Ty Pennington is very comfortable on camera, having modeled, acted, and hosted television shows since the 1980s.
His latest on-camera work sees the “Rock the Block” host acting as a spokesperson for Caesars Slots in the newest commercial for their social casino game. The commercial sees Pennington trying his luck with various superstitions, including walking under a ladder, shattering a mirror, and sitting with a black cat in his lap, all while playing on the app.
Heavy had the chance to talk with Pennington about this project, as well as the upcoming season of “Rock the Block”, and the host shared some of the lucky, and unlucky, moments in his life and career.
Ty Pennington Shares His Lucky Break
When asked about the luckiest moment in his life, Ty Pennington told Heavy that he’s had “a few”, and shared the story of his first break into the modeling world after being spotted by a modeling scout while in art school.
“I’ve always believed in luck, and one of the things with me is, if a door opens I would just go through that door,” Pennington told Heavy, “And [after being referred by the modeling scout] I went to this agency, and while I was in there – you have to understand, this was in the 80s, I had a rat tail and I had a mullet – the agency was like, ‘I’m sorry, who said you could model?’ I said ‘This guy! I swear to god’.”
The agency wasn’t quite sure what to do with Pennington, however, he noticed a Japanese scout in the room was pointing over at him and laughing, so Pennington asked directly, “‘What is that guy’s problem?’ and [the agents responded], ‘He’s a Japanese scout.’ So he came over to me and said ‘You should come to Japan,’ and I said ‘Why?’ and he said ‘To make money,’ and I said ‘When do we leave?'”
Pennington went to Japan to begin his modeling career, and he credits this time in his life for opening his eyes to the world, giving him an opportunity to experience new cultures and travel. He also says this period made him comfortable appearing on camera, and in turn, allowed him to make others appear comfortable on camera, which was a driving force behind his successful modeling career.
“I asked this director [once] ‘Why do you keep hiring me?’ They’re like ‘Oh, it isn’t you, you make that girl right there look really good whenever you’re on.'”
Ty Pennington Has Also Experienced His Fair Share of Bad Luck
Ty Pennington is grateful for the luck he has experienced in his life, however he acknowledged that it’s a “two-way street”. “With luck, you also have to be prepared when you get your chance, you have to be able to deliver”. Pennington was able to deliver, and while he never made it big as a model, he did score major opportunities including the cover of a J.Crew catalog, which he recently recreated in an Instagram post.
Despite luck seemingly being on his side, things went downhill quickly for Pennington after the J.Crew cover.
“I ended up getting in a car wreck probably two weeks after that and so just as I was about to be busy every day working, all of a sudden I sort of was taken right out of the game,” Pennington said, “My brother also left my portfolio in his car, and it was broken into, [and they stole] the only book I had. At that moment I thought ‘Oh my god, the worst thing that could possibly have happened to my career just happened.'”
Despite this unfortunate turn of events, the HGTV host is happy with how things turned out. He ended up quitting modeling (as he thinks all male models eventually do) and working in construction and furniture-building until his agency called him nine years later with an audition for what would lead to one of the favorite jobs he’s had throughout his career, HGTV’s “Trading Spaces”.
“So my thing about luck is I totally believe in luck. Sometimes it happens just as you give up on something, you finally get a break,” Pennington said.