JAMES J. RIZZO – Cover Model Interview
It gives THE READING CAFE the great pleasure to introduce cover model and fitness expert James J. Rizzo.
TRC: Hi James. Thank you very much for taking the time to help us with the interview. For those who do not know, you flew onto our radar with the mistaken identity as the cover model for Jeaniene Frost’s—Once Burned. The Reading Cafe notified Jeaniene about the error, and she has since corrected the information, but we are more than pleased to have you as today’s guest.
We will start with some STATS, and then onto the questions:
Birthplace: Wilmington DE
Eye Color: Blue
Marital Status: Single
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration w/concentration in Marketing
TRC: Please tell us a little about yourself, growing up.
JJR: I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. As an ONLY child growing up, this was difficult. My parents quickly became my BEST friends. I come from a very strict, old fashioned Italian family so much discipline was enforced! 🙂 My parents sent me to the best schools and insisted my education be done privately as opposed to public. They suggested I get involved in sports later on as a means to get out of my comfort zone and make new friends. I played varsity basketball and AA/Senior American baseball. This slowly transformed my confidence and created hobbies I believed in, but I still felt like an outcast in parochial school through early parts of high school because of my physical appearance.
TRC: As a child, did your parents encourage you with your personal goals?
JJR: As a child, my parents raised me with tremendous love and teaching right from wrong but my Grandfather became my mentor and life coach. I felt much more comfortable coming to him with my concerns and dilemmas because the wisdom he shared was priceless!
TRC: WE have read, that you were teased as a child because of your appearance. And you were determined to make changes in your life. How did this affect your childhood and your career today?
JJR: Yes, It was very challenging growing up and being excepted because I was looked at like an outcast. I was tall for my age, lanky, and since I had my father’s eye site, I had a very bad astigmatism causing me to be near sited. As a result, I had to wear thick glasses, which made me very self-conscious.
I took up exercise as a hobby in a neighborhood friend’s basement. From that moment on I knew it would be apart of my life forever because it became my addiction. This time-line from age 11 – present has transformed my life and the lives of others by being the fitness expert I am today. I am a successful entrepreneur, fitness model and up and coming actor in NYC. This ALL stems from having strict discipline and incredible will power.
JJR: Being a personal trainer is not earning a paycheck by telling people what to do. It’s relating yourself to their situations of being self-conscious of managing their weight, disability, or terminal disease (ex. diabetes.) I have had to get clients ready for they’re wedding day or rehab. an injury they sustained. The biggest pressure of the trainer is TIME SENSITIVITY! My background and life story Is how I relate to each individuals’ need. My background allows me to relate both physically and emotionally.
A clear example of a client success story is when I worked at my first gym in NY at Equinox. I had a client named Cindy, whom you can find her testimonial on my web-site. I transformed her life inside/out and she was asked to give a presentation on her success since she was nominated most improved member in the entire gym. This was quite an honor for the both of us and today she is like family!
TRC: Take us through YOUR daily regimen for working out and diet.
JRR: My daily regimen consists of a healthy breakfast, which I consider to be the most important meal because it jump-starts my day! My breakfast, lunch, and dinner consists of a high protein diet. I love meat! (lol)
My workouts consists of a brief warm-up of calisthenics-box jumps or rowing, jump-rope, and even boxing, mixing it up on different days to keep the body guessing so to speak. I then tackle my abs for about 15-20min.-every day since they require lots of stimulus. Finally I go into my main workout routine such as chest, back, and legs depending on the day. I concentrate on higher repetitions when performing weights to keep my body lean and less bulky. In the acting and modeling world, this is key!
TRC: You have now ventured into acting and modeling.. Can you tell us about your most recent television appearances?
JRR: Yes, I had recently filmed a scene with Sonja Morgan on “THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY,” which is hopefully coming out soon. I made a house-call with a NY Veterinarian and I act as her assistant. It was a pretty funny scene-don’t wanna give too much away!:)
(Pictured: James with Katherine Heigl at the premier of her movie: ONE FOR THE MONEY
TRC: AS a cover model, you recently appeared on The Norse King’s Daughter by Sandra HIll and When Passion Rules by Johanna Lindsey. Can you tell us about your modeling shoot for these particular covers?
JRR: These covers were entirely different in the sense of photography is concerned.
