David Leech as part of 2007's "Road Rules: Viewers' Revenge," and now, an aspiring Academy Award-owner.
After 13 seasons of globe-spanning travels and adrenaline-pumping stunts, MTV looked to shake up "Road Rules" for the series' final installment, "Viewers' Revenge," by pitting all-stars against newbies. And among eventual "Challenge" vets Tori and Dan on the rookie "Pit Crew" stood David Leach, a 20-year-old who made it aboard the RV halfway through the season by taking Shane's spot.
The show's sacrificial lamb and unexpected hero, David survived multiple elimination rounds at the hands of his skeptical teammates and, more impressively, survived the wrath of Susie and Tori along the way. And when it seemed like his determination would finally pay off, and the final prizes were within reach, David was DQ'd from the real-time competition for leaking information to the public.
Now, the aspiring actor (hey, Jamie Chung proved it could be done) is awaiting the day he can fulfill his dream of winning an Oscar and buying his mom a big ol' house (aww...). Check out what David told Remote Control, and keep up with his Twitter account for the latest from the Tinsel-Towner.
Why did you first try out for "Road Rules," and what was going on in your life at that time?
I was living between my divorced parents' basements back in Kansas City, Missouri, and I had no direction in life. I was working at a gas station. I sent in a couple videos and I'll never forget when I received the call. I took off down the street screaming.
What was the secret to your survival in the elimination rounds?
My outweighing everybody by a hundred pounds didn't hurt me. My motivation was simply to not go home--it was never about the money or the car. I just simply didn't want to go back to my normal life. So when it came time to face The Pit, I was focused, because no one was going to send me home.
Was it tough to see yourself get emotional on-screen?
I had a lot of moments on my season where, watching it back, I would cover my face and just say "Jesus..." I was 20 years old on that show and it showed.
What were some lasting memories from the show? Any you wish had made the air that didn’t?
The weekend we were in San Diego doing the Stone Cold Steve Austin mission, I met this girl who was totally out of my league. We were driving down the highway and her car of friends caught up to the RV. She literally climbed out the passenger window and showed me her boobs. I exchanged numbers with her going 70 mph, and later that night, she met up with us at the club we were at. I made out with her on-camera, and I really wanted it to air for bragging rights with my friends, but it never did.
You say you're trying to hit it big in Hollywood. How’s that going, and has it always been your dream?
Honestly, I always thought I'd play college football, graduate and live the nine-to-five life. I was never into acting until my senior year of high school, when I fell in love with a theater geek. She had me try out for "Little Shop of Horrors," I landed the lead role and the rest was history.
I've been in Los Angeles for four years now, and I have an agent who I've been with for three years. It's go big or go home at this point--once an actor has hit the two-year mark, he can't give up. Now I'm just another starving actor trying to win an Oscar and buy my momma a house.
Anyone you've kept in touch with from the show?
Dan Walsh is like a brother to me. He's traveled to Kansas City and met my family, and I have traveled to St. Louis to meet his. He was honestly a lifelong friend I made, and I love that guy, even though I kicked his ass.
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Photos: Jason Campbell and @MrDavidLeech