It’s an unusually chilly November day in Los Angeles—the coldest of the year, we are told—and Sean O’Pry is at a gorgeous Encino estate, shooting his Spring/Summer 2016 campaign for Penshoppe.
“It never gets this cold in The Valley,” we hear someone say, possibly one of the crew members all bundled up in hoodies and jackets.
But the cold doesn’t bother Sean or French photographer Frederic Auerbach, who’s having a day of firsts—it’s his first shoot with both Sean and the brand.
“In Europe, sometimes we have to shoot summer in really wintry temperatures, which is really difficult,” says Frederic. “But today that wasn’t a problem, not when you have people who are enthusiastic and like what they do.”
It’s Sean’s second year as a Penshoppe endorser, staying on the stellar lineup that includes models Kendall Jenner and Lucky Blue Smith, and Asian superstars Sandara Park and Mario Maurer.
(READ: Top model Sean O’Pry, Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ heartbreaker, is Penshoppe’s newest ambassador)
Asked why Sean’s contract has been renewed, Penshoppe brand director Jeff Bascon says: “Who doesn’t want Sean?! This guy is the easiest to work with, he’s very charming and charismatic.”
The feeling is mutual. Sean, the top male model who stole hearts when he starred in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video, says, “The Penshoppe brand, it’s been so incredible to me, the Liu family and everything they stand for. I’m really excited to be a part of the Penshoppe gang again.”
Playful to intense
Inside the four-bedroom home, a studio has been set up. “Let’s have some music, can we have some music, please?” Frederic asks, and as the speakers start blaring, Sean switches from playful to intense, romancing the camera with brooding looks and seemingly effortless moves.
“I call him the king of the moody look,” says Jeff. “We would be goofing off in between takes and he would just transform once the camera starts clicking.”
Frederic says: “Sean is amazing. He’s fantastic. What’s really great about him is he’s not shy at all. A lot of male models don’t really free themselves in a shoot and Sean doesn’t have that problem at all. You can see that he enjoys what he’s doing and just frees himself totally…
“The styling is amazing, the clothes are amazing. Very fantastic to shoot and I’m sure fantastic to wear as well. I think Sean really likes them, too, which helps an awful lot. Even good models, if they’re wearing clothes they don’t like, it makes everybody’s work much more difficult. I think everybody’s really happy… Even though it’s a lot of work, everybody’s having fun. It’s a great day.”
The clothes Sean wear in the shoot are now available at Penshoppe stores in the Philippines, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Cambodia.
“These pullovers, long tees, shorts and trousers should be part of every man’s staples for that easy summer vibe. Our board shorts are really cool, too,” Jeff says.
The brand has other surprises planned for its fans. “It’s definitely an exciting 2016 for Penshoppe. We are listening to our customers and we have lined up activities that they’ve been clamoring for. This is going to be fun,” Jeff adds.
(READ: Screams and tears for Sean O’Pry)
One of the events is Sean’s second visit to the Philippines, planned for later this year. “We want the fans to be part of this visit. They can follow Penshoppe on social media to know more details,” Jeff notes.
After the shoot, we sit down with Sean for another funny interview (it’s always funny when he’s involved). “You’re really going for it this time. You’ve saved these questions since our last talk, huh?” he says.
Here he talks about tocino, his visit to the Philippines, his obsession with Adele’s “Hello,” among other things. (Watch the video HERE.)
How was the shoot today?
It was great. I got to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, love that. Jeff’s awesome. Everyone was just incredible. They always pick great teams. The pictures are great. I’m excited for you to see them.
Was it crazy wearing summer clothes on a really windy day?
A cold, windy day. No, not really. That happens. It was crazy wearing summer clothes on a cold, windy Los Angeles day. That doesn’t happen.
What do you remember most from your trip to the Philippines?
How do you say it? What’s that stuff I ate? Tocino? Was that tocino? Tocino.
(READ: Sean O’Pry in the Philippines: “I don’t know how I’m ever going to leave”)
Is there anything you miss about the Philippines?
Yeah. El Nido’s incredible, Manila’s incredible, the people were just so warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to go back. By the way, I’m coming back.
Do you still remember Filipino words you learned last year?
Not even close. Tocino (laughs). Do you want to teach me another one?
What do you want to know?
What do you want to tell me?
