Pink Slip Fashion recently had the chance to interview Hollywood’s Renaissance Man, Sam Sarpong. In case you haven’t heard of him (even though I’m sure you have), he’s a jack of all trades AND master of all! As a successful model, actor, and recent host for BET, Sarpong is stealthily taking over the entertainment industry!
Elan Carson: At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to establish yourself as an entertainer? And why was that important to you at that time?
Sam Sarpong: When I was a kid I liked to watch T.V. a lot. One of my favorites was Dukes of Hazard because they drove really fast cars. It was the fast cars on Dukes of Hazard that did it for me. I love what I do and the fact that I can affect so many people’s lives by my work as an entertainer.
EC: Where were you when you first heard the news that you landed a job as a BET host and how did that feel?
SS: It felt great knowing I was going to be hosting the BET Awards. BET had come to me after seeing my work at MTV. I looked forward to it because I had never hosted the BET Awards and it was my first time also attending them.
EC: Who are some of the people that have been crucial in helping you to succeed?
SS: There are several people that help me succeed daily. My father, sister, my publicist Terrance and Nyvia, my management Steve, my hosting agent Melissa, my agent JD, my road manager Brian and the entire Future Stars staff. You are nothing without your team.
EC: Looking back at how far you’ve come, how does it now feel to be heralded as Hollywood’s Renaissance Man?
SS: It feels great to be heralded as Hollywood’s Renaissance Man. It’s a true blessing. It shows that if you never give up, things can happen for you.
EC: If you could look into the future, how do you see your career evolving over the next few years?
SS: In the next few years I see myself running Future Stars Entertainment Group as a management, production company, clothing brand, and just building an empire to create jobs for other people.
EC: How have you changed from your first role as a host to being the face of Tommy Hilfiger to appearing in 60 films?
SS: I haven’t really changed much since my first role as a host and Tommy Hilfiger. It is all the same to me. Entertainment cross references each other, so all the things I do whether it be acting, modeling, hosting or music, they all help build my brand.
EC: Knowing that you possess a variety of talents, what’s the one skill on which you pride yourself the most?
SS: Acting is the one skill I pride myself most on because it is the hardest. When you are acting you are playing someone else so people really judge your work. [With] music and hosting, ultimately you are being yourself. Even if people still judge you, you don’t take it as personal.
EC: Has race ever been a defining factor in determining if you’re the “right” fit for a position and how have you leveraged being an African-American male in a pre-dominantly Caucasian industry to your advantage?
SS: Race plays a role every single day for me. I have always seen myself not as a color but as a person. There have been many times through my career where they didn’t want a black person for the job, but I walk in the room and with the presence of God they end up wanting me and they don’t even know why. If you strongly believe that you are right for something you will continuously break down barriers.
EC: What’s one trend for men that you think is going out of style and should get the PINK SLIP?
SS: The style for men that should definitely get the Pink Slip is when men wear real colorful shirts like some of the crazy Versace prints. Especially when they are wearing them just because it costs $2,000.00. Clothes don’t make a man, a man makes the clothes.
You can stay up to date with this leading Hollywood Renaissance Man via Twitter: @mrsamsarpong