STU­ART REAR­DON

Rugby star, model, per­sonal trainer and now au­thor and pho­tog­ra­pher. Matt My­ers touches base with Stu­art Rear­don, a DNA favourite who is any­thing but De­feated (the ti­tle of his new book).

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - Pho­tog­ra­phy by Stu­art Rear­don.

Rugby’s hottest shares his sexy bed­room self­ies!

DNA: You’ve been the hand­some fan­tasy man on the cover of many ro­mance nov­els. Now you’ve writ­ten your own, Un­de­feated. How did that come about?

Stu­art Rear­don: I first met my co-au­thor, Jane Har­vey-Ber­rick a few years back and then again more re­cently in Dublin, where we got chat­ting. I had just had my shoul­der re­con­struc­tion and we talked about in­juries and how I was look­ing to re­tire from rugby. She asked if I wanted to write a book with her; half fic­tional and half real-life. I thought that could only be a good thing. I was al­ready in that world and had been on book cov­ers, so a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion would be to be­come an au­thor.

How much of the story’s main char­ac­ter, Nick Renshaw is re­ally for you?

Well, Nick’s a rugby union player and I was league but, with his in­juries, a lot of the as­pects of his life are like mine.

It’s a great read, but how would you de­scribe the genre?

Thank you. It’s a fic­tional, con­tem­po­rary ro­mance with a lot of spice. It def­i­nitely caught my own emo­tions once I read it right through. It’s very per­sonal. Any­one who reads it and knows me will recog­nise that the char­ac­ter is based on me.

There’s a quote in the book: “I’ve gone through the pain. Through the trial by fire.” What parts of your life does this re­fer to? Many parts. I’ve had some se­ri­ous and longterm in­juries back-to-back, in­clud­ing an Achilles re­con­struc­tion twice where I was out of ac­tion for 16 months. I’ve lost con­tracts. I’ve had many highs and lows, like ev­ery­one. In sport, just like in life, the lows help you ap­pre­ci­ate the highs. It builds strength, and I’m where I am to­day be­cause of all those in­ci­dents, tri­als and in­juries. I don’t look back with re­gret, rather I em­brace what’s hap­pened.

The book has full-on sex, too. There’s a line where the love in­ter­est says to Nick, “That beast needs a leash!” Of course, that’s true to your life, too, isn’t it?

[Laugh­ing.] Ab­so­lutely, one hun­dred per­cent! You’ve ap­peared as the cover model on many books and gained a cult fol­low­ing, par­tic­u­larly with Amer­i­can women. How do you feel about that?

It’s very flat­ter­ing to have sup­port from any­one, and the ap­pre­ci­a­tion is won­der­ful. I’ve trav­elled quite a lot to Amer­ica for some re­ally cool book events, and it’s been noth­ing but pos­i­tive. The book world is re­ally big over there, which is prob­a­bly why I have that cult fol­low­ing.

Over the years you’ve also be­come con­nected to the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity and be­come an ad­vo­cate for us. Do you feel you un­der­stand the com­mu­nity more now than you would have, say, ten years ago?

No, I think it’d be about the same be­cause I’ve al­ways had an open-minded ap­proach to all peo­ple, in­clud­ing the gay com­mu­nity. I thought the same-sex mar­riage suc­cess in Australia was fan­tas­tic, es­pe­cially the way every­body pitched in for the Yes vote. A lot of other coun­tries were al­ready at that stage, so it was a ma­jor achievement for Australia, and a great step in the right di­rec­tion.

I still like Ger­ald But­ler, but now I’ll say Jon Snow from Game Of

Thrones… I could play Jon Snow’s boyfriend!

Thank you for be­ing part of DNA’s #Yes cam­paign sup­port­ing same-sex mar­raige. You’re wel­come. Any time!

You’ve come a long way since our first in­ter­view in 2011. What are your plans now that you’ve re­tired from rugby?

It’s the gym life for me now. I’m a per­sonal trainer with an on­line pro­gram called Fear Noth­ing Fit­ness; it’s a mix of body weight and re­sis­tance train­ing. The book world has also kept me busy, with events in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. I thought I’d miss the rugby as­pect be­cause it was my ca­reer but a lot of things have fallen into place and taken over.

In­clud­ing pho­tog­ra­phy… You ac­tu­ally took the images in this story your­self. They are self-por­traits!

Yes, I’ve be­come a stu­dent of pho­tog­ra­phy and videog­ra­phy, which takes a lot of study time. A lot of the shots I post on my so­cial me­dia are my own work, in­clud­ing th­ese ones.

And mod­el­ling?

I’m still mod­el­ling and was last in Barcelona and Ger­many with my agen­cies. The mod­el­ling world can be a bit dif­fi­cult, but I’m cer­tainly not done with it, and I still do my yearly cal­en­dar. I’ve found a good out­let for my mod­el­ling is through so­cial me­dia. I get a lot of per­sonal jobs for com­pa­nies to mar­ket their brands. So­cial me­dia al­lows for di­rect con­tact into cam­paigns, whether it is for cof­fee, oil or sell­ing T-shirts. Loads of peo­ple now rep­re­sent them­selves on so­cial me­dia and it’s a mas­sive net­work, so I ac­tu­ally get a lot of work off my own back – so to speak! I’ve also just signed with a new mod­el­ling agency, H1 Man­age­ment.

