Anthony Catanzaro-Professional Fitness and Motivational Trainer, and Cover Model.
The Reading Cafe would like to welcome Anthony Catanzaro.
Hi Anthony 🙂 Thank you for allowing us to interview you about your life and career. As administrators and contributors, as well as avid readers, we are always happy to learn about the man behind the romance/book covers. We are pleased to chat with the cover model for G A Aiken’s—Last Dragon Standing (one of our favorite authors).
TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself ‘growing up”?
AC: I come from a strict Italian family born and raised in Bayshore, New York. I have 4 sisters and one brother we all lived in a small house and as a kid, I used to share my bedroom with brother who was fifteen years older than me. It was pretty funny we had bunk beds and I was the top bunk. Times were simple back then my mom was a really great cook and my dad was a fisherman. I never knew what direction I was going in life but I knew I was destined for greatness somehow. When I turned fifteen, most of my siblings had already moved out. So I turned one of the spare bedrooms in my house into a workout room. I then found my love for lifting weights. Soon after that, I began a career as a fitness model and then got into romance modeling as well.
TRC: You are from a large Italian family, with close ties to your God and religion. You ‘quote’ God and ‘faith’ in almost every aspect of your professional life. Would you tell us about your connection to your faith?
AC: When I was growing up there was this statue of Jesus that was on the shelf in my room. I never really knew how it got there or why it was there, but I looked at that statue as one of my friends. I would pray to it when I was nervous or worried about something and it just seemed to always help me just like a good friend would. I think that was the beginning of my relationship with God. I’ve always said I’m not a religious person, but I am a very spiritual person
TRC: Several websites tell of your foray into the world of physical fitness as a teen. Would you please tell us about how you got started with training?
AC: Yes everyone knows I started at 15 and my heroes back then were WWF stars like Hulk Hogan and Randy Macho Man Savage. But what some people might not know is the person who got me into working out was my sister Francine’s husband at that time. His name was Louie and he was a really nice guy he used to take me to Madison Square Garden to watch my hero’s live in action, and I used to workout with him sometimes as well. So he really is the one that influenced me the most back then.
TRC: You have your own training studio in Ozone Park, NY–Tony’s Fitness Studio–. What prompted you to build your own studio? How long has the business been in operation? And do you –personally– oversee many of the training sessions?
AC: Yes I’m the only personal trainer at my studio. It’s a small private studio and its one on one so I deal with all the clientele personally. And they love the fact that they can come to me as their resource for good health and well being. I love what I do and started this business to help people understand the truth and meaning behind getting in shape and staying in shape.
TRC: You have been on the cover of many fitness magazines as well as in advertisements. But THE READING CAFÉ members know Anthony Catanzaro as a cover model for several romance novels, including G A Aiken’s LAST DRAGON STANDING and Terry McLaughlin’s A PERFECT STRANGER. How and when did you first get started in the world of romance covers?
AC: I starred in the Reality TV show called “Mr. Romance.” I was chosen as one of 12 guys to live together in a mansion in Hollywood, California to compete in a pageant to see who would win the title of Mr. Romance. Although I didn’t win the show, I was awarded a contract for modeling for many romance covers soon after.
TRC: Do you know on how many covers that you have been featured?
TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and romance covers. But the popularity of the paranormal, fantasy and romance novels have been skyrocketing in the last few years. What is your opinion about the recent upswing and popularity of the ‘romance cover model’?
AC: I think I came in on the very end of the masculine type novels like the Fabio type ones. Now the covers are more geared toward the woman being in control. I think that caters to the reader and whatever the reader wants to read they will supply the stories and then choose the model to best fit the story line.
TRC: Nude photography can be a touchy subject with many models and actors. What is your opinion about nude photography and what would you tell the young and new models, just venturing into the world of modeling?
AC: I have nothing against nude modeling. I think the human body is beautiful and if presented in an artistic way, there’s nothing wrong with it. I have posed nude I think you only live once and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of being nude as long as it’s tasteful.
AC: I’ve done many things to date and still continue to do so but what my true passion is above all is inspiring and motivating people to feel better and get the most of life by taking care of their mental and physical health. I was always searching for my true purpose for years until one day I woke up and said it’s been there all along.
TRC: Would you tell us about the love of your life—Tina?
AC: I met Tina back in November of 1993 I was 22 years old. My mothers had just died from cancer and it was a very rough time for me. I met Tina a couple of months later. My mother always told me when one door closes one will open for me. I never really understood that until I met Tina. I truly feel that she was sent to me from my mom.
TRC: Is your wife involved in any aspect of your professional career?
AC: Yes my wife works and helps manage my career by being my manager. She works along side agents and helps me with booking, travel arrangements, media, etc, she also models with me in my romance shoot many times.
TRC: You are a contributing editor for fitness modeling and healthy eating at the Tracy James-New York Modeling Network. How did you get involved with the modeling network?
AC: Yes I write articles and answer questions for them. The site is still under development but is a great source of information for people looking to get into the modeling business.
TRC: What is your actual job outline with the NY Modeling Network?
AC: I write articles and answer questions that are related to health and fitness.
TRC: The last time we talked with Tracy, the New York Modeling Network, was just getting off the ground. The site was slowly building and he was looking at mentoring some young talent. Would you tell us how the Network is currently doing?
AC: Tracy is a great guy we’ve known each other for a long time, I’m not quite sure were he’s at right now with the site but I know once the site is completed it will draw a lot of attention from people all over the world.
TRC: What are you doing today? What is up-coming for Anthony Catanzaro?
AC: This week I’m flying to Florida to shoot PLAYGIRL magazine again, then I’m flying to Arizona later in the week to host a fundraiser. I’m also redesigning my website www.anthonycatanzaro.com and have many photo shoots and TV appearances coming up. My latest TV appearance is for the CMT network called “The Bayou Billionaires” which airs every Saturday night at 9pm eastern time on CMT network.
TRC: Superman—explain the significance of the nickname?
AC: Well they call me the Superman of fitness I guess because I look like Clark Kent and I help people all over the world regarding fitness. There’s so much information out there about getting in shape so many scams and promising information, but I’m here to lay down the truth about fitness and help save not just the day but their lives.
TRC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
AC: I like to tell all my friends and fans out there that I love them and I’m happy to be able to inspire them and motivate them. I’m glad to have this positive effect on every one of them Thank you and God Bless!
Favorite Food: Grilled chicken
Favorite Dessert: Pumpkin pie
Favorite TV Show: Twilight Zone
Favorite Movie: Rocky
Last Movie that you saw: Rocky Balboa 2006 LOL!
Last book that you read: everything from Joel Osteen
Boxers, Briefs or Commando: (we always ask) Commando
Do you have any pets: Yes a little beagle named Tiny
Favorite type of car: Cadillac
Last vacation destination: ARUBA
Dark or Milk Chocolate: both
Anthony, we would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. You are an amazing man, in love with your wife and your God. WE wish you the best of luck and keep us informed about your career.
Click here for Anthony’s website: Anthony Catanzaro