Colton Haynes, star of Ar­row and the up­com­ing film San An­dreas, talks grow­ing up naked, why he re­ally left MTV’s Teen Wolf, and his love of *NSYNC.

Schon! - - No Filter - Words / Evan Ross Katz

He’s a re­ally nice guy, Colton Haynes. “But what if the head­line of this ar­ti­cle was ‘Colton Haynes is a fuck­ing ass­hole?’” he jokes as we sit lux­u­ri­ously in the back of the Lambs Club on a soggy Man­hat­tan morn­ing. “I could spill cof­fee on your phone,” he of­fers. I po­litely decline his of­fer, pulling my phone back just in case. “Please note: I didn’t go to bed last night so my brain is work­ing on a whole other level right now,” he tells me be­fore tak­ing an­other gi­ant gulp of his cof­fee. “But I’m ready, let’s do this.”

Named af­ter his mother’s love for Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and his dad’s love for the In­di­anapo­lis Colts, Colton Lee Haynes was born and raised on a farm in Wi­chita, Kansas, where his love/hate re­la­tion­ship with cloth­ing be­gan at an early age. “When you grow up on a farm, you just don’t wear clothes. Maybe that’s the rea­son I have no dig­nity left; no fil­ter. I think it’s a side ef­fect of grow­ing up in a town of 600 peo­ple where we were the new­bies.”

So what was it like go­ing from care­free (nud­ist) farm boy to pos­ing for pho­tog­ra­pher Bruce We­ber as an Abercrombie & Fitch model at 15 years old? “You’re go­ing to get the real story,” Haynes states. “I usu­ally tell the bull­shit ‘I’m in­no­cent’ one. I was 15 and I had a fake ID, [and was] put in th­ese trop­i­cal des­ti­na­tions. You’re with 20 other peo­ple that are cra­zier than you. My first shoot, I got ar­rested. I wasn’t drink­ing, that’s the truth, but I bought ev­ery­one else beer with my fake ID. We had this party in my ho­tel room and the maids called the po­lice and they put me in hand­cuffs.”

Although he’s main­tained his ca­reer as a model (re­cently be­ing fea­tured in Diesel’s au­tumn/win­ter 2014 cam­paign), Hayne’s tran­si­tion to act­ing was set into over­drive with a re­cur­ring role on MTV’s hit se­ries Teen Wolf, fol­lowed by a sud­den de­par­ture that went bizarrely un­ac­knowl­edged. “There was a level of un­pro­fes­sion­al­ism that went down that I just wasn’t com­fort­able with,” he re­calls. “It was tough when other par­ties went on ‘con­ven­tion tours’ to an­nounce false news, but I know the truth, they know the truth. It sucked. I felt like I was ripped away from this cast I had grown up with, who had be­come my fam­ily. I have this is­sue where I’m a rug. In the past, I’ve kind of nod­ded and said yes a lot and went about my busi­ness. I’m done be­ing that.”

Luck­ily, Haynes landed a re­cur­ring role on the CW’s Ar­row which turned into a full­time gig af­ter quickly be­com­ing a fan favourite. Com­bined with his ra­bid so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing, th­ese roles kicked Haynes into the strato­sphere of the Hol­ly­wood elite. “I do read a lot of the com­ments peo­ple make,” he ad­mits. “I get very sex­u­ally ag­gres­sive Tweets. I want to make a cof­fee ta­ble book.” Haynes ri­fles through his phone, read­ing off ran­dom fan Tweets. “This is one of my favourites: Do you want to build a snow­man or… have sex with me?” he chuck­les. “Hid­den Val­ley Ranch tweeted me too. That was cool. I love Instagram be­cause you get an op­por­tu­nity to see into peo­ple’s lives the way you’d want to. I grew up be­ing a fan, be­ing the first per­son in line at Wal­mart try­ing to get the new *NSYNC CD. I le­git would send videos to Rosie O’Don­nell. I was voted ‘Most Likely to join *NSYNC’ in my year­book.”

It’s hard to be­lieve that Haynes, this ball of can­did, un­fil­tered en­ergy, once dealt with crip­pling ago­ra­pho­bia. “I grew up with de­bil­i­tat­ing anx­i­ety that I had to de­velop tools to fight,” he re­veals. “I call what I’m go­ing through now my ‘quar­ter life cri­sis’. It’s a shitty thing not be­ing able to have bad days. When peo­ple use the term ‘cham­pagne prob­lems’, I want to take the cham­pagne bot­tle and break it over their heads, be­cause my prob­lems are no dif­fer­ent than any­one else’s.”

When I ask him to hand over his phone to ri­fle through the most fa­mous name I can find, I stum­ble upon Lind­say Lohan, but Haynes is re­mark­ably low-key, ex­plain­ing, “There is a level of bull­shit you have to con­tend with, lots of ac­quain­tances. You start to ques­tion whether peo­ple want to be friends with you. When I’m not work­ing, I’m at home by my­self. I’ll go into my shell and retreat.”

Haynes hasn’t spent much time home alone over the last few months, hav­ing just wrapped pro­duc­tion on his big screen de­but, San An­dreas, star­ring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ John­son. The film, with an es­ti­mated $150 mil­lion dollar bud­get, deals with the af­ter­math of a mas­sive earth­quake in Cal­i­for­nia (and also stars Kylie Minogue). “This is a huge deal for me,” says Haynes. “I wrote on my vi­sion board in 2009 – I have this Great Wall of Pos­i­tiv­ity that I write on – and I lit­er­ally said I want to be in the movie with The Rock and then it fuck­ing hap­pened!”

So what’s next? Haynes ad­mits that he’s ready for a change of pace: “Com­edy’s where I’m in my el­e­ment. I’m pissed that I haven’t done it yet. I can brood and brood and brood un­til the sun goes down, but I’m ready to laugh.”

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