If you frequently peruse the Internet (hi!), chances are you’ve seen “Hide the Pain Harold” plastered across your Instagram feed. And if you don’t know his name, you definitely know his face from the hundreds of hilarious memes inspired by his expressive looks.
Harold, whose real name is Arató but goes by Andy (are you still following?), and I only met a few weeks ago when I emailed him, but I feel like his spirit has lived deep within the chasms of my soul my entire life. But while Harold’s story is one of rising above great pain while simultaneously playing video games, drinking a hot beverage, or having his back examined by a medical professional, Andy’s story is one of unexpected triumph.
A retired engineer, Andy’s career as a stock image model began after a photographer scouted his photo on a community site in his native Hungary. All the rest, he says, happened by chance—a likely story in the case of Internet stardom. But does he like being a meme sensation? “It took a long time to accept,” Andy tells STYLECASTER. “It’s an ambivalent feeling—yes and no at the same time. Yes, because people love me, and no, because it’s not my merit. I was not prepared; it happened to me unwillingly.”
Get to know the man behind the memes (including how he really handles pain) below.
1. What’s your middle name?
István, the Hungarian equivalent of Steve. I don’t use it; only in official documents.
2. If you could have dinner with 3 people (living or dead) who would they be?
The Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, and Morgan Freeman.
3. First thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Make a wake-up coffee for my wife.
4. What’s your most used emoji?
A smiling face.
5. What’s the last book you read?
“Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett.
6. How do you deal with pain?
I don’t show it, I don’t talk about it
7. Favorite ice cream flavor?
8. What is your favorite meme?
The one I choose for my Facebook cover photo, a school class of girls, each having a face of mine.
9. What is your favorite toothpaste?
Mint flavor, I don’t want mention brands.
How do you deal with pain?
‘I don’t show it, I don’t talk about it.’
10. What makes you smile?
Sitting around a campfire and telling jokes.
11. What would you be doing if you weren’t a fashion model?
I’m not a fashion model, was only a stock photo model for a short time. Not for living, just for fun. Actually, I’m a retired engineer. Being a fashion model was forced by Facebook, this was their best option to describe who am I.
12. What are you most proud of?
I was vice president of the Lighting Society of Hungary, wrote a big chapter about light and lighting in the book “Building Electricity.” Its 7th edition is coming soon.
13. What is your passion?
Photography and swimming.
14. What’s your favorite farm animal?
15. What is your mantra?
George Bernard Shaw said: “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” And at 72, I’m still creating myself!
16. Favorite 80s song?
“Total Eclipse of the Heart,” by Bonnie Tyler.
17. Do you like being a meme and an Internet sensation?
It took a long time to accept. It’s an ambivalent feeling; yes and no at the same time. Yes, because people love me, and no, because it’s not my merit. I was not prepared, it only happened unwillingly to me.
18. Favorite female singer of all time?
19. Your hidden talent?
Not discovered yet.
20. Who is your favorite fictional character?
Karen, in the movie “Out of Africa,” played by Meryl Streep.
21. If you could come back as something or someone else, what would it be?