Interviewing Jeremy Fontanet Cullens

To see Jeremy walk in a room one can’t help but notice him. His stats you’ll find below but to me and I bet anyone who witness his stature strut by would be in awe at the very sight of him. He looks like an great adonis walking amongst us simple mortals. He is undeniably shy and humble, something hard to believe considering his beauty but it’s very true. I’ve known his husband Scott Cullens for a good few years now and once we finished our third interview together for the blog I knew I wanted interview his husband. In all honesty Jeremy had some worry that he wouldn’t be interesting enough for others to want to know about. But as you will read ahead, he absolutely is! The man is accomplished, intelligent, well-thought and has already achieved more than many ever will. I introduce to you, Jeremy Fontanet Cullens.

Steven Michael – Jeremy, thanks very much for speaking with us! I know people will find your story and life very fascinating. Let’s begin. What are your stats? You’re a big boy!

Jeremy Fontanet Cullens – I’m currently 255 lbs. for 6’1. I won’t tell my body fat % – I’ve been a little piglet lately.

Hard to believe you only 6’1″ because you looks much taller. And dear, you train like a fiend so I would never see you a piglet nor “little” anything. (laughing) Tell me about your background, childhood and growing up. When did you get to the States and what brought you here?

I was born and grew up in the south of France (Cannes) before moving to Paris with my mom around 8 years old. I was kind of a dorky kid. Not very popular at all at school with not many friends but very studious. I graduated in university where I studied Chinese (Mandarin) and English. I also practiced athletics at a national level. I excelled at sprinting (200m).

My mom being a singer and dancer inspired me from a young age to be one day on stage too. I had the chance to start my artistic stage career very young. I sung in many gospel choirs and bands. I worked for Disneyland Paris as a main part, acting, singing and dancing. At the age of 22 I was offered the lead role (Simba) in the Broadway musical The Lion King that I played for 3 years in Paris.

I moved to London at the age of 25. That’s where I really became a man. After living in this perfect cocoon in France, I had to grow up and learn the reality of life. It was tough but I learned so much about myself. That’s also where my passion and love for bodybuilding started. I passed my certification to become a personal trainer. I worked in every possible gym roles: fitness coach, personal trainer and then general manager. I got the bug of competing and won my first three shows there.

As you probably know London is a very gay friendly city and coming from France where I was not really out, London was a big coming out time for me. That’s really where I identified myself as a proud gay man. The gay scene was intriguing me and also scaring me as I was not, and still not, doing drugs or drinking. I also didn’t have lots of friends to go out with. As I became more and more in shape, I’ve been proposed to go-go dance in all the biggest clubs of London and Europe. I literally traveled everywhere dancing and I loved it. It was my way to be a part of the gay scene and still keep my lifestyle. Managing my gym during the week and dancing on week ends was my balance and loved both worlds.

WOW! Jeremy, you’ve really lived a big life to be still very young. I go-go danced as well through the south and east coast really having a good time with it. It took me many places and I simply loved the energy from the crowds. But that was then… Glad to have done it and thrilled I don’t have to survive of it. Tell me about meeting Scott for the first time and how that fairytale began. He is quite a character and feel you balance off him very well. I know his friends may agree. And you’re married, too! Congrats!

I met Scott Cullens on a photo shoot in London. It was love at first sight. Love moves mountains and it made me move to the States. I was 30. I first came across “The” Scott Cullens online. I believe I saw a picture of him on Instagram. My mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe the sight. It was a picture from Dylan Rosser. I thought to myself, “this is the hottest guy I ever seen but wake up Jeremy a guy like this will never even notice you.”

Long story short, months later, a photographer from Switzerland told me that he would like to shoot me while in London and that he would also shoot Scott Cullens during his London trip. I think I turned into a teenage girl at that point. I couldn’t believe I would finally meet him. We met. It was love at first sight. And it didn’t take long for me to move to join him in California.

We got married last year, twice actually. Once in Vegas and a second one in Paris in front of my family and friends. Married life is awesome. It has its challenges and that’s definetly a great way to grow as a person. Marriage is never won but always work in progress.

I’d love to see you as a giddy tween meeting an idol for the first time. What a fun story. That’s fate. How do you like Palm Springs? It’s quiet here. You’re 31, yes? No itch to go and run the clubs or has married life taken care of that?

