APPARENTLY DYLAN ROSSER IS NOT ONLY A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER, HE ALSO KNOWS HOW TO PRESENT YOU A DELICIOUS DISH. HE HAS DEVELOPED A FINE EYE IN FINDING THE BEST INGREDIENTS AND MOST EXOTIC MIXES. TODAY DYLAN BRINGS US A CANADIAN SPECIALTY, BUT AS IT IS OFTEN THE CASE THESE DAYS, THIS DELICACY FINDS IT ORIGINS IN VERY DIFFERENT REGIONS ON OUR WORLD. A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND A LITTLE BIT OF THAT, WELL MIXED AND PATIENTLY PREPARED. SEASONED WITH A TOUCH OF BASIL.
Basil, your exotic features give away you are not the average Torontonian…
Basil: Correct. I was born in the Middle East to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother but migrated to Canada when I was 10 years old. I grew up in Orillia, a small town about an hour and a half north from Toronto.
That is quite a change for a young kid…
Basil: I admit growing up in a non-diverse city was a bit of a challenge for me. Being ethnic, I was teased for having black curly hair, big features and speaking broken English. I had a very strict upbringing where school and manners were my priorities. The plan for me was to follow in my fathers and uncles footsteps and become an engineer or a doctor.
But that didn’t quite turn out the way it was planned, did it?
Basil : Ha ha… I caught a fascination with color and shape at a very early age and developed a natural skill for drawing and painting. This led me to become passionate about studying the great works of famous artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, George Seurat, Picasso, and Warhol and so on. I also had a fascination with films and actors which is why I wanted to study theatre and become an actor. Through out my high school years I joined the soccer and wrestling team and but continued to excel in both art and drama classes. My parents reluctantly agreed to my decision to study Fine Arts in university even though they knew it was a challenge for an artist to survive in life. I had an appetite for the spotlight and the stage, but my parents weren't exactly too keen about me becoming an actor and as any good son, I had to please them.
But eventually the big city called… and with that new challenges and opportunities…
Basil: Oh yes… As a small town boy, going to the big city of Toronto was exciting and something I always looked forward to. I had a friend I could stay with so I was able to go down to the city every few weeks. On one of my visits to Toronto, I was helping a friend set up his antiques store when a gentlemen whom my friend knew, walked in. His name was Lindsey Lozon and he is a well-known photographer who is considered one of Canada's best. He told me that he liked my look and asked if I would be interested in shooting with him. The next day I was introduced to Mitchel Raphael who was then, the editor of a local Toronto magazine called Fab Magazine. He asked if I would be interested in being shot for the September issue which would be shot by Lindsey, and I agreed.
Quite a turn around, no? What happened next?
Basil: Well, by the time the September issue came out, I was living in Toronto and working as a waiter. All I cared about was being in the city and appreciating the beauty of it - everything from the people and diversity to the architecture and lifestyle. After that shoot, I never expected anything to happen after that and this was never something I was expecting to go far in but for some reason I was getting approached with other opportunities and I have never shied away from opportunities, so I always said “sure, why not, that would be fun”. I kept my expectations realistic and always staying humble as I understood that there was a lot of competition. From then on, I would get approached by other photographers and shoot for other magazines, as well as doing runway. Soon I was asked to walk during Toronto Fashion Week. I also auditioned for a televised male modeling competition called COVER Guy which was shooting its 3rd season in Toronto. I was chosen for the show, unfortunately didn't win, but loved the experience.
What is your most memorable moment in your modeling career?
Basil: At a Calvin Klein 25 year anniversary underwear event in Toronto and I was one of the 25 male models. We stood outside in CK underwear for hours in 6 degrees Celsius temperatures as the media and pictures were taken, it was a very cold night. But it was exciting and fun.
Recently you had the opportunity to meet and work with Dylan Rosser. How was that for you?
Basil: I’m huge fan of Dylan’s work, so to be shot by him was a huge honor for me. We met in Miami, and began shooting right away. A brief discussion in terms of what he was looking for, and we were ready to go, taking direction at first, and once I know what he was looking for then I took over a bit. I always believed that not only a good model should take directions well, but also should know how to give the photographer what he’s looking for. Therefore he allowed me to let go and tap into certain emotions. It was one of the most liberating photo shoots I’ve ever done. He is incredibly sweet, and an absolute pleasure to work with.
Basil, your life has taken quite some unexpected turns. Looking back now, what would you say was your most lucky experience?
Basil: I have been lucky to have parents who love to travel and have been fortunate enough to have seen a small part of the world - such as parts of Asia, the Middle East, and recently with a good friend I have seen Europe, the States, and South America. Of all the places I have seen, Brazil is my all time favorite place to be. The culture taught me how to channel my inner sexuality.
What does the future hold for Bassili Hendy?
Basil: Today I work at a law firm as a Faculty and Office Coordinator. It is not something I want to do for the rest of my life, but because of my love for art, I would like to keep producing my own work and to have my own Art Gallery someday, but my motto is "One step at a time". –BM-
DYLAN ROSSER | BEAUTIFULMAG
BASSILI ‘BASIL’ HENDY | BEAUTIFULMAG