Interview With John Quinlan

John Quinlan is a  fitness, art and fashion model of German and Irish descent from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a former bodybuilder and professional wrestler. He has appeared in a wide variety of publications, from fitness magazines to Children’s books (He was a troll!) as well as being a model for many brands of apparel all over the world.

He was recently appointed as an official model ambassador for Diego Barberi apparel, a Swiss company, here in the United States. He is also the official celebrity spokesmodel for Toot brand underwear in Japan.

John ‘s image has also illustrated several posts on, including Postcard and When Good Blogs Die. To see an extensive gallery of John’s images here on this blog, see the previous post John Quinlan Photo Gallery.

1. Does your career dictate what city you live in, or is there some flexibility?

Anything I have ever done has never dictated where I live. I have my feet planted very solid in Boston, Massachusetts right now. Traveling for a modeling gig or a competition to me is just that, a venture that go to….do the best I can at it and fly home.

2. How are fitness and body building competitions structured? Are there different categories?

First off, I respect every athlete that steps on the bodybuilding and fitness competition stage as it takes a lot of courage and dedication and is something very few in the general population will ever do so 100% respect from John Quinlan. Both are similar as one has to be in outstanding physical condition. Bodybuilding goes for a bit more of the hardcore muscle while fitness is bit lighter with a bit more emphasis on muscle tone. I’m not an expert though by any means, lol!

3. How often do you compete?

I’m more of a free spirit and competing is just something extra to do for a challenge. So many amazing athletes I have come across throughout the years involved in shows, I really feel many of them don’t get the respect they so very much deserve. I competed a bit in the late 90’s and made the transition to professional wrestling during that time as well. After I quit life as a wrestler I took the next several years off from competitions to just experience life. I feel that was the right thing to do at the time.

4. Can you describe your workout regimen in layman’s terms?

It really depends what I am doing at the time. If I am preparing for a competition or a modeling shoot (usually I try to incorporate both around the same time) I will train for about 1 1/2 hours with weights give or take a bit and slowly throw in some cardio work. I will increase the cardio as I approach my target date as I see fit. I enjoy working out for the pure enjoyment of it and it gives me a chance to clear my mind while I do it. I have always done things a bit different and “marched to the beat of my own drum” so to speak which has hurt me at times but I am still ok with that because I am true to myself and those around me.

5. How do you and your wife help your kids develop not just healthy habits, but a healthy body image? Is it different for girls and boys?

We always support them with positive energy and words. I tell both my little boys it’s ok to fail in life and that daddy will always love you no matter what. Life throws us many curve balls and positive words along with good communication are good ways to prepare them on how to handle some of life’s negatives that they will encounter as they grow. With a little girl on the way I will try to do the same thing with her. I like to see them eat right and I act as a role model when it comes to good eating habits but they are kids and it’s ok with me if they do what they want….let them enjoy being kids! I’m pretty easy going with the kids and just want them to be happy. I think they will love their dad forever with this philosophy, lol!

6. Inside your left wrist in oriental scripture in the symbol for “Family”. When did you get this tattoo? What is the symbolism or significance behind your other tattoos?

I have received a lot of bad press over the years for my tattoos. I think it’s funny how many people have always viewed me as a punk and a troublemaker based on my body art and the way I look when they don’t even know me. I know what it’s like to be discriminated against because of something that is no longer in my control. From my experiences over the years with my tattoos I can now fully understand what others who were discriminated against in the past went through as well. The African American’s of the 1960’s who were discriminated against for the color of their skin is a topic that comes to mind. Many people in our society really need to judge others for the quality of the individual person and not things like the color of ones skin and body art.

7. What kind of gigs have you lost because of your ink? What kind of gigs have you not yet done, but would like to?

Ink is something that is ones personal preference, it’s completely opinionated. For all the reps who said “no” to me there have been an equal amount who said “yes” we love your ink and physique. I have never really taken it that seriously anyway and I have never really cared what those around me have said about me. I have enough friends and those I care about with a great family so “oh, well”.

