Friday, August 4, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Interview with Hunky Professional Cosplayer, Leon Chiro

When professional cosplayer Leon Chiro was announced as a guest of STGCC 2017, a collective wave of squeals and happy sighs rippled through the local geek and cosplay communities.

Who can blame them? After all, the Italian cosplayer does realistic performances of gaming and pop-culture characters, is absolutely shredded (Yum!), interacts constantly with his fans, and has a cheeky sense of humour to boot!

Leon Chiro's detailed and convincing cosplays have caught the eyes of many AAA gaming companies, and they have hired him as official cosplayers for their promotional activities and events. These companies include Ubisoft ("Assassin's Creed" / "Watch Dogs"), Square Enix ("Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV" - a huge fan favourite!), Capcom (honorary mention for his Dante) and many more.

For the "Assassin's Creed" movie, Leon go to put on the mantel of Aguilar de Nerha and worked with 20th Century Fox on the film's promotional campaign, stunt work and official European launch events.

What attracted Red Dot Diva to Leon's cosplays were his confident, very true-to-life takes on characters, like Gaston from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and his playful spins to existing personas, for instance, Baywatch Gladio. He even does a spot-on Leon version of Saltbae!

Leon Chiro is so popular in the gaming and cosplaying community that he gets invited to attend several conventions around the world - about 3 to 4 shows a month! In many of these events, he is asked to judge cosplay competitions as well, and at STGCC, Leon will be one of the judges for the Championship of Cosplay 2017!

Before he steps foot on our sunny island, Red Dot Diva got hold (mmm mmm) of Leon to ask him some nosy questions:

Red Dot Diva: Hi Leon! How are you? 
Leon: Thank you so much for having me here! Being in Singapore represents a huge honor, I'm so happy to be able to visit and know more of your beautiful country! 
Red Dot Diva: We cannot wait for your visit!

Red Dot Diva: Let's begin our interview, shall we? I'm curious... what drew you to the world of cosplay?
Leon: To me, Cosplay is ART. It's all about passion, heart and interpretation by creating an artistic language. Cosplay is way more than it appears and it's one of the most complete form of art, in my opinion. Your creativity can push you to your limits, and when you wear a cosplay, I really think you LIVE and PLAY the costume, so it's not only about 'wearing'. Or at least, this is how I live it. Thanks to the cosplay art, I transformed a passion into a full-time job and I would never exchange my life for another one because I'm truly happy for my sacrifices and for my position now. 

I'm grateful every single day to all my followers because without them I wouldn't be here and nothing would be so amazing and real.

A post shared by Leon Chiro (@leonchiro) on

Red Dot Diva: Do you remember your first cosplay? Which character was it and how was the experience like? 
Leon: Everything started in 2011 with Tidus from Final Fantasy X. I wanted to bring to 'life' a videogame by recreating a videogame photoshoot or modelling. A friend of mine then told me about cosplay and he introduced me to my first cosplay attempt. So I discovered this wonderful world full of geeks, colors, videogames and way more. I felt so good and I thought ''I'm not alone on this planet'' hahaha! I can't describe the feelings because they were priceless.

Red Dot Diva: Have you ever got tired of doing cosplay or wanted to give up, ever, at all? If yes, how did you get over that feeling? 
Leon: Of course it happened and it was not easy! I really wanted to quit because I was not able to handle all the negativity but then I realized that it was all depending on me. If you want to focus yourself on the negativity, then you will see only negativity. The secret is appreciating more of all the beautiful elements you have around you and focus on the beautiful things. By doing that you will only attract positivity in your life, I can tell you this from my own experiences and that's why I'm here! =) Not to forget on MOTIVATION, if you truly believe in something you will always find strength and time to dedicate yourself to.

Red Dot Diva: What skills did you have difficulty learning or trying to master? 
Leon: Sewing for sure! I think that may be the skill I would love to give some 'abilities points' on my next level up+ hahaha! I’ve always hated that part, that's why my most complicated cosplays are armors.

Red Dot Diva: Which is your most challenging cosplay? and why? Leon: Terra from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep for all the amount of details, passion and heart I put in my work. My heart guided me through that cosplay and it means a lot to me. 

Red Dot Diva: What kind of workout routine do you have? What tips do you have for people who are trying to tone up more? 
Leon: For me, the importance lies in the constant work and your motivation. It's not about how many times you do an exercise but HOW YOU DO IT and the how much you believe in what you want to become. Reorder your life priorities and do your best everyday for yourself. You need to love yourselves more than you do, that's the key for any goal you want to achieve. 

A post shared by Leon Chiro (@leonchiro) on

Red Dot Diva: What was your reaction when you were selected to be the official cosplayer for Assassin's Creed?
Leon: It's like one of those dreams you can't describe by words, it was one of those points of my career when I thought ''Ok! I'm doing the things in the right way and this is ONLY the beginning! '' As I said, it's all about motivation and understanding that our lives are made by steps. We don't have to be hasty but we always have to aim higher and higher. 

Red Dot Diva: What does it mean to be an official cosplayer of companies and brands? What are the usual list of duties you have to perform? 
Leon: NDAs must be respected, especially if you're a huge fan (and trust me, sometimes it's so damn hard!). It's also a huge responsibility and comes with a certain amount of expectations, which can make the things harder sometimes. You don't have to portray a character; you have to BE the character by interpreting him in the best way. I'm usually study and train a lot before cosplaying the character I have to work with, in order to give a proper interpretation as professional cosplayer. 

Red Dot Diva: What you looking forward to most when you are in Singapore for STGCC? 
Leon: Discovering and sharing your wonderful culture. I can't wait to be there and live this new adventure together! My main goal is to make everybody happy and to make this STGCC edition the best one in the history!!! Hurray! 

A post shared by Leon Chiro (@leonchiro) on

Red Dot Diva: Should we be stocking up on Nissin Cup Noodles for your visit? Do you have a favorite flavor? 
Leon: Hahahaha I knew we were going to talk about Cup Noodles! Well... your Gladdy Daddy loves chicken curry! 
Red Dot Diva: See that, Leon fans? You know what to do!


Where can you see Leon Chiro flex his biceps?

When: 9 - 10 September 2017
Where: Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Halls D/ E/ F (Basement 2)
Tickets: Various prices, depending on your whether you want the VIP tickets, or just want to access certain areas, like the gaming hall, and the Akiba zone, which caters mainly to cosplayers. Check out the list at this link.

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