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MAGAZINE

Marc MENARD: Is he for Real?

Never in all my life had I seen such a complete package. With chiseled features, perfectly displaced sandy-blond hair, piercing blue eyes and a seemingly perfect body, Marc Menard is stunningly handsome.

 

Marc Menard

We were in the process of casting the international drama series "Ocean Avenue" which we produced in Miami in 2002 when I first met Marc. He was helping us out by reading the male parts in the auditions scheduled for that day with a slew of female hopefuls.

He rarely spoke and his looks alone made him seem inaccessible. I whispered to one of my coworkers who knew him from Miami's modeling world, ?Is he really this arrogant? "He's not arrogant," he answered, "he's Canadian." And how right he was, he is truly just quiet and unassuming. He's also a highly motivated, well-educated life-of-the-party.

There is something about Marc that is unique and endearing. He was eventually cast as the show's romantic lead, Lucas Devon, and his charm and sensuality are clearly evident on screen. His appeal was clear to the powers that be at ABC when they cast him as hunky scientist Boyd Larraby on All My Children. And so it was that he was stolen away from us; at least for awhile.

Over the year and a half that we worked together, Marc grew to be like family and there is no one I miss more or have a greater respect for and it's only partially because of his body. In spite of his busy schedule and new found celebrity, he has returned frequently to visit his friends who miss him and this city that he has come to love. I sat down to talk to him about how he was adjusting to his new life and what he missed most about Miami.

It's so great to have you back. Let's catch the reader up a little bit on your background. Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Quebec City, Canada but my parents moved to Montreal a year later. My parents also had a house in the mountains where I spent most of my weekends skiing and my summers on the lake. I was a ski bum and barefoot water-skiing junkie! I had it rough!

Did you always want to be a hunky male soap opera star?
(laughs) No, I had pretty good grades in school and so my parents, my father especially, wanted me to go into medicine and to take over his practice, but I was a pretty good hockey player and I had aspirations of becoming a professional hockey player. Many of my friends I played with as a kid made it to the NHL and so I guess I'll always wonder what could have been.

How did you get into modeling/acting?
I worked and paid my way through college by working weekends as a bartender in a nightclub. One night there was a director in the bar who was searching for a male lead for the music video he was working on. He invited me to audition, and I booked the part. I was really lucky and my modeling career just really took off from there.

Miami based agent, Manny Arca, coaxed me into pursuing what had always been my real passion; acting. I took conservatory classes at the Actor's Studio, and later joined Manny's improve group. I booked two lead roles in independent films: "Coffee Dessert Light Fare", "The Suit", and principal roles in "All for Noth'in? and "No Way Out." Then, as you know, I was then cast as Lucas Devon in the International Drama Series "Ocean Avenue" which led to my current contract role on ABC's "All My Children."

What brought you all the way to Miami? Did you come straight from Quebec?
I modeled throughout Europe my first two years and I had heard that Miami had a very good modeling season from December to April. So, in my third year I decided to try it out. The years spent in Europe paid off in a big way when I got here. Miami is a very popular spot for European clients who come here for its great weather and locations during their winter months. So, when I got here I had an already established European clientele which contributed to a very successful first and subsequent seasons in Miami. Let's cut the bull, came for the beach and the babes!

I lived in Miami on and off from 1998 to 2002 and I loved every minute of it.

So I know you miss all of us, but what else do you miss about Miami?
There were a lot of things that made me fall in love with Miami. First of all, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world; incredible weather, great beaches and proximity to the Florida Keyes and the Caribbean, it truly gives you a taste of paradise. I love Miami's international flavor since it attracts people from all over the world. As a result, culturally it's so unique. I also love the Latin spirit you find here. Latin people have a great love for life and that energy is very contagious. Not to mention all the beautiful South American women! Miami definitely has one of the highest concentrations of beautiful women in the world! And nothing beats the nightlife in Miami. It truly is a playground for the rich and shameless! I guess reading over my answers you see I fit in!

