Ricky Whittle: biography
The English actor and model with exotic looks, Ricky Whittle, became popular in Russia after filming in the fantasy project American Gods, but he began his acting career much earlier. The directors did not have mercy on Whittle’s characters, and his body still has traces of shooting of torture and fight scenes. In addition to movies and TV series, the handsome mulatto helps anti-racist organizations, having firsthand experience of troubles connected with mixed ancestry.
Childhood and youth
Ricky was born on December 31, 1981, in the family of a soldier in the town of Oldham, the UK. His mother is English, and the father was from Jamaica, which confused the boy as a child. There were almost no black-skinned people in the area, and he was the only mulatto at school. Peers bullied the boy. The parents supported the upset son and assured that the unique appearance would one day bring him success. The prophecy was fulfilled, and the reminiscence of school troubles later forced him to take part in the anti-racist movement.
The Whittle family traveled a lot. Ricky was fond of football, athletics, and rugby and played for the country in the youth teams. Soon the unsuccessful fall and a hand injury forced him to give up a sports career. The young man entered Southampton Solent University to study criminology, but he tried to spend his free time on the football field, playing for the university team.
Reebok paid attention to the handsome heavily built man with exotic facial features. After the shooting, the casting agency of Sky 1 offered Whittle to try his hand at acting in the series Dream Team. Ricky agreed although the filming schedule was so tight that he could no longer study at the university.
At the beginning of the career, the young actor got injured again, this time it was even more dangerous. Playing in the third episode, he broke some parts of his leg. The producers had already appreciated his acting skills and did not look for a replacement, but rewrote the script and included the character’s health problems in it.
In 2006, Whittle got a small role in the TV series Holby City, and then he was invited to the project Hollyoaks. The participation in it was a turning point in his acting career. Ricky's character, mysterious Calvin Valentine, was very popular with viewers, but in 2010 Whittle refused to continue the shooting; thus, his hero was soon killed. The next project was the series Single Ladies, where the actor appeared in 8 episodes.
In 2008 and 2009, Ricky participated in television shows. He was in the final of The Weakest Link, and a runner-up in the dance contest Strictly Come Dancing together with Natalie Lowe.
In November 2010, Ricky made the final decision to move to California to fulfill the dream of Hollywood. There, he was immediately noticed by the famous producer, Ken Jacobsen, who had previously worked with Hilary Swank, Michelle Williams and James Franco. Whittle was invited to play in the short film Losing Sam, and then the leading role in the feature film Austenland, a romantic comedy based on the works of Jane Austen. He had to reject the next few invitations because of problems with the visa, but soon the actor could issue a green card and pursue his career.
Whittle became world-famous for the role in The 100, in which he played a lover named Lincoln. Film critics praised his movie duo with Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia). According to the actor, Lincoln became his favorite hero, but he had to leave the project earlier due to the quarrel with director Jason Rothenberg.
Ricky said in an interview that Rothenberg did not like everything he did. The director deliberately ignored the actor, not giving him screen time and forcing the man to spend days on the set in vain, and when the creator allowed the actor to participate, he put pressure and criticized Ricky so that the shooting seemed torture. Besides, at the disposal of the director, the violent scenes in the series were filmed as realistic as possible. If the story required the characters to be tied up or chained, the film crew did it for real.
Whittle still has handcuff scars on his knees and fingers, and there are stun gun injuries on his belly because in the story Lindsey Morgan’s heroine hit Lincoln with it in the seventh season. After that, the actor publicly called the director’s behavior “mean, low-down and unprofessional” and refused to continue working in the series. The next project in the filmography was the film Mistresses, where he played the charming policeman, Daniel Zamora.
In 2016, Whittle was invited to American Gods, a series based on the famous novel by Neil Gaiman. It was the first leading role for him. Whittle's character, Shadow Moon, is released from prison and unexpectedly enters a world of dreams, in which he is at the center of the confrontation between the old and new gods. The film is presented in a stylized manner, it has the mysterious and at the same time open atmosphere which made the project a hit in 2017 and ranked Ricky on the lists of the most in-demand actors.
Ricky Whittle has never been married. Like many other metrosexuals, he faced rumors about his sexual orientation, but they did not receive confirmation and were quickly dispelled. The actor does not hide his personal life. He has several love affairs with famous movie stars, mainly with his partners. In 2007, he began a 3-year relationship with Carley Stenson, who played with him in Hollyoaks. This relationship ruined the love affair with professional dancer Natalie Lowe.
Ricky also dated American actress Rumer Willis, but the young woman wasn’t satisfied with the tight schedule of Whittle, because they had not seen each other. At that time, he had to play in The 100 for 15 hours a day. The love affair lasted only three weeks.
Now the actor’s girlfriend is an American fashion model, Kirstina Colonna.
Ricky takes care of his appearance. The athletic figure is part of his stage image, so he goes in his free time to the gym. The actor is 6.16 ft. (188 cm) tall and weighs 187.39 lbs. (85 kg).
Ricky Whittle now
In 2018, the actor plays in the continuation of American Gods, which is scheduled to be released in early 2019.
Whittle is interested in charity and uses his name to support sports organizations, children's hospitals, Christian associations, the movements which help people of other races and nationalities. Ricky does not refuse from commercial projects, filming in sporting goods and game console commercials. He has Twitter and Instagram accounts, which are the source of the actor’s professional photos on the Internet.
- 2002-2007 – Dream Team
- 2004 – Holby City
- 2006-2011 – Hollyoaks
- 2011 – Candy Cabs
- 2011 – Losing Sam
- 2012 – Single Ladies
- 2013 – Austenland
- 2013 – NCIS
- 2014-2015 – Mistresses
- 2014-2018 – The 100
- 2016 – Succulent & Savory
- 2017 – American Gods