What Single Ladies’ lacks in acting and storylines, it definitely makes up for in casting attractive men. The VH1 show is basically a parade of men you normally find in those calendars come to life. Their ubiquitous presence may actually be the untold secret of the show’s otherwise inexplicable success.
The latest man candy to join the show is UK native, Ricky Whittle. He plays Raquel’s love interest Charles. Originally he was slotted to play in two episodes, but says the producers like his chemistry with Denise Vashi’s so much, they decided to keep him until at least the end of the season.
Ricky sat down with FanBolt to talk about his career, living in Atlanta, and advice he has for the single men.
Before coming to the United States, he worked on British Soap opera Hollyoaks and performed on the British version of Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing. When he felt he’d reached the apex of his career there, he decided to come to Los Angeles.
“My friends said I was crazy, but L.A. is the hub of the industry. It’s the epicenter of the business,” Whittle said. “If I wanted to get above the plateau that I had reached in the UK, I had to make that move.”
Being a Royal Air Force kid, traveling was always in Whittle’s blood. He had no trouble landing work as soon as he arrived here in the States. He booked Austenland opposite Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Seymour almost immediately, and then VH1’s Single Ladies soon followed.
From Los Angeles, he moved to Atlanta for six months to tape the show’s second season and he sounds like he’s enjoying the South.
“The best food I’ve had was actually in catering at Single Ladies. It’s insane. I can’t live in Atlanta. In fact, even if I’m offered, I’m not sure I could come back for another six months, because I’ll just be fat,” Whittle joked. “The food is amazing here. You guys can cook! And the girls are fantastic and friendly. If I come back next season, I’ll be fat and married with a few kids!”
As far as the show is concerned, he’s a fan of the show and he likes his role.
“Charles is an eat, pray, love guy. He’s a good guy. He falls very quickly for Raquel. He’s a very spiritual character. He’s into his yoga and tantra. I’ve got some very steamy tantric sex scenes.” Whittle revealed.
“I don’t read all the scripts. As an actor it’s a choice I make,” Whittle disclosed. “So number one, I don’t know what other characters are talking about – just like in real life. And number two, I get to watch it like a fan every Monday night.”
He says two of his challenges on the show are his accent and having to stick to the script.
“The accent has been challenging,” Whittle responded. “I’m more of a mimic. My accent tends to drift to where ever I am. Even since I’ve been in America, when I go back to England, people are like ‘whoa what’s with the accent?'”
“[Also,] I came from a film where the producer said ‘Go play’. She was very free and you could just roll with it and improvise,” Whittle answered. “I was working opposite Jennifer Coolidge, and she’s a comedic genius. She never sticks to the script, so you’ve got to be on your toes.”
“So coming from that to Single Ladies, I had to stick to the script,” Whittle continued. “They’re very rigid with that, and there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just a different way of working. Going from that freedom to being that disciplined, it was a nice challenge. It keeps you versatile.”
He says that another challenge is the food, but he works hard to stay in shape.
“As I have various nude scenes, I need to be in good shape, so they watch my diet as well. They’re very quick to smack my hand when I reach for the chocolate brownies or the cookies which I’m obsessed with,” Whittle continued. “I have a very sweet tooth. I’m terrible. I don’t eat fruit, vegetables, fish, or eggs. I literally live off junk food. I love all sorts of meat – burgers, pizzas, curries…”
“Because Charles is very into yoga and tantra. I wanted him to be very lean. So this is actually the lightest I’ve ever been since puberty,” Whittle confessed. “I hit the treadmill an hour a day, and I reduce carbs. It’s a trick my friend taught me. I’ll cut carbs for ten days, and after about four days, your body goes into this shock where there’s no carbs to burn. The first thing your body looks for is the fat cells, and it starts to burn away all your fat and brings out your muscle tone. So as long as you keep eating protein, it won’t attack your muscles.”
Of course a man with that face and those abs has certainly had some experience dealing with women, but while most guys have advice for single ladies, he has some advice for men:
“I recommend all men watch this show. It’s not a female show. Sure the main cast is female, but guys can learn a lot. I’ve learned so much from this show about how women work and how women think.” Whittle revealed.
“Men think they know what women think and what women need, and a lot goes unsaid. But if you just communicate, then there are no gray areas. It is that white and black,” Whittle continued. “If you’re that direct and honest with a woman, you can pretty much expect it back.”
Communication is always great advice!
Ricky isn’t allowed to reveal whether or not he is coming back to the show next season because that would spoil the arc in the final episode. Judging from the fact that they’ve kept him this far, it would be surprising if they dumped him at the end of the season. I’m sure plenty of the show’s female fans are hoping he is back next season, if not, he’s sure to be baring his abs on some other show soon enough.
What do you think of Ricky Whittle? Are you hoping to see him back next season?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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