The talented actor, writer and director Benedict Samuel sits for a series of portraits and shares his favourite poem.


Photography Joshua Heath | Styling Nicki Colbran

We’ve always been rather intrigued by Benedict Samuel. The brother of Xavier Samuel, with whom we photographed him with for the cover of our second issue in 2012, the 26-year-old actor, writer and director peppers his workload with a particularly diverse mix of projects, having been filmed in commercial roles for television productions such as Home & Away and Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, as well as more independent, artistically innovative projects, like Sanctuary, which he wrote and directed.

Mr Samuel is currently filming a part in the ABC’s The Beautiful Lie, a contemporary reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina, alongside Sarah Snook, and will soon return to the United States to film more of The Walking Dead. Other recent works include feature films The Stanford Prison Experiment (based on the true events of the 1970s experiment of the same name), The Nightingale and the Rose and Asthma.

And such is his will, we publish with this shoot a poem from one of Mr Samuel’s favourite authors, Valentine Hooray, originally published in 1972 in I, He And Judgement: New and Selected Poems 1986-1993.

Twas the stardust that before evil us endured

Alcoholic danced, teepee pitched, dispensary filled

Amazement filled under eyebrows

Component full black

Simulation intense

Twins come circumnavigate then best ever Labrador cried “Hussy!”

Toothless men, falafel eaten, reproaching fell criminal acts

Cancer called

Contrived bitch, beautiful pain

One way ticket. Stop in soaked heaven

“Cocaine sadness” Mr Jackson said

Alimony caused sock pupped

Only symbol or arduous baby love