Without spoiling the storyline, Cardi's significant other in the video meets his fate, with her husband being played by Keith Carlos. The former NFL player and first male winner of America's Next Top Model has been adding more acting gigs to his résumé, and what better way to gain more exposure than starring opposite of one of the biggest names in music?
Complex hopped on the phone with Carlos to find out how he landed the role, what his experience was like working with Cardi, and what he has planned next.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Were you a fan of her prior to the music video?
Yeah, most definitely. I’m from the tri-state area so I definitely keep up with the music we have coming out of like New York and Connecticut, etc. I actually watched her whole come up as well.
What’s your favorite song from her catalog?
I’mma have to say… Well now it’s “Be Careful” of course. [Laughs.]
It holds a special place in your heart.
Right, right. “Be Careful.” Oh, I love “Drip” and “Best Life” with Chance the Rapper. Out of those, I would definitely say “Best Life.”
What was the process like on getting the part in the video for “Be Careful”?
Honestly the night before, it was probably 11 p.m. and I was going to get dinner with my family and I was on my phone waiting on my food and I got a DM. It was somebody from her team like, “We want you for Cardi B’s video. Are you available?” I thought it was somebody playing on my phone because I get like random people, fans and whatnot, trying to get in contact with me, so I kind of looked at it and I looked at somebody they knew that we had mutual friends and they told me it was a legit name.
So I replied, “Yeah, I’m available.” Sent them my number, somebody from her team called me and they basically confirmed with another friend that we had mutually to see if I was a good fit, and he gave me his wishes, and that confirmed it with them and then they got in contact with me. So basically, they called me and I confirmed. I was like, “Yeah, I’m with it,” and they were like, “Can you be on set at 4 a.m.” Mind you, by the time they called me and everything it was probably 12 a.m. here. So I pretty much had to book out all my agencies and everything for the day and cancel everything because I’m gonna do this video.
When you got there, were you aware of the theme of the video where it goes from this wedding to then a funeral, or were you just kind of learning as you went?
One of the conditions of getting the part, I had to be OK with getting in a casket. I was OK with that, being in a casket. It’s part of the acting and I’m transitioning into television and film now so that was a perfect opportunity, so I didn’t mind getting into the casket.
Cardi had described this experience as one of the hardest videos she’s ever done because of the weather. How did you handle the heat?
Well, I’m a former NFL player so I know all about harsh conditions, you know? Playing in 100-degree heat, and playing in below zero. And I also model; we do campaigns in 100-degree weather acting like it’s freezing outside with fake snow. I was kind of used to it, accustomed to it. It was hot, I’m not gonna lie. I even had under titty sweat so she wasn’t lying about that. [Laughs.] But I handled it well. It was cool.
Did you have any input on the outfit or were you just like, this is what they wanted you to wear?
I wish I knew the stylist’s name but I forgot their name, but yeah. They had this selection of different belts, hats, etc. That was actually my second outfit. The first one was too crazy. It was real nice, like it stood out too, too much. I guess Cardi’s people were like no, let’s take some off of it because I stood out too much. [Laughs.] But for the most part, the second outfit was dope as well. I remember the shoes being Givenchy; the outfit was a bunch of different designers.
What would you say is your fondest memory of that experience?
Oh, man. The best moment of the experience is when some of the people on set were calling for me, I was outside getting snacks, and they were like, “Cardi wants to meet you.” So I’m like, yeah. They pulled me inside when she was doing her scenes, when she was in the church floating, and I got to watch that whole experience. After they broke, they walked me over there and that was the first time I actually got to meet her and speak to her and shake her hand before doing our scene together. But just meeting her, that first interaction was great. She had great energy. There was never a dull moment on set. She was just hilarious.
This was a big look for you, but you also are launching the Role Model Tour. Tell me about that.
The Role Model Tour is basically me and my partner Matthew Stephen Smith—he was America’s Next Top Model with me—we wanted to use our platforms to give back, and part of that is us coming together with seven other models from seven other countries and we’re basically gonna use our platform as a multimedia platform where we enable corporate sponsors to give back to communities through our nonprofits Make It Happen to communities and individuals in need. Think of it kind of like real world product placement where the products actually make a positive and lasting impact to those who need it most.
We’re going on a tour of Europe and in Europe we’re going to partner with other nonprofits out there and giving back while we’re working and film the whole thing, it is going to be a TV show.
What else do you have taking place?
I actually just shot my scenes for The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS. My role’s name is Danny and I shot those Wednesday last week; my character is possibly reoccurring. I’ll find out a little later but yeah, I’m doing more acting.
It feels like you’re expanding your reach as far as your gigs and just overall knowledge of the entertainment industry.
Yeah, pretty much after winning America’s Next Top Model, I moved out to L.A. and just learned on the run. I was blessed to get a lot of opportunities. Immediately I had to hit the ground running on my own and network and meet people, and with doing that I’ve cultivated a lot of relationships, and they pay off.