The Daily Quirk: I saw that your acting career got its start after you did a Tommy Hilfiger modeling tour. Can you tell us a little more about how you got discovered and how that got your acting career off the ground?
Riley Smith: Yeah, well, I was discovered by a local model agent in my hometown and she urged me to do this modeling contest, competition, where people go to get discovered, and it’s called the IMTA. It stands for the International Model and Talent Association. The IMTA had discovered tons of people, from Elijah Wood to Katie Holmes, Josh Dumel, Ashton Kutcher and myself, but there have been a million people who have been discovered there. But basically, a modeling agent found me in the mall when I was picking up my tux for prom and had me go to this competition and I ended up winning that and getting signed to an agency all over the world, New York, LA. Then I moved to New York and then I was there… No it was July and I was there until Christmas doing different modeling gigs and using the money to study and taking classes, different acting classes. Then I finally got an audition for a TV pilot for Warner Brothers called Minor Threat and that flew me to LA for a screen test, then I booked the role and I never came back to New York.
TDQ: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I read you were roommates with Ashton Kutcher, and I also noticed that you both went to the University of Iowa. Were you two college roommates, or did you end up rooming with him at another point?
RS: No, I met him and moved in with him when we went out there for the IMTA convention, and then we lived together once we stayed in New York after that point.
TDQ: Other than modeling and acting, you also are in a band called The Life of Riley with Henri O’Connor back in 2006. What made you decide to start a band?
RS: You know, I had always been playing music and been writing music and loving it for as long as I can remember. So I just, I just wanted to record music for myself just to do it but Henri who has got a recording list with his recording studio, he was the one who talked me into making a band and he help enlist the band, and to this day we are best friends. It was kind of his idea, he thought maybe we could make an album and submit some of my songs to some of my projects and it would get some of my songs on my TV shows, and I thought that was a pretty fun idea. So we set out and I think we wrote 15 songs together and we picked 10 of them, making an album. Now we’ve got seven, eight years passed and three albums, and we’ve got songs not only in a bunch of my movies but a lot of other movies that I’m not even in. You know, it’s a hobby that’s kind of taken off for us in a positive way.
You can read the entire interview here.