Five years into his career, Toronto's Milan Krouzil is one of the top male models in the world. He has appeared on the cover of L'Uomo Vogue and was once stopped on the streets by a top photographer in a chance meeting that turned into one of his first major bookings.
Of Czech heritage, 6'1" Krouzil was recently booked as the main face for the Fall/Winter 2006 Tommy Hilfiger campaign and can be seen in the current issue of Numero with Stella Tennant.
He is currently ranked #47 on the Models.com list of Top 50 Male Models, and is represented by the same agency that discovered him - Nam Models in Toronto.
Modelresource: Your brother was a model when you were scouted. Had you considered doing it yourself?
Milan: My mom always thought I could do it (I guess all moms do) and she took me to Model Search America when I was 13. She would always mention her younger son to Norwayne (NAM's owner, Norwayne Anderson) when they talked, but at that time I think I really was too young (14).
Modelresource: You were only 16 when you did start with NAM. Did you find there was a lot more to learn than you expected?
Milan: I went into it with a pretty open mind, and really didn't know what to expect. My attitude was always to go with the flow of things. But I was quite surprised with how physically demanding the job can be: the constant travelling and 14-hour shoots....
Modelresource: How old were you when you got the L'Uomo Vogue cover?
Modelresource: What went through your mind?
Milan: Well, I really didn't know it was going to be on the cover. And at that time I had no idea that Paolo Roversi was such a renowned photographer, or that L'Uomo Vogue was essentially considered to be the Bible of men's fashion......I was truly clueless as to what it was going to do for my career....
Modelresource: What about seeing your face on the Models.com Top 50?
Milan: That sort of thing I try not to take too seriously.....I mean it's great promotion, and if it helps my career, cool.....but that's the kind of thing I joke about with my friends back home.....cause to them, I'm just their buddy "Shantz"....so when they take a jab at me modelling I kinda play it up: You know, put on my best "blue steel" face and say something like "Hey, I'm Milaaaaaan, top 50 international male model"........and then we all burst out laughing.......but I do appreciate the exposure...
Modelresource: What has been your favourite job so far?
Milan in Burberry
with Kate Moss
Milan: I've had a great time doing several different jobs......I usually enjoy the ones shot on location somewhere where I haven't been before, preferably with a lively photographer that likes to joke around a bit.......those are always a lot of fun.
Shooting with Mario Testino for the Burberry Campaign was amazing...and a long shoot with Kate Moss didn't hurt! That was the easiest and fastest casting I have had apart from a direct booking. Mario stopped me on the street in Paris and asked if I was a model. Blushing, I answered yes. Within seconds Mario was on the phone to my agency and put me on hold for the campaign.
I just shot the Tommy Hilfiger campaign up in the Yukon, I got to snowmobile and play hockey on the lake......I had a great time......the whole crew was fantastic to work with.....
Modelresource: Have you ever had any bookings you were really nervous about?
Milan: I think the only jobs I've ever been really anxious about were the first couple I ever did......a fashion show down at the CNE, and my very first test shoot......I remember being so nervous I couldn't eat anything the day of the shoot, and spent most of the day in the bathroom before the show.......but after that I was fine.......now it's just exciting to work with a great photographer or do a huge show, I don't really get nervous......
Modelresource: What things have you learned along the way that you wish you knew sooner?
Milan: Just figuring out how the business-side works......it can be complex, I guess any entertainment industry is.....but it's something that takes time to grasp....Oh, and remembering to always keep my own best interest in mind.......if I've had a few months of constant traveling, and I'm feeling pretty run-down, if there's a window of time where nothing concrete is booked, then I'll tell my agency that I need a week or two at home to chill out, see my family and friends....
Modelresource: What advice would you give other males starting out - especially younger ones?
Milan: First and foremost, never take this industry too seriously......treat it more like a game, have fun.....but at the same time be professional, because it's a great opportunity to make some money, travel, and meet a lot of cool people.....don't take the criticism, or rejection to heart......Don't be afraid to ask questions about the business-side: that's how you're going to learn......And if you are successful don't let it go to your head too much, be able to make fun of yourself.....remember, we're not curing cancer here......oh, and be patient, I can't stress enough the virtue of patience in this business, it will really help you succeed.....
Modelresource: What about you would surprise people?
Milan: People are sometimes surprised to find out that my favourite music is Westcoast rap......Ever since I was 13 it's been my #1 music to bump in the trunk........at that age I wanted to be a DJ, and now whenever I go home I produce music with a buddy of mine...can't get enough of that funk....
Milan Krouzil in Numero
with Stella Tennant
Modelresource: Can you describe your fitness/diet regime?
Milan: Traveling around so much, sometimes it's difficult to establish a workout routine......I try to run often, and bring my skipping rope wherever I go.....If I'm staying somewhere for awhile then I'll find a fitness center or a boxing gym to train (love boxing)......and back at home I'll play hockey, basketball, all sports....And diet? Aside from fast food, it's all good....... I just try not to party too hard on the weekend....
Modelresource: What do you plan to do after modelling?
Milan: Depending on how much longer I'm doing this for, I'll either continue my education or start my own business; My brother (Jeno) and I have discussed opening a very uniquely themed bar back in Toronto....... I'd also like to get into Real Estate. Having said that, I don't like to plan too much......I guess I've become a bit accustomed to the spontaneity of this business.
Modelresource: What else would you want people to know about you?
Milan: Lets see...... I'm an avid reader of philosophy..... a family kinda guy,....a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan.....love taking risks.....and well, right now I'm really enjoying life!