#MindBodySOUL is back with Bryce Thompson! We sat down with him to talk about growing up in South Africa, his successful career and his love for cycling and paintball. For more, follow along on Instagram. Photographed by Ashton Do #AshtonDo
SOUL ARTIST MANAGEMENT: How old are you and where are you from?
BRYCE THOMPSON: I am 33; I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa.
SOUL: Describe yourself in three words:
BRYCE: Orange Mocha Frappuccino
SOUL: Being from South Africa, were sports a big part of your childhood?
BRYCE: Sports are widely offered in South Africa as an after-school activity. There are different sports on different days. As a child, it was always a great way to end my day.
SOUL: You have the distinction of appearing on over 50 Men’s Health covers globally. What about you and your body make you such a great cover star for this top magazine?
BRYCE: Honestly, Men’s Health’s model selection is more about being an “achievable goal” for the readers. They want relatable and consistent workouts. They don’t want to do fad diets or gimmicks; they just want plain hard work to achieve results.
SOUL: What did you do before you started modeling? How were you discovered? How did you land at SOUL?
BRYCE: Before modeling, I was a magazine publisher. I only had two titles in my portfolio; the most successful was a popular paintball magazine. While working out at a gym, I was asked to be a model for the cover of Men’s Health. Jason Kanner was the reason I ended up at SOUL. My agent in South Africa placed me with Jason who at the time was working at another agency. I joined the ranks soon after Jason started his new agency. SOUL is a brand and it was the hot place to be…years later it still is.
SOUL: Paintball seems like a non-traditional sport and fitness activity. What aspects of the activity contribute to your body and mind wellness?
BRYCE: Paintball is my passion. With a paintball coming at you at 200 or 300 MPH, you need to be nimble and alert which is great at any age. The sport also involves teamwork to keep you in the game and win. It accelerates the heart rate and the physical exertion is challenging and welcomed.
SOUL: In the midst of modeling and other things in your life, do you still paintball today?
BRYCE: Yes. I currently still play along side my long time paintball teammate and friend, Pete Utschig. We play on a team here in the US called the Dye Tactical Ironmen which is made up of guys who are passionate about the sport but now play for the fun it.
SOUL: How did you get into cycling?
BRYCE: I started cycling on a regular basis in New York City as a way to learn the city. I had cycled a lot growing up and decided that it would be the most efficient way to learn the area while seeing it all. Biking teaches you about the heartbeat and the direction of the blood flow of the city.
SOUL: You really like technical sports where man meets machine. Do you see paintball guns and bicycles as tools?
BRYCE: All accessories or apparatuses for a sport are treated as tools. A carpenter is never afraid to hit hard with his hammer with fear of breaking it; the same can be said for paintball guns and bicycles. It’s always good to push your limits and make sure your gear is up to the task.
SOUL: Are you competitive by nature? Are both sports and modeling of the same competitive nature?
BRYCE: I am highly competitive but sports and modeling are far from each other in terms of being competitive. As models we can train together, drive each other to travel more and possibly crush a few more workouts, but that is all we can do as a team. But booking jobs is not the same. Even when we are at 100%, the decision is out of our hands. The model that gets the job is purely based on the clients’ preferences.
SOUL: Are you good friends with anyone in the SOUL family? How did you get close?
BRYCE: I am close with fellow model Justin Hopwood at SOUL. We attended the same high school back home in South Africa. We were separated in schooling by a few years; he was actually in school with my brother and sister. While at SOUL, we became better friends by crossing paths at the agency. This led to many rides home from school and the gym together where we built a bond. We have been close friends since traveling together and even shared an apartment in NY for four years.