8. How did you get into professional wrestling?

My bother-in-law would often watch professional wrestling on television at the time (1998) and he kept telling me I looked a lot like a pro wrestler at the time named Buff Bagwell. Back when I sported hair and a goatee, lol thinking back at that look, everybody said we looked alike. I really didn’t see it but everybody kept asking me if I was him or if we were related. So after much encouragement for so many people I spoke with a friend of mine from the gym who was training at Killer Kowalski’s Pro Wrestling School. I went down there and checked it out and loved everything about it. I became great friends with Walter “Killer” Kowalski and now that he has passed I thank God that he have me that privilege. “Thanks Walter, I will never forget you”.

9. How much of the sport of professional wrestling was competition, and how much was exhibition?

Professional wrestling is a full contact activity. Many don’t give professional wrestlers their due that they so very much deserve as athletes. These are some great athletes who display strength, agility and the mindset to carry on a good match with their opponent for the enjoyment of a sold out crowd. The only “exhibition” is the mere facts that the outcome has pre-determined winner and loser and the punches are fake….obviously I would hope one doesn’t think the punches are real my God what a mess if it was, ha ha ha! Everything else is all good, the chops to the chest, hitting the ropes, being thrown up in the air, performing high flying moves and the overall full contact with some guys who are as big as buildings. I remember April Hunter training at Kowalski’s school, while I was there. She was an amazing athlete and I have a lot of respect for her coming down to train with all of us guys. She said it best after her first few days training there that it is a lot harder than it looks. But she iced her bruises day in and day out and kept coming back, I will always respect her for that.

10. What other sports or fitness related activities have you been involved in?

I played baseball in high school and briefly in college at both Saint Leo University and Springfield College. Everything else is pretty public knowledge.

11. Literary agents guide their clients in making their MS as good as it can be, and act as a representative of the writer to the publisher. Do you have a modeling agent? If someone in publishing saw your photo and thought you’d be a great model for the cover of a romance novel, how would they contact you?

Jason Patric Santos. He can be contacted through

12. You have a great website showcasing some of your work. How did you find your website guy?

Jason Santos also handles all of my PR and runs my web site. He is an amazing guy and very talented. I have known Jason since my days as a professional wrestler which is quite a long time so there is a genuine trust and friendship there.

13. As a model, what other professionals do you work with on a regular basis?

So many but it all really depends on the style of shoot. If it is a fitness and sports oriented shoot there may be other male and female fitness models there or some bodybuilders. Fashion, editorial or art themed shoots I will usually be alone or with another model of the same overall appearance and so on.

14. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your wife?

There isn’t just one most romantic moment, I can only say they all ended like some of  your great romance novels 🙂

15. What was the thing that surprised you most about becoming a father?

How much I would love the babies! I have always loved children as I am a kid at heart, but even to this very day every time I look at both my little boys I still can’t believe I helped create these beautiful little guys.

16. What was your & your wife’s reaction when you found out that baby #3 was a little girl? How did the boys react?

This is funny, my wife was convinced it was a boy all the way. She told me she was destined for “my 3 sons” but I thought it was a girl as the pregnancy progressed. She had morning sickness and felt very tired at times unlike both boys so I simply told her this is a different pregnancy and it has to be a girl and I was right (for once), ha ha ha! We were both very happy. Both little boys don’t really understand it yet but they will be great big brothers a.k.a. Bodyguards, lol!

17. Do all handsome, tattooed, muscular men change diapers, or just you?

Thank you, I am honored and humbled you say that about me. I spoke with one of my friends the other day and he said it best about me and I had to laugh…..he said the real heroes in life are good guys like us who respect others and take care of our families, having triceps as big as thighs are just an added bonus. Thanks bro, you know who you are! I just feel it is my responsibility as a good father to do these things for my children, it’s a lot of work but I enjoy every minute of it!

18. Romance writers can be a rowdy bunch. How do you feel about being referred to as “Man Candy?”

I am humbled to say the least, but just being involved in fitness since the late 80’s I guess I should have a little bit physically to show for it. I have so much love, respect and appreciation for all those reading this article along with you for selecting me to interview. Anybody up for some hugs…!

19. What’s your favorite science fiction film? Would it be fun to do a cover for a sci fi or fantasy novel?

This is a great question, Total Recall is my top science fiction film. All my friends first had to see it back in the day since Arnold was in it but I remember as we watched it there were some really funny scenes in it that we still laugh at and make references about. The “2 weeks” lady, the woman at the bar (for those who are familiar with the movie I don’t have to explain which woman and which bar, ha ha ha) as well as Arnold’s sarcasm are just a few of the classic scenes.

