With millions of fans across the internet, Javi Luna is one to watch.
Having started his modelling career with Abercrombie & Fitch after a chance encounter with a talent scout, Javi has gone on to carve out a successful career not just as a model, but as an actor, musician and all-round social media star.
We recently sat down with Javi to talk career highlights, dream legacies and to find out what Don’t Die Wondering means to him…
Hey, Javi! Can you tell us a little about what you do?
Well, I’m an actor. I do music and I’m a creator on social media. I do TikTok, Youtube, Instagram but mainly I love movies and just being on set.
What kind of YouTube videos do you make?
I don’t really have a niche, I just do whatever is trending or whatever I feel like. I do challenges, sometimes I talk about myself so my audience can get to know me a little bit better… yeah, whatever is trending or whatever I want to show at that moment, that’s what I create.
Can you tell us about how you came to be where you are today?
It started when I was in high school and one day, walking out of school, a model manager asked me if I wanted to work for a campaign for Abercrombie and Fitch – that’s how I started. I started working in Madrid, London and just started getting more modelling gigs.
What do you think it means to be a creator in such a rapidly changing world?
I think being a creator right now, during the pandemic and everything… it might sound brutal but it was actually really helpful to me. There were a lot of people at home, so they would consume a lot of entertainment and go on YouTube and Tik Tok. I think that (the pandemic) was one of the main reasons why TikTok blew up. It’s great to at least know that, during this difficult time, we are making people happier, I guess. I see it as an opportunity to keep people smiling.
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do and what is the most challenging?
The most rewarding thing about what I do is having the opportunity to be seen by people all around the world. I love to see comments from people in countries where I never thought they would see me from. Also, just connecting to people that I don’t know on the internet – but somehow I’m helping them!
The most challenging thing is definitely working with a lot of notes, you know? As an actor, as a creator, you get rejected all the time. You audition and audition and you get a lot of ‘No’, so you start thinking ‘Okay, is there anything wrong with me? Should I change something?’ and that’s a mental challenge that you have within your head. The negative comments on social media that you get sometimes, too, you know? I don’t get a lot but those still affect me somehow.
Who was your biggest inspiration in what you do?
In acting, I would say probably Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Dean, River Phoenix…
As for music, I love Ed Sheeran. I love how he writes and I love his passion. Outside of that, I’m really inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo, because he’s a really hard worker – and Rafael Nadal.
When did your passion for acting start?
I kind of grew up in the movie industry, seeing how the greatest actors work, so I think I always had that passion – I just never thought that it could actually become my life. Funnily enough, my first acting gig was from a casting director messaging me on Facebook.
What does an average day look like for you?
My daily routine is pretty complicated. I wake up pretty early, usually like 7:15, 7:30. I don’t wake up any later than that. I don’t know if it’s anxiety or whatever, but I always wake up super early. I check out my social media, see how my videos are doing and check if I received any texts from my manager or agent and then I get a coffee, work on my emails for an hour, hit the gym, shower, and then I start making videos or auditions or whatever I have that day.
How do you think success has changed your life?
I don’t consider myself successful. It depends on what you want to call success – if you want to call it money or if you want to call it happiness. Either one, I’m still chasing those. Definitely the money that I’ve been able to get since I started doing this has given me a lot of freedom to make choices. Happiness is something that I’m still chasing, you know?
How do you prepare for fashion shoots and filming days?
Just trying to be really relaxed! I’m not thinking much about them. I like to think about them the days before so my head is prepared. Once I’m getting closer, I try to think about some other things.
I believe the best shots either in photos or when I’m on set are whenever my body is completely relaxed, so I try to be myself and try to get surprised by the moment.
What’s your favourite outfit you’ve ever worn?
Alright, so the best outfit – or the one that I felt the most comfortable with – was probably at the MTV Awards in 2017. It was actually a fake leather jacket. I don’t really wear leather, but it had like red strips and then I wore red shoes, so I kind of look like Spiderman! That was pretty cool. I liked that.
What is your favourite photo in your portfolio and why?
My favourite photo is still one of the first photos that I ever took. I’m smoking a cigarette and when I saw it, I was like ‘Whoa, I cannot believe that’s me!’ I knew that there was something really, really special about that photo. There’s some depth that the photographer captured. I think it was my first photo shoot ever and, to this day, that is the best photo of me.
What’s your favourite TikTok you’ve ever made?
That’s hard to say, man, I think all of them suck! (Laughs)
My favourite is probably a clip of my new movie, God & Salsa. It’s a very personal clip, my character is breaking down and it was a very intimate moment. I just like that people could really feel the emotion when I posted it – I get a lot of comments of people really, really feeling it. I’m proud of that one.
