Q&A: Tyson Beckford
He’s back. Supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford recently rejoined the cast of Chippendales The Show at Rio as the show’s first-ever long-term celebrity guest star. He kicked off his run in April and guests can catch the handsome guy through July 9, and this time around enjoy him even more. This time around, Beckford is cast in more numbers and has upped his exposure onstage. Recently, Las Vegas Magazine’s Kiko Miyasato had a chance to talk with the hunk by phone and ask him about the show, about life and about his biggest turn-ons and his biggest turn-offs.
Why did you decide to return to Chippendales?
It was more so that the team was so good to me and I had a nice, open schedule. It was also a good way to get back in good shape and see the guys and just hang out like we used to.
You’re the show’s first, long-term celebrity guest. How does that make you feel to be chosen?
I feel honored, I really do, because there were many talented guys before me. I bring in the Asian, Latino, African American, white, it’s good to see all those different people sitting in the audience, and, even the guys have said it, too, that ‘We’ve never had such a diverse audience. We only get this when you’re here.’ That really means a lot—we’re really pushing the envelope and breaking barriers.
So, the first time around you built a camaraderie with the guys?
Yes, for sure. (Last time) I came to promote a movie that was getting ready to come out. And after the movie came and gone, it was like ‘Wow, this is a lot of fun, I can do this.” I constantly was telling myself next time I come I want to do this number, I want to full-out learn and do all the moves.
Tell me about the role you play and the numbers you’re in this time around.
I believe there’s roughly around 13 numbers and I’m in eight of them. We added an opening part of the show that wasn’t there before—I come out and speak to the audience. I’m doing a lot more emceeing. I’m in this number, “Chip Shot,” which I wasn’t in before, so it’s a lot of different things that I didn’t do before, that I’m taking the risk this time and saying I want to do it. Every week there’s something—I’ll talk to the choreographers and say ‘Well, I want to learn this number, this move’ and we set up the rehearsal and learn the moves so I can jump in it.
Tell me what you’re thinking when you step out on that stage and the women are going wild.
I’m just lovin’ every minute of it. I can’t think of anywhere else you get that. I never got that in fashion. You get applause in fashion if you come out on the runway and people haven’t seen you in a while or you’re wearing a really amazing outfit or great designer. But you don’t get that kind of audience anywhere unless you’re a big performer in a concert. These women screaming for you, it’s so electrifying and you hear it—the octave level of the screams it wakes you up! If you were tired before, once you hear it, you’re like, ‘Oh my god!’
Do you guys work out backstage? What’s going on back there?
Oh yeah, oh yeah, we’re definitely working out. And, it’s locker room talk—not like Trump locker room talk though (laughs).
Tell me your biggest turn-ons and your biggest turn-offs.
I look for a mature woman. A turn-off is a not-so-mature woman. I look for loyalty; a comedic side—she has to have a sense of humor. Pretty inside and outside. Biggest turn-offs—cigarettes and an immature woman.
You’ve had a successful career as a supermodel, based on your looks, but what else do you attribute your success to?
Just being humble and being relevant and being part of society. As well as being a supermodel and being a celebrity, you just kind of want to be a part of what’s going on in the world, the country, be a part of the election process, speak out when something’s wrong. And, that’s kind of kept me a part of life, successful.
I’ve read that you lead more of a spiritual life than a religious life…
Religiously, I believe in a higher being. Spiritually, I like to not stress anything.
Do you like to mediate?
Absolutely, I have to zone out sometimes otherwise I’ll drive myself crazy (laughs).
If you had to go back to the beginning, is there anything that you’d do over?
Yeah, I’d definitely choose some of the people that I hung around with and not let them take advantage of me financially, and spiritually, and mentally. I think a lot of us, when we come into this business young, we don’t know any better and we think that people just genuinely want to hang out with us because we’re cool and we’re nice. But, once you remove the money and the fame, they don’t really want to hang out with you, they just want to get a piece of it. You often get taken advantage of, and it sucks because your heart is in it where theirs is somewhere else. You learn a lot. So if I could go back, I would do that.
Who are some of your favorite photographers that you’ve worked with?
Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Jean-Baptiste (Mondino).
What about favorite location?
I used to shoot a lot in Jamaica; I love shooting there. It’s my hometown—I grew up there, my parents are from there. It was always one of my favorite places to shoot. And South Beach, Miami.
Favorite models you’ve worked alongside?
Naomi Campbell, Bridget Hall, Tyra Banks.
What do you want to say to your fans? Why should people come see you and the rest of the Chippendales cast?
I say forget about what you might think about male revues and come see us. This is very entertaining. Bring your mom or sister, or even brother, come see it. Come and witness the live show, the fun we have up there. You’ll enjoy it. You’ll see a bunch of guys who love doing what they do.