What Were Queer Eye's Fab Five Up to Before They Were Stars?

Find out what Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France and Antoni Porowski were up to before they starred in the Netflix hit

By Tierney Bricker Jun 25, 2018 7:35 PMTags
Watch: Fab Five Would Love for "Queer Eye" to Go International

Before they were the Fab Five, they were five individual guys. 

Thanks to Netflix's Queer Eye revival, the Internet has fallen deeply in love with Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France and Bobby Berk, When Bobby cries, we cry. When Jonathan says "Yas!," we say "Henny!" When Tan smiles, we dissolve into a puddle of mush. We happily accept this as our new normal. 

It's hard to imagine a time when the Fab Five weren't dominating the pop culture landscape, and it's even more surprising to realize it was just last December that we all had no idea how to make guacamole before Antoni introduced it to the world.

But before they were each cast as members of the Fab Five, Karamo, Jonathan, Antoni, Tan and Bobby were all successful in their own lines of expertise, whether you were aware of them or not.

The Cast of Queer Eye's Best Friend Moments
MTV; Netflix

Karamo Brown
Chances are if you've watched MTV at all since 2004 you've probably seen Karamo before. That year, he was one of seven stranger picked to live in a house on The Real World: Philadelphia, and he was actually the first out gay black man on reality TV. He went on to compete on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II (sadly, he didn't win!) and then appeared on The Next 15 in 2016, which followed six reality stars, including Tiffany Pollard (aka New York), as they navigate life after their initial brushes with fame. 

Prior to landing the role of Queer Eye's culture expert, Karamo, 37, hosted MTV's Are You the One spinoff, Are You The One: Second Chances.

Funny or Die; Netflix

Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan, our grooming expert and one-liner machine, was known for his hilarious Emmy-nominated Game of Thrones recap show, Gay of Thrones, for Funny or Die, which he started doing back in 2013.

In 2015, Jonathan, 31, launched his podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, which has over 4,000 reviews and a five star rating on iTunes. Can you believe?!

Prior to his web series and podcast successes, he was a hair stylist working at successful salons in Los Angeles and New York City.

Instagram; Netflix

Antoni Porowski
The 34-year-old avocado-loving food and wine expert actually had a few acting credits to his name before becoming a member of the Fab Five, including small roles on The Blacklist and Blue Mountain State. While living the struggling actor life, he worked in restaurants. 

But Antoni's career pursuits shifted when he met original Queer Eye star Ted Allen, who was the Bravo iteration's food and wine expert, at a book signing, with the Chopped host hiring Antoni as his personal assistant, mentoring him along the way.

Instagram; Netflix

Bobby Berk
Is there anyone who wouldn't trust the design expert to redo their living space? (Seriously, Bobby, 36, is a miracle worker and deserved to be treated as such.) He launched Bobby Berk Interiors + Design in 2006 after working his way up the retrial design world ladder, starting off at Bed Bath & Beyond and Restoration Hardware before becoming the Creative Director at Portico Home + Spa. Not bad for a guy who moved to New York City in 2003 with only a few dollars in his pocket.

Instagram; Netflix

Tan France
Like Bobby, the fashion expert also got his start in the retail world, working at Zara and a few other retailers after falling in love with making clothes while working at his grandparents' denim factory.

Tan, 35, founded the successful women's clothing line Kingdom & State in 2011, and in 2016, he teamed up with successful fashion blogger Rachel Parcell for her clothing line

Queer Eye is currently available to stream on Netflix.