When she’s not out walking her dogs or writing, model CJ Franco creates content and does it well. Franco has appeared in well-branded magazines like Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and Esquire, but began her career in comedy as a writer and has maintained a status of success.
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CJ Franco
says FBOYs

Where are you right now?

I’m sitting on my friend Ash’s couch. He’s an entertainment attorney, deep in some negotiations for a new product he’s launched. I feel most productive when I’m around people who are actually being productive, as it makes me feel like I’m working too! Unlike Ash, who is pacing, I'm cozying up next to a chandelier of candles burning in a gorgeous vintage fireplace, sipping mint tea with my dogs, Milo and Mango.

You star in the HBO Max dating series FBOY Island. Tell us about your experience being on the show.

I signed up for an untitled dating show and wound up on Fuckboy Island! I am a huge fan of comedy and felt so lucky to be on a show with Nikki Glaser as the host. I don’t mind poking fun at myself or how tragic the dating scene can be, so I had a blast with the show! Surprisingly, I grew from the experience and emerged as a more vulnerable person! Now I’m pretty sure I know every trick in the book! Reality TV can be exhausting and the surprises never seem to end, but that's what makes it fun. Fboy Island was the first of its kind, really parodying dating shows, being self-aware and not taking itself too seriously. I’m proud to say it's HBO’s number one reality show to date!

Tell us about yourself, your dreams, and aspirations before you started on your journey to fame.

I grew up in Santa Cruz, California. My parents were high school sweethearts, and then my dad came out as being gay when I turned one year old. He was a model, a dancer, charismatic and funny. My mom was more put together - a smart, sexy librarian type. I remember doing little drag shows for my dad and his friends when I was six, even though I thought I was just practicing my runway walk (which I'm still working on). He always wanted me to have a more stable life and he wanted me to be smart like my mom, but I wanted to model like him. I loved the way he made people light up when they saw him. I'm talking about my dad like he's dead - let me say he's very much alive. I just had really cool, open-minded parents. They had a healthy friendship... Actually, they’re still best friends, and of course, we have a family group chat.

I’m very much a result of humble beginnings. Only child syndrome, very nurtured and loved. I was always encouraged to chase my dreams, do whatever I found fulfilling, date whoever I wanted - I mean, when I was 13, my Gramma really made sure I knew it was okay if I wanted to date women! So while I didn't grow up with all the opportunities in the world, I had something more important-unconditional love.

I moved from Santa Cruz to LA when I was 18 and soon started modeling. At first, with no agent, people would randomly offer me gigs when I was out doing my errands, and I always thought it was too good to be true! People don’t just get discovered at Starbucks, do they? Soon, I was a full-time catalog/e-commerce model with a mediocre agent. I used all the little money I made to pay for rent and college, then ended up missing classes because I needed to model to pay for class. It was a vicious cycle!

Since I had a good relationship with photographers, I switched over to being an influencer and then I would get disappointed when I would show up to a shoot with someone new and the photographer refused to work with me because I wouldn’t shoot topless. This was pre “Me Too'' and pre OnlyFans, so I didn't really know what to make of it. I think if I hadn’t had such a strong support system, I could’ve easily gotten discouraged and moved home or compromised my own values.

I was still figuring out who I was, and figuring out healthy boundaries and learning to say no, or leave toxic situations. I’ve grown up so much since then and my career and life have only blossomed since gaining that self-confidence!

Are you currently single and looking?

I literally went on an entire quest for love and wound up with a beautiful, kind man who lives on the other side of the country. I'm sorry to say that long distance relationships are not for me! For the time being, I’m focused on myself, putting my needs first, my goals first, and when someone can come and make me feel like their number one priority, I will be totally receptive to diving into something more serious.. as long as they’re local.

What are some things a guy can do to get someone of your caliber? Especially when there are so many men competing for your attention.

Acting, modeling, and influencing all come with a lot of rejection! People only see the wins and rarely see the struggles behind them. As much as I try to be positive and happy, I have some days where I'm not, and that's where a guy can really shine. Be there for me when I can't be there for myself, and I’ll never forget. Lighten the mood, distract me like you would do when a baby has a tantrum!

What are some laughable red flags for a first date?

Bragging about money, bragging about sexual conquests - I guess just bragging is a major turn off. A guy who needs to convince me that he likes his mom, or worse, a guy who calls his ex-girlfriend crazy, is a red flag.

What are some of your hobbies?

My favorite thing to do recently is push my dogs around in a stroller and then make eye contact with parents pushing actual children in strollers. They either crack up or think I’m crazy. The best part was when one little girl had a full meltdown in her stroller and the mom leaned over to me and said, "Yours is better!"

What makes you feel sexy?

I love it when I’m getting ready for an event or shoot and I’ve just finished my glam and I first put on my outfit. BAM! I'd be perfectly content to miss everything and stay in all dressed up to have a great conversation!

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

I’ve had a crazy sweet tooth lately. I’m addicted to these little cinnamon churro things... I mean, addicted!

What is something you’ve learned since becoming famous that you wish someone had told you about?

The harder you try to be perfect, the easier it is to point out every mistake you make. The less conventional you are, the less people have to compare you to and the less they can pick you apart. Also, no one can hurt your feelings unless you allow them to hurt your feelings.

Sometimes I just have to keep my chin up and decide to be above everything and keep things moving!

Do you read the comments?

I’ll read the comments if the subject or context is fascinating. But no, I don't go out of my way to find negative comments or hurt my own feelings. If it's an interesting topic, I don’t really mind someone having a strongly opposing view. I love to hear other people's perspectives. And if I have the energy, sometimes it's fun to turn a hater into a fan!

Where haven’t you been that you would like to go?


What’s the most insane thing you’ve done on a shoot?

Now this was at a cheetah sanctuary in Capetown. I was under the impression that many people did photoshoots with these giant cats (they don’t). So I got into a cage with a cheetah, and of course I was wearing a flowing dress. The Cheetah wranglers told me "whatever you do, don’t make eye contact and do not walk behind it and you’ll be fine," so I was just standing in front of it like a giant cat toy, getting swatted at. I didn’t realize how bad the situation was until the photographer refused to get into the cage with me to take the photos!

First thing you see when you look at a guy?

His eyes.

How does it feel to be influential in the eyes of others?

It's an amazing feeling to be trusted. I’m like a guru with random life advice and sometimes I feel like Carrie Bradshaw from the original Sex And The City, although I am enjoying the new season as well.

If Steven Spielberg were to film a biopic on your life, who would you want to play you in the movie?

Can it please be Zendaya?

Where can fans expect to see you next?

I actually have a couple of really exciting projects coming up in the next few months! Cliche response, but honestly, it's just too soon to talk about, but I’ll be connecting with a lot of new and interesting people and sharing more of my comedic wisdom with the masses!

For more follow CJ on Instagram @cjfranco or visit her website!


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