The George DeNoto Interview
Article by Jessica Rubel
Before Calvin Klein came calling, before protesting alongside Shia LaBeouf, before viral clips screaming in the middle of moshpits at Playboi Carti concerts, the anime inspired, tall, Red Haired, tattooed, tight jawed, soft hearted, intimidating, free spirited, and cursing loudmouth was a safe bet to burst in this generation’s social media bubble. Arriving on the twitter skit comedy scene in 2015 wearing a Mcdonald’s work uniform in a climate where influencers are stars one day and forgotten tomorrow. A friendship in 2018 with late renowned music artist Xxxtentacion broadcasted in front of millions with what he describes as our generation’s Kurt Cobain, along with inking a deal with Viz Media; the largest manga distribution company in the United States, and wrapping it all up with signing to a major modeling agency in his sophomore season of his freshly started modeling career has got George DeNoto, myself, and hundreds and thousands wondering just how far he can take this rise?
We meet one warm spring morning at the fashion Museum at FIT in New York. His voice, a little raspy from what we deduce must be from the videos in his instagram story the previous day; videos of George at an underground NY music concert to support a family collective to him by the name “Do or Die”, we see George kneeling on the ground punching his bare fists through the floor in a mosh pit as punches and kicks fly around him in disorderly chaos as Do or Die’s lyrics “Sleep when i’m dead!” echo through the phone. DeNoto lives in Florida and New York., but for the past couple of weeks he’s been holed up at a recording studio in Soho working on the direction of his friend Vic’s second music album.
“These are the people who are gonna remember,” George said. “It’s all about other people making it for me. I believe there’s enough fucking cake for everyone to eat losers just need to stop pretending they’re already eating that shit. I’m all about my people making it, X made sure I was this way. A lot of us can learn that from him.”
It’s a weekday, and the museum is mostly filled with elderly and staff. But at one point, as George ganders at a column of Celine pantwork, it seems like every other girl at the age of 20 in the place is floating nearby, giggling and not-very-surreptitiously taking pictures. DeNoto is warm and charming when they ask for selfies, listening to both parties recite Xxxtentacion lyrics and recalling where they were when memories of George and X’s friendship occured, even an occasional hug which causes one girl teenager dressed like a Euphoria extra with dyed hair to borderline hyperventilate. It’s not hard to guess who’s gonna come up to him, he tells me later.
When asked if this wild ride of his life could go any farther George laughed and somewhat jokingly said,
“Would it be fucked if I end up overexposed? The lifestyle, the parties, the sex, the drugs, was all already supposed to gatekeep me, what now? My brother William made that lifestyle second nature to me early, I did all this without trying. What if i try to go crazy? It would be fun wouldn’t it? I could try to be like Shia Labeouf. Shia liked the idea when we talked about it in 2016. I owe it to my supporters to get to a point where i’m annoyed at paparazzi and shit.” Actually? “I’m not even kidding. I’m trying to get, like, annoying famous.”
“My supporters love and believe in me too much, all that love would be a waste if I don’t take this that far. My family, the Councils in my life, the Botthews and the Noras, my supporters, Their support deserves me in those iconic pictures from back in the day. The cool stories. The fucked-up knees from all the Ecstasy. You know? I want all of it, they deserve to see people who actually give a fuck about them win.”
George or as his supporters call him, Local’s climb was so rapid and unexpected that before you knew it he amassed 300,000 followers on twitter, 300,000 followers on TikTok and over 100,000 followers on instagram. So rapid and unexpected, in fact, that he hasn’t had much time to develop a celebrity side of himself—the safe, frictionless persona that many stars show the public. As we walk past a runway exhibit and I finish talking about my own life on his request, George says laughing,
“Is this going like your other interviews do? You were laughing a lot when I was talking about becoming Shia Labeouf or when we talked about your life. I’m not trying to make you unprofessional here, My mom was big on caring deeply about people so they can be comfortable around you. Also you gotta understand I’m from X’s camp, this is the part of the interview where he’s done saving millions of kids and starts talking about having a dagger for a dick.”
No one ever asked me about my own experiences in an interview. George has become famous by being himself, entirely: an all-American kid, in a deeply Gen Z sense.
George DeNoto’s story goes something like this: He’s of Cuban, Costa Rican, and Italian heritage, and was raised in Glen Cove, New York. A young gifted chess prodigy, George was born with a very critical mind as he won New York State chess tournaments for his age group. Growing up, his late mother in the heart of Queens, New York was so deeply passionate, larger than life, and understanding, she blended with many friend groups which she naturally instilled in her son. Little George then became a child actor going as far as multiple Saturday Night Live Appearances and roles in multiple movies. Retiring because he was tired of “playing other people” and wanted to be himself. Mixed with his Brother’s party antics, George went from a middle school final fantasy, kingdom hearts, manga enthusiast and cartoon indulger, to walking out of High School the life of the party of his graduating class. Always being around project housing with his diverse friends from public school, George was quickly dubbed the name, “YaLocalWhiteBoy” for being the only white boy in the group. George then coined this as he blossomed his career into what is now a growing trend in today’s climate, Influencer turned model, but in George’s case, with a core message of unconditional love.