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Bo Yokely Interview: Modeling, Marvel, and Upcoming Series ”Blue Ridge“

Bo Yokely, the Abercrombie & Fitch model-turned-actor, opens up about his journey from modelling to the cinema.

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Bo Yokely, photo courtesy of Bo Yokely
Bo Yokely, photo courtesy of Bo Yokely

Since his early days as an Abercrombie & Fitch model, Bo Yokely has embarked on an extraordinary journey, gracefully transitioning into a flourishing acting career that is now poised for the spotlight with the upcoming crime mystery Blue Ridge. In an exclusive conversation, we had the pleasure of delving into Bo’s beginnings, unraveling the story of how he made the leap from iconic modeling to the cinematic.

Best known for his role as coach Ken Nichols in Apple TV’s Swagger and has previously starred in films like Lifetime’s Secret Lives of Housewives, Switched Before Birth, the Ponysitters Club films, romance novel-turned-film After the Storm and Tubi original Gridiron Grind. He was also featured in Luke Comb’s music video “The Kind of Love We Make” and will next appear as the supporting role of James Brown in Tosca Musk‘s adaptation of the romantic comedy novel Wallbanger for Passionflix.

Beyond his acting prowess, Bo is a dedicated advocate for the “Not Alone Foundation,” which offers research, education, and financial assistance for those in need of help while on dialysis.

How did you get into acting and modelling?

Bo Yokely: “I have been modeling since I was 18.  I was actually scouted originally because I was one of those shirtless Abercrombie & Fitch models in the early 2000’s. Since that time I was modeling full time until one day my agent asked if I had any interest in being on a Marvel movie set as a small role in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” to which I said of course. I’d be crazy to say no. I had minored in theater in college and had always dreamt of acting but had no real inroad or connections to that world. After that experience, I knew acting was a calling that I had been missing and have been fortunate enough to pursue this career ever since.”

You’ve played a wide range of roles in TV series like “Swagger” and the crime mystery series “Blue Ridge.” How do you approach preparing for different characters, and do you have a favourite role so far?

“Each character is different from another. My prep is also different based on what character I am going to be playing. One role might require me to be more in character on and off set than another character. The first thing I will do is to try to find the voice of the character I’m playing. The tone, and pacing of the voice is very important to finding an authentic charter. Music really helps me find a character as well. I will try to create a playlist for each character and listen to that leading up to the shoot and before specific scenes if need be. I wouldn’t say I use a specific technique, but more of a combination of each technique I’ve studied. No, I do not have a favorite role to be honest. I kind of enjoy not having a favorite so i don’t try to force a repeated performance in the subsequent role I may do.”

Bo Yokely

Is there a specific genre or type of project you’re particularly interested in exploring in the future?

“I am a huge fan of historical epics. Films like Gladiator, Braveheart, 300, and Troy all kind of shaped my youth and inspired me more than almost anything else in my life. To be a part of those types of films one day is definitely the goal and what i’m moving into.”

Congratulations on receiving the prestigious Diamond Award from the “Not Alone Foundation” for your philanthropic efforts. Can you share more about your involvement with the foundation and what receiving this award means to you?

“For sure. I was beyond ecstatic to hear that I received the 2024 Diamond Award for Actor of the Year for the film Gridiron Grind and my role of Coach Peterson. It is such an honor and a special thanks to Mark Dodd, the founder of Not Alone Foundation for recognizing me. The Not Alone Foundation is a non-profit based in Atlanta dedicated to providing transportation, financial assistance, educational and medical resources for Chronic Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Disease patients and their families. These issues are near and dear to my heart and with this foundation we are drawing awareness to all the many people who suffer from these diseases, but also providing tools and funding for those in need.”

Looking back at your journey in the entertainment industry, what advice would you give to aspiring actors?

“I always tell people to have a thick skin, a short memory, and a clear vision of what you are willing to sacrifice to make it work.”

In your creative process as an actor, what are some key sources of inspiration that fuel your performances? Whether it’s specific artists, experiences, or forms of art, how do these inspirations shape the characters you bring to life on screen?

