Matthew Noszka has been keeping himself busy since appearing in Netflix's 2019 original Christmas movie Let It Snow. We caught him about an hour before he was scheduled to make an appearance at the premiere of the streaming service's film To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You in Los Angeles, California. Before that, he was in Seoul for a shoot. And then, the morning after the premiere, he had another one, before catching a red-eye to New York City to attend a Bulgari event the next day. After which, he was lensed by Lenne Chai for this story.
Yes, Noszka was having quite a week.
"Oh my gosh! You wouldn't believe it," he exclaims; tired but still upbeat and without a hint of complaint.
Noszka's a pioneer, in that his entry into the fashion industry was thanks to Instagram. In 2014, after building a porch, Noszka posted a picture of himself and his friend in front of it. There was nothing intentional about the photo. Noszka was topless, wearing washed-out denim berms with a Tommy Hilfiger band peeking out from underneath, but it was nothing like the typical, purposefully attention-grabbing posts we're accustomed to today on the social media platform.
That photo caught the attention of then-Wilhelmina booking agent Luke Simone. A few direct messages later (coupled with topless selfies), Noszka was booked for a job with Nike—only one of the biggest sporting brands in the world. And the jobs kept coming in.
"It was never a real dream of mine. Neither did I think that it was a job per se," Noszka explains when asked if anybody had ever mentioned to him before to try modelling in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "I thought that celebrities were models; I didn't know that there could be people that were just, you know, in the modelling industry working as talent."
He worked at it—looking through magazines for references on poses and facial expressions—and eventually walked for runway shows the likes of Moschino (multiple times) and Philipp Plein. One of his latest advertising campaigns was with Calvin Klein, modelling the brand's famed underwear line.
"I think I knew within my heart that modelling was something that I didn't actually know if I could truly be passionate about forever," admits Noszka. The fame and visibility that he's garnered from being in the fashion industry though, has allowed him to dive into something that he had a taste of in college.
He refers to himself as a "typical jock" in college, playing basketball with an offer to do so in Germany. But because he enrolled late, he had to take the only elective available: acting. And there was a fear of not excelling in the 10-credit elective course. "I took my first class and I was like, 'Whoa! This is really awesome.' I actually really enjoyed it," Noszka recalls. "I love to create; I love to embark on the journeys of different types of people and becoming them."
Let It Snow is Noszka's biggest foray into mainstream consciousness so far but it isn't his first acting gig. In season two of Lee Daniels' musical drama television series Star, Noszka had a recurring role as the love interest of the lead character, before being promoted to a regular in the following season. Before that, he took part in Tales, an anthology series on America's BET network, where each episode is inspired by a different hip-hop song. Noszka appeared in the first episode based on N.W.A's 1988 protest song 'F*** Tha Police', which explored police brutality but in an alternate reality where white males were the targets instead.
It's quite a surprising project to be part of, given the sensitivity of the issue and the fact that it's the first television role for a budding young actor. But Noszka is not afraid to take risks.
"I think the world is in a very critical time right now. And I think that a lot of people are looking for something to believe in, to be better. That gave me the opportunity—with the platform that I have—to speak to the masses and help by getting them to understand that they're not alone," he laments. "I just want to do that with roles that are based off true stories—mental struggles that someone has to go through or racial injustices that people continuously see on Instagram."
Noszka knows that feeling of going through pain. Before he was a teenager, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, a situation he couldn't quite grasp yet, but seeing her going through surgeries and being in the hospital was difficult. And in May 2019, Noszka lost his father to pancreatic cancer. It was a hard time for Noszka, especially with the healthcare system and the way things were being run. "There's just this run-around that almost seemed so generic; like a routine for some of the doctors. It was just very disheartening," he sadly recalls.
It's these two personal moments in his life that has further spurred him to use his voice and influence. Working with various charities, Noszka has been investing time both on a personal level as well as in the name of his own Los Angeles-based motorsport company, 412 Motorsport. The latter, most recently, organised a toy drive benefiting Childhelp, an organisation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
"It was a beautiful event where so many people brought out their classic cars; kind of just sharing their passion while giving back and creating Christmas for kids that are less fortunate," he expresses. So strong was his drive to better the community that he had initiated a charity project at the start of his modelling career. The Noszka Fund was set up in hopes of raising money for breast cancer awareness. Unfortunately, the person he had partnered with to get the project off the ground was dishonest—disappearing with everything including passwords to all that was created in the Noszka Fund name.
It was a lesson learnt. "It was shut down very quickly. That's why I'm very adamant on making sure I'm working with the right people," Noszka says. Among them are the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In light of his father's passing, Noszka wants to start working with pancreatic cancer-focused charities as well, planning a basketball fundraiser for that; a full-circle endeavour.
There's a lot happening and in the midst of happening with Noszka. Modelling, acting, philanthropy, designing (he's worked on a jewellery collaboration with designer Mayer Elliot that's slated to be released this year) and a host of other entrepreneurial projects. Then there's also talks with a production company on executive producing for the first time.
How does he find the time to do it all? Simone—the same person who sent him that first Instagram DM that made this career possible. And if Noszka has been able to achieve well-rounded success with this partnership in less than six years, no one should rule out the possibility of Matthew Noszka being a bigger name and making bigger moves in the next few years.