People often say the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him all your plans. They would be somewhat right if they looked at the life of Denzel Wells! Hailing from Houston, Texas; this model and actor had plans to own and run his own real estate company following college. Interestingly, destiny had other plans, placing him on a far more intriguing path. Still this rising star keeps it one hundred percent real as he dishes on life, love, success, and his promising future in the entertainment industry.
Denzel seemed to be struck with greatness from birth, as his father named him after the famous actor, Denzel Washington. “…People are always like ‘we know who your mother liked’ until they find out my father named me…Denzel Washington was his favorite actor and he wanted me to be successful like him…I’m sure he never imagined how all this would turn out…” Indeed, Denzel has been blessed with success, and unlike most, it came relatively easy to him. Most people do not know that just two years ago he was relatively unknown, but still successful in his own right. At twenty, he had already become a real estate mogul and the CEO of his own company. He began modeling after a photographer liked his look, landing him in the pages of Essence Magazine. From there, and at the behest of others, he was prompted to try out for a spot on the twenty-first cycle of Tyra Banks’ hit show, “America’s Next Top Model!” (ANTM) As you know Denzel was cast onto the show, arguably becoming the season’s most popular male contestant. “I was so honored they picked me out of the millions of submissions they received…I believe my personality gave me the edge over the other submitters…I mean it had to be, there were a lot of good looking people who tried out, selling your personality is what’s going to put you over the top…”
ANTM experienced some of television’s highest ratings during his cycle. He playfully and smugly attributes that to him being apart of the cast. Although he was eliminated on the ninth episode of the season, he still feels like he learned a lot from being on the show. As a model, and man, he finds himself far more seasoned after the experience. “I definitely learned a lot and it made me realize there’s no limit to what I can do…then you know you have Tyra [Banks] right there in front of you…How could you not learn anything from her when she’s right there in front of you?… I really respect her as a woman and a businesswoman…she’s one of the most famous models of all times and now you can go anywhere in the world and people know who she is!”
Still, pleasure is tempered with pain, as Denzel found himself the target of body image issues; and was accused of being a player and homophobic! The judges of ANTM seemed to love his looks, but felt he was “too big” and “too short” to be a high fashion model. Standing at 5’11” and weighing in at 170 pounds (at the time of the show) one has to wonder what is the ideal male model? According to Denzel, the fashion industry’s idea of a male model is antiquated and should be redefined. “The ideal male model is slim and at least six feet tall…I like having definition…their way of saying I am ripped is I’m ‘too big.’ Honestly, I’m not with that! When I look in magazines and advertisements the guys I see look like me. They’re more cut, more ripped, and more fit…I hear stories about how models won’t book a job because they have my body type and then won’t eat…that’s not me…What gets me is the people who are judging you on the show know your body type when they cast you; and they know the show is only for a few weeks! Then they cut you before you can do any real changes…” Unsurprisingly, Denzel has gone back to a comfortable size with a still alluring body type reminiscent of an A-List athlete!
Reality television can be a monster all its own at times. Denzel definitely experienced this on the latest season of ANTM when, as aforementioned, he was accused of being a player and homophobic. On the show he began seeing fellow contestant Mirjana Puhar, despite her having a boyfriend back home. Their romance began as flirtatious and sweet until it seems their interactions became distracting. “Mirjana and I still communicate and see one another but there’s no label on anything…so yeah I’m still single!” Later, controversy and friction arose when Denzel made comments concerning Will Jardell’s choice to wear red high heel shoes. The latter took his comments offensively, compelling Tyra to instigate a conversation between the two models. Although Denzel apologized for what he said, it did not stop her from reminding him what kind of people dominate the fashion industry. “…you know it’s really hard to say anything concerning the LGBT community because historically they’ve been persecuted so harshly… but I’m not homophobic…anytime you disagree with what someone else is doing you’re automatically labeled something and I just don’t feel that’s fair…” When asked if he was a “victim of editing” he pauses and responds, “That’s something I find hard to answer because I said what I said and I stand by it, but at the same time when you film something on a Monday, then something else on a Thursday, and then they put it all together on a Sunday then you get something all together different…At the end of the day the show is about entertainment and those editing it have to feed themselves like anyone else…”
Recently, Denzel began working on Tyler Perry’s new hit show, “If Loving You Is Wrong.” The show centers around a community of families and their trials with love, life, and scandal. He landed the role after being referred by Tyra, who felt he would be good for the show. Tyler Perry allowed him to read the role over the phone and then flew him out to Los Angeles. There, he auditioned in person, and was given the role. “I was super excited! Working for Tyler Perry is definitely a dream come true…” “If Loving You Is Wrong” is like “Desperate Housewives” meets “The Haves & The Have Nots.” Here, Denzel is “Travis” a young and naïve missionary whose overbearing mother and insecurity keep from being with the woman he really loves, “Kelly.” (Portrayed by Edwina Findley Dickerson) “Travis is an interesting dude to say the least…He and I are similar in that we love and respect our mothers, but dissimilar in how he allows her to run his life and how emotional he is. I like to deal with things internally. Oh! And the stuff he does, no sane dude would do…stuff like bringing your fiancée to your ex-girlfriend’s house who you recently broke up with…” Although he loves his character, he admits that he found the part initially intimidating. “This was my first acting gig and when they would call action on the set I’d be sweating and nervous…Thankfully I’ve been doing pretty well based on the feedback I’ve received and some of the help Edwina’s [‘Kelly”] given me…” Besides his own story line he finds the finds the torrid affair between Alex and Randal to be just as scandalous!
All and all, Denzel is a great guy who has found himself in a divinely blessed situation. He continues to keep God and his mother at his core. In his downtime he loves to travel and has plans to see the world. When he’s not being a superstar he is back at home in Houston hanging with his roommates and working out. He admits to not losing weight and has opted to go back to the training he did while playing college football. “I’m comfortable in my skin and I really enjoy the simple things in life…I’m Denzel Wells and if hating me is what I’m making you do then so be it…it’s nice to know I can draw that much power from you…” To maintain his looks he admits to manscaping, getting manicures and pedicures, and keeping his skin smooth with hot aftershave lotion. “As guys it’s as simple as being a fresh and clean and well-dressed man. Being well-dressed with a fresh [hair]cut is always a good look!” Denzel has had the break of a lifetime and has a number of projects in the works. In the meantime, catch him on Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong” and here on Kontrol Magazine’s site! To stay up on Denzel Wells you can follow him on Twitter/Instagram @Iam_DenzelWells.
JESSY J PHOTO, out of Dallas, TX (www.jessyjphoto.com)