Johnny Sibilly is every bit an #Instastud on the surface: pretty smile, body-ody-ody and a penchant for snapping selfies. But there’s a lot more to this 28-year-old than meets the eye.
Born in Lousiana but raised mostly in Miami (“where I was a theatre geek”), Sibilly moved to New York at 23, reasoning the move to be the one way he could make his dreams of appearing on Broadway a reality.
“I started off going to college for theater and I got into a school in NYC but my parents couldn’t afford it,” explains Sibilly. “I said well screw it! I’ll just go to NYC and just start from the ground floor, doing background work etc. I was just so excited to be there that it didn’t matter that I was in the background.”
Since moving here, he’s appeared as Susan Lucci’s pool boy on Discovery ID’s Deadly Affairs and played a a drag queen on Law & Order: SVU. “I love the juxtaposition of playing uber-masculine types and super-feminine roles. That’s something I always admired about John Legiizamo growing up.”
Below, we chat with Johnny Sibilly/@johnnysibilly.
What is the biggest difference between Johnny Sibilly and @johnnysibilly?
Ummm… good lighting [Laughs]. Actually, I’d say difference, if you can even call it that, is that it’s an extension of who I am. Sometimes a louder one, sometimes a quieter one, but it’s definitely an aspect of my personality or… I guess an aspect of who and what I want to be, if that makes sense.
Who do people tell you that you look the most like?
Ricky Martin! [Laughs] Obviously, I don’t mind that… Oh! Another is a hispanic Andy Samberg, which I also don’t mind at all… especially lately. One time, I also got confused for Skylar Astin from Pitch Perfect, and I’m like “heyyyy.”
You have a very specific sense of humor on social media. Can you describe it in words?
I guess it’s really just a reflection of things I find funny or things I watched growing up that molded my sense of humor. Sometimes when I see an old school video clip from Martin, I almost get nostalgic, because that’s what I watched growing up with my sister. Silly stuff like that. I’m also pretty self deprecating and it’s gotten worse the older I’ve gotten, because there’s absolutely NO FUN in taking yourself so damn seriously. My best friend told me something I always to to keep in mind: “Never take yourself too seriously, because no one else does.”
You seem to always be hobnobbing with celebrities. What’s that about?
That’s more of a “right place, right time” kind of thing. Most actors and artists have a day job, and I’m one those. Just so happens that where I work, I see notables all the time. (And I’ll admit…it never really gets old. I’m starstruck at least three times a day.)
What do you do when you’re not out on the town?
I’m a homebody. I’m also very much a loner… but not in the sad, emo way. I love to spend time at home or just go places and sightsee, take pictures, read… and you can’t do that when you have someone yapping next to you. I also work partly with the non-profit Project Humanity which focuses on outreach and community development in Kenya.
Who is the best person to follow on Instagram that we’re not?
@michaelangelnyc. His Instagram is creative, funny, well-curated… just really fun and engaging.
What’s one thing that’s made you rather emotional this past week?
Well, my roommate @mskrincosky and I had a housewarming party and I was so surprised to see so many of our buddies showed up. I was cleaning up after and I realized it was such a nice crowd… really sweet people, positive, loving, funny (for the most part), no frills, no pretense – it was pretty refreshing. Kinda had a Meryl Streep moment in the kitchen the next morning… or maybe it was just my hangover.
What do you find sexy in a guy?
Authenticity. Beyond looks, humor, and all the cheap surface stuff, I find someone who is authentically themselves to be truly beautiful. In a world of FaceTune and filters, it’s really sexy to see a guy just be his damn self!
Speaking of sexy, is Nick Jonas overrated?
I don’t think Nick himself is overrated. He’s talented and I applaud any hardworking artist, but I do think our sexualization of him is a little over the top and definitely overrated. I think it takes away from the appreciation of his talent. I think a lot of the “pretty” people in entertainment have their talents overlooked just because we overrate their attractiveness.
What’s the most important issue facing LGBT people moving forward?
I think the hurdles we face going forward are those that plague the community from the inside. At the beginning of this “movement” towards equality, we were all fighting side by side, trans men and women, lesbians, gay men. As society has come to welcome and accept us as a large group, I feel we still splinter and faction-off. And that’s stupid. I still think we have a long way to come when it comes to Trans issues.
We can’t be more upset and outraged about Kim Davis when so many of our Trans sisters are out there being murdered for just being themselves. Our priorities have to come back to lifting each other up and supporting one another. That’s hard to come by nowadays. Especially when validation and acceptance often comes with a double-tap on a handheld screen.