Jeremy Allen White, what’s next?? There’s the kind of famous where anyone with a Hulu subscription squeals, “Yes, chef!” in your honor. Then there’s break-the-internet famous, which White has done as Calvin Klein’s newest underwear model.
Whether he’s yelling at line cooks while portraying chef Carmy in “The Bear,” flinging himself from the top rope of a wrestling ring in “The Iron Claw,” or caught by paparazzi buying flowers from a farmers market in Los Angeles, the world can’t seem to look away from White. On Thursday, Calvin Klein launched its spring 2024 campaign featuring the Emmy-nominated actor stripping down to boxer briefs. In other shots, he’s biting into an apple, or lounging on a New York City rooftop in his unbuttoned Calvins.
The fashion brand’s latest ad campaign was shot by photographer Mert Alas, who captured images of White that Instagram users are saying “make their ovaries twitch.” But the actor never envisioned he’d follow in the footsteps of Marky Mark, Justin Bieber and Travis Fimmel. “I didn’t see this in my future necessarily,” he told GQ, which noted he was rather sheepish about the whole thing. “Who grows up thinking, ‘Yeah, I’ll be in a Calvin Klein campaign?’”
White, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native says while he was growing up in the city circa the ’90’s and early aughts, Calvin Klein billboards were as ubiquitous as the skyscrapers. “You couldn’t help but look at the [Calvin Klein] billboard,” White told GQ. “It’s so massive. I always associated it — and still associate it — with New York City itself.”
The 32-year-old actor was approached by the fashion brand at just the right time. Although White’s an avid runner (we’ve all seen the shirtless shots of the actor jogging around L.A.), he’d been preparing to portray wrestler Kerry Von Erich for “The Iron Claw,” which hit theaters last month. White revealed that he’d gained 40 pounds for the role and wasn’t immediately confident when he saw himself in his spandex wrestling shorts.
“I was eating a pretty tremendous amount, just eating as much as I could,” he told “Entertainment Tonight” at the film’s premiere. “And just trying to lift weights, no cardio … I was just trying to lift heavy things as much as I could.” The actor admitted that eventually he grew more confident in his spandex skivvies: “I guess seven days of running around in your underwear, and you get used to it.”
Although White told GQ the idea of seeing himself on a billboard gave him “real impostor syndrome,” he’ll soon adorn the city’s scaffolding, wearing nothing but his Calvins on the brand’s Houston Street billboard.