Name: Matt Brennessel
Hometown: Phelps, New York
Major: International Business | Concentration: Finance
Minor: Spanish and Chinese Business
Q: Did you know coming into JMU that it was going to be such a big deal that you looked like Thor?
A: No, not at all. It just kind of happened really I guess. I was born this way. I don’t like to shave, I’m just lazy. And I haven’t cut my hair because I want to donate it, so I’m going to do that at the end of this month.
Q: All the hair is going to be gone?
A: Yeah. I won’t even be able to fill this role anymore.
Q: Are you recognized just at JMU or everywhere?
A: I get it everywhere. I mean everywhere. When I was abroad two summers ago, everywhere I went, then all summer back home at my job. It’s an everyday occurrence.
Q: How does it feel? Do you like it, not like it?
A: I’m kind of indifferent. You don’t want it to go to your head because then you’re just an asshole and I don’t want that to happen. I definitely take it as a compliment.
Q: What’s the craziest thing that has happened from being involved in this?
A: People like to take pictures of me a lot. Not so much here at JMU because obviously they would see me around. In Ireland, there were a bunch of Brazilians who thought it was hilarious that I looked like Thor. They were taking pictures with me all night they were buying me drinks. I can’t really complain about it, but I don’t want to lie. They ask me if I’m related and I’m like ‘No. I’m quite American.’
Q: Do you ever see people trying to sneak pictures of you?
A: Yeah like under the arm, yeah.
Q: Do you say something or let it go?
A: I just let it go. Talk about an ego boost. I try not to let it get to my head. There’s a lot of cameras pointing at me, it’s probably someone on the bus taking a picture of me. Friends send me their Snapchat story [and say] ‘In my friend’s Snapchat story you were sitting over there doing whatever.’
Q: Do you get more girls because of it?
A: I’m dating a girl right now; I have been for about eight months, almost nine months. Prior, yeah, definitely it may have helped.
Q: Does she care that girls are all over you?
A: She gets jealous, yeah, I think it’s funny a little bit. She thought it was cool I was getting interviewed for looking like I do.
Q: What might be something about you that surprises people?
A: I’m just a pretty normal guy. I wake up, go to class and work just like everyone else.