May 15, 1997
BY VINCENT LAMBERT
Marcelo Reeves is padding around his immaculate Midtown apartment, proudly showing off the souvenirs of his career. Casually dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, the unassuming star has made a big splash in the porn world. In the past two years, he has appeared in more than a dozen films and has steadily built a devoted following for his live shows. But his rapid rise as a screen stud was anything but planned.
Born in Brazil, Reeves is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters. As a child, he spent his time working for his father’s bakery and playing soccer. At age 18, he enlisted in the army. “It was wonderful,” says the Portuguese/Spanish model in his still thick accent. “That’s why I’m so organized now. It is where I learned discipline.”
After getting out of the service, Reeves went to college and eventually moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he worked as an interior designer for six years. In the summer of 1991, he came to New York City on vacation. “I never went back,” he says of Brazil. “I always had a big imagination. People always said I should come to New York. It was just so exciting to be here. I called the company I worked for and said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t come back.’ ”
But that was only the beginning of Reeves’ journey. He found himself in a country where he didn’t know the language and had no working papers. He took a crash course in English, and within three months was speaking perfectly. He then applied for a work visa, and a friend got him a job at an art gallery as a custodian. It was there that he was spotted by a photographer who asked whether he’d ever considered modeling.
“I went to his studio, and he took some Polaroids,” Reeves recalls. “Two days later, he called. He had a job for me. The next thing I knew, my picture was on the cover of a trade magazine.”
More modeling jobs followed. Soon, Reeves decided to audition for a spot as a go-go boy at a local nightspot. He got that job, too, and started dancing four nights a week at some of New York’s hottest clubs, including Palladium, Tunnel and Roxy. “In two months, I was the busiest dancer in the city,” he says, “and I was making more money than at the art gallery. At first it was strange, but then I saw other guys like me, and they were supportive and friendly.”
Then the movie offers started rolling in. After turning down scripts from such major studios as Falcon and Catalina, Reeves took a fateful trip to Florida. “I was performing in South Beach,” he says, “and a man introduced himself. He said that he had a movie company, and he wanted me to be in one of his movies. I thought he was joking, so I asked for a huge amount of money that I never thought he’d pay. But he said okay. I couldn’t believe it! Then, I thought, ‘Oh my God, now I have to do it!’ ”
Within a week, he was in Los Angeles shooting his film debut, For Your Pleasure. “My first movie I didn’t know what was going on,” Reeves says, “but I just did my best. I got lucky because Karl Thomas, my scene partner, was very supportive.”
The movie got a good response, and more offers came pouring in. Reeves was chosen to star in the first gay CD-ROM, Men in Motion. He started doing photo layouts for major gay magazines and even appeared in Playgirl. He also posed for the late photographer Bill Costa’s calendar.
Other films, including Desert Train and Island Guardian, followed, and Reeves’ status in the porn industry soared. He recently completed shooting the title role in Michael Zen’s new movie for All Worlds Video, Matador.
His busy work schedule leaves little time for a personal life, Reeves says, and his career choice has made it even more difficult at times. “I’m so busy traveling that I have no time for a relationship, ” he says. “But when I did have a lover, he was jealous of my work. He wanted me to choose—him or my career. I said, ‘This is my job.’ Besides, I don’t want a man supporting me. It’s that whole macho thing; I like to pay my own bills, even if I have to work hard.”
And he has worked hard. But for now, the diminutive star is enjoying his time at home before setting out on a monthlong tour. Reeves breathes a contented sigh and smiles. “I’m happy with my life,” he says. “I’m saving up my money, and I’d like to open my own business. Maybe a coffee bar or restaurant. It would be hard for me to give up on the porn business now. I can’t just blow it off. This is my big chance.”
Reprinted from HX magazine (1997)