On Fear the Walking Dead, Colman Domingo plays Victor Strand, a mysterious financial scammer with a taste for the finer things — and a well-developed lack of empathy.
In real life, the Temple University graduate, actor, playwright and director is deeply personable and very, very funny. Take his Instagram handle, King of Bingo. Does it stem from his world domination of the numbers game?
“No! No! It’s from a film I did in 1999 called the King of the Bingo Game. Ever since then, I always use it. I feel like I’m maybe the king of taking chances,” he tells Yahoo Style.
Indeed, that applies to how he dresses. His Victor Strand character likes nice gear, the more luxe the better. Unfortunately, given that he’s living among rampaging zombies, shopping sprees at Bergdorf Goodman aren’t an option.
“From the very beginning, he had it together and was very polished. Even if he has a bandanna, he wears it a certain way,” says Domingo. “He doesn’t give up his style even in the apocalypse.”
Neither would Domingo. He grew up wearing hand-me-downs, and now buys investment pieces for his closet. As an adolescent, “I used to cover my body with baggy clothes. In college I started to embrace how lean I was.”
Now, he says, “My style for red carpets is playful, high-end but not too fussy. I want to look like I’m having a good time. I used to get ready much quicker when I was younger. Now I take more time. I’m careful about the story I’m trying to tell.”
That involves his enviable facial hair. Rarely will you find stubble that is as flawlessly coiffed as Domingo’s.
“I had no idea that men had such beard envy. I started growing it by happenstance,” he says. “I was doing Birth of a Nation and shooting Fear the Walking Dead. And it stuck. On Fear, they asked me to continue to grow it.”
No, he doesn’t use any fake goatees and no, he has no issues with patchiness.
“I had no idea most guys couldn’t grow full beards. I had no idea until I grew it. I get more compliments from guys on it,” he says. “I keep it even. Sometimes I curl up the edges of the moustache. I’m very playful with it.
And added bonus: “You don’t have to worry about shaving all the time. When I have to get ready for a red carpet, I keep it nice and trimmed. Otherwise, it’s simple to just get up and go. It has its own character. It gives you more gravitas.”
Speaking of red carpets, Domingo can point to the precise moment where he felt he came into his own in front of flashbulbs and cameras.
“I would say, the Emmys last year? I’m wearing a Paul Smith tuxedo with a little shine to it. It’s beautiful and elegant but you also stand out. The mustache is together. I felt elegant and polished and masculine and I felt like I looked good,” he says.
For him, there’s no third chance to make a first impression. And that means when he meets with casting directors, he puts major thought into what he wears.
“My clothes give you a sense of who I am. I try to be bold and classic. I’m very conscious of what I wear and when I wear it,” he says. “I’m conscious of how it represents a film or TV show.”
Read more from Yahoo Beauty + Style: