From Houston to Hollywood, local actor finds fame on ABC show

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Fans of the ABC hit show "How to Get Away with Murder" know him as Caleb Hapstall. In real life, he is Elkins High School alum Kendrick Sampson.

"I moved to Los Angeles right after high school and just started pursuing jobs; started studying there locally," said Sampson.
EMBED More News Videos


The Missouri City native says this role is his biggest and most challenging yet. Sampson says he was surprised that he landed it, and even more surprised when he started working with Emmy-winner Viola Davis.

"I would've thought she would've been a much more dry person, very serious. However, she's hilarious and really funny," said Sampson. "And very open and very warm and giving."

The actor admits playing the role of Caleb has brought him a new level of fame. While the show has opened doors, but Sampson says he won't budge on the types of roles he auditions for and accepts.

"If I don't believe in it, or if I believe that it's detrimental to the black image or perpetuating a negative stereotype with no good purpose, then I won't do it," said Sampson.

He credits his mother as the reason he's able to do what he loves.

"Everything was about making sure she got her work done and any other moment was making sure we were OK," said Sampson. "My mom was single and I think that definitely drives me now."

For budding actors here in Houston, he says the key to success is to study and to plan.

"I don't think anyone should go based off of natural talent," said Sampson. "Everything should be refined, so study as much as possible."
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.