visionary.

When did that dream change? It ended when I started studying biology but the dream changed earlier even because I wanted to do so many things. Dancing, acting, art, biology, chemistry were all on my horizon. In high school, I wasn't great with discipline and it didn't capture me enough to work 8 hours a day studying the stuff.

I'm guessing disciplined isn't a good word to sum you up. Describe yourself in 5 words. Philosophical, broken sometimes, philanthropist and chaotic. I love the idea of shared love and that we are all ‘one’.

What's your horoscope? I'm the virgin, a Virgo. The papers always tell me something different about my sign. Everyone thinks every generic statement could fit them so I don't pay too much attention, like "be positive and you'll get positivity." It's nothing new.

How did you begin modelling? A few years ago I was living at home in Zurich, sucking on my mum's money and not doing anything productive. It spiralled until I saw an advert on my bank's website looking for "Stuttgart Individuals" to be models for a new campaign. It seemed silly because it's a corporate bank trying to be cool and young. We had to do a catwalk on the seaside in front of a huge group of people which was quite embarrassing. There was a really interesting shoot we did up high on a construction site though. After that project I got into modelling full time.

What's been your highlight so far? You've only been modelling for a year now, right? Yes. My highlight is more like a life lesson though: "don't do modelling". A few months ago I had a kind of a nervous breakdown. It was very difficult for me and made me re-evaluate how I look at life. I really saw things in my head that shocked me. I asked myself 'what will I be doing at 35' wondering if I'll still have energy for all this. You could be doing modelling for 10 years from 20 to 30 and these are the years of highest energy. A lot of models I see are so stuck up in the fame they get but it's all fake and built on nothing. So they have good genes but that's not created through skill or hard work.

Why are you still modelling if you find it so challenging? Well, I do like it a lot when I'm shooting. It's more morally and mentally a problem. I want to go back to study sound design - another strange decision. I thought about going back to biology but I don't think that'll work. With sound design you work a lot electronically, for example making jingles for companies. If you're lucky you'd be creating the sounds for light sabres in Star Wars and become a DJ.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? It's hard to answer that question in your twenties. Six months ago I would have said, finish with studying biology. Now it's changed as I think I've found my soul mate. She's a super nice girl and we have a unified mind. Not in the typical Hollywood love way, we recognise our differences and flourish with them. In a decade I would see myself having a job which would allow me to have a family with this woman. I guess romantic would have to be added to one of my 5 words.

That's a positive note to end on! Leave us with some words on wisdom. Nice, I like that question and it's also the hardest as life keeps fucking you over. I tend to have a 'go with the flow' mentality. My life lesson would be "when you see a person you don't like, imagine him being your lover". I have a philosophical mind telling me to "tell him this or that, something deep" but at one point you go down so deep that it's too dark to come back out. I guess my other lesson would be not to philosophise too hardcore in life.