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2013 December 30

Best of The Daily: Little Saint Nick (Gruber)

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It's Nick Gruber! It's Nick Gruber!
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(New York) Once upon a time—okay, 2010—a milk-fed ex-marine and sometime adult-film actor named Nick Gruber found love in Manhattan with a much older man. Plucked from obscurity and promised the world, he was a fixture on the Hamptons social circuit for two glorious seasons, squiring his paramour from benefit to beach and generally partying his pants off. And then, just like that, Nick Gruber was gone. Or was he? We invited the now-sober 23-year-old to our offices for a catch-up. No Calvin questions? No problem! Enjoy another look at our July interview with him. It's a treat. 

So, what’s new? Are you moving back to New York?
The plan is to come back for the summer and see what happens. I could go back to L.A.; I could stay here. I want to get back into modeling, but I’m also starting my own business out there. It’s a weekend-warrior program that’s basically a summer camp for adults where we do extreme sports.

Has L.A. been a big adjustment?
Not really. I like it because I skydive and rock-climb. I’m an extreme-sports guy. I just got into kite-surfing, too. I kite-surf for three hours every day. I’ve really fallen in love with it. I also love skydiving.

Do you skydive often? What’s the appeal?
My mind goes blank. I jump out of the airplane at 12,000 feet and my head is totally clear. My endorphins are so jacked up that when I land, I’m ready to do it again. I love the rush of the activity. I also just bought a brand-new BMW motorcycle.

Do you do tricks?
Yeah, I’ve only had it for three months, but I’m already doing wheelies. Don’t worry—I’m very careful. But to be the best of the best in life, you have to take chances. When I was in the military, I was at the top of my class. I loved shooting weapons. I was the best—I was always shooting the bull’s-eye. I also held the record for doing the most push-ups and sit-ups. Nobody could beat me. I don’t know about now. I’m ADD and ADHD, so it’s like there’s no tomorrow. It’s always about right now.

Is that an official diagnosis?
Yeah, since I was 3 years old. In high school I always had difficulty in reading and comprehending, and sometimes in speaking. I speak very fast. People misinterpret me sometimes, which I take personally. I’m very smart, but there are some things I can’t read well. I’m also dyslexic, so I can’t fully read or comprehend.

Wow, sorry to hear that.
I’m very smart because I’m a memorizer. I graduated in my high school class with honors, which made me very happy.

Do you still want to go to college?
I went to NYU.

You did?
Well, I got accepted. But college isn’t for everyone. It wouldn’t be for me. Outdoor activities and working with other people are for me. I want to help people.

So, modeling. What’s your dream campaign?
I don’t have one. I’d like to see myself on a billboard and see myself in a magazine and be like, “Wow, that’s me! I’d like to say that I did Armani or Prada or one of the other big brands.

What about runway?
More print. Runway’s too crazy, and I like food too much. I don’t want to get myself to 120 pounds. I’m not six foot one. I like to be healthy and fit. 

What are your favorite foods?
I love beef Wellington and gnocchi. I apprenticed with the sous-chef at The Lion for six months and learned how to make gnocchi. One of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan is Indochine, ever since I had my big 21st birthday there.

Tell us about that.
It was, like, the biggest party I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t know how to describe it. It was like being in a spaceship taking off. It was like having your first kiss at the prom. I’m very thankful for that birthday party. I met a lot of people but also had some of my best friends there. And there were a lot of celebrities, like Alec Baldwinand Vera Wang. I think we had over 4,500 balloons on the ceiling.

How have you changed since moving to L.A.?
I’ve matured. The nightlife in L.A. is totally different, so I don’t go out anymore. I wake up every day at 6:45 a.m. and go straight out to rock-climb. It’s an hour ride on my motorcycle. I have, like, five best friends. That’s all you need your entire life. In New York, a lot of people said they were my friend, but if you’re sick or need somewhere to stay, that’s how you know. When I moved to L.A., I figured out who my real friends were.

Are you still sober?
Of course. Not being in New York, where the nightlife goes till 6 a.m., has been great. I have healthy friends who want to do healthy things. I have a husky named Jack, and we spend a lot of time together.

Were you ever going to pose for Playgirl?
No. I have no clue how that rumor started. No nude photos. Never.

What’s your best memory of the Hamptons?
One of my favorites was a birthday party. Not Billy Joel’s. It was a big, huge party. Not Bon Jovi’s. Not Elton John’s. [Looks up photos on his phone.] It was Billy Joel’s birthday! Bruce Bearstring performed. Am I saying that right?

Do you mean Springsteen?
Yeah! Him [laughs]. There were so many celebrities. I had a blast.

Will you be in the Hamptons this summer?
I’d rather focus on my goal of being in New York City and getting a base here.

Why did you decide to cancel your tell-all? [Reportedly titled Obsession: My Life With Calvin Klein.]
I didn’t want to hurt someone that I truly love. The book was a stupid idea.

There were reports you were working on a reality show.
That’s not true at all, but I’d definitely do one.

What would the Nick Gruber reality show be like?
I’d take Anna Wintour skydiving and then make her rock-climb and put her on a motorcycle.

Did you catch Behind the Candelabra, by any chance?
I heard it was good, but didn’t see it.

What are some untrue things that have been written about you?
How I’m a “user.” How I take advantage of people, which is so not true. I’m not a bad person. Once you get to know me, you’ll see I’m a kind person and I have a heart and I care about people. I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic. If anything, I want to help you and use my power to make your life better. For example, if there’s a car broken down on Laurel Canyon, I’ll get out and try to help. If I see a homeless person, I give him money. It hurts me when people say I take advantage of people. The people who know me know that I’m kind. The past relationship I had, people said I had a sugar daddy, but it wasn’t like that. There’s a lot of love that I have. 

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