EDGE Eye Candy: BJ Williams
interview by: iman n. milner
Photo by: Rick Day
Pretty easy on the eyes, right? That’s the same thing we thought the first time we spied this handsome man in Cassie’s “Official Girl” video back in 2008. Since then we’ve seen him as the face of Sean John’s men collection, GQ Magazine, Levi’s spreads…the list goes on and on for this model/young father/practical joke player. We decided it was time to introduce our readers to the Las Vegas native…and well, what’s summer without a little eye candy to make it even hotter?
Photo By: Brent Dundore
So tell me about who BJ Williams is.
BJ Williams: He’s just a man living his life, trying to do the best he can. I’m just a regular dude. I like to have a good time. I like things to be in order in my life and I lie to help other people, I laugh, I cry, I get angry, I’m goofy…I’m really playful. I’m your average person at the end of the day.
How did you get your start as a professional model?
BJ Williams: When I graduated from college, I was in Long Beach training for my pro date for the NFL and one of my best friends, Kevin McCall, was approached about modeling. For some reason he wasn’t interested but he ended up passing my information along and he really encouraged me to give it a shot. The recruiter was a guy named Abraham McDonald and he ended up introducing me to Michael Maddox, who is the top runway fashion show producer in the world—he scouts for all the major agencies. I met with Mike while he was producing a fashion show in downtown LA, we met for all of 3 minutes and he told me to show up for rehearsals the next day. I was in the show. I had never walked in a show before and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing but I went ahead and did it. The following week he set me up with some agencies and that was it.
What has being in the fashion industry taught you about yourself?
BJ Williams: That my morals in tact. It reassured me. This business is so cutthroat and whatever you won’t do someone else is willing to. People will do whatever it takes to be on top. There have been a lot of situations where I just refuse to do something because that’s just not who I am. Even though this is the way I make money, I don’t let money sway my decision making. That’s just my way of staying sane and true to who I am.
How do you balance being a young father with your career?
BJ Williams: Communication. I talk to my son as much as possible. I make sure that I see him every weekend. It was very hard at first and I almost stopped modeling. I became a father at 23 but I didn’t know I had a son until he was 5 years old. So when I officially became a dad, I was really involved in every aspect of his life. I’d pick him up from school everyday and do as much with him as I could to make up for those years that he didn’t have me. Then I came to a place in my life where the industry was demanding a lot of my time…if my son had said “Daddy stay here”—I would have stayed. But my son thinks it’s cool, he thinks I’m famous, so I’m still doing it. I had a long talk with him and though he was young, he understood—he’s very mature for his age. I had a long discussion with his mom and my parents, everyone is very involved in raising him. My dad steps in when I am away so that he has that male figure around. So it’s a lot of driving, a lot of communication and overall team effort from everyone.
Photo By: Paige Craig
So we all want to know if you’re single, BJ.
BJ Williams: If you’re not married, you’re single. There are no rings on this finger.
What makes you notice a woman? And what makes her keep your eye?
BJ Williams: I can name a million and one things that makes a woman sexy to me. I’ve dated big, small, tall, skinny—Black, Hispanic, Asian—I’ve done it all. What keeps my eye is spontaneity. A woman who doesn’t panic and breakdown when things change at the drop of a dime. She of course has to be educated. I’ve got to be able to hold a conversation with her. She doesn’t have to know everything about everything but she damn sure has to know something about some thing, you know?
An assertive woman, most definitely. A woman who says “I want THAT and I’m going to have it”. With that attitude comes a certain confidence in knowing that you can have whateveryou want. Being assertive is sexy.
What do you hope to be doing in the coming years?
BJ Williams: I hope to make the jump into TV and film. I’ve wanted to try acting ever since I started modeling full time. I hate being told “no” because of something that I cannot change and so much of modeling involves that. With acting, I can study my craft and improve upon anything that a person may critique but in modeling I am the craft…I can’t change what I look like.
What’s the most important thing to you right now?
BJ Williams: That’s not even a question. My son is the most important thing to me. He’s my world. When my son calls me and wants me to come home, I drop everything.
What do you think is your responsibility as a Black man?
BJ Williams: I don’t like putting colors on things. As a man my duty is to take care of whatever responsibility comes my way. I’m not stupid, I know race exists but I hate putting things in reference of color. I’m just a man at the end of the day. BUT to answer that question, for my students and my son who looks up to me, it’s my responsibility for them to see that I try my best and always give 100% regardless to the circumstances. I may not always succeed but it’s not because I didn’t give it my all.
What does living a life on the Edge mean to you?
BJ Williams: Being spontaneous. Whatever life throws at you…go with it.
Follow BJ Williams on Twitter: @BJ_Williams