Who’s your favourite designer?
That’s a hard one. Versace, probably.
How do you handle negative feedback?
I don’t do a great job. Sometimes I get pretty depressed when I see a bad comment – luckily, I have friends that tell me ‘Dude, these are just people trying to get a reaction out of you’ and they kind of talk me out of it. It still affects me, but I have a lot of fans that support me. I try to see those comments more than the negative ones.
The entertainment industry is known to be full of stress and pressure. What do you do to tackle the pressure that comes with your work?
It’s a lot, especially when you have a lot of things to do and a lot of those never take you anywhere. There’s a lot of times that I’ve done auditions and then I’ve never heard from them. It’s definitely a lot of hard work and being very strong in your head, knowing your value and knowing who you are. Also, just having your family close keeps you grounded and reminds you of who you are. It’s definitely a lot, but if you have friends and family that remind you who you are, you’ll get through it.
What’s your favourite fashion brand that you’ve worked with as a model?
To this day, I’m really grateful to have been working with Abercrombie and Fitch. They saw me out of nowhere and they gave me the opportunity. That was the first modelling job I ever had, so to be able to say ‘Oh, okay, I can be a part of this’ and for them to give me an opportunity, that meant a lot.
I really liked working with Cartier, as well. That was pretty cool.
What challenges have you faced whilst modelling?
There was one time that I got pretty traumatised and that I definitely hated. I was at a photoshoot and I was doing some photos with a girl and the girl was trying to change. She asked for a place to change, and the people were like ‘Oh, we’re in a rush, just change here’ and I definitely don’t like that. It traumatised me a lot to think that there’s a lot of girls in that position and they just don’t say anything and they have to do it. It’s really, really bad. After that, I spoke out, but nothing really changed because she was like ‘No, it’s fine’. I don’t know. Definitely I think girls in the modelling industry need to be more respected and really treated better, in my opinion.
Do you have any tips for young actresses or actors starting out in the field?
Work really, really hard to think that you can really achieve anything you want to with hard work and being smart. Like really, I’m not better than anyone, i just worked really hard. With the people on top, it’s not like they’re better – they just work really hard. Everybody can achieve whatever they want. Just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing and you will find success for sure.
What’s your favourite role you’ve done?
My new role of Shane in God & Salsa, which was very, very dramatic – I usually get more opportunities in young teenage romcoms, so it was really cool to be able to do a dramatic role where I can show my range. He’s a teenager and he’s struggling a lot. He kind of reminded me of when I was like 15 and stuff, so it was really cool to kind of process what I went through and try to remember those emotions.
What would be your dream role?
Probably Tyler Durden in Fight Club. I would also really love to play Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
I really liked Call Me By Your Name, too. That was a great movie.
What message would you want to give to your fans?
Just thank you so so much for all the support and love that you guys give me every single day! I would not be here if it wasn’t for you guys.
We’re all in this together. That sounds so cliche, but every single day that I wake up and I see all your DMs is just incredible – it keeps me going and it gives me a lot of strength. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What are your future goals?
My future goals would be to keep working in the entertainment industry, especially movies, and to keep writing music. I would love to jump on writing shows and writing movies, as well. Maybe directing, too, that would be cool.
What kind of music do you make?
Well, right now I’ve been making reggaeton songs. I’m from Spain, from Madrid, so I’ve been doing a lot of reggaeton songs.
I love Maluma and J Balvin – I’ve been doing songs that people can dance and be happy with. I also love tropical house. I love just the feeling of being by the beach, just playing down in the sun.
What do you think your legacy will be?
Hopefully, I will have a legacy to start with!
I don’t know. I love to watch James Dean movies – he only made like three, but he’s somehow still alive and his message is still alive. I would love for someone to watch my projects even after I’ve gone and feel something inside with the person that once I was
What is your favourite place on Earth?
Ibiza. I went with my friends in 2017 and it was absolutely amazing.
What does the phrase ‘Don’t Die Wondering’ mean to you?
Just go for it. It doesn’t matter what people say. People will criticise you until you make it and, once you make it, people will change their words. So keep doing it – you can do it. Everybody can.
What is your life motto?
Work as hard as you can and you’ll be at peace with yourself. Just work, ‘cause you can achieve it. Everybody has doubts but just go for it – it’s not that important and people are not really looking at you that much. You know, if they laugh at you, they can laugh at you but you will be at peace with yourself once you’ve done everything you can.
What is one thing you’d like to do before you die?
Just be happy. Just find true happiness – a moment with myself where I don’t have to feel anxious. I would love to have that feeling of being at complete peace and not have any worries. That would be pretty cool.