Peddle adds that it was actually even more fortuitous than that, the result of a split-second decision that could just have easily gone the other way. “I didn’t actually see him very well and I only got a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye and I was actually running late,” he recalls. “I got two blocks and it was literally like the universe tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go get that guy so I ran back. I just knew right away that this was one of those rare finds. When you scout as often as I do, you find a lot of cool people, but it’s not that often that you find someone that you get that special sense about.”
Peddle’s instincts, as they have so often before, turned out right. In the year since that fateful encounter, Slaggert was a Calvin Klein exclusive for his first season, has shot with Mert & Marcus and Boo George, and appeared in numerous campaigns for Calvin Klein, including David Sims’s famous Spring 2016 underwear ads along with Kendall Jenner and Julian Schneyder. Slaggert still hasn’t quite wrapped his head around how quickly his success has come. “Essentially I had no idea, I thought it was kind of the norm,” he laughs. “I almost wasn’t going to do the Calvin Klein Underwear campaign and then my sister was like, ‘You have to, it’s iconic,’ and I realized it was the same thing that Michael Jordan and Mark Wahlberg had done.”
Shot on an island off the coast of North Carolina earlier this summer, Moss follows the eponymous main character over the course of his eighteenth birthday as he deals with what Peddle, who has also directed several documentaries and one feature previously, calls “the shadow of his mother’s death and his father’s detachment.” The role, Slaggert’s first, required both emotional depth and physical strength, as he paddled across rivers and climbed trees, and allowed him to expand on a part of his own personality. “When I read the script, I mentally got myself back into an eighteen-year-old mind frame and went back to my roots growing up down in Georgia,” Slaggert recalls.
Now signed with WME, Slaggert has been going on auditions while continuing to study his craft, demonstrating a passion and determination to constantly improve himself even as his modeling career continues to take off. “I started taking some courses and then I started reading all these books, and they had great insight, but I learned by doing it,” he says of acting. “You can hear and see so much, but if you don’t actually start practicing it, it’s not going anywhere.”