ON a recent morning, Bear Grylls, the star of the Discovery Channel survivor show “Man vs. Wild,” was dressed in a rugged ensemble of army-green work shirt and cargo pants, a no-nonsense knife strapped to one leg. Standing in the middle of a pine forest with his jaw purposefully clenched, he looked ready for battle.
Alas, there were no snakes or grizzly bears to wrangle into submission. Mr. Grylls, 37, was not in the Rockies fending for his life, but less than an hour from Los Angeles, filming a commercial for Degree deodorant.
Not that it was any easier than filming his TV show, which drops Mr. Grylls in the most God-forsaken pockets of the planet and watches him face off against blinding ice storms and insect-drenched jungles. “It’s quite difficult,” he said, walking away from the cameras after what felt like the 80th take, a pair of young makeup artists in skinny jeans trailing behind him.
Lately, this kind of “labor” has been taking up more of Mr. Grylls’s time, as he finds himself transitioning from a wacky British television character known for drinking his own urine and sleeping inside a dead camel (for hydration and warmth, respectively), into a more mainstream celebrity.
Dockers recently selected Mr. Grylls as the face of its campaign, which features the boyishly handsome adventure fanatic tramping through Central Park in slimly tailored khakis and a narrow tie, looking more like a young Gregory Peck than Crocodile Dundee. The images have already caused a stir: Out magazine’s Web site published a Bear Grylls “Swoon Alert” wondering why Dockers was forcing the “dreamy nature explorer” to wear shirts in the photos.
Read the rest at the New York Times.