MEET & GREET WITH WOODY COOK AT PRM words Andrea Ward - interview, photography and fashion Filipe Phitzgerard - grooming Shamirah Sairally - editorial assistance Daniel Jackson
As we start the year with fresh hopes and expectations, we also start a new pursuit for the next big model in the fashion industry, and with a lot of beautiful new faces being unveiled this season, it can be quite a challenge picking those you believe are the promise of a new era in modeling. In the spirit of freshness and newness, we have met with someone we believe fits the bill when it comes to "new-fresh-and-cool". Woody Cook is the seventeen-year-old Brighton born and raised offspring of the globally famous Dj, Fatboy Slim and British TV and Radio personality, Zoe Ball.
Although raised surrounded by the limelight, Woody is your average teenage boy. He has been under the radar for all these years until he was recently discovered in Brighton by one of PRM's scouts. We had the privilege of meeting this young lad and, for our pleasure, found him to be an absolute delight. He is fun, outspoken yet very clever for his own age with a donw-to-Earth and cadid perspective of the world and his very own dreams that make him someone to be watched closely as he ventures into this new world of modeling.
Filipe Phitzgerard: Tell me a bit about Brighton; how is it growing up and living there? Woody Cook: It's awesome. Everyone is so cool and kind of knows each other and yet Brighton isn't a small place. It's quite a big city and there is always something going on. It's a very “viby” place to be and I like it because it is outside of London and yet close enough to London.
F.P: You mentioned earlier that you come to London when you want to do some shopping as well. W.C: Oh yeah. But not really that often. Brighton is better in terms of shopping.
F.P: Do you come to London a lot? W.C: Hmm. I have been coming more now because of modelling but besides that not really.
F.P: Really? W.C: Yes. For vintage stuff is much better even though it is a more expensive place. If you go to the Lanes in Brighton is really expensive.
F.P: So are you more into the vintage stuff then? W.C: Kind of. I like to mix the new stuff with the vintage. If I am going for something more contemporary I tend to buy plain stuff and then with the vintage I love the 90's stuff with more colour and character. Mixing and matching is something I really enjoy doing.
F.P: That's cool. Do you have a favourite contemporary brand and then a vintage one? W.C: Palace is my favourite contemporary and 90's Adidas. But I like the real vintage that you know it's been worn and it's authentic.
F.P: What is your favourite place to get your pieces? W.C: To Be Worn Again in Brighton or Depop.
F.P: And do you resell your stuff? W.C: Nah. [Laughs] I am a clothes hoarder. I don't throw stuff away and I like keeping them for a long time. Which is kind of bad because then I end up with a lot of clothes pilled up.
F.P: So tell me about the modelling venture. How did you get into it? W.C: I used to work at Laser-zone. I had just finished work and was going out with some mates. The day was beautiful and warm and the plan was to go to the beach and have some fun with them. I had my headphones on and was walking down the street when someone grabbed my arm. I was instantly like “Wow. I don't want to buy what you are selling or don't want to join your religion” it was one of those moments [Laughs]. It was a scout from PRM in London and she said, “Oh, have you ever thought about being a model?” So we had a chat and I came down to London to meet the guys at the agency and started there.
Woody wears jacket and biker trousers REPRESENT; socks TOPMAN; sneakers NIKE
F.P: How were your parents when you told them you were going into modelling? W.C: They were really fine about it and excited. They gave me advice like not to sign things without reading them thirty times and other standard useful tips but they were very supportive.
F.P: Had you ever thought about modelling before that day? W.C: No, not at all. I had never thought about it. [Giggles]
F.P: Did any of your friends ever say you should become a model? W.C: One of my friends' mum said I could do modelling but you know, I never took it that seriously because I didn't think about it. Another time I was at a party with my parents and this random person comes to me and say “Are you a model?” and I said no, then he said “Oh you should do modelling. You have that unconventional beauty.” and I was thinking “Well...thanks” but like really awkward because I didn't know that was a thing. If they had come to me and said I looked like Leonardo DiCaprio it would've made more sense to me.
F.P: Yes. The “unconventional beauty” is definitely a thing. How has it been since you started? W.C: It's been great. I have been going to new places and meeting new people. And I kinda feel like I am doing something with my life but at the same time I really enjoy it and don't stress out too much.
F.P: You mentioned earlier that you want to pursue acting. Where does that come from? W.C: I mean, I have always been into that sort of stuff; from a young age doing puppet shows and things like that and I always felt like I wanted to entertain people. I could never do a desk job. I think I have the personality for the entertainment business and I really see myself doing it.
