Joel Gorf is the Middle Bear of the famous “Rowse Honey” sexy marketing campaign that left wanting for more all these months. Joel is the the ultimate gay bear porridge ambassador! In these video series Joel convinces us that he has always had a passion for the great outdoors. He’s at his happiest when he is smashing a long run through the woods, climbing a mountain or chopping logs surrounded by nature. Apart from all these, Joel is so many more things.
And YASS is here to discover!
Hello Joel. Tell us a bit about yourself, apart from the fact that you are the sexy ‘Middle Bear’, so that we can get to know you.
I’m 32 and I live in North London with my boyfriend Paul. I’m an actor and voiceover artist. I love museums, animals, the gym, the outdoors, swimming, spending time with friends, theme parks, cooking, reading and movies.
What brought you to London?
I grew up in Scotland and Hampshire before moving to London for drama school. I stayed for love, work, friends and opportunities.
Did you expect the “Rowse Honey Three Bears” campaign to be so successful?
I knew we had something special on our hands from the beginning, but I couldn’t have anticipated it would be so successful, even internationally! The concept was just wonderful to work on, and with the chemistry on set I just knew it was going be to something special!
How did everything start regarding the campaign?
I thought I was going in for a normal commercial casting, but by the end of the casting process it was obvious this was going to be something quite different! We had rounds of workshops where we had to cook, interact, improvise and generally just have a great time. I was over the moon when I got the call saying I’d got it!
Are there any similarities between you and the character you play in the campaign?
Many! We were encouraged to be ourselves, which made us far more able to have genuine fun with each other! What you get on screen really isn’t too far away from how we are in real life.
What was the reaction from the LGBTQ community regarding the Three Bears campaign?
It’s been so overwhelmingly positive, especially from the bear community. I think it means such a great deal to people within the LGBTQ+ community that Rowse Honey has taken such a bold step in inclusive marketing.
What has been the weirdest reaction from a fan?
I was followed on Oxford Street recently which was weird. Don’t lurk! Just say hi!
How do you manage to stay so fit?
I try to get to the gym as often as I can, and have the help of an awesome personal trainer in London, Peter Pazdro. I also try to swim a few times a week. I try and walk as many places as possible. Free weights are challenging and fun, not to mention the importance of a good diet (which is always a challenge!).
What is your favourite role you have played?
Shakespeare and classical theatre will always be closest to my heart. The oldest stories will always find resonance, and the depth of language will always reveal itself differently to a new audience. One of my fondest memories is playing Macbeth at the Globe Theatre in Neuss, Germany. Even if it did mean having a medieval spear skewer my hand… I recently shot a TV show with Elizabeth Hurley which was so much fun!
Is there a role you wished you had played or a famous person you would like to have worked with?
I’d love to play Richard III. And there’re an infinite number of people I’d like to work with. Jessica Lange, David Hyde Pearce and Jason Isaacs are just a few that spring to mind!
How do you feel when people recognise your voice in commercials?
Lots of people compliment me on my voice, which is very lovely, but I never really know what to say other than ‘thank you!’ I’m very lucky.
What are the characteristics of your ideal partner? And are you in love at the moment?
The ideal partner is caring, supportive, understanding, open, and of course funny! I’m very fortunate to have found all these qualities in my partner Paul, whom I love immensely. And he has quite a few more qualities than those!
What is your motto about life?
Be kind to each other.
Do you like to drag?
Not yet, but I’m sure I will!
How would you describe the London LGBT scene?
It’s really rich and vibrant. There is a slight note of sadness about it however, many gay institutions have been closing recently; The Black Cap in Camden, The Hoist in Vauxhall, Madame Jo-Jo’s in Soho, just to name a few. Generally I think this signals something positive within society, that perhaps the LGBTQ+ community feels more accepted and less at risk to socialise in ‘straight’ and non-specific venues, but it’s also important that our community has these LGBTQ+ venues as a place of belonging and safety. When I came out I found them a great source of confidence and a place to make friends.
Do you feel the LGBQ community is not well presented in the media?
I think it’s getting better year on year. More and more brands are gaining the confidence to be more inclusive in their campaigns. There are many other minority communities that need this exposure and inclusion, so there’s still a fair way to go. I’m just so thankful to Rowse Honey and BMB for their boldness with the Three Bears campaign. They’ve done such a wonderful job.
How is the relationship with the other Three Bears?
It’s silly, joyous, teasing, playful, flirty, fabulous and down-right ridiculous! Which I think pretty well represents us as people!
What is the ‘Middle Bear’ like?
He’s outdoorsy, fun, loves exercise and having a laugh with his fellow bears.
What does the everyday life of the ‘Middle Bear’ look like?
Up early for a run, big bowl of porridge and Rowse Honey, bit of log chopping and a workout, big lunch, fun filled active afternoon with the lads, then a quiet evening around the fire followed by a crazy dance session!
What is the Three Bears’ favourite discussion and how do they have fun?
Who makes the best porridge and who has the best guns! The three seat bike is good exercise for us all; it also comes with the thrill of a constant near death experience.
Do the three bears flirt between them sometimes?
Share a secret of yours with us.
I’m actually just a kid who likes being silly. I love cartoons, sweets and playing games, but everyone seems to have this impression that I’m a big hairy muscle man…
If you can’t get enough of Joel and want more of him follow him on Instagram here.
*all pictures are courtesy of Joel.