Bruno Duarte grew up in Lisbon, Portugal surrounded by water and good weather, and that didn’t stop him from dreaming. He managed to survive the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry. His hard work payed off, allowing him to be able to move up in his career path and work for some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Bruno took his passion for hospitality from land to sea and moved on to cruise ships and began traveling the world.
He always wanted to move to the yachting industry but never thought that during the summer of 2016 he would get a call that might change his life. He was invited to participate on Bravo TV’s reality show ‘Below Deck,’ where he joined the show on it’s fifth season as a first-time deckhand. The show profiles a group of young people who work aboard yachts that measure well over 100 feet long. Bruno and his crew members live aboard the luxurious, privately owned vessels while making sure that their demanding clients’ ever-changing needs are met. Get to know Bruno a little bit better in our interview below… deck.
Dustin: How’s it going today? You’re just back from the gym? Bruno: Today is going great. I woke up early and went to the gym.. arms day. I just got back from my workout but I stopped by to the mall to buy some stuff.
You used to work on cruise ships. Do you love the ocean? What made you take all these jobs at sea?
It was always my dream to get on a cruise ship. I still remember my first day of high school my teacher asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, “I’m going to work on cruise ships,” and eventually I did! I love the ocean and those vessels are floating cities! They are so luxurious and at that time I was waiter, so the high end service fascinated me.
What was your experience like shooting ‘Below Deck’?
My experience shooting was great, you get used to it pretty easily, at least I did. ‘Below Deck‘ was intense and full of new experiences, good and bad ones, but I think that comes in any package right?
It seems like you try to help everyone out on the show. But, tensions are high between you and Kate, and have continued after the show stopped filming. It seems like she goes out of her way to tear you down. What happened?! Why is she so obsessed with you?
Kate didn’t like me since the beginning, she never acted like she intended to respect me or care what so ever. I noticed she wasn’t ok with my presence but I always remained professional. Her on the other hand, tried several times to set me up and have my spot shaken by her little moves. She clearly has something personal against me and I never did anything for her to act like that. I guess she doesn’t like to be confronted, and I’m very straightforward with people. If you’re wrong then admit that you are, and listen to people but instead Kate just always took it in an offensive way and fought back by being disrespectful and unprofessional.
How is your relationship with the rest of the cast?
I love everyone, even Kate I thought when I got onboard that I was going to get along with her, but that was the biggest assumption ever. The rest of the crew are just fine, I worked perfectly fine with everyone, like I said even if someone doesn’t like me, I don’t care, I always keep it professional and do my job. Brianna she’s a sweet girl, Baker is a funny energized human being, Matt was always polite and receptive to listen to me. Nico grew on me, not just because we have the same feelings about our brothers, but he had to take a lot from us since we were all green so I do respect him for that.
Do you regret stripping down your speedo and serving sushi off your body? What made you do that?
Well, that was new for me for sure. While I don’t regret it because everything was well thought out and it wasn’t like I was thrown to the wolves. Everyone was there supporting me and I did it for the team and for the guests. It was funny even with a little bit of awkwardness. Everything came out as a loud idea and ended up happening fast. Next thing I knew I was in a speedo and posing like Kate Winslet on a cold table and covered with sushi.
Do you feel like you are being portrayed accurately on the show?
Definitely. I was really at all times at 100% so what you see on TV is me, no one is perfect and what I was focused on everyday was to do the job and learn as much as I could. It’s my nature to help everyone, and clearly some people didn’t enjoy that, but some people did, and at the end I did what I needed to do for the guests.
Now that the show is done filming how do you see the experience? Would you do a reality show again?
Why not? My conscience is clear as water. I know that I didn’t do anything against my principles and my own integrity. I would do it because I know that I can show to people that you can just be yourself and still make it a good show.
Would you two ever consider a “Real Househusbands” series?
Ow yes, we even talked about that too, also a house renovations type of a show. I love that kind of stuff.
You’re from Portugal, but have lived in Spain and Finland.. and on a boat. Anywhere else? What has your experience as a gay man been like in these places?
