Ambitions' Kendrick Cross Talks Ambitions, The Lyrical Start of His Career, Future Projects & More! Read more here--->>>
Fangirl Alert! We spoke to Kendrick Cross. Full transparency, we weren't that familiar with Mr. Cross when the promos first came out for Ambitions. Who was this handsome Kendrick Cross? Oh, but what a difference a few months can make! We know him now. This man is so talented. And we were so looking forward to talking to him and learning more about one of our newest favorites. We learned about his "international" start, (a great story there) becoming Titus Hughes and Kendrick himself. Kendrick is open, real and down to earth. Oh yes, we enjoyed this one!
Kendrick grew up in Smoketown, Kentucky the birthplace of "The Greatest" Muhamad Ali. Fun fact; Kendrick's father went to high school with Ali. Kendrick told us, "I'm from a great place and I intend on being great myself." Spoiler Alert Kendrick; we think you already got that one covered. Kendrick's mom was in the military. At the age of twelve, their family moved and lived in Japan and in Germany. Germany was the birthplace of Kendrick's career so to speak. It was where Kendrick's writing talents were first recognized and actualized. In middle school, in Germany, he wrote a book of poetry for his mom. Aww, as a mom that just tugs, no grabs at my heartstrings. Kendrick's book was a hit with his mom (of course!) and with everyone else. There was something there but these skills went on hiatus until the family returned to the States.
Those skills and artistry would rise up (that's especially for Kendrick since he lives in Atlanta) when his family moved to South Carolina, which is where Kendrick finished high school and attended college."They opened up a poetry club in South Carolina that became really popular. I started going there and all of these things just started pouring out of me. It was important for me to make my performance my own and to have my own style." Some of those things that poured out of Kendrick touched on social injustice, activism, life, death. He wrote about what he had experienced in life and in his travels. And Kendrick's style was accompanied by live music, a singer and a hip hop artist. "We created this crazy little style. It was so different that it worked. And that is when people really started to notice me. They took notice of how I performed and my lyrical style. I didn't write many books but I would put my poetry to music."
Kendrick traveled nationally performing his poetry all over the country. Kendrick was the opening act for comedians and he opened up for Boys to Men. He developed quite a name in the poetry scene. And it was all of Kendrick's thoughts, ideas, and feelings set to live music, his poetry, that would be the catalyst to launch his acting career. "People would say, 'Wow it looks like you are acting up there.' My performances became more theatrical. I always had a desire to be an actor. I just had no idea how to get into it. I got introduced to an agent and I took a few of his classes. I began booking right out of class. My first booking was Dawson's Creek. That was over twenty years ago. It's been really good ever since."
Yes. Kendrick has been working in the industry for the past twenty years. Google him for the receipts. LOL. Kendrick has been working in television, film, industrials, and commercials. There was no job too small. They were all huge to him and he appreciated every one of them. Kendrick notes his biggest roles, outside of Ambitions, were his roles on the ABC drama Secrets and Lies and Tyler Perry's Acrimony. He believes every role, gig and opportunity made him better and more confident on-screen. Awesome perspective.
As we all know Kendrick plays the handsome, smart, and "moral compass" of Ambitions, Titus Hughes. Kendrick initially auditioned for the role of Roderick. That role was ultimately cast by Karon Riley. Kendrick then auditioned for Titus. Kendrick first auditioned on tape, he got a callback and then he received a call for a table read. Exciting right? Maybe not. LOL. Listen. We got a kick out of this one.
"I didn't think I had gotten the part. Even though I didn't think much about it. My practice is when I'm done with an audition I just leave it right there. So, after my tape and my callback they called me in for a table read for Titus. At first, I said, 'No', I'm not coming in for that. They should book me from the callback.' Yeah, I was in my feelings." Laughter. Laughter Laughter. "But then George Pierre, the casting director, called me personally. I have worked with him for many years and have booked several gigs through him. I told him I was going out of town and he said, 'No, I need you to come in and read for Titus.' When a person like George says I need you, it's not about money or anything. When George says, 'I need you,' I go." Kendrick went. He killed it. Kendrick is Titus Hughes. Thank you, George!
