"It gets even more weird that my mom has a shelf. Whenever she comes across anything she buys it. And I'm like, 'Mom, please don't read that book please!'"
You might not know his name yet, but if you're a fan of romance novels, there's a good chance Andrew Biernat is currently sitting on your bedside.
In a wide-ranging virtual interview with TooFab, the model-actor opened up about stripping down for the covers of over 400 romance novels -- and counting! -- and explained how a skateboarding injury eventually led him to pursue a modeling career.
Biernat began by recalling how he got into posing for the covers of romance novels in the first place. According to Biernat, after his mom entered him in a Nordstrom modeling contest as a kid, modeling was always something in the back of his mind. Years later, Biernat, who was a talented skateboarder, moved from Washington state to San Diego, California to ride for skateboarding companies, only to tear his ACL and blow out his right knee the second year he was there.
"And that kind of ended my skateboarding career because that's like all I did," he told TooFab. "I lived and breathed skateboarding since I was nine up until I tore my ACL when I was 22, or 23. I didn't move back home. I stayed in San Diego."
"I was bartending a private party in La Jolla, and [photographer] Wander Aguiar was one of the guests at that party and he walked up to me and was like, 'Have you ever thought about modeling?'" Biernat continued. "And at that point, I was at this weird crossroads because I didn't know what I was doing anymore but I wanted the stay in California because it's so beautiful. And so I was like, screw it, I'm gonna see what happens with this."
Aguiar gave Biernat his card and asked to set up a photoshoot -- and as they say, the rest was history.
"I called him literally like the next day and we set something up the following week," he recalled. "That first photoshoot we did ... I remember feeling so awkward, but he gave me great direction and I learned a lot from that first shoot. And he ended up selling I think two or three photos from that shoot for book covers."
Biernat continued, "So it was like pretty crazy and then after that, I kept working with them and I got signed to my mother agency."
While Biernat admitted he doesn't go into the romance section of bookstores anymore, he said his friends and family "send him photos." However, Biernat said it's his mom who is his number one fan, revealing that she has a "shelf" full of the novels he's on the cover of.
"The first book that I ever saw in the stores I bought ... that was kind of narcissistic of me," he said with a laugh. "It gets even more weird that my mom has a shelf. Whenever she comes across anything she buys it. And I'm like, 'Mom, please don't read that book please!' Because some of them are very graphic."
Although his abs have graced the front of hundreds of novels, Biernat said he's only read one of the books -- and there's a good reason why he chose that particular novel.
"One of them I started reading because the author that wrote it, she was at the time of her writing that, she was using a lot of the stuff happening in my relationship as an inspiration," he continued. "So I started reading it just to see if there were similarities."
Meanwhile, during his chat with TooFab Biernat spoke more about his career covering romance novels, including what he really thinks about being described as a "modern day Fabio."
Check out what he had to say about it all in the clip, above!
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Biernat also shared more details about his modeling career thus far and revealed one of the requests he says no to: posing nude.
"I mean just the other day like there was a magazine company -- I won't say who it is, but they do pretty much fully nude stuff. And I said no to that," he explained. "It's not that I'm against it [but] my main focus right now is I'm trying to pursue acting."
"I'm like not against the nudity stuff, I think people should feel comfortable in their own skin," he added. "I'm a huge advocate for that, but for me if it's not tasteful and there's not really an artistic point of view to it, I pretty much will turn down stuff that's just like me standing there naked for people to see."
Biernat also recalled his favorite job to date, detailed what it's like filming a movie amid the coronavirus pandemic, revealed what his girlfriend thinks about him stripping down for photoshoots and more in the clip below!