For those paying attention–and even for those who aren’t–the teenage werewolves on MTV’s hit series just keep getting more and more interesting. Cody Saintgnue’s character Brett Talbot is a perfect example. Although, the actor’s real life story isn’t one riddled with supernatural forces, it’s certainly a unique one.
Saintgnue was born in Dayton, Ohio and put into foster care at a young age, then adopted. He’s overcome obstacles and landed himself the prestigious label of a Hollywood heartthrob.
Now with a solid role on the MTV 1980s spinoff, the 22-year-old remembers his first days in the business. Notably, his debut role in 2009 on TNT’s Southland evoked emotions as he recalls that “I cried when I booked that, as it was the job that made me SAG,” he recalls. “Now thinking back, I think of how I’ve discovered myself since then. My artistry, and craft. Not to mention, the life lessons I’ve had.”
On the surface, playing a werewolf may not teach a lot of life lessons. But in the realm of great stories to tell, there’s plenty. “Glowing eyes are pretty fun I must say. But also being shot in the back with an arrow–and to live–is sweet,” he jokes.
On the other hand, the Ohio native has to deal with the “tedious” duty of having his many tattoos covered up for the show, in which he plays a high-school aged character. It doesn’t diminish the meanings behind his body art, which he proudly showcases on his Instagram account, which is currently boasting 207,000 followers.
“The roses on my chest are for my adoptive mother, Brenda Rose. They blossomed into three different stages, to show where we started, to where we’ve come,” he explains. “The Cherokee feathers are for my biological dad, Rick Saintgnue.”
Of course, Saintgnue’s tattoos wouldn’t look as they do without an amazing frame to accompany it. The actor attributes his physique, of which his fans no doubt enjoy, to his trainer and not his natural athleticism. “I love training with my trainer (@ConfusedMuscles) because he gives me different types of workouts. A lot of bar work, using my own weight to lift, with few actual weights,” he says.
Of course every good heartthrob is a mixture of both brains, body, and endless charm–which Saintgnue so clearly possesses.
When he’s not reading lines while the Teen Wolf makeup department covers up his tattoos, he serves as Awareness Director for Brat Pack 11, an organization helping “military brats” achieve their dreams while going through the complications they often struggle with. In that role, Saintgnue helps founder Kenzie Hall with everything from branding to meetings. For this former foster kid, it’s not at all outside of character. He’s known for his positive outlook on life and desire to help others.
How is he able to maintain such positivity at such a formative age? “I find a way to look at every moment in life as a blessing,” he says. “You want as many moments in life as possible. The bad ones make you wiser, stronger, and more powerful. The good moments bring smiles, joy, and passion. And of course happiness. When you mix that together, you’re enjoying every second of life.”
At the end of the day, athough he’s breaking hearts left and right on screen, gaining more admirers by the episode, this heartthrob has a real grasp on humility.”I remember a week after my first day of school, I had my FIRST EVER crush. I was six years old and I gave this girl some flowers. After I gave her the flowers, she threw them in the trash, and made fun of me for wearing a Tigger sweatshirt, and the whole class laughed at me! Kids, they’re so ruthless!”
Stylist Michael St. Michael
Grooming Kseniya Durst
Production Bello Media group | Words by Dio Anthony