Even though I danced in clubs in the past I’m actually not a big party boy. I really enjoy walking and hiking with my dog, laying on the couch with the husband and enjoying some down time. That’s why I ADORE Palm Springs. It has everything I need. Peaceful pace of life, sun all year around and the scenery is just gorgeous.

Scott and I would occasionally go in a club when we’re out of town but we usually stay less than a hour. So even before being married I’ve been built that way attracted to the peace and quiet.

Very us! We live very public lives during the day at work so our home life is special and precious. We earned that peace. Like I tell others, I lived that fast lane in the clubs for years. I’m fine at home. I know you’ve been in competition mode for bodybuilding for quite some time, getting ready for another contest? What’s involved in getting your pro card for the sport? That’s what you’re working towards, oui?

I met the incredible JP Fux at Worlds Gym Palm Springs last year. He took me under his wings and really did and incredible job with me. He believes in me more than I believe in myself and that chemistry made me won the first show I did in the USA. He really thinks that I can get my pro card in the near future. I fully trust him as he’s been and still is a legend in the bodybuilding world. Plus I absolutely love working out and pushing myself to my limits and JP is definitely doing that. Even if I never get my pro status at least I’m having so much fun in the process. I’m proud of what I achieved so far, especially if you see where I started.

Yes, I hear you especially on leg day. You guys get very vocal. Is it heavy? (cue laugh track) Describe your workout and eating regime. JP Fox puts you and Scott through the paces. Share the pain.

JP is incredible. He brought Scott and I to a place we would have never reached on our own. I’m so grateful to have him as my coach. Plus he’s the funniest guy. We laugh so much during our sessions. It’s pure joy to train with him. I’m very disciplined in my regime on daily basis. Which makes some people laugh sometimes. Specially eating every two hours. The thing I hear the most is: “but you just ate.” I’m doing my cardio every morning, I’m eating the right things at the right times. I’ve been ultra consistent since I started working out six years ago.

Yes, what is your meal prep and menu for competition compared to regularly scheduled eating? And what’s your guilty pleasure on a cheating day?

I try to have a meal every two to three hours. Due to my very fast metabolism I got to keep feeding myself, on or off season. I eat a lot of chicken and that’s why every body knows my name at Costco. Every time I go in I’m greeted by things like: “hey Jeremy, your six chickens are already boxed for ya.” Embarrassing I know. 

When it comes to cheat meal pizza is my guilty pleasure. Scott knows to take me to Bill’s Pizza in Palm Springs. Best pizza in the world. I do love Five Guys also as a cheat. The burger company, not literally five guys. (roar of laughter)

We’ve only interacted briefly here and there but I see you from my front row seat at the gym. I witness how people are in complete awe of you because you are honestly quite awe-inspiring. You can’t be blind to how people react to you so how do you handle that pressure of being someone admired to such degree? To me, you seem very humble and sweet but I know with your size and stature perhaps people are somewhat intimidated. Thoughts?

It’s funny you’re saying that because I actually don’t see it. My first inclinaison is to think that people don’t like me. I’m super shy and tend to keep myself for myself which can make me pass for an arrogant guy. I’m really not the best when it comes to social skills. That’s why I developed that body, so I could hide behind it and let people think what they want. It’s kind of my natural filter. Plus I have the biggest dismorphia. I still see myself as the skinny teenager I was.

I believe many of us are suffering for body dysmorphia. When someone asks me if I’m losing weight the skinny boy who grew up awkward screams out “I’m shrinking” while the reasonable side asks, “How big was I?” It’s all in how we deal with it and not having it consume us. What occupies your time here in the Valley when you’re not training? Favorite places for food, amusement or shopping?

Currently I’m studying for my NASM certification which takes me a lot of time. My U.K. certification  isn’t eligible here in the USA so I have to redo it all over again if I want to personal train here.

One of my favorite restaurant is actually a steak house called Mr Lyons. Scott and I (he will kill me for revealing this) really enjoy going to eat at what he called tacky Indian casino buffet. They know they’re going out of business when we arrive. We eat a LOT. One of favorite place to shop is the outlet mall at Cabazon. Tons of brand and great deals.