I spent the my first years of my life in Spain, after my brothers death and couple years later, we moved back to Portugal, where I was born, and had to start over, learn Portuguese and a new culture. I was only 5 so it was more easy for me, I guess.
I moved to Finland because of a girl. I’m a human that loves unconditionally regardless your gender, age, skin color, religion….and when I was discovering myself I realized that I could feel that for men too. After my relationship in Finland I decided to go back to Portugal and then I started to explore my sexuality more.
On the cruiseships I never showed my sexuality to anyone and I dated women and men, probably because it was so natural to me and so young too that I never got people judging me for that, I was just a boy looking for love and with that I met amazing people that support me to this day.
What are some of your favorite vacation destinations?
I can say that I pretty much traveled the entire world and nothing can beat my beautiful Portugal, but since it is my own country, I can say one of my dreams is being in the USA. I wish that one day I have the opportunity to move to America and live the best American dream ever. Love New York. I also love Europe, Greece, and the Caribbean. I’m a beach guy but also amazed by Asia, as well as Australia.
“Don’t go down just because someone is telling you that you’re not worth it or you suck at something. Life is a constant change and a very short term for us to let the world push us in wrong directions. Make sure you fight for what you stand for and be kind to those that are kind to you.”
What have you achieved that you’re proud of, and things you still are grinding towards?
Well I was always very independent, Im very proud to be who I am today with what I’ve achieved, personally and professionally. It wasn’t easy, and isn’t easy to get up in life. But I’m very ambitious and with a lot of persistence and hard work I was rewarded with a lot of amazing moments. Nowadays I’m always grinding for something, better and bigger. My goal is to feel safe and loved and stable together with a person that I love and fulfill my dreams.
You’re starting a new business with your fiance, Jose. Tell me a little bit about what it is and what do you hope to achieve?
Our business, Bruknowsfit is a small business with the main focus on fitness, travel and food. Our intention is to inspire people and show the world how we can help. Getting healthier, improving lifestyle, seeing the world and be curious about life. Our website is currently in development, but you can subscribe to your YouTube channel for right now. Small steps at a time.
How did you to meet?
We met at the entrance of the subway, locked eyes and instantly clicked. The funny story is, we have friends in common and we have been at the same places with the same friends and we never thought about it until we actually got together.
You recently got engaged! Congratulations! Who proposed to who? How did it happen?
I did! I was so nervous, everything started with the ring. We went to the mall, and we passed by a jewelry shop and this ring was just so perfect. I told him to go and buy me stuff and I went to buy the ring. I put it inside of one of our shopping bags, and before we went back to the car we went to a health food store where I forgot the bag with the ring! While walking in the mall my face turned blue and I was like f*ck!!! so I ran back. Luckily the bag was still there!! So a few days after I decided to take him for a weekend getaway at Troia, an amazing place. We stayed at the hotel for the weekend, and the second day I took him to Cavalos na Areia, an incredible horse farm. We had private riders, a private photographer, and he had no clue! I always love horses. Riding the horses along the beach was just magical. We did that for an hour and right when the sun had almost set… I gave the sign and everyone stopped. The guides stayed with the horses and right at the front water I kneeled and proposed to him. He wasn’t expecting it and he said “yes” straight away! We were both so nervous.
You two stay pretty fit and have the receipts on Instagram. What do you do to maintain your bodies?
EAT A LOT 🙂 We have a crazy diet, we scale out food, and count what we eat and we test diets and calories. We get to know our bodies first to see how it reacts and then apply our workouts in order to have the results that we want. My body is different then Jose, I’m a hardgainer and slim fit, Jose is more muscular naturally and bulky. I have to eat a horse all day, and he will only eat half of what I do probably. 😜
Well thanks for doing this interview and joining the crew over here. Anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t go down just because someone is telling you that you’re not worth it or you suck at something. Life is a constant change and a very short term for us to let the world push us in wrong directions. Make sure you fight for what you stand for and be kind to those that are kind to you. Whoever is mean to you isn’t even worth your time. Remember no one will live your life, and it’s up to you to make the right choices. Rise and shine!