Titus Hughes is such a great, written, developed and portrayed character. We wanted to know if Kendrick saw any of himself in Titus. "Absolutely. Titus is the moral compass of the show. He's a good guy. I am a good guy. I can say that with confidence. I have always been that way." Love it. "And I am layered in my personal life. I have things I deal with but you could never tell. Like Titus could be hurt and you may see a little grimace but for the most part, he covers it all up. Kendrick in many ways is like that. I think we are very similar."
For the entire series, there have been countless jaw-dropping, OMG, no they didn't; oh yes they did moments on the show. We just had to know when was Kendrick's first OMG moment when he read the scripts. He answered swiftly and unequivocally; the love scenes. Yes! The love scenes are smoking hot! Kendrick did his table read on a Friday. He found out he landed Titus on Saturday. Monday he went in for a fitting and by Wednesday he was doing that smoking hot love scene with Essence Atkins/Amara that kicked the Ambitions series off. Kendrick told us he was taken a bit off-kilter doing that intense love scene right off the bat so much so that he forgot the rest of the script! Laughter. Lots of Laughter.
We have heard from actors and people in the industry that filming love scenes are a far cry from what it looks like on our side of the screen. We told Titus we believed him but to please let us stay in our fiction fantasies! He agreed but we still wanted his take on what it is really like. "It's awkward. You have about fifty people watching you. You have never been intimate with your screen partner. You are trying to be respectful. You are trying to be professional. The key is to let go and just be in the moment." Well, all we can say is job well done. Because again the love scenes have been smoking hot!
Ambitions' mid-season finale is two weeks away. Kendrick gave us a few teasers without spoiling anything. For once we can honestly say we didn't want any spoilers. We want to watch it all unfold live. "You will see some truths come out that will really push Titus more than he has ever been pushed with Amara. Titus is going to try to help Rondell which will then connect to what is going on with the Purifoy lawsuit. It's going to be a lot on Titus." And it looks like Titus might be looping back into Stephanie's orbit. We know it's gonna be good.
As soon as Kendrick wrapped up the first season of Ambitions he told himself he was not going to slow down. "I've always been a grinder and a hustler so that's not going to stop." Kendrick just finished a Clint Eastwood movie and then two days later he finished a movie with Gerard Butler. He is planning to head out to Los Angeles soon for work and is constantly auditioning. He also has his eye on producing in the near future. Can't stop. Won't Stop.
Kendrick is the outdoorsmen, athletic guy. He likes biking, swimming, hiking, festivals, basketball and working out. He keeps active. He likes all types of music. But he specifically mentioned hip hop. So, we are going to say that is one of his favorites. "The new age rap is good to bop to. But consciously I like to listen to something that feeds me." Kendrick is vegan."I love fruit. My first meal of the day is always this huge fruit bowl with avocado and kale. I try to keep it healthy. In the same way, I try to feed my energy, my spirit and my spirituality every day." Well said.
Kendrick is also planning to return to his roots in writing poetry. With the success of his acting career, it's been challenging to find the time to focus on his creative writing. But he is definitely planning to start writing again. Please, Kendrick, your fans (me included) would love to hear and see it.
If you aren't watching Ambitions...what in the world are you waiting for?! Check it out, now!
It was such a pleasure getting to know more about you Kendrick! Thank you so much for talking with us!
And remember you promised to work on uploading those clips from your poetry glory days to YouTube! We won't let you forget! LOL.
Family, make sure you look out for Mr. Cross' two upcoming films and support all of his future projects!
Ambitions Midseason Finale Airs Next Tuesday, August 27 at 10pm on OWN!
I AM KP Smith