Charlie Matthews and his boy-next-door good looks are on the rise, appearing in the Fall Guess campaign and melting hearts every day on Instagram. The Daily recently rang the California-based DT-Model-Management face to find out how he went from mopping floors to getting naked with Nicki Minaj.
Your Instagram profile shows your name as Chuck. Is that what you usually go by?
Chuck was my sports name in high school. It’s my nickname, and then my real name is Charles. I’ve got like seven different nicknames but people normally call me Chuck or Charlie. I would get “Charlie bit me” or Charlie the Unicorn. When I used to work at a grocery store, I used to be called Chuck White House Correspondent, or Chuck Todd White House Correspondent, which is random too.
Tell me a little bit about your background. What did your parents do?
My whole family is in the entertainment business. My mom did a little bit of acting when she was younger. She was actually a runner-up as one of the daughters on The Brady Bunch, but they decided to go for a blonde. My dad was too tall for modeling, but did a couple print jobs for Budweiser and Coca Cola. He also had roles on Beverly Hills 90210, Pacific Blue, Ellen, and he was the P.E. coach in Saved by the Bell. He was the one who tried to get me into the industry. I didn’t want to enter it. I wanted to stick with sports.
What finally brought you into the business?
I got discovered by a scout walking out of my grocery store on Thanksgiving day. I was selling pumpkin pie and some random person took a picture of me walking to my car. The guy said I should try modeling so I decided to give it a shot. He set me up with a photographer, then the photos were put on Facebook, and that’s how [agent] Ricardo Guerro found me, and eventually brought me in to meet with David Todd [of DT Model Management] and I was signed on the spot.
What made you decide to finally jump into it?
I got really tired of going to school full time, working two different jobs, I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna give this a try, and if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to what I was doing.” I put school aside, quit both my jobs, and Ricardo had me to go to Asia for 6 months to get exposure and practice modeling.
Backtracking for a second… What did you do at the grocery store?
I was bagging groceries, mopping the floors, helping customers, and stocking the shelves. My other job was working at Hollister folding clothes, not like the greeter or anything, just folding clothes in the store and as a cashier.
You should have been the greeter.
I eventually did that at Abecrombie at the Grove.
What was that experience like?
My very first day I was working in front of the store and three girls came up to me asked me for my phone number. That didn’t happen often.
What was the experience of going from California to Asia like?
A culture shock. I went two weeks before Christmas so I spent the holiday in Seoul, South Korea in the middle of winter where it was minus 15 below. It was a starter market for me, but I eventually came back to California. There’s a lot of opportunities here. I’m based in LA and my family is here and I have my regular clients like Guess.
You’re the current face of the new Guess campaign. What was it like when you got that call?
I was at a family reunion. I hadn’t seen my grandma in 15 years, and my phone starts going off. I picked it up and my agent was asking me, “Hey, how you doing with your family? Have you told them about working with Guess?” I told him I let them know a little bit about doing E-commerce with them, and then he said, “Well you can also tell them you booked the Guess campaign.” I didn’t know if he was pulling my chain, but he said it again and that I would be shooting next week. I had like a million emotions in my head, I was just like holy shit! Is this actually for real? I told my family and they burst out crying. It was great.
Gigi Hadid, Claudia Schiffer, Hailey Baldwin, and Adriana Lima have all shot it. The list goes on! Anna Nicole Smith!
Did they give you any insight into why they cast you?
I was shooting a lot of their e-commerce and [Guess founder] Paul Marciano was like Charlie looks really really good in these clothes, keep using him, so I started being used for their look books, and this fall is my first big campaign for them.
You were recently in Iceland!
It was one of the greatest trips I ever had, absolutely mind blowing, I was shooting with a Mexican department store for about a week. What’s great is the sun is out for 23 hours so we would shoot a few looks and then travel along the coast to four or five different locations. It was surreal. If you take a picture of the landscape, it looks like it was Photoshopped. It just doesn’t look real.
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To sum up this Iceland trip, this is by far the best job experience of my life & I can’t wait to show you guys my footage on my next video log. Anyways, off to the airport, heading back to London for the weekend. ✌🏻 Have a great day everyone. #iceland #icelandtravel #roadtrip #sonya7riii #reyjkavik #epic
You’re were also in Marie Claire this summer with Nicki Minaj. How was that?
She is quite a character. The shoot was about 23 hours and the process of her just getting ready took 4-6 hours. Then none of the clothes fit and she was getting sassy and said, “Let’s just get naked and have some fun!” It was one of the most memorable experiences to have the queen of rap naked and wrapped around my back.
Doesn’t get better!
Doesn’t get better unless it’s Cardi B!
Oooooh, you went there!
[Laughs] I went there, I threw that out. Sorry Nicki!
You have a pretty large Instagram following. Do you read the comments your followers write?
I read most of the comments, but the comments that really stand out the most are when people write that I inspire them to improve. People say they want to work out more or be healthier. Of course comments like, “Oh my god! I died and came back to life!’ also stand out.
We noticed there was quite a reaction to a recent underwear post.
That was my most liked photo ever I posted on Instagram. It got over 63,000 likes and 1,400 comments. I wasn’t expecting for people to comment like that because it was padding to smooth out the wrinkles but the comments on that were absolutely priceless. It ended up getting me two job bookings so…
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What are your professional goals?
I really want to work with designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Moschino, and then once I get older and decide to not do modeling anymore, I want to be in cinematography and do graphic design. I always like to create content so something in the entertainment business.
Whose career do you look up to?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is an inspiration. He’s literally everywhere, he just doesn’t stop working. As far as male models, someday I’d like to be where David Gandy is.
Is there a special lady in your life?
There isn’t. I’m actually single. Single and ready to mingle.