Nick Bateman recognised his calling in life at an early age: he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. It led him to pursue martial arts, which then went on to form the foundation of his true calling: acting and modelling. Born and bred in Toronto, Canada, the 31-year-old now lives in Los Angeles. His first acting gig in 2011, Hobo With A Shotgun, and a stint with Abercrombie & Fitch—where he worked with photographer Bruce Weber for a campaign shoot—shaped his career and brought him into the limelight. Today, the four-time martial arts world-champion has many more movies under his belt, like Tapped Out (2014), A Winter Wedding (2017) and The Matchmaker’s Playbook (2018), apart from a following of 6.7 million on Instagram. Last month, as part of his association with Etihad Airways, Bateman attended Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive ’18 in Mumbai. In a tête-à-tête with ELLE, he opened up about his feelings for India, his travel adventures, and the first love of his life—martial arts.
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ELLE: Martial arts, then acting and modelling—you’ve come a long way. Is there anything Nick Bateman can’t or won’t do?
Nick Bateman: [Laughs] It’s funny you say that. One of my idols is Forrest Gump, and he worked hard to achieve what he set his mind to. I believe we live in a day and age where all of us can do whatever we want. If I want to do fashion designing and start a company, I can do it. If I want to get into music, I can do that too. There are no limitations—you just have to work hard at everything you do. The only people who are successful are those who don’t quit—martial arts has taught me that.
ELLE: How did your association with Etihad Airways come about?
NB: My agency, IMG, linked me with Etihad Airways. My first job for them had me fly to Abu Dhabi this April, to shoot for the new First Class loungewear collection. And yes, I got to fly First Class too!
ELLE: What are some of the fun things you get to do as part of your association with Etihad?
NB: Well, I get to travel First Class whenever I’m on business, in the First Apartment—which is literally a spacious apartment in the sky. Yet another perk is that I get to bring a friend with me when we have an event. So, when I went to Abu Dhabi, I took my best friend with me. We had a blast.
ELLE: Have you attended any other fashion weeks with Etihad?
NB: Lakmé Fashion Week is the first one I’ve been lucky enough to attend. This trip also marks my first-ever visit to Mumbai, and I’m looking forward to exploring the city as well as learning about Indian culture.
ELLE: You travel a lot, as your Instagram shows. Tell us about some of your recent adventures.
NB: My girlfriend Maria and I just had a baby, and we recently went on a babymoon to Paris, Monaco and Venice. It was picturesque— right from the romantic gondola rides in Venice, to the rainy mornings in Paris.
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ELLE: For your bucket list, if you had to pick five places that Etihad flies to, where would you go?
NB: Japan, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines and Fiji.
ELLE: What’s your fitness regimen?
NB: I focus on strength training rather than cardio—a lot of dips, pull-ups, curl-ups and leg-raises.
ELLE: One Nick Bateman-approved fitness tip?
NB: Try to workout every day. A lot of people don’t have the luxury to go to a gym, but even if you can find some space and do 100 push-ups/sit-ups/leg-raises, it will do you good.
ELLE: If you had to describe yourself in three words…
NB: Loving. Happy. Motivated.