Your body shots pop up ev­ery­where, even on sites such as Tum­blr and Pin­ter­est. How do you feel about that?

I don’t worry about it. They’re only pic­tures, and if they’re sup­port­ing me it’s okay. Once a pic­ture is on the in­ter­net, it’s there! Some peo­ple take them­selves too se­ri­ously. I don’t.

Many will agree you have the per­fect Game Of Thrones look. Do you watch that show?

Yes, I’m a mas­sive Game Of Thrones fan, and have been from the be­gin­ning. I think it has some­thing for every­body, whether you’re into knights and dragons or war and sex, it’s just so well writ­ten. I can’t be­lieve we have to wait un­til 2019 for the fi­nal sea­son! I’d love to get a role in Game Of Thrones. I’m just wait­ing for the call! They’re cast­ing at the mo­ment for bearded men to play the White Walk­ers.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view you told us you’d turn gay for Ger­ald But­ler. Who would be your gay ro­mance now?

I still like Ger­ald But­ler, but now I’ll say Jon >>

>> Snow [from Game Of Thrones, played by Kit Har­ing­ton]. I could be Jon Snow’s boyfriend! [Laugh­ing.]

Who is your diva th­ese days? When you did the DNA Straight Mate in­ter­view a while ago it was Ri­hanna and Mi­ley Cyrus.

Well, I’m a mas­sive Ed Sheeran fan now, and I love Adele. But for a diva I’ll say Lorde. She’s cur­rent, she’s down with the kids and she’s a bit of a hip­ster.

What did you think of the cheat­ing scan­dal with the Aus­tralian cricket team?

Cheat­ing is wrong in any sport. It’s hard to be­lieve they tried it in such a tele­vised sport, but I don’t want to add wood to the fire. I’m sure the play­ers re­gret it, and the cricket author­i­ties will pun­ish the play­ers ac­cord­ingly. I hope the play­ers learn from their mis­take and make a strong come­back. No­body is per­fect. I’m ac­tu­ally not a big fan of cricket. I could go along to a match, but I don’t find it very ex­cit­ing to watch. I love the rugby and I’m also a big fan of Aussie Rules (AFL). My Aussie Rules team is Essendon (The Bombers), be­cause my Aussie mate once sent me their jersey!

As mir­rored in Un­de­feated, you’ve over­come a lot of dif­fi­cul­ties. What ad­vice can you give to any­one hav­ing a per­sonal strug­gle? Em­brace your per­sonal strug­gles. I’ve been in some re­ally bad sit­u­a­tions. I’ve been bank­rupt with no money but, for­tu­nately, had some­where to live, so I’ve never been rock bot­tom. I talked to fam­ily and con­fided in peo­ple close to me and al­ways looked at the brighter side of life. I’ve never been a deep wor­rier. When I found my­self in a low place, I’d al­ways com­pare my­self to some­body who was worse off. When­ever I’ve been down I’ve still been grate­ful for what­ever I had.

Em­brace your per­sonal strug­gles. I’ve been in some re­ally bad sit­u­a­tions. I’ve been bank­rupt… but al­ways been grate­ful for what­ever I still have.

My mother al­ways said if you’ve got a roof over your head and some­thing to eat, then you’re do­ing bet­ter than half of the world. That’s al­ways stuck with me and helped me. If you’re at a low point, you can al­ways look for the pos­i­tive sides to climb your way out. I’d also rec­om­mend work­ing out. It’s al­ways been a rock to me. The re­lease of en­dor­phins will leave you feel­ing great. There’s no bet­ter wealth than good health!

What’s up next?

There’s ac­tu­ally a sec­ond book on the way, again co-writ­ten with Jane Har­vey-Ber­rick. I know, crazy right? I must be the first pro­fes­sional rugby league player to write a con­tem­po­rary sports ro­mance. It’s not a line of work I saw my­self get­ting into but I’m en­joy­ing the jour­ney.

When you come to Australia next, will we see you on Bondi Beach in budgie smug­glers? We know you can pull off that look?

I’d be fine to wear budgie smug­glers on Bondi Beach but peo­ple here in the UK don’t seem to like them. You get ripped for wear­ing them. The lads in Australia can wear them but in the UK they’re seen as un­cool. So, I’d wear board­shorts for surf­ing, but for sun­bathing it’s budgie smug­glers. You don’t want your tan line cut­ting off at the knee!

Com­ing over from the UK, you could lit­er­ally smug­gle some bud­gies!

[Laugh­ing.] Yeah, but from here it would prob­a­bly have to be robins!

SEE STU­ART’S NUDE IN SELF-POR­TRAITS THE EX­TRA PAGES OF THE DIG­I­TAL EDI­TION.

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