He's it, baby: A talk with Victor Ward
By Christie Carnes
You get Victor Ward talking and there's no telling whether he will make an ounce of sense. But that's just Victor, and it's not as bad as it sounds.
In fact, when you look into his eyes, what he's saying ceases to matter. Everything ceases to matter.
This 27-year-old model/actor/"it-boy" has a way of captivating his interviewer without words — or, rather, despite his words. Maybe it's the eyes. Maybe it's the sly smile. Maybe it's the hip-hugging white leather pants by Versace.
Victor sits with his interviewer in the Korova Milk Bar in the East Village, oblivious to the mannequins with nipples placed around the room, oblivious to everything but his interviewer (or: an outlet to which he can speak of himself) and the blonde with implants sitting several chairs away.
"Flatliners II is a done deal, baby," Victor's saying. "I mean, I haven't 'officially' gotten word that the part is mine (he makes quote marks with his fingers) and I haven't signed any contracts, but there's no doubt that'll be my next big project."
He seems unfazed when I tell him I've heard Flatliners II has been shelved because funding fell through.
"You've got to roll with the punches to get what's real," is his response.
You may not know Victor Ward's name, but you've seen him. He's been in print ads for Gap, Todd Oldham, Calvin Klein (his underwear ads have caused a stir on par with the former Marky Mark's). He's in that new Snapple commercial. He's in the celebrity photo pages of every major magazine and newspaper, usually with an arm around supermodel girlfriend Chloe Byrnes.
"Chloe and me are like Sonny and Cher, like Donnie and Marie."
I point out as tactfully as possible that Sonny and Cher got a divorce, that Donnie and Marie are siblings.
"Man, I feel like a woman," he responds.
There has been a mild backlash toward Victor's success as a model, with some fashion industry types saying he's riding on his girlfriend's coattails.
"Baby, that is so untrue," Victor says. "We can't help it if we're the hippest couple right now. We're both successful, and I'm just really hurt by anyone who thinks I would take advantage of the situation I'm in, being Chloe's boyfriend. It's like, why don't people concentrate on helping the homeless or something instead of taking out their frustrations on a pair of incredibly beautiful people?"
But does Victor Ward do anything to help the homeless?
"Baby, you're so cool" is his only reply.
Fashion and flings aren't the only reason Victor's been in the public eye lately. Before he was model Victor Ward, he was Victor Johnson, son of Sen. Samuel Johnson, who's rumored to be contemplating a run for president in 2012. But his father seems to be a sore subject.
"That's off limits, baby. Have you had one of those lemon martinis at Spy Bar? Or the sorbet at Doppelgangers?"
Abandoning the possibility of getting more perspective on Victor's family life, the conversation turns to Invisible, the club Victor helped open in the city with jetsetter Damien Nutchs Ross. Despite a flurry of pre-opening hype and a star-studded opening night, the club was only open for three weeks.
"That was just, like, such a good thing that it couldn't possibly last, baby," Victor says. "You know, bands like the Beatles and the Doors didn't really last that long, but that didn't matter, did it?"
But three weeks?
"Time keeps on slippin' slippin' into the future."
It’s evident Victor won’t be forthcoming about any topic of a more serious or specific nature – did I just say “serious” in the same sentence as “Victor”? – so a last-ditch attempt is made to get him to offer more than one-line replies.
What’s Victor’s philosophy on life?
“Baby, I’m all about presence. Am I as big as I want to be? Of course not. You can always get bigger, appeal to more people, affect more lives, make more waves. And that’s exactly what I intend to do. I want to be everyone and everywhere, like, all at the same time. I want girls to be checking me out on a poster in Tokyo at the same time guys are buying underwear in L.A. because of my ads. I want to be in Milan at the same time I’m in London and Paris and New York and Berlin and Siberia. The globalization of Victor. Presence. And, baby … that’s … all … I’ve … got.”
Christie Carnes is a YouthQuake correspondent and is not a slut.