Model Tanner Mata is extremely good looking: bedroom eyes, six-foot tall, and captain-of-the-football team kind of attractive. But beneath the pretty-boy looks that undoubtedly captivated the young hearts of many, his laid-back demeanor makes it easy to understand why he makes the perfect boy next door.
Tanner has only been in Manila for a year, but the 22-year-old has already garnered almost half a million followers on Instagram; a perk that typically follows after exiting popular reality show, Pinoy Big Brother. But while he’s lost touch with some of his PBB housemates, he is actually in constant contact with his fans; even putting together a Thanksgiving party to celebrate their support for the Filipino-American. The closeness with his fans is clearly something he values. But entering into show business and everything that came with it wasn’t all part the plan. He shared, “[Joining PBB] was more of just a spontaneous thing. I wanted to try something new, kind of learn more about myself and basically get off my comfort zone.”
If 2017 is any indication, it’s so far, so good. Tanner Mata is set to begin navigating the ups and downs of show business. And we’ll be here—along with his 500k fans—awaiting his next move.
After an onslaught of high-pitched screams echoing in the 5-storey building where our shoot took place, we talked to Tanner about his twin brother, living with strangers, and being the Clark Kent of the Philippines.
What’s the best thing you’ve done so far this summer?
Best thing I’ve done this summer so far is go to Coachella with my friends.
What was your favorite part?
There were so many good parts, probably seeing Tove Lo and Wiz Khalifa.
Are you more of a beach or mountain kind of guy?
I have to say I am more of a mountain kind of guy because it’s a challenge to get there.
So if you were stranded on a mountain, what five things would you have with you?
I will bring a flint and a knife to make a fire, probably some army ration packs for food, one of those water bottles that purifies water so that you can just drink wherever, a tent, and a jacket because it could be cold.
No, I’ll find my way.
But if you could bring someone with you who would you bring?
About your brother, what do both of you have in common other than your looks?
There are so many similarities. We love sports, but our biggest passion I have to say is driving.
Do you want to do it professionally?
I’ve been racing since 15 and I would love to do it professionally, but it’s hard to get in to.
What’s the biggest difference between you and Tyler?
Probably our personalities, he’s very very outgoing and I’m kind of more introverted.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
When I was a baby, I did a commercial for a baby company with my brother. One of us was the girl and I’m pretty sure it was me. (Laughs)
How did you get into modeling when you got older?
I got into modeling because one of my cousins was a model and she gave me a few different agencies to start just ‘cause she said that my brother and I should try modeling. So then we chose one of the agencies and we went for it.
What made you move here?
Modeling, actually. The Philippines is my first country to do international modeling.
How did you get into Pinoy Big Brother?
I actually just went through the interview without thinking anything about it. I didn’t think I would get it. So I just kind of went through it, then they called me back and I’m like, “Alright, I guess I’ll go.”
What have you taken away from your experience at the PBB house?
I learned more about myself, how much I can push myself, definitely patience, and also just to look at the bright side of things.
What was the most challenging part?
Probably waiting. Just like tasks and being in there so long. Just really not doing much, you don’t have anything in there so you just got to make something up in your head or have fun with the other housemates.
What was it like being in a house full of strangers?
It’s definitely an experience because you know everybody lives a different way so I guess you just learn a lot about how the people behave and how the people live. It kind of shows you how you grew up compared to other people.
So coming out of PBB what was it like to find out that you have such a huge fan base?
Crazy. That’s the craziest feeling to me ever. I mean to come out that was my biggest shock to figure out my fan base and then getting to know them and seeing them grow. It’s still shocking, mind-blowing. To be honest, I still do not believe it.
What’s been your most memorable fan encounter?
The Thanksgiving party I just had for the fans. I played games with them. I got to know a lot of them. There were a lot of good times, I mean all my fans are super super nice. They’re amazing.
Some fans call you the Clark Kent of the Philippines. How do you relate to him?
I guess when I was growing up, I wanted to be like Superman because I wanted to be strong enough for anything. I wanted to be able to protect everyone I love so I guess that’s how I could relate to Clark Kent.
If we were in a day in the life of Tanner Mata, what would we experience?
Let’s see, in the morning I wake up early, I go to the gym. After I go to the gym, I eat some breakfast and then usually work if I have work. If I don’t have work, I just hang out with friends.
What have you been busy with these days?
A lot of mall shows and workshops.
Are you planning to be an actor?
Yeah, I want to try acting of course. I’ve never done it before so I don’t know what it’s like exactly. I don’t know how to do it but I want to learn and see if I’ll like it.
If you’re given a chance to star in a teleserye who would you want to be your on-screen partner?
There are so many amazing actresses out there, I’d be happy to work with any them.
Speaking of TV, what are the some shows that you binge-watch on?
I watch Archer, The Arrow, and this new show called Westworld.
If you could come up with a 5-track playlist from the top of your head what songs would it have?
Fake Love by Drake, Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit, Lifted by CL, Save The World by Swedish House Mafia, and probably Passionfruit by Drake.
What’s your fitness routine like?
I work out every morning at least six times a week. But I try to do seven times a week. I guess two days out of the week I do upper body, two days out of the week I do lower body and back, and then the other two days I’ve used for the arms, cardio, and abs.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
You recently joined Club Penshoppe, how does it feel to be endorsing the same brand as Lucky Blue Smith?
I mean it’s awesome. Actually before I became a part of Club Penshoppe, I did a show last June with Lucky Blue Smith and I got to meet him. Then I saw him at Coachella. So it’s really cool to be part of the brand with him especially because I met him, he’s a nice guy. It’s good to be part of something with a good role model.
What are your five summer essentials?
Definitely tank tops, shorts, button-up polos, sandals, and bandanas ‘cause when your hair is wet or sweaty you just gotta put your hair up.
Are you one of those guys who carries a kikay kit?
Personally, I don’t. I carry around something for my hair sometimes but that’s it.
What would you wear on a first date?
I would wear something more casual on a first date. You don’t want to give them everything on a first date because there’s more to impress you know. So more casual.
What do you think makes a girl sexy?