It takes a little more than height to stand out in the world, much less in Bench Universe. That something extra set Vince Ferraren apart when he attended a go-see for the big-ticket underwear show two years ago. With wisecracks and a warm demeanor, the Fil-Aussie’s personality shone as prominently as his six feet and four inches.
“Someone took my picture, posted it on the Internet, and it just blew up,” he says of what convinced the good people in marketing to make him an endorser for the brand. “I was modeling for a year and a half but until that Bench Universe go-see, I was never really noticed.”
Now on his second year with Bench and his second run as Oedipus in a local production of incest-for-the-ages play, Oedipus: The King, Vince shouldn’t have trouble staying in sight. With that towering charm, there was no way he’d linger behind the computer at his old I.T. job—and no way we won’t see the guy in the movies soon.
Kicking back by the pool, B/BLOG talked to the 24-year-old about sneaking into parties as a teen and learning Tagalog to get into showbiz. He even manages to disarm us with an OPM song or two.
What have you been up to, Vince?
Yesterday, we shot the back-to-school campaign for Bench. I finished doing my play, Oedipus the King, which we’re going to be doing it again. It’s a Greek methodology play about a king who had relations with his mother and killed his father. Other than that, I’ve been trying to work on my body but it’s been hard ‘cause I’ve been eating a lot of McDonald’s and cupcakes. I indulge.
How did you prepare to play the screwed-up king who screws his own mother?
It’s my first time acting. Three months in training, the director taught me how to feel, be sad, be angry, really let go. This play is almost two hours long and I’m up onstage for almost 90 percent of it so I have about 3,000 lines to say. So a lot of the preparation is learning the words to say and not getting it wrong (laughs). Anyone can act but to make it believable, the secret is to believe it yourself. But I’m not Oedipus in real life! (laughs) Although being a king isn’t that hard. Everyone wants to be a king of a kingdom.
Would you say you’re a mama’s boy?
Yeah, I’m the bunso. Mum spoiled my brother and I. There’s only two of us in the family. But if anything, we used to get the wooden spoon when we were younger. I’m not against that. If a child’s being an asshole, sometimes…
What sort of bad behavior did you get up to as a kid?
I was probably being a little smartass (laughs). Sorry, mom, forgive me.
Did you have to kick the Aussie accent for the play?
Actually, ang sabi ng director ko, ‘Vince, alam mo, you have boses pekpek.’ I think I’ve developed my voice over time so maybe it’s become more deep. He got me to see some voice coaches that teach you how to breathe properly. In Australia, we talk through our nose a lot so I wasn’t using my diaphragm.
How did you wind up here from Australia anyway?
I came here on vacation first in 2010. Friend of a friend said ‘Hey, you should try modeling.’ Same old story, I don’t want to bore you with that. So after a year and a half, I quit my job in I.T. and came back with the modeling contract in my hand. Can’t say I miss Australia too much. I miss my friends and family in Brisbane. I miss the steak there, obviously. I don’t really miss kangaroos or wombats. One thing I don’t miss are Hunstsman spiders. They’re as big as my hand and they’ll just crawl all over the house. I was on the computer once and one crawled over my laptop. I was like, ‘Are you okay there? Do you want me to run out?’ (Laughs)
What are some goals for the next year or two?
Sana magaling ako mag-Tagalog para pwedeng mag-movie, mag-artista, maging mayaman, bumili ng Lamborghini. Ah, one year pala? (Laughs) Manalo sa lottery ng 190-million.
Magaling ka mag-Tagalog, actually.
I’ve had tutors, I’ve bought books, I’ve watched movies and TV shows, radio, music, karaoke. I know a few songs.
Okay, what’s a go-to karaoke song?
Dati, Pusong Bato. Alam mo yun? [Starts singing ] ‘Di mo alam dahil sa ‘yo, ako’y ‘di makakain.’ I sung that on TV. It was bad. I was worse in Tagalog back then. And then I know Muli. It goes ‘Bakit ‘di pagbigyang muli ang ating pagmamahalan. Kung mawawala ka, ‘di ba sayang naman…’ (Laughs) I have karaoke at home, so paminsan-minsan nagkakaraoke ako.
Any summer plans?
I’d like to go to Boracay. My best friend from Australia is coming here and we’ll just let the sun and summer take us where we’re supposed to be.
When you were in I.T., did you have a lot of time to yourself?
15-hour days. But the people in I.T. are good people. I’m actually a pretty big nerd. I love playing computer games. I.T. guys are also problem solvers and if we can’t fix the problem of an iPhone, everyone hates you. There’s a lot of things you can’t fix on these things so it’s kind of stressful.
I’m wondering if there were any practical jokes you guys did to each other on computers.
Some people would mix up the letters on the keyboards—that would be really annoying. We would glue a person’s mouse to their desk. People would set off air fresheners and throw it into a room. And ‘cause they’re smart with the computer so they’d make programs. When you’d turn on the computer, stuff happens and porn would come up.
Any memorable summers of getting up to no good?
The more memorable stuff was during high school. I wasn’t that cool back in the day. There would be five of us and we would walk from one end of Brisbane City to the other trying to sneak into house parties. We’d jump over hedges, police would turn up, and things like that. Firstly, we’d have no car, no driver, none of that stuff. I was living on zero dollars a week, so I don’t know how we were drinking and things like that. I was just the guy who would sneak into a house party and hopefully get a girl.
When did your luck start to turn in the girl department?
Growth spurt, I imagine?
Yeah (laughs). That’s when I started eating a lot, working out a lot. When you get big, I guess you get girls. Not that I was that lucky, but I got better.
So was there ever that girl once out of your league who ended up a girlfriend?
No. That girl never liked me anyway (laughs). I think I kissed her and I would ask her to go on dates and stuff like that but it never happened. And I thought I was doing better with girls, doing my hair a lot, dressing better, but I just wasn’t cool enough. That’s okay. You gotta lose sometimes and just get back up (laughs).
I like that. All wisdom.
I have a small head but there are brains hidden in there.
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