Ricky Whittle, one of the sexy new cast members on VH1′s “Single Ladies,” may resemble a Greek god, but he’s as down to earth as the boy next door.
The actor was born in Manchester, England and his father was a member of the Royal Air Force. That meant his family moved every three years, and making and keeping friends was difficult.
“When I was growing up, I was pretty much the only Black kid, so I tended to receive a lot of racist bullying,” admitted Ricky, who describes himself as “a mutt with English, Irish, French and a cheeky little bit of color in there from Jamaica.”
Excelling at soccer and rugby halted the bullying. “For me, sports has always been an escape. Whenever I watch sports or play sports, it takes me to a really happy place.”
His passion for sports not only keeps him physically fit, it also saved his life. A few years ago, Ricky broke his leg during a charity football game and experienced complications resulting from a fat embolism. “A bit of fat from the broken bone traveled up through my arteries and lodged in my lungs,” he told S2S. “It basically collapsed my lungs and I was falling into a coma.” Despite a negative prognosis, the athlete made a full recovery and returned to the playing fields.
But it was in the entertainment field that fans in the UK rewarded Ricky’s talents. He received the British Soap Award for Sexiest Male, twice; and yet, the heartthrob doesn’t consider himself sexy.
“You’re always your own worst critic. You look in the mirror and see your own faults before anyone else will,” he said, explaining that sexiness comes from within. “For me, there’s nothing sexier than a woman who is confident. No matter what size, shape, race, whatever she is. If she’s confident in herself, she’s happy with herself. That’s sexy.”
Now making waves on this side of the pond, there is at least one hurdle the actor is struggling to overcome while shooting "Single Ladies" in Atlanta.
“They can cook. There’s so much flavor," Ricky explained. While he enjoys the Southern hospitality, he’s been trying to run from the unhealthy food. "I’ve got lots of sex scenes and nude scenes. How am I supposed to do that when you’re throwing around biscuits and fried dishes?”
Ladies, don’t worry. He’s not expecting his date to cook for him. Instead, Ricky’s idea of the perfect romantic outing is having fun at Six Flags all day and then heading out on the town for a nice dinner. And since he lives in Los Angeles, watching the sun set off Santa Monica Pier would end the night perfectly. But no matter what happens, Ricky says serious amounts of laughter are mandatory.