Brandon Mills

Born in a Pennsylvania trailer park, Mills was raised by a single mom, moving frequently until they wound up in a rundown area of Vancouver. He describes the relationship as “tumultuous,” and the finances “difficult.” By age 14 he moved out.

In the years that followed Mills relocated to Calgary and immersed himself in martial arts; a lifestyle that despite its combative nature, still helps him find peace today. It was a violent course however, that soon led to the jungles of Thailand, where he spent twelve hours a day kicking banana trees to build strength and stamina. To support himself, he fought. The Muay Thai career ended abruptly however, when he crashed a motorcycle at 60 kph, wearing nothing but shorts. Badly hurt, he was taken to a jungle medical clinic where his leg became so seriously infected he nearly got gangrene. “Just by the grace of God,” he now recalls, “I found a gentlemen – a Thai doctor that owned a clinic – and he had trained in Canada for sports medicine. He analyzed the medicine I was using and told me it was fake.”

His success may have come quickly, but he wasn’t immediately at ease with his place in the industry. In the beginning, he says, he felt he had surrendered a lot of the power to control his destiny, instead placing it in the hands of bookers and casting directors with whom he had no connection. “The biggest adjustment had been going from that street mentality to model mentality and all the people that you interact with on that level. Without having the martial arts in my life it was very stressful for the first year. I didn’t really understand how to approach these people. I was borderline aggressive-assertive. Coming from a background where you’re the only one to take care of yourself, obviously there’s more on the line than just fun and games.

When I mention how calm he comes across, he – predictably, I suppose – answers in an even tone. “I remember Bruce Lee said he felt like an old soul in a young man’s body. That’s something I empathize with. Obviously having come through so many experiences in my life already, I just feel like I’ve lived multiple lifetimes already and have a wealth of experiences to look back on, and the bottom line, I’ve had everything happen to me.

“I realized I do have a very strong energy that, if it’s not in control, is going to make people nervous. I have tattoos all over my body, and when my head is shaved if I walk into some places feeling a little bit irritated – they’re already expecting someone a little bit intimidating – and if I come across like that people are going to expect me to be difficult to work with. “Now I walk in and people expect to see this hard, gangsta type of guy, and I always have a smile on my face, and I’m laughing and joking around. I think people respond really nicely to that. My success has just started to flourish because of that.”

Interview taken by Model Resource 2007

 

5 Comments

  1. […] Brandon Mills (idpm.me) Rate this:Share this:FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedInPrintRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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  2. Reblogged this on Mis Reblogs.

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  3. Amazing model & history !!!!!

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    • You’re right, his life story was amazing, it shows to prove that anyone can get out of the gutter where he was born and raised, and move on in life to become what he wants to become. We do not have a choice where we are born and raised. We have no choice in which family we belong, but what we have a choice on is what we do with our lives and who we become, despite our upbringing.

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  4. […] Brandon Mills (idpm.me) […]

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