John Quinlan


An Interview by Taabia Dupree


John and I have been friends for a few years. I have interviewed him twice before this and put him on four of my book covers.

Jessica’s Obsession
The Cathouse Series: Boss Joe

John’s natural tattoos, and his signature shaven head, became the Most Tattooed Romance Cover Model in the World, 2013-14.

Now, after wearing many hats, John has embarked on yet another journey. We recently discussed his newest endeavor and we reminisced about a conversation we had five years ago. I had asked him where did he see himself five years in the future? Back then he said he wanted to be acting.

Well, five years later, and John is right on schedule. He is an actor in an upcoming military movie. One of those movies that the world needs to take notice of because of its profound story.

Taabia Dupree to John:

What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

I have so many great childhood memories. It’s really hard to narrow it down to just one but when I think about that one special memory was going to Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox when I was 6 years old with my father and sitting right behind home plate.

Back then it was almost impossible to get tickets to sit there and I remember watching the guys that I saw on television looking like superheroes to me. I remember Reggie Jackson who was larger than life right in front of me and I thought this was so great. I was so small, I could barely even see over the wall in front of me so I had to stand up on the chair. I remember that day vividly and it was so special because the day was so perfect being sunny and 80 degrees. As a kid you don’t have a care in the world besides taking in the moment with your dad which is kind of the all-american tradition.

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Taabia Dupree to John:

When you were a teenager in high school, where any of the career opportunities you have had over the years, a part of the dream career you may have wanted for yourself when you grew up?

I think even as a young man I always wanted to be an athlete. I got very accustomed to the physical fitness and healthy lifestyle from a young age that I wanted to continue that the rest of my life. What better way to do it than to be an athlete which would allow me to do something I enjoyed throughout my life.

As of now, when I look back on my life, I had high school sports. Then came College in which I began weight training and was engaged in power lifting and junior bodybuilding.

Then I got into professional wrestling along with fitness modeling which groomed me a bit more towards the world of physique modeling. When it all  came together it lead me into the world of acting. I think my foundation as a young boy of wanting the be an athlete as a career all came full circle putting me on this righteous path as an actor.

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Taabia Dupree to John:

Are you the type of person that looks to their faith first, family or do you sit and write down the pros and cons when it comes to making career choices?

I always sit down and go over every aspect of a career choice in which I lay out all the pros and cons to come up with a decision that is best for me. When I look back on my life at this point, when it comes to any form of fitness or modeling and now acting, I always examine all the pros and cons that go into every choice I make. Especially in these industries as we all work so hard to attain goals which have involved so many sacrifices along the way. With me  personally over the years I always decided to look long term. I knew I would have to sacrifice a lot in the short term with the belief in my heart it was a pro choice. A pro choice because in doing so it would pay off for me in the long run down the road. Nothing ever came easy and I worked very hard over the years. I truly believe as we sit here together discussing pros and cons that it was definitely a big pro to sacrifice and go through the hell to come out where I want in the end.

Taabia Dupree to John:

Have you always been health conscious?

No, I wasn’t always health conscious. Like every other American kid when I was young I ate whatever I wanted to. I enjoyed my junk food because that is what a kid is. Being a kid is enjoying life and good food is part of enjoying life as a kid. I think as I got older and started College I began to slowly fine tune my diet a bit and it just progressed over the years. This happened through the advice of many people I met and became friends with in the fitness and model industry. I don’t think anybody, and I’m speaking for myself, can ever know enough about health, wellness and nutrition. I always ask questions and pick ones brain to find out how to do things. I’m the first guy that will ask questions about nutrition because I’m constantly fine tuning and improving my diet to help me as a model as well an actor.

Taabia Dupree to John:

Three years ago you decided to take your modeling career to a new level, you posed nude.  Tell me, what were your thoughts once you found out you were nominated for Playgirl’s Model of the month? In the US, there are lots of negative opinions on nudity. When your photos were released, were you cheered on or were there openly opinionated people speaking against your poses?

You are correct Taabia. In 2013, I was nominated for the June Playgirl Hunk of The Month. One of the guys I was working with at the time who was handling a lot of my stuff, Patric Jason Santos of Puerto Rico, informed me that I was nominated for this prestigious award. I remember him telling me that thousands applied and I was one of the few models chosen that made the final cut. As a model I was truly honored to be among the other amazing talent nominated from all over the world. I was told I had a good face and body for this competition so after some thought I decided to do it. I thought to myself, I’m only going around this world one time and not many models make it to this point so I just went for itNudeTie. I have no regrets. I am truly honored that I was able to showcase what I had as a model at this level. I did not win the competition, but the fact that I was nominated was a win in itself because in the model world it is very respectable to be selected for such titles. To be quite honest with you Taabia, I was taken back by all the love and support I received globally for posing nude in the Playgirl world. There will always be those who are critics and might have something negative to say but that goes with anything in life with all of us. I am truly humbled by all the kindness sent my way world wide from so many people towards my Playgirl shoots. As I stated before Taabia, I have no regrets. I do not regret posing nude for one minute. It was an honor just being picked as a male model at that level. I will take that to my grave.