I also really miss the healthy life style you have in Miami: the clean air, the ocean, and the beautiful people. Miami is my favorite place to vacation. I still keep an apartment here and will, I think, for the rest of my life. I miss wearing flip flops every day!

What were your experiences like acting and modeling in Miami?
You really can't ask for a better place to live and work than Miami. The modeling work here is lucrative and fun. It's a lot of outdoor location shooting which I prefer over studio work. Plus it's a lot of sports and swimwear so you get to work with some really beautiful women wearing next to nothing — you can't ask for a better gig than that! And when you're not working Miami offers a lot of great things to do. I'm a very outgoing, adventurous and active person, so this city has a lot to offer.

I loved my experience on "Ocean Avenue" because I got to do both studio and location work on a daily basis. Working day in and day out at something you love to do — I feel very blessed. And to get to do it in a city like Miami, you couldn't ask for a better experience. My ultimate goal is to do feature film, and if I could choose a location, I would choose Miami.

What's the biggest difference between Miami and NYC?
The sheer size of NYC and the number of people is the first thing that shocks you. Everything in NYC is very fast paced. Miami has much more of a laid back relaxed feel to it. On one hand it's a good thing because you really feed off the energy of the city but at the same time it gets to you and you need to get away. So you go to Miami!

And the biggest difference between women in Miami and New York?
Women in New York are much more assertive. I think NY women are very independent, real go getters. You have to be to survive in this city. So they know what they want and they don't beat around the bush! Can you print that?! I think there are more single women in NYC and at the same time it's tough to date in New York. Women in Miami are more passive and traditional. I think the Latin influence has a lot to do with that. Latin women are very traditional and family oriented. If you look past the swinging nightlife scene, relationships are more prevalent in Miami than in New York. In terms of sheer numbers I think both cities have a large number of very beautiful women. In Miami they are concentrated in a smaller area so it is much more noticeable. Plus there is a huge concentration of South American women in Miami which just happen to be my favorite, so I have to say I am still partial to Miami women. No bikinis in New York! It really sucks!

How has All My Children changed your life?
Well, the whole move to NYC and work on US network television show is definitely a huge change for me. It was scary at first, but change is fun and I'm having a blast with it. There's definitely a lot more pressure now since the stakes are higher, but the level and quality of work is also higher. I'm being challenged and am learning every day. NYC has so much to offer for the arts: great theater, film, excellent training — it's one of the acting capitals of the world. I have everything to gain by living and working here. But this whole experience hasn't changed who I am. I still have my same group of friends, I'm closer than ever with my family and I still do the same things I did before. I just do them clothed ? which really sucks!!

Wow, how to follow that answer? What's next for you?
Ultimately, my goal is to do feature film work? that has always been my dream. My first recollection of going to a movie was Star Wars. I literally was transported during those 2 hours to another time and place. I remember saying to myself, "I want to do that. I want to be up on that screen and have that effect on people." So I want to make the best of my time on All My Children. Learn as much as I can from working with these professionals and the other actors, take advantage of the excellent training in NYC to grow as much as I can as an actor, and do as much work outside of the show as I can to broaden my experience i.e.: theater, Broadway — why not!, television and film. And no — not porn!

Aside from apparently being harassed about beginning what would surely be a highly successful career in porn, what has been the hardest part of your new celebrity?
I think the hardest part for me, although I only see it on a very small scale now, is that with celebrity comes responsibility. I have noticed that I am recognized in some of the most unlikely of places. I have to remember that I am constantly in the public eye. I honestly shy away from the added attention. But to all the ladies, if you want to throw your panties, they are always welcome ? I'm not that shy!!!!

Whatever, you weirdo! Any other perks aside from panties?
Yeah, it's great for your self-confidence. People stop me or write me to tell me how great I am and how much they love me — that always feels good, and funny I never wait in line anymore to get into a club or restaurant. Hmmm? Funny, these same people used to make me wait before — I wonder what happened to change their minds!

by Sarah Soboleski
photos 1 & 5: Tony Gajate
photos 2, 3, & 4: Photos-Drew Riler

 
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