2016. július 22., péntek

From National Defense to modeling - interview with Peter Winkler

Peter Winkler, although having an engineering degree, has chosen modeling. Currently he is living and working in Los Angeles. Here is our interview with him.

You attended a military high school in Hungary. Why have you chosen this career? If modeling has not become a part of your life, would you be in a war zone right now?
Probably I have chosen it because I was interested in sports, and I thought that I will have the possibility to do a lot of it in the military. :) Maybe I would be in a war zone, you never know what the future holds.

You have graduated from Miklós Zrínyi National Defense University in Hungary. What is the task of an air defense missile controller? Why have you been interested in it?
I have chosen this faculty because I wanted a degree that I can use in the civilian life too if it is necessary. Honestly I could not figure out what their task is either. :)

Instead of going to the military you have found yourself in modeling. What kind of (physical, psychological) abilities have you gained during your military training that you can use in modeling too?
We had a lot of physical training that I personally liked very much, I took part in a lot of group work, learnt how to accept others, how to live with them, work with them, and if necessary suffer with them.
Respect, discipline, the right attitude towards others could be mentioned and used in civilian life too. I managed to keep my feet on the ground even in modeling, although many times it is difficult because the possibilities are coming too fast and it makes it harder. :)

How was the beginning of your career? How much time did it take to get used to the fact that you are only a “tool” for the designers and advertising companies?
The contrast was very big after the military but I easily adapted myself so I would say I got used to it very fast. The big challenge was to accept that it is not us who control this game. As you said we are only tools and in 95% of the cases it does not depend on us. Fashion is changing very fast so as the widely employed faces. It can be difficult to accept it when you work as a model.

What are the positive and negative sides of this profession? What are the most common misconceptions?
Traveling is definitely a positivity, you can travel around the world, get to know other cultures, learn languages, broaden your horizon. A very common misconception about modeling is that people think we do not do any work. It is not easy to impress the clients. Also traveling can be tiring, many times we are in a different time zone, but we have to smile as if nothing happened. People do not see this side only the final results in magazines or on TV.

Some of the models drink alcohol or take drugs to get rid of stress. How do you manage to keep yourself away from these? How big is the temptation?
I am lucky because I have never been interested in these. Sport is my “drug”. I love sport and I reduce stress while doing it. There are a lot of temptations in this profession but it depends on you, how you can conquer them, and what kind of tools you have to reduce stress.

Modeling requires a certain (maximum) weight. How many of the models have eating disorders? Do you see any changes in this area? Do plus size models gain bigger ground?
It is not that drastic for male models as it is for females. For women it is more difficult and the expectations are higher. There is a definite change in this area, but it depends on the market what kinds of girls are needed for a certain job. A different type of girl works in France, a different in Asia or in America. Of course, the classic type is successful everywhere. :)
It would be very difficult to say how many of the models have eating disorders, but what I see is that there is a change in it too. Although I work in the US which is a more commercial market, so having an athletic figure is an advantage.
Employing plus size models in the US is very successful, I have met and worked with many of them. 

Military is about collaboration (in risky situations for sure). How did it feel to get into a world which is about individual achievements?
Yes, it is the individual achievement that matters, but we do not really have an influence on it. It is not our decision, the clients decide whom they choose and why for a certain job.

What is the difference (if there are any) between a foreign and a Hungarian photo shoot?
There is no difference, if you are a professional, you are a professional everywhere.

You have shot a commercial with Kate Moss and one for Unicum (a Hungarian company – ed.). These two adverts are completely different in their colors and dynamics. How was it to shoot these adverts? How much acting skill do you need for a shoot like this? Would you like to learn acting?
I had a very good time during both shoots. It is true, they were different, but on the other hand there were many similarities. The technical part of the shooting was almost the same. I like shooting commercials, and I think you need a certain level of acting to make these adverts lifelike. Currently I am learning acting in Los Angeles.

What was your most extreme job during a photo shoot? And the funniest? Is there such a request that you would definitely reject?
I had many funny situations in the past twelve years but probably one of the funniest was when a stylist brought a thong, and I thought it is going to be for the girl on the set but it turned out that I was the one to wear it during the shoot. :) :) As long as I can stay true to myself, I will not reject any requests.

Is there a photographer whom you like to work with because he finds the best positions or you like his style?
I do not necessarily have a favorite photographer but there are many with whom I like to work with because they bring the best out of me.

You have been in many countries thanks to your job. Which are your favorites? Are you homesick when you are abroad for a longer period of time? What do you miss from Hungary?
I have lived and worked in many countries. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. I like good food, to explore new things, get to know other cultures so it would be difficult to tell which is my favorite place.
Hungary is definitely my favorite country. Budapest is an amazing place, I miss it many times. That place has such energy that I have never experienced anywhere else.

You have an engineering degree. Will you ever work in that field or will you stick to modeling as long as you can? Would you open an agency? Or would you like to be on the other side of the camera and work as a photographer?
I do not know what life brings but I am open to whatever comes. I do not think that I would be a photographer but as I said, you never know what will happen.

How can you keep in touch with your friends? What do you appreciate in them the most?
I have a daily relationship with my closest friends. We can speak via phone or Skype for hours in a day. :)
For me the most important values are respect, loyalty, sincerity, and unconditional love. 

Have you ever been called a “cabin rat” (slang word in Hungarian military – ed.)?
No, never! :)

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