F.P: Do you think that is something that is running in your blood, considering both your parents are in the limelight and are entertainers? W.C: [Giggles] I feel really blessed because I have the opportunity to pursue it and have parents who know how the industry works and can advise and support me. They give me advice and tell me about how to behave and where to start. They try their best to keep me away from the limelight because it can be quite stressful and they always tell me the truth about the industry and its challenges.
Woody wears corduroy jacket URBAN OUTFITTERS; shirt BASIC RIGHTS
F.P: Would you say that keeps you grounded and shows you how to do things in a sustainable way? W.C: Yes. Definitely. They tell me that the best way to enter this industry and have stability is by building your career from the ground-up and to stay humble.
F.P: What is the goal then; TV or movies? W.C: I think TV would be my thing. I feel like I am open to do anything and jump around and try things until I find that one genre or style I really enjoy and love. I try to be realistic about it and keep my options open because acting might not work and I might find out that I like directing or something. Things can just change at any time and I think as I start studying it I might realise I want to do something else rather than acting. Who knows?
F.P: That's really smart and a very mature way to approach it. What are your personal favourite movies? W.C: The Breakfast Club – it's a classic – Moonlight which is a more recent one and No Country for Old Man. I'm actually studyin that one at the moment.
F.P: And your plan is to go to University right? What do you want to study? W.C: I want to do acting and drama; hopefully.
F.P: Besides the modelling now and the plans for university, what else have you been doing? W.C: I spend a lot of time with my friends, which is great, I really love spending time with them and just hanging out. I am exercising as well but nothing too crazy. I want to be lean but not big and monstrous. I feel like everything is where I want it to be and the abs are what I am working on at the moment.
F.P: Are you quite healthy? W.C: Yes. Apart from when I go out-out, I am quite healthy. I don't drink fizzy drinks and stuff like that. I used to be quite chubby before and then I started growing and changed my routine. I used to eat a bowl of sugary cereal before going to bed and now I don't do that anymore. I stopped with the fizzy drinks and other sweet stuff.
Woody wears corduroy jacket and trousers URBAN OUTFITTERS; shirt BASIC RIGHTS; sneakers CAT
F.P: Have you got any idols? W.C: Donald Glover. Just because he is so effortlessly himself. He is such a powerful and outspoken person and yet silly sometimes. He's just himself and he doesn't let the fame get him. And he is so creative as well like doing movies and music and art it's just a great example of someone who is talented and authentic.
F.P: How is your relationship with your parents? W.C: It's really great and I learn a lot from them. Like with my dad, for example, I look at him and I see someone who has made a good life for himself and is just a cool guy. His life and story have a lot to teach me how to do things right.
F.P: It's so great to hear that. He does have that cool vibe of someone who would be a delight to be around. W.C: Yes. He does what he does because he loves it and he doesn't have to pretend because he is just very down-to-Earth.
F.P: Is it weird for you to hear people talking about your parents or coming to them to ask for an autograph or something? W.C: Not really. I am used to it and for me, they're just my parents. [Giggles]
F.P: And I am sure you've seen your dad playing live, right? W.C: Yes. Many times.
F.P: He has some of the most classic tracks of all times. W.C: Yes, he does. And they are even more iconic to me because I hear them all the time. It is funny because very often when I go out with my friends the Djs always play one of dad's songs and all my friends turn to me and start pointing and reminding me that that's one of my dad's. It's funny and at the same time I feel really proud of him and to have that kind of experiences. Even when I turn seventy I think I will feel the same way. It's always gonna be cool.
Woody wears jacket REPRESENT
F.P: And how is it with your mom?
W.C: My mom is great. She's just this really cool and down-to-Earth mom and she has accomplished a lot through her work. It's great to have her as a role model and someone who is just cool and fun to be around. She also gives me a lot of advice and keeps me in check, as well as taking me shopping. [Giggles]
F.P: That is so awesome. Okay, let's do a quick-fire round. W.C: Let's do it!
F.P: Best food in the world: W.C: Pizza.
F.P: Worst food in the world: W.C: Mussels.
F.P: Something you cannot live without: W.C: Festivals.
F.P: Something you can totally live without: W.C: Heavy Metal.
F.P: Dream place to go: W.C: Japan.
Woody wears sweater URBAN OUTFITTERS
F.P: The Best place you've been: W.C: Ibiza hands down.
F.P: Indian or Thai? W.C: Thai.
F.P: How would you burn a million pounds if you were giving it? W.C: Parties. [laughs]
F.P: A wish for the world: W.C: More acceptance.
F.P: Favourite F-word: W.C: Fiasco!
Woody wears striped sweater URBAN OUTFITTERS; trousers UNDERAGE; trench coat LOUIS GABRIEL NOUCHI