Taabia Dupree to John:

Is there a difference between bodybuilding competitions and physique competitions?

Physique competitions and bodybuilding competitions are similar as well as having their differences. We both ideally come in with ABS and in great shape with similar contest preparation. Bodybuilding is a little more hardcore and strict with physique being a bit more fitness oriented. Male fitness models and guys of that nature that might not be as big sometimes as body builders although are in great condition fit into the Physique class. They might not be as striated as the bodybuilders who are a bit bigger and more vascular as a whole. Men’s Physique has guys in great condition although some bodybuilders are simply more muscularly dense overall on average. Many Men’s Physique competitors could cross over as a bodybuilder. I personally have a great respect for all physique competitors and my bodybuilding brothers alike and as we are like one big family. We all support each other as well all share the same common goals. We all have all sacrificed through many weeks of dieting with perseverance to finally make the stage so there is a mutual respect there among each other

You put in a lot of years as a physique competitor. What made you decide to leave the competition? It’s your last day on stage, forever, what were you thinking, and how were you feeling? 

Yes I did compete for a number of years. I think what made me decide to leave competitions was that I was getting into acting. I wanted to pursue acting full time and it was something new and exciting to me. I will always miss my days as a competitor on stage and they will always be a special. I will always hold a special place in my heart as those years helped put me in the position I am now. All those competitors in the National Physique Committee helped make me a better person. They showed me how hard work and dedication can be applied to every aspect of life. Not just preparing for a show but how to sacrifice and be disciplined in the game of life. To never lose sight of a goal just like reaching the stage which now is focused on acting. The NPC helped build that foundation for me.

My last day on stage I remember being very tired. It was my 10th show of the year and my 25th show in the past 4 years. I was really depleted very bad but it was a special event and it was not about winning or losing. That day it was all about being on stage and enjoying moment because I knew going in that is was going to be the last time I’ll ever be on stage. It was an emotional day for me but just being on stage with all the other great talent meant the world to me. To be look back on my life during that time and hear one say John Quinlan belted out 25 shows in a 4 year span is something I am very proud of. I placed 1st five times which included an Overall Physique title that I dedicated my grandfather who passed away 1 month prior. I always said win, lose or draw the very last time would cap off a special four your competition run. It was definitely an emotional moment when I was leaving the stage for the last time. I remember saying to myself, “I have sadness but chapter closing now opens the door to a brand new one.” That new chapter is acting which I am very excited about.

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Taabia Dupree to John:

John, about five years ago you and I had a conversation about goals and then we did an interview a year later. One of the things that you mentioned to me was that you wanted to become an actor somewhere down the line, maybe in 5 or 10 years. It’s now five years later and it seems like your dreams are coming true. You have been chosen to be in two different film projects. Can you give a little description of the two different projects and the roles that you have been chosen to play?

I do remember the interview we had almost 5 years ago and I did say at that time I wanted to be an actor. I just kept it fresh in my mind and I was going to use the competitions to get me back on track and in the right frame of mind. I made a conscious decision at that time to just push through everything that stood in my way and get it. It was my hope that God above would watch over me and say I was a man who worked his very hard and has earned the right to be placed on that righteous path as an actor. Yes I have two projects on the table right now. The first being the Boston film project. I can’t reveal too much at the current moment as we are keeping it under wraps via lawyers and copyrights but it is a great project that will be submitted too several major syndications as a series. We all believe it has great substance and chemistry with a great cast to really be something special. The second is the 2017 film in which I will be a featured actor. The title of the movie is, ‘A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives’ directed and produced by Jillian Bullock. Jillian is an amazing lady and a true inspiration to me and so many all over the world. My character is a mean and nasty individual, nothing like the real me, and is a very dramatic role as US Army Captain Jake Nixon. I recently just filmed my portion for the trailer and I have to go back in September to film my official part in the full length film in Philadelphia. From what I’m told, the movie will premiere at the Indie Film Festival and then have the major screening in Philadelphia with all the critics. From there it will go to theater or possibly HBO. We will see how everything turns out as it is a great movie with a mixed martial arts and military theme. It  really wakes up the world to a couple of the major problems in the military today which are neglected and often misunderstood which are sexual misconduct and post traumatic stress disorder PTSD. I am honored to be an actor in such an amazing film which stars Christopher Mann from HBO’s ‘The Wire’. It is going to be great and I truly look forward to both of these special projects coming soon.

More information on A Sense of Purpose, please check out Ms. Jillian Bullock’s website


Taabia Dupree to John:

I’m sure there isn’t just one thing that defines you, John. You’re finally an actor. You have worked hard over the past few years and still, you are a humbled man. In your past leading up to this new journey you are embarking on, what’s the one thing you want everybody to remember the most about John Quinlan?