In the shoot for “The Norse King’s Daughter” I had to get very intimate and in-touch with my feelings with the female model. It felt almost I had a direct connection with her like the movie-“The Princess Bride” and the theme of “TRUE LOVE” 🙂
In the novel “When Passion Rules” by Johanna Lindsey, I played a Sailor/Captain of a ship. I felt a strong leadership presence all throughout filming.
TRC: Have you ever refused an assignment and why?
JRR: In this business, people will always see how far you will go. It’s especially important to remain reputation worthy I always say. On Model Mayhem you turn down a lot of jobs- haha.
TRC: Many models refuse to pose NUDE, but there are several of your pictures that run close to the line and beyond. What is your opinion about nude photography ?
TRC: What would you tell a new and younger model, about posing for nude pictures?
JRR: I would tell them to ALWAYS keep their reputation in mind!
TRC: Have you ever considered writing a book about personal fitness training?
JRR: Yes, I was thinking of writing more of a motivational book with fitness and life lessons as its main focus. In the meantime, I have been asked to be featured in a former colleague’s book as a contributing writer.
TRC: Is there an assignment you would have liked but didn’t get? Is there someone you would like to work with, but haven’t ?
JRR: In this business, there is plenty of assignments you feel that you should have gotten but didn’t. I learned very quickly that it’s nothing personal. It could be any type of demographic for the reason you didn’t book the job. A good example is when I Iived in DE at the time and called out of work as an assistant manager because I got a call-back for a 50K chili’s national commercial. It ended up Evander Holyfield didn’t want to use a posse anymore so they threw it out-FRUSTRATING IS NOT THE WORD!!:)
I would love to work with Liam Neeson one day because I love his attitude and fighting spirit! He has such a commanding presence on the big-screen.
TRC: Tell us about your favorite assignment?
JRR: My favorite assignment was when I was crowned 2008 “King of the Bounce” for the new Adidas bounce technology they were adverting for their sneakers. This was a commercial and you-tube video showcasing a bunch of different characters. I’ll never forget, each character had their own scene but in the end they said we were going to face each other in a boxing ring down at Chelsea pier and that’s when my competitive side really came out! I ended up winning an extra grand for the shoot.
TRC: What are you doing today?
JRR: Today, I am concentrating on evolving myself more as an actor and model. Since I moved to Manhattan two years ago, my life is much more convenient. I am still contemplating making the big jump to the west- coast too.
TRC: WE found you on the WWW, when an author accidentally named you as her cover model. Many people have access to personal information. Do you think the WWW allows for too much information in the wrong hands?
JRR: Yes I do, but in this business especially, you are always going to be in the public eye.
TRC: Is there anything you would like to add? Something you would like us to know?
JRR: I would like to add my quote I recently made that sums up my thinking and is why I got to be where I am today! – “CONSTANTLY RE-INVENT YOURSELF, TAKE ON NEW CHALLENGES, AND FEAR NOTHING ALONG THE WAY!” (JAMES RIZZO)
Last movie that you saw:
Favorite TV show:
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Last book that you read:
THE ONLY INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU’LL EVER NEED
STEAK & LOBSTER
Dark or Milk Chocolate:
Boxers/ Briefs or Commando: (we always ask)
BOXER MOSTLY BUT COMMANDO ON THE WEEKENDS- LOL Comfort level changes! 🙂
Favorite Type of Car:
Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston:
JENNIFER ANISTON IN HORRIBLE BOSSES DEFINITELY! 🙂
Orange Juice or Apple Juice:
TRC: James, we would like to thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions.It has been a pleasure talking with you and we wish you all the best in your career.
JRR: Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks again for this opportunity!
You can find James at his website: James J. Rizzo
THE READING CAFE is offering a GIVEAWAY to one of our eligible members. A copy of Johanna Lindsey’s WHEN PASSION RULES-will be offered. James is the cover model for When Passion Rules. To be eligible for the giveaway:
1. You must be a member of THE READING CAFE website.
2. You MUST post a comment on James Rizzo Interview Post.
3. Between February 6 and February 12, 2012, all members who post a comment on the interview with James Rizzo, will be eligible for the giveaway. At the end of the posted dates, a name will be drawn from all of the eligible entries, and the winner will be notified.