Meet Joseph Cannata: an interview with a Mills & Boon cover star

Meet Joseph Cannata: an interview with a Mills & Boon cover star

Recognise this face? Toronto-born model and actor Joseph Cannata has graced the cover of over 100 books and many of them have been Harlequin/Mills and Boon favorites. We were lucky enough to meet him recently (even luckier not to faint) for a little chat…

What was it like growing up in Toronto?

Growing up in the Suburbs of Toronto was pretty great, I have some lifelong friends from the city I grew up in and have made many new ones along the way. Except for the terribly cold Winters, Toronto is a great place to live or visit.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?

Now that I’ve got some great experience traveling because of work, I’ve got to say I really enjoy Cape Town South Africa, I’ve lived there twice over the past 2 years and am planning a return visit again this year for a few months before I make the permanent move to Los Angeles to continue acting and modelling. Cape Town has some of the greatest people I’ve met and its a place of beauty you can only experience by being there.

You’ve mentioned before how you trained to be a firefighter. Has this profession ever made its way into any of your book covers or acting roles?

Unfortunately I haven’t yet been able to put my admiration of firefighting into any of my model/acting roles. But I am hoping that opportunity still makes itself available to me in the future.

How does one audition for a cover model job? 

I suppose booking for your cover is your “audition” as the art director will most likely book you from your portfolio – The rest is up to you, to arrive on time, be able to perform what is asked of you. A lot of people think it’s quite simple being on the cover of a book. The saying “stand there and look pretty”, I’m sure rings a bell to most, however, it’s a little more complicated than that. 

OK, so talk us through a shoot for a book cover – what happens on the day and are there any moments that ever make you cringe/laugh?

I really enjoy shooting covers, I’ve done over 100, so I think I’ve got a little experience on how they go. It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always comfortable. Because the shoots are relatively quick, you’re definitely under pressure to do what is required. There have been shoots that I’ve laughed at how ridiculous I look, pretending to be chasing someone with a weapon, while in fact I’m just starring out a window with that brooding look on my face, not to mention there are about 10 people watching you do this. Over time, you learn to have a lot of fun with it, you eventually let go and give it your all, I suppose thats why the clients aren’t bored of me yet? There are challenging shoots as well, I always find when I’m shooting with children to be odd, you’ve got their parents standing by so close you can almost feel them breathing on you, and then there are back up children in case something goes wrong (baby crying, bathroom, etc) However, [when that happens] you always feel like it’s your fault.

What does your family think of your work?

My family has been extremely supportive over the last few years, they’ve seen how far I’ve come, and how ambitious I am and where I want to go moving forward and what goals I’d like to achieve. Without their support I think I would feel uneasy about my work, wondering if I’ve made the right decisions. It’s good to have family (whom are most important) to let you know that it’s my path, my way. 

What’s the cover you’re most proud of?

I must say, I’m proud of them all, I’ve been very lucky to shoot as many as I do, so every time I shoot a cover, I’m very grateful. 

Have you ever been recognised on the street from any of your book covers?

I haven’t, a lot of people have sent me images and book covers showing that it’s me, from all over the world. That’s always fun! 

Do you have any advice for any young guys trying to get into modelling?

You know, I’m still trying to figure out how I got into modelling. What’s most important, in anything in life, is to make sure it’s something you actually want to be doing, with honesty. I never intended on being as busy as I am with modelling. I’ve learned over the years to keep all doors of opportunity open, because you never know which one you’ll have to walk through and where it may take you. Be sure to have fun, and live life too, there’s a world out there beyond modelling 🙂 

Joseph will next be seen on the cover of Louise Allen’s ‘His Christmas Countess’, December 2015.