Yes indeed it is nice to say I am finally an actor I take great pride in that title. To answer your question it would have to be two things that top the list of things I wish people to remember John Quinlan for. You mentioned I am a humble man and that is one of those things. No matter where I go in this life I always remain humble and I did everything I could to the best of my ability ego free without an attitude. I have always tried to be down to earth regular guy and I think the people that really know me best know I go above and beyond to help those around me. The second thing is that I worked very hard and I never quit regardless of how bad things were around me. In my life I never stopped,  I just kept pushing forward. I believe in God and through hard work along with that belief I will do some very special things in this life. When people see John Quinlan they’ll say he earned everything he ever received while remaining remain true to himself and all those around him.

Taabia Dupree to John:

You know I’m proud of you as many of your family and friends are, but there are those out there that see the outside shell, the man who you have said himself, has some rough edges.  What do you say to those people who only see that tough guy exterior?

My message for all those people who only see the tough guy exterior is never judge a book by its cover. I am drastically different on the inside then I am on the outside. Many people don’t know this but I’m a very emotional person and I wear myZomygoodness heart on my sleeve. A prime example of this is my upcoming role as an actor in the film, ‘A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives’ where I play the evil United States Army Captain Jake Nixon. Director and producer Jillian Bullock told me during a phone conversation we had a while back that is the beauty of acting. I can take a nice guy and transform him on film into something nothing like his real self and trust me captain Nixon is a terrible human being. He nothing like the real me. I truly agree with Jillian when I say that truly is the beauty of acting.

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Taabia Dupree to John:

John, what is some of the best advice you have ever received?

Some of the best advice I have ever received is to always work hard and remain humble. If you do both you’ll have the best chance to go as far as you can in this life and achieve all of your dreams.

Taabia Dupree to John:

What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?

Over the years I’ve known so many people who have been so great to me that it’s really almost impossible to narrow it down just one small act of kindness that has been shown to me. I can mention one that was very special going back over 15 years ago while I was working as a doorman at The Rack, a Boston nightclub which is now the Hard Rock Cafe in the financial district. I remember on Saturday nights they would have what they called, “The Saturday Night Dance Party at The Rack.” The radio station DJ that would be there was Vinnie Peruzzi, who has since passed away, who was a great guy that always believed in me. I remember every Saturday night while he was live on the radio he would always pull me aside and let me speak on the microphone live to the entire city of Boston mentioning any and all of my upcoming events. This meant the world to me and that is an act of kindness I will never forget. Thank you Vinnie, God Bless You.

2012 NPC Atlantic States Men's Physique Competitor John Quinlan 1Taabia Dupree to John:

What do you think you owe yourself?

I owe to myself after so many years of hard work and sacrifice to be able to follow through with achieving all of my goals and dreams. Many of these have taken almost two decades to come together and it is two decades of hard work and sacrifice. I owe it to myself after such a long period of time and giving up so much on this long journey do finish strong. Win lose or draw, if I finish strong and give it my all I will have no regrets.

Taabia Dupree to John:

What six words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

Dedication, Discipline, Sacrifice, Grateful, Proud, Blessed.

lovethisposeofJohnTaabia Dupree to John:

What does inner peace mean to you, John?

Inner peace to me means being happy with myself no matter what others think of me. It’s looking at myself in the mirror and being truly satisfied with the decisions I have made in my life.

Taabia Dupree to John:

When you are 60 years old, what do you think will matter more to you then, than right now?

I think what might matter a bit more when I’m sixty then the age I’m at now is how many lives I was able to touch throughout my journey. When I am 60 years old a lot of the things I will have already completed that I haven’t completed now. I’ll be looking back on my life more as more of a retired guy when I am 60 years old. I will look back at that point and I will reflect on a more completed career of John Quinlan. I am really writing this life script right now. It will be nice when I am 60 years old to look back at all those lives I touched and all the people I was able to help inspire through hard work and never giving up.

Taabia Dupree to John:

Are you happy, John? 

Is John Quinlan happy? I have to always look at the glass as half full rather than half empty. I have to look at my life for the things I have done rather than the things I didn’t. At this point in my life I have accomplished some very special things and I have to be happy with those. The most important thing is I worked hard and gave it my best and I can live with that.

Although he goes forth with his full plate, John still remembers his friends, he has agreed to be on a book cover with the talented IR Author Jamallah Bergman, this year.

I, like his fans, will await John’s big screen debut in 2017. Until then, I’m sure he will keep making people smile.

This concludes the interview. Please take a minute and leave a comment. Thank you!

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5 thoughts on “John Quinlan

  1. What a great interview, Taabia. Thank you to John, for sharing his story. He is truly an amazing person and I wish him all the best in this new phase of his life.


  2. Great interview! I met John 2 years ago at RT and he stole my heart. He is a total sweetheart! I wish him all the best in this phase of his life.


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