Back to 1985: Scot Madsen, The Genetically Perfect Hunk

The Genetically Perfect Hunk

Edition: FINAL
Section: PEOPLE

Twenty-one-year-old Scott Madsen was born and raised in Hillsboro, Ore. He became interested in gymnastics at the age of 9, and won a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he dropped out after his freshman year.

While waiting on tables at a restaurant, Madsen's former high school gymnastics coach told him that Soloflex, a local home-exercise equipment company, was looking for a male model.
Madsen landed the job and the resulting ad campaign, featuring Madsen's rippling muscles and the copy, ``No pain, no gain,'' was a phenomenal success.

Hailed as a ``genetically perfect'' specimen of the male sex, Madsen, Rolling Stone magazine said, had ``done for exercise machines what Brooke Shields did for designer jeans.''

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Madsen is now considered the hottest male pinup in America.

Soloflex has sold more than 70,000 posters of Madsen exercising. ``The Scott Madsen Poster Book'' was published last year by Simon & Shuster.

He has also produced a home video, ``Body Techniques,'' and a fitness book, ``Peak Condition.''

Madsen recently was interviewed:

Q: You've told someone that they literally plucked you off the street for these ads. You were waiting tables. Can you tell me about that?

A: Right. I was a gymnast for 10 years and I was at the University of Wisconsin full ride.

Q: Full ride being a scholarship?

A: Yeah, all-expense-paid vacation is what they call it. I was waiting tables at a restaurant. There was this ad in our paper and it said ``Male Model with a gymnast build, $50 an hour.'' Well, I'm a gymnast, I must have the build and 50 bucks sounds a lot better than what I'm making at the restaurant so I sent in some pictures. I went in, worked on the machine a little bit and they said let's do a test shoot.

Q: What about your body made that ad such an enormous success?

A: I think it was how symmetric everything was, the legs in proportion to the chest and the arms. It wasn't like an overdone bodybuilder.

Q: You've said you have that natural look.

A: That lost-farm-boy, all-American-apple-pie, Hi-Mom look. The look that is innocent and naive and sincere, I think, and just typical Midwestern, if not West Coast American.

Q: You don't look as if you've spent every waking hour at Nautilus.

A: I spend the least amount of time possible.

Q: Do you work out?

A: Sure. Three times a week for about 45 minutes.

Q: Your body doesn't look rock hard or overbuilt. It has a certain believability about it.

A: You do shower ads and you'll see Dial soap people. You don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger in there. You don't see Christie Brinkley. You see regular Joe man-down-the-street taking a shower. People want to buy something that's real or realistic.

Q: And yet the photographers that work with you have told interviewers and reporters that you have ``a genetically perfect body.''

A: Photographers said that?

Q: Yeah.

A: Umm, thanks.

Q: What does that mean?

A: It means that I had the right set of parents, and the right training.

Q: What were you paid for the first ads?

A: The very first shooting was $50 (an hour).

Q: What's your modeling fee now?

A: Oh, boy, it depends. It's about $5000 for a day.

Q: Tell me about your desire to become an actor. You went to Hollywood to test for the Hardy Boys?

A: That was just a screen test and you never know. It was like, ``Don't call us, we'll call you.''

Q: Did your life change overnight when you answered that Soloflex ad?

A: No. I still worked at the restaurant for probably another year after I did the first ad. It changed because I learned an awful lot in a big, fast way.

Q: Tell me about your career as a model.

A: It's unorthodox. I watch TV just like everybody else and I get this idea of models under lights, wearing all these clothes. It's not like that for me, folks. I sit in positions for hours on end and we shoot it until we get it right.

Q: You want to be taken seriously?

A: I just want to be respected - respected for having more than just a body. I mean, a mind. I ended up going to a talk show the other day and this woman asked me if I'd take off my shirt. It's always ``Take off your shirt, take off your shirt.'' It's like you're a piece of meat! I should have said to her, ``You take off your shirt, I'll take off mine.''

Q: Has anyone ever asked you to take off your pants?

A: No. If you can't get my shirt off, you can't get my pants off. I'm not a beefcake. I don't pull my shirt off when every ying-yang on the street says, ``Take it off.'' If that's what I have to do to make money, forget it. I don't need money that bad. I can be a bum and play golf all my life and be perfectly happy.

Q: What does your girlfriend think of you?

A: She hates it, because right now she's home and she feels left out and she's jealous and I feel sorry for her. I'd be the same way. Your best friend is gone and he's out there being wined and dined and getting so much attention and here you are all alone. It's got to be really hard.

Q: Is it hard to be in love with a man who's so genetically perfect?

A: I think it is. Genetically perfect? You can get off that kick. I don't know about that. So sought after, I think, would be a better word.



Anonymous said...

This guy tried to model in the 80's, but was close to midget size... not too much success on the runway. I would say he was closer to 5'6" with lifters and loggers boots.

Johec said...

In the article it says 5'8", like 172cm, I'm 175cm tall and I'm not a midget! =))

Anonymous said...

5'8" would never get any work as a model in the states or in europe. The "$ 5,000.00 per day" comment was a bit of a "stretch" as well. Sorry about the joke r.e. captain soloflex, but he thought he was way cooler than he was and guys like matt and mike ives could throw him in a gym bag.

Anonymous said...

Scot did all the stunts for Michael J. Fox in the back to the future movies. He is a very talented guy. I think Michael J. Fox is about 6'2" tall in his bare feet. I'm just guessing.

Johec said...

interesting info, thanks ;)

Anonymous said...

What? No witty banter? I'm just kidding. Scot inspired many to purchase the Bow Flex and seems like a great guy. Keep up the good work.

Johec said...

so it was a joke the Michael J. Fox thing? =))

I believed it!

Unknown said...

Most men in the United Sates, wished they looked like this STUD!

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