Outfitted: Kendrick Sampson

This breakout actor knows the key to staying grounded on the way to the top. 

Kendrick Sampson is defining his career one role at a time. After acquiring an agent at an early age, the Houston native dove into Hollywood head first, leaving a lasting impression everywhere he went. Though captivating audiences with breakout roles in CW’s The Vampire Diaries and Fox’s Gracepoint, it’s his latest recurrence as Caleb on the sophomore season of How to Get Away with Murder that has people talking – and they can’t seem to stop. 

“I have a love for murder mysteries and whodunits,” he told Maxim. “and Viola Davis and the Shonda brand were huge draws, of course.” As someone who grew up captivated by the world of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, Kendrick was enthralled to be a part of the hit ABC series, placing himself right in the middle of yet another terrific television show. 

Photo: ABC

And lucky for the young star, his elusive HTGAWM character might just be exactly what he’s been waiting for. “I’ve always wanted to play a well-rounded villain, or antagonist or antihero type. Those seem to have the most fun! It’s a goal of mine to play one of those twisted characters in the one of the scripts I’m developing and writing.”

On set, they hire people to make me look better [laughs] but typically, I’m a work out clothes type of guy. If I don’t have to wear clothes, I won’t. I wear the minimal amount possible.  Other than that, I do my best to eat well, drink a lot of water and work out as often as I can. My goal is usually six days a week.  A lot of weeks I get 3-4.  And no fast food, at all.

I usually carry my wallet, phone, chapstick and a snack at all times. I get HANGRY quickly.  If I can, I like to have water, sunglasses and headphones as well.

My favorite curse word to use is definitely ‘shitfire’ (pronounced shit-far). I read it in the Django Unchained script when they were casting and I cried laughing because it sounds like something one of my country family members would say or have said.

Photo: Solmaz Saberi

I have a cap that I got from the set of the Kingmakers pilot I shot earlier this year that’s probably my favorite item right now. It fits my head well and is super comfortable so I wear it all the time.  It has the emblem of the secret society and some people think it looks like some new exclusive brand [laughs]. I also have a necklace with a 38-bullet shell. I stuffed my favorite scripture inside and I wear it every day.  To keep a long story short, it represents peace and productivity to me.

Every guy has to own a good pair of sweats. Any good work out gear, really. Men should stay active and healthy and even when they aren’t active, active wear is so comfortable. My uniform is usually some light shorts, or sweats and a tank top. 

Photo: Solmaz Saberi

I don’t shop much but my go to brands are Topman, John Varvatos, AllSaints, Marc Jacobs, and Theory. Of course I like Nike, that’s a given. 

I would definitely say all of the HTGAWM  ladies should be on the Maxim Hot 100. As well as Candice Swanepoel, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita N’yongo, Stephanie Sigman, Priyanka Chopra, Emilia Clarke…  I could be here all day…

Photos by Nina Duncan