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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 299 > Blond ambition

Blond ambition

Zander Hodgson may look the all-American boy, but the model was born in a small town in Shropshire. He talks about coming out there, the future, and his boyfriend, Instagram star Troy Pes
Words Tim Heap Photography Stephen Maycock Styling Joseph Kocharian

Let’s start by stating the obvious: Zander Hodgson is a pretty boy. No, he’s a very pretty boy — just ask his 141,000 Instagram followers. Almost 6ft of lean, sun-kissed muscle, a face with enviably good bone structure and a swathe of tousled, blond hair. He encapsulates perfectly the all-American high school jock aesthetic, with a bit of Cali surfer dude thrown in for good measure.

But, despite his straight-out-of-America boyish looks, 27-year-old Zander actually hails from Shropshire, in the West Midlands, and moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to pursue his dreams of modelling and acting. It paid off: he’s shot campaigns and editorials for Hollister, Swatch and Vogue Japan, working with celebrated photographers including Douglas Kirkland, Ellen von Unwerth and Steven Klein. The acting side’s been a little slower to take off, but last year Zander set tongues wagging and pulses racing when he appeared in an episode of Ray Donovan — the drama starring Liev Schreiber — as a chainedup “BDSM angel” engaging in gay sex.

He’s been out to friends and family since he was a teenager, but in March this year, Zander publicly addressed his sexuality in a video uploaded to YouTube. Hoping to inspire LGBT+ youngsters, he said, “Although sexuality is a small part of someone, if you shut it off, then you don’t allow yourself to be fully known.” Soon after, he also went public about his relationship with Venezuelan social media star Troy Pes, to the sound of hearts breaking all over the world. Attitude meets Zander during Britain’s heatwave summer, at a studio in south east London. Without an air-con unit in sight, it’s rather warm when I sit down with him for a chat, and he’s perfectly happy to keep his top off — although he does throw a pair of shorts on over the top of some baby-pink briefs. I’m glad really; it’s distracting enough watching his bronzed, dewy torso flex each time he moves or gestures…

Zander wears jacket, by adidas
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About Attitude

On the cover: Mamma Mia! star Dominic Cooper and model Zander Hodgson Plus: meet the winners of the Attitude Pride Awards 2018, celebrate Madonna's 60th birthday with her most iconic moments, and Team GB's first karate world champion Jordan Thomas