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Leandro Maeder
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Hi, Leandro. Thank you for speaking with Model Portal.

*I'll take it! I just had an account on the site the other day.

Tell us a little bit about your name. "Leandro" sounds like a very exotic name, I must say.

*Leandro is my first name and "Leo" for short. I'm one of those that get my name pronounced wrong by a lot of people. It's not fun being called "Alihaundro" to "Jalapeno" from time to time.

*My last name used to be Monticheli, and now my current last name is Maeder.

Interesting. Can you explain to us how you have this "Eurasian" look? What's your ethnic background?

*I was born in Switzerland, but I'm Italian, Swiss, and Dutch.

Quite unique! Okay now let's make a really quick flashback: how did modeling enter your life?

(Tells a story)

*Cutting one of Bill Hefner's models in a Key Copy line next to Wholefoods could have been one of the biggest mistakes and/or one of the best mistakes that I made. Bill Heffner asked me to be one of his models, even though he runs an agency in Seattle, so I did. That was the big mistake. Being introduced to a career that I could make was the good mistake. After a few weeks of being with Heffner and looking into what I have to offer, I joined with my mother agency, Bleu Models.

How does an ordinary day of a model go like? Is your schedule filled with go-sees, photoshoots, and such?

*It's different for every model. I have arranged a system in this business with my agency where I can finish up my school schedule while being open to every interview that I need to make. Being in high school, having a modeling and acting career, not to mention a crazy family, it gets hectic. So some of [what's in my schedule] is direct booking. Other than that, all I do is get an arranged time, location, and the client's name and I-am-good-to-go. Batta Bing-Batta Boom!

Picture this: young and unexperienced Leo on his very first job. How was it like?

*My first experience was very innocent, in a sense of not really knowing what I was getting into and what fame was about or what the big she-bang was about when you capture an image of someone or something. I thought that I was making some money and that it would be easy, black and white. It was exciting definitely. I had the idea of me being on a page of a magazine. Funny enough, after shooting with Erik Mas for Flaunt magazine, all I got was my back on the first page of the editorial. (Laughs) It was still fun.

We all know about your Abercrombie & Fitch appearance. What's your most memorable job?

*I have to say that Abercrombie was one of the funnest, but not the most memorable. I did a campaign for Jag Jeans in the Philippines where I had a paid flight to Vegas and stayed in a good 'ol paid-for Hard Rock Hotel room. I went to the strip with the girl I was shooting with and her mother (laughs) and had a phenomenal time being that it was my first time in Vegas.The following day I arrived, we shot at a Go Cart race track - but not on the track - and right after we got done looking pretty, they gave me some clothes and we were on the go carts racing each other for about an hour. Tons of fun.

What's your dream campaign?

*My dream campaign would have to be for Ralph Lauren Fragrance.

Besides modeling, what do you like to do in your spare time?

*I like to go to the beach, read, surf, paint, explore, work out, dance, play pool, watch tons of movies, and get a massage when[ever] possible.

I'm hoping you forgot to mention listening to music. Come on!

*(Laughs) I love music, but I do that on the time that is not free, while working. My favorite artists are U2, RHCP, Coldplay, Creed...

RHCP? That sounds like some kind of medical operation to me.

*Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Oh okay, I get it now. Do you like to watch TV? Any favorite shows?

*I like to mix and match it. But I don't really have time for TV since I'm more of a movie guy and gather info.

Do you play any sports?

*I'm a sports fanatic! I mean, I like playing them. Back in the day when Jordan was around with the Bulls, I was super crazy with the cards and stuff like that. [i knew] the whole NBA by heart, and I was only 10.

Let's play a little game called fill in the blanks, so just insert a word in the following phrases:

"As a child, I prefered ________ over chocolate ice cream."

Rocky Road baby!

"The one movie that made me cry was ________."

The Notebook. Do you really need that?

"I see myself 5 years from now as a ________."

Movie Star! (laughs)

"I am most likely to be voted as ________ in High School."

Most Effervescent.

"The one word people teased me was ________."

*Pinky. That got on my nerves the most. I mean, only because my middle name was Pink they thought they could tease me about my name. Ha! Not so 'lil pinky anymore.

Before you leave, tell us what message and advice would you give to aspiring models out there?

*Have fun with it!

Well I had a great time speaking with you, Leo. We at Model Portal wish you the best! Don't forget to drop by and note us on any updates. Good luck.

*If you've actually reached the bottom of this page, I gotta thank you for listening to my magical babble. (Laughs) Ciao!

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