Edmonton tradesman-turned-model gets Hollywood break with cat work-out video
Alberta construction worker and his beloved feline are set for their film debut
An Edmonton man has earned fame and moderate fortune by using his plump cat as an exercise weight and posting the workout on the internet.
Construction worker-turned-model Travis Deslaurier posted his most-viewed YouTube video last summer, a 20-second clip of Deslaurier working out with Jacob, his affable orange cat.
'What is the world coming to?'
The video, which ends with Deslaurier wiping his brow with Jacob's fluffy tail and blowing a kiss at the camera, amassed millions of hits in a matter of weeks.
"I got shocked when it got 100 million views around the world and all the media attention," Deslaurier said in an interview Thursday with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active.
"It's kind of funny in today's age. This is what we call premium entertainment? I mean, what is the world coming to?
"But at the end of the day if it's going to work, you've got to do it because it can open up so many other doors."
Since last summer, it's been a wild ride for the 32-year-old and his orange tabby who became online sensations overnight.
The photogenic duo have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, La Repubblica, centrefolds and even a book cover.
Deslaurier started posting videos online in 2015, hoping for his big Hollywood break, after a decade working in Alberta's construction industry.
"I was just seeing how people were changing their lives using social media because today it's such a powerful avenue and you can get noticed and recognized from all over the world just by creating content and putting it online," he said.
Apparently rock-hard abs and a portly cat are the perfect recipe for social media fame.
A year since the video was posted, the pair has moved to Los Angeles and now have their eyes trained on the small screen.
'He's a 'nip dealer'
Deslaurier has written a screenplay starring Jacob and the web comedy series is set to go into production.
The tabby will be playing a Colombian drug lord.
"It's about Jacob, he kind of snaps from the social media fame and starts doing a lot catnip and starts selling catnip across the Colombian border," said Deslaurier.
"He's a 'nip dealer and he's kind of a vigilante killer because he's killing off the competition. It's going to be hilarious."
As they wait for Jacob's film debut, Deslaurier continues to make online videos and model professionally.
Life in Hollywood has been a whirlwind, but he's willing to do what it takes to make his name in the industry.
Making it as an internet fitness celebrity isn't as easy as it looks, said Deslaurier.
"You can have a whole bunch of followers but if nobody is watching your stuff anymore, then you're not really worth anything," he said.
"I'm using social media as my ticket to pursue to my producing and acting career. It's so powerful; it keeps you relevant in the public eye."