“Without a doubt music is a huge source of inspiration for me. In character development, but also in motivation to keep going. I also really focus more on great directors and their work as an inspiration for my work. Don’t get me wrong, I love great actors and I have a list of dream collaborators, but film is a director’s medium, so in order to put in the best work I can, I want to study great directors’ films and how they will make such clear and distinct choices while filming. Directors like Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Michael Mann, and Guy Ritchie are my biggest inspirations for film acting. They seem to be able to make magic with anyone they work with so it seems they are the magicians behind the veil.”

Bo Yokely in Country Roads Christmas

Bo Yokely in Country Roads Christmas

When reflecting on your recent work, is there a particular aspect of the production process that stood out to you and you’d like to acknowledge?

“I am always in astonishment at casting directors and how they are able to paint a picture with their casting choices that are so out of the box and creative. Casting directors like Feldstein/ Paris, the Fincannons , and Erica Arvold make the Southeast stand out time and again with presenting somewhat unknown actors to massive projects that propel not only the actor, but the region as a whole. I’ve been so fortunate to be in an area where casting directors like these will give opportunities to perform at the highest levels. They do not get near enough credit as far as I can see it.”

When you’re not in front of the camera, what activities or hobbies do you enjoy? Whether it’s a favourite pastime, a place you love to visit, or any particular interests, we’d love to know more about the person behind the actor. What brings you joy and fulfillment outside of your acting career?

“I am a family man. Put me in my bed with my beautiful wife, my two angel daughters and my puppies with a great movie on tv and I am a happy man. I love working out and sparring. I was a fighter for years in boxing and kickboxing, and still train several times a week. I also try to watch a film a day. But new 2 year old and 7 month old eat up all the extra time I have throughout the day and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Culture

Max & Iggor Cavalera’s Blood Brothers Coffee Available Soon

Legendary metal brothers Max & Iggor Cavalera bring you a taste of home from the coffee bloodline buried deep within the sacrificial soil.

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Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee
Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

The Tribe has spoken! Arise from the grave and drink from the lifeblood! Legendary metal brothers Max & Iggor Cavalera have gone back to their roots to bring you a taste of home from the bloodline buried deep within the sacrificial soil. Dubbed the world’s “bloodiest” coffee, this coffee lives up to its reputation as the heaviest of the Brazilian Legenders, with its deep, rich notes that will thump and chug your heart right out of your chest!

This bone-breaking brew was handpicked by the Cavalera Tribe themselves to inspire generations of headbangers to come. So, take your place on the totem around the tribal fires, and drink from the sacrificial lifeblood today, and experience an intense, immersive coffee experience like no other!

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Nitro Cold Can Brew

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Nitro Cold Can Brew

Concept Cafes tell us:

“Collaborating with the Tribe, we wanted to accomplish two things with ‘Blood Brothers’…: 1) further push the initiative that Metal has a place in the coffee world beyond the burnt leftovers from the factory floor & 2) share the often overlooked, yet some of the best coffee in the world, that comes out of Brazil. The collective challenge was how do you package 40 years of legacy from such an influential & integral part of Metal history into a bag/can of coffee…? Furthermore, how do you represent Brazilian culture, and most importantly, how do you humbly present the best offering to metalheads around the world? But Max & Iggor, and the rest of the Cavalera Tribe, actually made it pretty easy for us once we started working with them. When you see the level of passion & devotion they have for the music and touring for the fans, it really is awe-inspiring; so everything kinda just started to come together on this project ‘organically’. Marina (Concept’s head artist) & I had the initial idea that if we could make everything organic enough to pay tribute to Max’s love for camo, we might just pull this off. How’d we do…? LOL”

Max & Iggor’s “Blood Brothers” coffee was a semifinalist in the coffee industry’s prestigious 2023 Sprudgie Awards (the equivalent of the Grammys in the coffee world).

You can pre-order Max & Iggor Cavalera’s Official ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Cold Nitro Brew Cans available in espresso, non-dairy latte & flavoured latte versions here.

