“My life revolves around being in tip-top shape,” says actor and model Bo Roberts, but it’s the life that revolves around the tip-top shape that is intensely amazing.
Bo’s bio is kick-ass, literally; even before before he appeared in the film 300: Rise of an Empire, graced the pages of GQ, Men’s Health and Cosmo, and has become a rising social media star on Twitter’s new live broadcast spinoff, Periscope.
“I used to have a career in law enforcement,” he tells me. “And to prepare for that, I used to do cage fighting, marshal arts.”
The Kentuckiana native (that’s southern Indiana, ya’ll) has served up some serious alphabet soup: He’s a former member of Indiana’s CERT (SWAT team/police force) and successfully tried his hand (and his foot too) as an MMA cage fighter. He’s licensed for life and quite expert in both fight technique and weapons. And how’s your resume looking?
Back to the bod: He (and it) were discovered in South Beach, and became too sexy for the sand that never sleeps. Natural next stops: New York and Milan. And his photos have given aid and comfort to those precious few who turn to the Internet for such things.
“I don’t shy away from the camera,” he says. “I take modeling as a serious job. Some people just take it as playtime. I actually study lighting to know how to make my body look the best, and the camera angle in conjunction with the lighting.”
His fans saw the light too. His fame spread, as did his circle of friends. Country boyfriend grew a city-sized friends list.
“I used to be the guy who would only have about 15-25 people on Facebook, people who I actually knew,” he says. “But when my first magazine cover came out, I had about 200 friend requests overnight, and it grew exponentially after that.”
On Periscope, Bo goes boom: He’s averaging between 300-1200 people per broadcast, and works it an average of five times per day, with over 3 million very overly excited thumping “hearts.”
His social media fans get to know the real deal, which is down-home and hospitable (his family back home owns a trucking company, and that’s why Bo is able to keep on truckin’.).
It’s a far cry from his turn in the CGI-punch-drunk 300, where he gladiated himself for more action fare on the silver screen as well as the green screen.
“I like to contribute [my acting ability] to me being an only child,” he says. “The stereotype of being an only child is that you have one hell of an imagination. You grow up playing make believe. You may not have somebody else to play with, so you invent somebody. And when you focus on what you are doing, everything else tends to fade away. You’re in this moment with what you are doing. You can put me on a green screen, and if I am warmed up properly, I can be plugged into my character.”
That plugging, of course, is only slightly less intense than the brutality he experienced in the MMA. Since he studied psychology in college, Bo is able to reconcile the mind and the body.
“Psychology is a very important aspect [of cage fighting],” he says. “After the fight, the fighters run up and hug each other, because they understand what it takes to get to that point. We really get used to the feeling and prevention of pain. If I go to kick you in the leg, and if you check me, then I should kick your shin, and that’s not a good feeling. So I need to sit at home with a baseball bat and tap on my shin bone just so my pain threshold can go up.”
Ow. And wow. And how’s that pain threshold working for you now that you’re in the big leagues?
He says, “Today, if I have a sunburn or a cold, I can complain like a baby, but you can still come up to me with a baseball bat, and it’s no big deal.”
We recommend not doing that. Yet, it’s all right now. In fact, it’s a gas. Like how the MMA fighters used to tease him: “Hey guys, take it easy on Bo, he’s a model now.”
And then some.
His handle on all platforms (and handle with care because he’s red hot): @MrBoRoberts
DNA cover: Kevin McDermott
MMA photo: Angelo Lagdameo
Cover photo (bathtub): TJ Scott