Interview: Austin Armacost

The star of Logo's The A-List: New York dishes on his cast mates, posing for Playgirl and how he feels about all those fat jokes.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

    Austin Armacost in Washington Square Park

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost at Billy's Bakery

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost at the London NYC Hotel

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost at Catbird

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Austin Armacost

Photograph: Jolie Ruben; Styling: Lauren Levinson

Austin Armacost in Washington Square Park

Austin Armacost, the breakout star of Logo's guilty-pleasure hit The A-List: New York, is well-versed in the "I'm not here to make friends" school of reality TV. He happily talks trash about the show's newest cast member, Nyasha ("or as I prefer to say, Nausea") Zimucha, and drops juicy hints about all the drama the show's fans can expect in season two ("there is something that happens this season that will kind of tear us apart," he says of his onscreen BFF, Derek Saathoff). But the 23-year-old model and aspiring businessman—who made gossip headlines a few years back during a brief affair with designer Marc Jacobs—also seems to have his feet fairly firmly on the ground. He lives most of the year with his husband, Jake Lees, far from the spotlight in Northern England, and he freely admits he cranks up the on-camera antics simply to keep viewers entertained—thus ensuring his livelihood. We caught up with the honey-voiced Southern Indiana native after he gamely posed for some wedding-themed photos at TONY headquarters.

Did you and Jake have a big wedding in England?
We were stuck in a situation where I wouldn't be able to return to the U.K. if I didn't get married. We were already engaged and we were planning on having a big wedding and inviting all the family, but we had to move it forward. His family was able to come and join the festivities, and it was very intimate, very simple, and that's all that we felt was important: focusing the day on us. We didn't need anything over-the-top or anything dramatic. Neither of us are dramatic people. [Pauses] At least when it comes to stuff like that. I mean, I'm over-the-top and crazy and outgoing and eccentric, but when it comes to a ceremony that symbolizes the love that we have for one another, we don't need champagne fountains and horse-drawn carriages.

Now that gay marriage is legal in New York, are you planning another wedding in the city?
The state of New York actually recognizes our marriage in the U.K., so I don't feel like calling it a wedding, because we're already legally married. But our one-year anniversary falls on July 26, so I won't be sitting at home watching television on that day, I can say that. We definitely want to have something for my side of the family, who was not able to join us in the U.K. We're planning some type of celebration.

Will that also be small and intimate? Or will it be on the show?
It is something that will be on The A-List: New York show, definitely. From speaking to the producers, it could even be the season finale. So that's something to look forward to. Jake's very excited about documenting our love. It's something that we want to show people and kind of let young gay men aspire to. I get messages daily from all my social media saying, "You two are so cute together" and "We can really see the love in your eyes" and "I want to grow up and be like you." I happened to find someone who loves me and I love him. We're very lucky. If I can document that and it wont affect us in any negative way, then I'd be honored. And I think that's part of why we're doing the show—to show people that you can be gay and be successful.

Do you consider New York your home?
Oh God, no! I'm not a New Yorker at all. After living in Northern England for the past two years, I think that's a place I could happily live for the rest of my life. It's beautiful, it's slow paced. The great thing about New York is I can come here for three months and make enough money to support me for the rest of the year. It's a gold mine! But I feel like I'm caged here. New York is just crazy and overwhelming....

So you just come to the city for show?
Well, for the past three years, Jake and I have been on holiday in New York, so it's kind of become a tradition to spend our summers here. But while we're here, we're also traveling to the West Coast and back home to Indiana. But when we come to America, New York is our home base. But it's for a very brief stint.

What has Jake's response been to your increasingly public profile?
It's interesting, because when I met Jake when I was 18, I was going through a really hard time, drinking a lot, and I was on drugs. My father is my accountant, and he froze my accounts because he knew the money was going toward alcohol and drugs and partying and things that I shouldn't have been doing. When I met Jake, I was living out of a minivan and I had a laundry hamper in the back with two or three T-shirts. I always tell him that he kissed a frog, because he knew me long before my career on the television show and my modeling career picked back up. But this newfound...I guess you could call it fame: We eat it up! He loves it and he thinks it's fun. But if a fan comes up to me, I'm going to entertain them and talk to them for as long as they want to. Sometimes it's been hours on end, and Jake's texting me or poking me in the back and saying, "Lets go, lets get the hell out of here, we don't know these people." But at the same time, he knew, coming to New York this summer, that this is what we'd be doing, so he kind of takes it with a grain of salt and enjoys it while we're here.

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1 comments
robert j menger
robert j menger

i loved the show auston was real i like that also verry HOT i would like to know the next show love you guys all !!!