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

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Culture

Salah Bachir Publishes Titillating Memoir ‘First To Leave The Party’

Salah Bachir recently released his titillating memoir, ‘First To Leave The Party,’ offering intimate details about the rich and famous and Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.

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Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel
Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

Author, entrepreneur, art collector, movie industry insider, and philanthropist Salah Bachir recently released his memoir, First To Leave The Party: My Life with Ordinary People…Who Happen to be Famous, a collection of stories revealing his joie de vivre, his love of human interaction, and his altruism.

After immigrating to Canada from Lebanon in the 1960s, Bachir started Videomania, Canada’s first video magazine, followed by establishing Premiere, a trade publication for video distributors and retailers.

For more than a decade and a half, Bachir was the president of Cineplex Media and boss of Cineplex Magazine, Canada’s wildly popular and widely read magazine, serving more than four million readers per issue.

Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

A fixture in the world of film for decades, Bachir naturally met Hollywood’s superstars. Yet what sets him apart is his charisma, compassion, his personal style – chic hats, diamonds, pearls, brooches, and elegant scarves – and his full-blown zest for life and people.

First To Leave The Party recounts his relationships with a literal who’s who of Hollywood: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Albee, Orson Welles, Aretha Franklin, Norman Jewison, and Elizabeth Taylor — although it’s true that Katharine Hepburn once turned him down, very nicely.

There are also stories about Marlon Brando, Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, Princess Margaret, Sean Connery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Doris Day.

Co-written with film critic Jami Bernard of the New York Post and Daily News, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the LGBTQ+ rights program at Human Rights Watch.

Salah Bachir ‘First To Leave The Party’ book cover

Salah Bachir ‘First To Leave The Party’ book cover

Featured in numerous publications, including The Globe & Mail, Playback Magazine, Dolce, and Toronto Life, Bachir has received five honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, York University, OCAD University, and Wilfrid Laurier University in recognition of his business expertise and philanthropic work.

Along with a long list of deserved awards, Bachir, because of his entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy of the arts and social justice, is a member of the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, as well as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and two-time Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade.

The stories related in First To Leave The Party not only provide a parade of intimate detail about the lives of the rich and famous, the entertainment industry’s elite, but also bare Salah Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.

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Culture

Koodo is Stacking the Savings for Canadians with “Happy Stack”

Koodo stacks savings for Canadians by introducing Happy Stack, offering customers mobile, wifi, and entertainment at a $99 per month rate.

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Koodo logo
Koodo logo

Koodo is stacking the savings for Canadians by introducing its new Happy Stack, offering customers mobility, home internet and entertainment in one affordable package starting at $99 per month. For the first time ever, new and existing Koodo customers in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec can stack all three services at an unbeatable value, with monthly savings of up to 23 percent. After a successful pilot program in the Fall of 2023, Koodo Internet is now available to more than 7 million homes across Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, offering more Canadians access to unlimited home internet with no throttling or data overage charges.

Dwayne Benefield, Chief Product Officer at TELUS, comments:

“Happy Stack is the answer to today’s unpredictable economic climate. It combines reliable mobile service, dependable high-speed internet, and the best streaming entertainment at a value Canadians can’t find anywhere else. Our value-minded customers want to invest wisely in a practical, comprehensive connectivity and entertainment package, without sacrificing top-tier quality, and we’re proud to deliver that only at Koodo.”

Powered by Koodo’s award-winning network, and digital-first customer service, Happy Stack bundles together:

  • Pick Your Perk mobility rate plans
  • Fast and reliable unlimited high-speed home internet
  • The ultimate entertainment experience with the new Stream+, featuring three of Canada’s most popular streaming services, Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video

Happy Stack also gives new and existing Koodo customers the flexibility to upgrade their Koodo mobility, home internet and entertainment plan for the ultimate value. This includes a wide range of mobility plans with up to 5G speeds and perk options like Unlimited Data, home internet with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps where available, and Stream+ Premium.

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