Channing Tatum, Norman Reedus, and More Male Celebrities Who You Forgot Started as Models

Channing Tatum and two other models on an ad for the Nautica Jeans Company

Female models can strike a certain chord in the culture and elevate themselves to icon status on the strength of their runway walk. Their male counterparts? Eh, not so much. Sure, the male models of the moment can certainly develop their own passionate fan base, but rarely do they become household names. In fact, if your Aunt Linda or coworker Sam can name someone who happened to work as a male model, it’s probably because they achieved fame through some other means instead. Take Norman Reedus, star of The Walking Dead, who began his career years ago as a favorite face of Miuccia Prada, or Channing Tatum, who did time on the high fashion runway and in front of the cameras for more mass market brands like Nautica. Djimoun Honsou has an Oscar nomination under his belt, but he started his career wearing belts (and other items) in Paris. Even Boyd Holbrook, who could make the claim of being a legitimate male supermodel back in his heyday of the ’00s, is probably better known for his work on Netflix’s Narcos or as the villain in Logan. Take a look back at some of celebrities you forgot used to have serious modeling careers.

Norman Reedus

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, in his Prada campaign from the ’90s. Incidentally, his son Mingus is following in dad’s footsteps by modeling for Calvin Klein. Photograph courtesy of Prada.

Mark Wahlberg

Long before he was an actor, and even before he was a rapper, Mark Wahlberg posed for this iconic Calvin Klein advertisement from 1991. Photograph courtesy of Calvin Klein.

Jamie Dornan

No wonder Jamie Dornan wasn’t afraid to flash some skin in the Fifty Shades movies; he did so frequently during his modeling days, including in his Calvin Klein advertisement from 2006. Photograph courtesy of Calvin Klein.

Mehcad Brooks

Before appearing in Supergirl and Desperate Housewives, Mehcad Brooks did some early work for Calvin Klein and returned to modeling for this advertisement from 2010. Photograph courtesy of Calvin Klein.

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder’s cheekbones are legendary, so it’s not a surprise to see him in this Versus by Gianni Versace 1995 advertisement. Photo courtesy of Versus.

Boyd Holbrook

A frequent face in editorials, runways, and campaigns in the ’00s, here’s Boyd Holbrook photographed by Hedi Slimane for Dior Homme in 2003. Photograph courtesy of Dior.

Matthew Barney

Not all male models go on to become famous for acting. Here’s conceptual artist (and Björk ex) Matthew Barney (far left) in a J.Crew advertisement from 1989. Photograph courtesy of J.Crew.

Travis Fimmel

Before Vikings, Travis Fimmel became famous as the face (and body) of Calvin Klein underwear and appeared on the cover of W Magazine with Gisesle in November 2002. Photograph by Michael Thompson.

Djimon Hounsou

Though Djimon Hounsou appears in this Calvin Klein ad from 2007, he began work as a male model in the late ’80s in Paris. Photograph courtesy of Calvin Klein.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum already made a movie about his male stripper past, so why not one on his male model past? Here’s Tatum in a Nautica advertisement from the early 2000s. Photograph courtesy of Nautica.