Eye Candy: Ricky Whittle Makes the 'Single Ladies' Sweat

Eye Candy: Ricky Whittle Makes the 'Single Ladies' Sweat
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 15, 2012

1 of 13 Jai Crocker

Thirty-year-old British-born actor Ricky Whittle joins the cast of Vh1’s steamy drama Single Ladies this week, and what a treat it is. Ladies, it’s about time you got to know this hunk way better — you’ll be seeing plenty of him on the show this season.

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“[My character] is gonna sneak in under the radar,” says Whittle. “I play Charles. He’s a real nice guy. He’s very spiritual, relaxed and calming, and very involved for a male. He kind of has a ‘been there, done that’ attitude, which leads to Raquel feeling very relaxed around him.”

3 of 13 Ray Burmiston

Even in black and white, Whittle, who says he’d rather be known for his work than his body, still brings a little color to our cheeks.

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Whittle spends his days off on the beach, having barbecues and going hiking. He tells us he hasn’t missed London’s grey skies one bit.

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Whittle is chiseled to perfection, ladies. He keeps those abs looking their best by being no stranger to the gym and taking regular runs through the beautiful California hills.

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“I’m a huge sun baby,” says Whittle, who calls Los Angeles home now that he’s all settled into life in America. “As soon as the sun comes out, my smile gets bigger, so I’m constantly smiling in L.A. It’s a fantastic place to be.” And what a smile it is.

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“I love LA,” says Whittle. “I love America; it’s fantastic. The people are friendly and everyone’s always smiling. The sun is always shining. My only problem is choosing what color shorts to wear.”

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Whittle got his first big career break in 2000 while he attended the University of Southhampton. He began modeling, becoming the face of a Reebok campaign.

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“He very much wears his emotions on his sleeve,” says Whittle of his character Charles on Single Ladies. “He tells [Raquel] exactly how it is. He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t lie. He’s not a player. He’s just honest and it’s very refreshing for Raquel. He’s kind of her Eat, Pray, Love guy. It’s the case of meeting the perfect guy and wondering, Is it too soon?”

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The less Ricky wears, the more we see to love. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Good news, ladies: Whittle is, in fact, a single man. He tells us he split with a longtime love when he decided to move to America to pursue his acting career. “We didn’t break up because we don’t love each other or because someone cheated,” he explains. “We didn’t want either one of us to have to compromise on our dreams.” What a sweetheart — that confession makes us love him more. There’s something so sexy about a man who’s willing to open his heart.

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Whittle is so talented, and his onscreen chemistry with Vasi so steamy, that he impressed producers and earned extra time on the show. “My little story arc became a large arc and quite a big chunk of the series,” he says.

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