Nah, it’s gonna be a bad word so let’s skip it. That was my next question—will we get to see you back in the Philippines again? And what else would you like to do there that you didn’t get the chance to do the last time?
I’m just gonna get on the plane and show up and see what happens.
Do you know when this will happen?
No, I have no idea. I just found out.
During your visit, people couldn’t stop talking about how nice and how funny you were. Have you always been funny?
Do people lie this much in the Philippines normally?
No, they’re really honest. Have you always been funny?
No, I’m not funny at all.
What was it like joining Taylor Swift onstage with Chris Rock and Matt LeBlanc for her “1989” world tour?
I was terrified… There were so many people there. And then I had to dance, I don’t know how to dance. She did everything. She led me. No, it was great. It was really cool that she invited me to come up onstage, especially with Chris Rock and Matt LeBlanc. It was just really fortunate.
We saw your World Series post on Instagram and how you said it was a dream come true. Can you tell us about your love for baseball?
Oh yeah… I’ve been playing since I was 4 years old in Adams Park. Tee-ball since I was 4. I just grew up with it my entire life. I grew up a huge Braves fan. The Braves were incredible. They were a powerhouse. My dad was always my coach. It was a really fun family activity but also I met a lot of people through it. I was really, really lucky to have that experience growing up in Georgia.
Do you still get the chance to play?
Baseball? Well if I did, I’d be horrible. It’s been so long. I did play a coed softball league and pulled my leg. Like three months ago. Literally, I pulled my quad in a coed softball league running to first base. So I don’t think… I think my baseball dreams are over now.
What song have you been singing in the shower these days?
Can we get a…?
No. Not gonna happen. That Adele “Hello” is… it’s pretty catchy. I’m not gonna lie.
Since you shot your summer campaign today, here’s a quick summer quiz:
Favorite summer activity?
That’s a really hard question. There’s so many activities during the summer.
What do you like doing?
Wait, where? Like, am I in the summer in New York? Or am I in the summer in LA? Or am I in the summer in Georgia?
Up to you.
It’s up to you. You’re asking the questions.
Okay, fine, one each.
One each… In Georgia, wakeboarding. In New York, probably down by the South Street Seaport. In LA, the beach in Manhattan Beach.
Favorite thing to wear when it’s hot?
A tank top.
Favorite way to cool down?
Favorite cold treat?
Um… I’d have to go with iced water.
What do you love the most about summer?
And you like that?
I do. I do.
What’s one thing that would surprise fans about you?
I don’t know. This is a hard one. No, I’m not gonna tell them I play piano. I’ve been playing a day. A day. I just got a piano. It’s been one day I’ve been playing. They’re gonna be, “Let’s hear piano.” And I’m going to be able to play only one song.
Yeah, “Hello.” That’s what I learned! But what would surprise everyone? I used to run track and field in high school? I did the long jump.
Were you good at it?
I was so good that they didn’t want me back the next year.
If you can only follow one person on Instagram, who would you follow?
My little sister. Because she just became a mother and I have this gorgeous little niece, Lydia, and so her Instagram feed lets me, when I’m traveling, get to see my niece.
What kind of uncle do you think you’d be?
Well, right now, a bad one because I haven’t seen her that much. But I think I’m gonna be a great uncle. I’m gonna see her in Thanksgiving. Oh, I hope I’m gonna be a good uncle. She’s too young to even know if I’m a good or bad uncle. So I got a couple more months before she starts realizing if I’m good or bad.
Are you spending Thanksgiving in Georgia?
Yes. I’m gonna spend it with my family.
What are three things that you absolutely have to do? Three things on your bucket list?
I wanna jump out of a plane.
With a parachute, I hope.
Yeah, with a parachute. No. Just. See what happens? Yeah, I wanna skydive but I’m afraid of heights so… It’s gonna be the last one on my bucket list, I think. Uh, I’ve been to six continents, I wanna go to the seventh. It’s a cold one, let’s put it that way. What else would I like to do? I’d like to see the Seven Wonders of the Old World. I think that would be pretty cool, like the Great Wall of China… I can go to the Babylon. Haven’t seen them.
What are songs that you can’t stop listening to now?
Obviously, “Hello” by Adele.
It’s a theme. Is there anything you want to say to your Filipino fans?
Yes. Thank you. Thank you so much for supporting me. Buy lots of Penshoppe. Lots and lots of Penshoppe. It will make me and the Liu family very, very happy.