I just stalked your Instagram and saw you had quite an extensive career as a go-go dancer, not to mention your nearly 55k followers! Thanks for allowing me to use your photos off your page. Do you miss dancing or are you still doing gigs? What was the highlight of the dance circuit. I saw where you danced 21 parties in one stretch? Whew!

I absolutely loved my go-go dancing era. It was so much fun! It was being part of a world I was so intrigued by but keeping my distance to its negative effects. Being on stage and dancing which I loved was so liberating. I created an alter ego called Jem. And then by day I was going back to my normal life as a gym manager being able to dissociate the two worlds and stay sane and healthy.

Dancing really built my confidence as well. It’s a really ego booster that I needed. I did dance for Circuit Barcelona in 2015. That was an incredible experience but it was the most tiring thing I’ve done. Dancing two parties a day for 10 days straight. My body completely shut down of exhaustion after that and I stayed in bed for five days. But it was worth it. Go-go dancing made me travel everywhere.

Best way for your fans and followers to reach you on social media? And how important do you think social media is and has become?

I think social media is fun but shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s very easy to manipulate and show the world what you want them to see which often doesn’t reflect the reality. I think when it comes to relationship, people have to be very careful when it comes to social media. I saw it destructed so many couples. It has to be used with moderation and respect. Scott is huge online which at the beginning was very hard for me to handle. I’m pretty insecure and although social media can be a real ego booster it also can turn against you. You know me on social media you don’t necessarily know me. But it’s definetly a big part of our society and almost everybody is playing the game now.

Very in-depth concept of it all. On point! Thanks for sharing those thoughts. What do you think of the current state of affairs in France? Do you have a lot of friends and family still in Europe? My husband Jacques said there’s a major election happening. Thoughts?

What’s happening in France is very similar to what’s happening here in the USA. People are becoming more and more racist and have enough of what they think is the cause of their low incomes, harsh quality of life, etc. And therefore they listen to the ones that promise getting rid of minorities, undocumented and “bad hombres.” It’s really sad. The France of Rousseau is long gone. My mom, grandma and friends are still in Europe and they share their worries with me the closer the elections are coming.

And while on the subject, how do you feel about the current administration in the U.S. and the changes and possibilities being brought about? It’s still a very hard pill to swallow on this end. It’s hard to believe where we are now. Thank God for California!

Trump is actually financing the extreme right party which is your republican party here. Yes, thank God to California. Living here feels like living in a bubble where nothing really that happens in all the country touches us. It’s a very weird feeling.

I want to respect that country that allows me to be with the one I love and building my life with. Yes I’m very sad to see where this country is going specially coming from Europe where we are taught since very young that America is the country of hopes and dreams. I pray every single day for people to open their eyes. The same trend is happening in France right now and we saw it happening with Brexit too. There’s a very bad climate worldwide right now and it’s really scary.

I’m a green card holder and even I sometimes think of what if they don’t renew it. What if they make me go back home?

I also describe California as a bubble of protection and Palm Springs as one even more secure. However, as we see things have/are/will change and are we really that safe? Jacques took pictures of his papers to have in his phone just in case. He has been here over 35 years! It’s a scary mess. But from what I understand the guy heading up CaliExit or whatever they want to call it is on Putin’s team, so there’s that.

Here’s some fun ones to lighten it up and finish it off! Boxers, Briefs, or Bare? (Me: Boxers, baby!)

Briefs and Jockstraps

Favorite “Real Housewives” franchise? (Beverly Hills here, then ATL, NYC, OC.)

OMG! ATL all the way. Love the wigs flying off and the catch lines.

Soy, Almond, Fat Free, Vitamin D? (I make too many protein shakes! Vitamin D, man’s milk.)

Never soy. Fat free milk and lots of Zinc, for the manhood you know. Wink!

Most overused word? (“Like, I guess ‘like’ is like overused.”)

Friend. Friend is a way overused and overrated word.

Least admirable trait in others? (I can not lie. Dishonesty.)

Egoism is what repulses me.

Most overrated celebrity? (Any name ending in Kardashian or Jenner. I can’t “keep up.”)

I actually don’t have any name that comes in my mind. I think everybody is where they deserve to be.

Favorite pastime? (Creating choreography. Now dance!)

I really enjoy hiking with my gorgeous dog and Palm Springs is the best place for that.

Jeremy Fontanet Cullens with his husband Scott. ♥

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