Tom Frelinghuysen C’11

Frelinghuysen’s family tree includes Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Chester Arthur’s Secretary of State. Photo by Richard Gerst.

Abercrombie was my first modeling job, which is kind of unusual, because it’s a big job.

I got called for it when I was studying abroad in London, and they flew me over here. I got to meet Bruce Weber, the photographer. They put us in a hotel; we were like movie stars. We shot with dogs in fields and all that fun stuff, and then they just flew me right back.

In modeling, you’re always going someplace new, working with someone you don’t know that well. It’s very exciting. But the craziest part is you can be called up at a moment’s notice—they can call and say, “We need you in New York at 8 tomorrow morning.” You kind of just have to say yes.

I never thought, “This is what I want to do with my life,” but the more I did it, the more I was like, “This is a lot like acting, this is really fun.”

What I’d really like to do is something like The Carol Burnett Show, like a live variety show. I guess we’ll see.

The thing that is essential to me is that I’m always working on something new.

I like people a lot, so I’m always interested in what they’re up to and I’m always listening, trying to figure out where they’re from, what they do, how they do it. I like to discover other people’s stories.

The Frelinghuysens have a lot of family history that is very interesting. I met Rodney Frelinghuysen [U.S. Rep., R-11th District] a little while ago. He’s a very cool guy, very down to earth. He’s my cousin. I’d like to put our family tree together one day.

His father [the late N.J. Congressman Peter Frelinghuysen Jr.] loved the arts. I am very happy I had the chance to perform for him in Drew’s 2010 production of As You Like It.

I have a lot of inspirational people in my family, in the past, in the present. It’s definitely inspired me to work as hard as I can.—Michelle Caffrey C’10


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