20. And the question I ask everybody… Who shot first? Han or Greedo?

Star Wars is old school, as am I…..thought I would never utter that phrase, ha ha ha! If the author of this interview were to phone me as her friend on the million dollar question show and this was it she would be hooked up and have to split some of her winnings with me. The answer to this question from this Jedi model is simply the following: Han is the only one to shoot in the original version that I saw for the first time in 1979, man, that is a long time ago but I bet I am right without even checking. I was only 3 years old I think when this movie first came out so when I matured to the big age of 5 when I could comprehend everything, lol, I saw it. My brother was into Sci-Fi big time and I remember watching this movie a couple decades later with him and it showed Greedo firing the first shot at Han, yeah sorry we both picked up on the fact this was different from the original version so it had to be edited. They should just leave the classics alone!

I’d like to send a big personal thanks to my friend and photographer John Mitchell. You can see his work on his website at .

You can see more about John Quinlan at the following sites:

Mr. Quinlan’s own website:

Mr. Quinlan’s facebook fanpage

Mr. Quinlan’s Model Mayhem page

Mr. Quinlan on Wikipedia

Mr. Quinlan on Wikimedia

…and as a bonus, a short story called Synaesthesia inspired by one of John’s images by artist Francisco Martins.


Illustration by Brian Dow

And a last minute addition: Brian Dow sent the picture he did of John as a Genie!

The shortlink for this post is

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Interview With John Quinlan

  1. John never disappoints. What a great interview from a genuinely nice guy. I wish him all the success and happiness in the world!

  2. Steve Politano says:

    This guy is pretty hot sh*t haha! I don’t see him outside of work, so the insight here is great. Proud to know ya’ John, you’re a hell of a guy! This was a good read!

  3. Bobby Pizzio says:

    Great Inerview. John and I are friends from Back In College and He was a great Ball Player. He could hit a baseball a mile, also John was always a great guy to have on your side. John is a fine and considerate man and must make a great father . Congrats on your success and keep up the great work.

  4. I’ve know John since the days back at Worlds Gym in Lynnfield Ma. We share a lot as I’m tattooed, used to compete but I’m out of that now. I’ve never met a more sincere, humble man in my life and I’m proud to call him my friend! We lost contact for awhile but thanks to Facebook, we have had the chance to catch up. I’m so happy that you are doing well John, your wife and kids are lucky to have you in their lives and will always love you and be proud of you!

    Love and Peace,

  5. John is a great guy anyone who spends five minutes with him would see that.A man with integrity is hard to find these days!Beyond the muscles and ink is good person,those are just a bonus!!!

  6. Marie says:

    Great interview! I especially like the part where John talked about his family.

  7. Stephen Dowd says:

    You would be hard pressed to find a better man. A solid individual, nothing less.

  8. I have known John for a few years now through work and can honestly say the world could use a few more guys like him I wish him and his family all the best

  9. Gina nelson says:

    Wow what a great article and I loved all the pictured . This really couldnt have been bettrr.comgrats john.xoxo

  10. Patric says:

    A big thanks to AmyBeth Inverness for a very awesome and amazing interview with the hottest Sports Model in US who had also proven that he has an international appeal through his recent international brand campaigns. Congratulations to John! Truly an inspiration especially for new models who are looking for positive role models!

  11. Mark Cacciolfi says:

    Solid article about a solid individual. I only know John from work and thought him as a very humble, polite man, that everyone else had nothing byt wonderful things to say about him. I would never have known he lead such an interesting life. Thank you for the different prospective of this class act.

  12. Doug Jantz says:

    Excellent!! I met JOhn last year in Vegas at a FAME contest where I was the photographer. He is a great guy, and has a great heart for people!!

  13. Lou Panarese says:

    Great Interview for true down to earth guy. You can tell how genuine, passionate and dedicated he is about his family and his career.

  14. Pingback: Synaesthesia « Under Loch & Key

  15. Carol Gay says:

    Gosh, who new, this leaves no doubt John is one of the good guys. Excellent interview, wish him nothing but success.

  16. Pingback: Creativity | AmyBeth Inverness

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