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Up-and-coming model Ben Crofchick has been featured in numerous fashion campaigns, including one for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS collection. His newest (and most exciting) project is serving as the first regular Banker’s Assistant on the upcoming Deal or No Deal Island, premiering Monday, February 26 at 9:30/8:30c on NBC.
The iconic game of Deal or No Deal is back and unlike anything you have ever seen before. This new format transports 13 players to the elusive Banker’s private island, where he makes the rules, and there are twists behind every palm tree. Hidden on the island are over 100 briefcases worth over $200 million split between them, which players must compete to retrieve in thrilling challenges and mind-bending dilemmas. In each episode, the player up for elimination must play a high-stakes game of Deal or No Deal. At the end of the season, the last player standing will face the Banker to potentially win the biggest prize in the show’s history. Joe Manganiello serves as host.
We had the chance to speak to Ben about his modeling career, how he made it to Deal or No Deal Island, and what’s next for him in our exclusive interview.
First of all, congratulations on the Deal or No Deal. What was the casting process like?
It was interesting. I was actually in London, shooting for a company out there at the time. I received an email from my agent out of New York. And it was just a standard email that there was a casting video that they needed to be sent. Deal or No Deal was interested in me. So, I popped away for 10 minutes. I set my phone up. I did a one-take video, kind of just explaining myself, talking just like we are right now, and I sent it in. I truly didn’t really know too much about it. I got to hear something back that day about like maybe three or four hours later. I wasn’t even expecting to hear something so soon. And the next thing you know, I’m hopping on three more Zoom calls with the NBC team, the casting crew and I think about maybe a month later, I found out that I got the gig. It was a quick turnaround.
That’s great! How did you get your start in modeling?
That’s interesting. So, I was in college at the time, attending Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and I had some friends that were in the modeling world. They’re kind of getting into it themselves. And they’re like, “Hey, man, you’ve got a decent look. Why don’t you take your Instagram, your social media more seriously?” So, we started getting together after class and kind of just started taking some Instagram-ish modeling photos and posting them on Instagram, and, I think within two months, I got a DM from my agent, Ricardo Guerrero, who I’m actually signed with currently right now in Los Angeles.
He DMed me, and we kind of talked about it for a little while, maybe I’d say seven to eight months, about me coming out to LA. It was kind of scary because I never knew anything about the modeling world. You know, there’s a lot that goes into it and I was a college student at the time. So, we went back and forth and then finally, he was like, “Hey, let me give you an offer. Move out to Los Angeles, stay for two weeks, see how it goes, and we can kind of go from there.” So, they got me a plane ticket. I took the $500 I had to my name at the time. I moved to LA and I didn’t return. I stayed for a whole year in 2019.
You were personally selected by Kim Kardashian to model for her SKIMS collection. What was that experience like for you?
That was another out of nowhere experience. Obviously, everyone knows Kim, she’s an icon and everyone loves SKIMS. It’s such a hot brand right now. So, when I heard they were coming out with a men’s line, I was intrigued by it because I love the aesthetic – the all black, the all tan, the nude colors. So, when the casting process started to come to fruition, I heard that she picked me to want to kind of come and cast for the brand and shoot. So, they had a fitting at their headquarters that I went to, and everything fit me very well.
I got to kind of like tell them what I liked about the fabric, what I didn’t like and just kind of that little process. And so, when they, they did the campaign for that shoot that I did with her. And she chose me and I, and I, you know, I got to go to set, and it was based in Malibu. It was humbling because everyone knows Kim. It was a very humbling experience to work with someone of her caliber being so new still in my career. I was humbled by it, and they have a great team at SKIMS and it was a blessing to kind of see how they work.
Now, I mean, that was a cool experience. What has been the coolest thing that’s happened to you since you started modeling besides Deal or No Deal?
Yeah, Deal or No Deal is a special thing. I love that. It’s obviously my number one right now but working with Kim was truly amazing. But also in 2019, at the ripe age of 20 years old, I got to have Christina Aguilera feed me spaghetti for Galore magazine. That was pretty cool because I got to ring all my boys back home and tell them who just fed me spaghetti. So that’s pretty awesome.
What is it like being the first male briefcase model on such an iconic show?
I’m the first season regular. There’s been a special episode of male models, but to be the first to continuously do it in multiple episodes, it’s humbling. I never went into the modeling career thinking I’d get into reality television. I grew up watching Deal or No Deal. I mean, me and my family would see those cases being opened all the time. So now to be behind them and being the one that gets to open that shiny case and reveal a dollar amount, it’s humbling and it’s cool to see it. It’s coming out February 26, so it’s going to be exciting to watch it on TV.
What do you think the biggest misconception about you or male models in general is?
That we’re only just male models and we’re just good-looking guys that can’t do other things. I come from a sales background. I’ve done sales. I was going to school for communications. I think in the modeling world there’s always kind of like “they’re just a pretty face”, but I mean, so many models are so good at so many things. A lot of them are well versed in a lot of different crafts and a lot of different arts. So, I think that’s just the biggest common misconception, honestly, is that all we can do is get in front of a camera and look good for an hour or two.
You’ve done fashion shoots and things like that, but how would you describe your own personal style?
I’m a simple guy. You’ll find me in black jeans with a black t shirt and maybe some crisp white shoes. It’s simple for me, maybe some denim jeans and a button up. I don’t go too far into the high fashion realm. There’s a few little brands that I represent and some other brands that I enjoy wearing. But I think I’m pretty simple to be honest.
Now, if you weren’t a model, what would you want to be doing?
I’d definitely be back in the sales realm. Sales and marketing. I enjoyed that. I had a couple of jobs in Florida that I was doing before this that were great salary-based career jobs that I did enjoy. A lot of marketing, a lot of sales and I like talking with people. I like being passionate about something that I can sell to a certain group of people. So, anything where I’m working with people that are passionate like me, I enjoy. So, it’d be something in that avenue for sure.
Besides Deal or No Deal Island, What’s next for you? I heard that you’re maybe doing a shoot for Forever 21?
Yep. I work with Forever 21 quite often so I have some things in the works with them coming up and I’ll probably just continue to work with some of my regular clients like SKIMS and Alo Yoga. I’m probably going to take a trip to Europe so I’ll be popping around London, Paris, Milan. I have some agencies out there that I need to go see and definitely will be in New York at some point. I have an agency in New York that I need to go spend some time with so I’m sure I’ll find my way out there.
Deal or No Deal Island premieres Monday, February 26 at 9:30/8:30c on NBC. Follow Ben on Instagram.
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