Monday, September 07, 2009

Male on Monday - Confessions of a Cover Model

The Pink Heart Society is THRILLED to have with us special guest Robert Nuzzie- a hard body with a soft center gracing the covers of billboards, magazines, and our favorite romance novels. You may recognize Robert from his television commercials, such as Bud Light, Ford Lincoln Mercury, Colombian Coffee, and others, or from his roles in Lipstick Jungle, Dostana, and Guiding Light.

We had the chance to interview this handsome hunk to see exactly what it is like behind the scenes of our romance covers…
How did you get started in romance modeling?

I started working with a couple of agencies in NYC for print modeling. My agent called me and asked if I wanted to do a romance cover, I said “Yes”. It all began from there.

So everyone wants to know, what are some of the things that happen behind the scenes when shooting a cover? It must be exciting shooting in such romantic settings.

It is exciting, but almost all of the shots take place in a studio. The settings are often very primitive- the photographers use lighting, and the illustrator will drop in the background later. We get a breakdown of the setting, and we have to use our own instinct and creativity to imagine that we are really there. I remember working on A Place Called Home (Margaret Watson); they gave us two wine glasses, and we had to imagine that we were sitting in front a fire, cozy and warm, but in actuality we were in front a couple of background lights with amber gels giving a warm look to the scene.

It seems more difficult to shoot than I imagined! Do you have any funny stories, or have you experienced anything unusual during any of your shoots?

Well, on the cover of Reigning in the Rancher (Karen Templeton), I got to experience working with a newborn baby, Joseph. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a challenge because Joseph was crying while the photographer was getting the lighting set, but when I picked him up, he instantly stopped crying and smiled at me. It was great that he took a liking to me because it made the shoot go much more smoothly. We got the cover shot in just a few snaps!

You star on many covers where the women are pregnant. I gotta know, are they really pregnant?

(Laughs) That’s a loaded question! None of the girls who I shot with are actually pregnant. They have these maternity stuffing things, like a pillow with spandex, that the girls have to strap under their clothes.

Haha, which book cover was your favorite to shoot?

I really enjoyed making all of them, but my most favorite was Claimed by the Secret Agent (Lyn Stone). I really like being the action hero. The danger of being in that dark alley, with your adrenaline flowing, protecting a beautiful girl; It’s exhilarating! It doesn’t get much better than that! (Laughs) Guns and beautiful women…It’s like James Bond!

How long does it take to shoot a cover?

From start to finish, it doesn’t take anymore than an hour. A half hour of prep, getting the wardrobe and lighting right…and a half hour of shooting.

And how long until you get to see the final product in stores?

Generally speaking, it takes about six months before you get to see your cover out there on the shelves.

Wow that’s pretty long! Tell me, what's something people would never guess about you based upon your book covers?

Most people wouldn’t guess that as a hobby I enjoy a lot of outdoor adventure sports. Surfing is one of my favorite. I try to go whenever I get a free chance.

Are you as romantic as you portray yourself to be on your covers?

(Laughs) What kind of question is that?! Of course…even more romantic!

Any big projects in the making? What is the next cover we should look out for?

Currently, I am on the cover of Diagnosis Daddy (Gina Wilkins). The next one will be coming out in a couple of months, it is called Wild Fire. I will be playing a shirtless Tarzan type character wearing only a loincloth! (Laughs)

If you are interested in knowing more about Robert Nuzzie or would like to stay up to date on what Robert is working on, please visit Robert’s blog at:

A special thanks to Donna Alward for making this article possible. Robert recently graced the cover of Donna’s book, Hired: The Italian’s Bride.

Next up? All scruff and biceps, Robert Nuzzie is a surrogate in the upcoming Bruce Willis movie “Surrogates”, which opens in theaters on Sept. 26th, 2009.


  1. oooh, he sounds delicious. See, now I'm jealous. I want him for one of my covers. Sounds like he only does American ones though. Darn it!!

  2. You could always specify on your HERS a Robert Nuzzi type...

    I too found the interview very interesting. Thank you Donna for arranging it and Robert for agreeing to it.

  3. Thanks, Mr. Nuzzi, for giving the romantic hero another face. For a while there, every single romance cover had a certain someone. Of course, he was a handsome someone, but still...

    Thanks for the peek inside the romance world, PHS and Donna.

  4. Robert - so glad you could join us! You can be on my covers anytime. :-)

  5. He is soo cute and seems down to earth!

  6. Great interview! I absolutely love that man's smile!

    How does one go about finding out the name of a Romance cover model, anyway? I'd love to find out the names of the men that grace Jami Alden's Gemini Series covers...any ideas?