Valley native scores big in modeling and acting

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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When he was growing up on and off the basketball court, Darryl Chambers never thought he would end up seeing himself on billboards.

Chambers, a Valley native, played basketball under Coach Marshon Harper. After school, he continued to play basketball while studying at Alabama State University for his business degree. 

However, his life took an unexpected turn when he decided to take a shot at a career in modeling. In Montgomery, he joined a modeling troupe.

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The experience helped him realize he could make money doing something he felt passionate about. 

“I feel like to keep a drive alive for anything you have to have passion for it, and that’s something that I have grown to have,” Chambers said. “It started out with modeling. I loved that … Because I grew up just a shy kid in Valley, Alabama, and I’m like this is totally different.”

In 2020, he began doing work for Essence magazine and entered a male runway contest in New Orleans. The contest led to Chambers being featured in an article in the magazine. 

“I won the contest,” Chambers said. “And it just so happened that they put me in their magazine and made me their Essence Magazine’s Male Eyecandy in 2012.”

After his modeling career gained footing, Chambers began to turn toward acting. He started with background work and then began booking independent films and other projects. Some of the projects that Chambers has been involved in are Comedian Kountry Wayne’s show, an HD Supplies commercial, and a billboard. Chambers is also the host of Conversations with HBCU and acted in Heaux Phase on Urbanflix.

“It’s a platform that was already geared towards HBCUs,” Chambers said. 

In the show, he interviews Historically Black College and University (HBCU) alums, current students and others in the community about their lives and careers. 

“We’re inclusive. So it’s about bridging the gap,” Chambers said. 

The Kickback, a music show that Chambers will host, is still in pre-production. 

“I feel like I have so much to do, and there’s so much to accomplish,” Chambers said.

Still, Chambers said it’s no longer shocking when his family and friends in Valley reach out to him to tell him they’ve seen his face on a billboard.

“That’s the odd thing about it because I feel like I’m supposed to be here,” Chambers said.

Since he graduated from Alabama State, Chambers has relocated to Atlanta, where he has worked on SAG film projects, commercials and modeling runways. Most recently, Chambers modeled for a new e-commerce platform launched by Rapper and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs called Empower Global. 

Still, he said he hopes his example will help encourage the next generation of his hometown in Valley and the Valley area.

“It’s been very, very beneficial for me, but it’s very rewarding as well because people I went to school with, people in Valley and Lanett, people in the surrounding areas,” Chambers said. “They always root for me.”

Chambers plans to continue working on his acting career by surrounding himself with other talented artists. 

“I have more of a passion for it now because I have a hunger to learn more. And I’m around a lot of different actors and actresses who are amazing. And it makes me want to step up my game,” Chambers said.