Miami Living Magazine

Harry Connick Jr

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Page 129 of 217

says breezily. "My dad said something beautiful when I was younger. I was like, 'Dad, we're going to be late. C'mon, we gotta go.' And he's like, 'You're missing it.' 'What?' 'Everything.' It's something that stuck with me. I hate to miss the view when you're walking somewhere, especially now-a-days. And it's very apt to our show American Gods. We're so involved in our phones —tweeting, texting, emailing… Don't get me wrong, I still do it myself, but every now and then I still remember to look up and just take it all in," says Ricky, who counts people-watching as one of his favorite things to do in the world. His other hobbies aren't as tame. The self-described "adrenaline junkie," who used to race Formula 3 when he was younger, is into fast cars, motorcycles (he rides a Harley-Davidson), and jumping out of airplanes (he's a qualified skydiver). However, while he's filming, he's not allowed to partake in these dangerous hobbies, since the show revolves around his character and production would shut down if he gets injured. As for low-key, safer interests, those include roller coasters, theme parks, musicals, and movies. "I'll go to the cinema on my own if I have to. But I'll watch at least 4-5 movies a week. I just love movies. And you're always learning…even the greats will always find something new to add to their locker. We, as actors, borrow from other actors. You see something: 'Ooh, I like the way they did that.'" Ricky's favorite film of 2016 was Deadpool. "I like actors where you're like, I wanna be friends with you. For me, The Proposal —now I sound really sof t and I'm supposed to be this big, rugged man— but The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds was hilarious. Those two were genius... That's something I really admire, 'cause it's something I want to do. I want to do some romantic comedies and to work with these hilarious actors. But right now, my wheelhouse is definitely action, drama." During the hour we're together, what stands out to me the most about Ricky is his immense gratitude. He is such a positive light and doesn't take anything for granted. "You need to love what you do. I love getting up every morning and going to American Gods. I've got great minds that I'm working with. You've got to raise your game every day. Love it. Love life. Life's good, right? Life's really good. Why are you so dressed up? You look beautiful. This is lovely." I share that I had dressed up for my editor's note photo with Olivia Munn earlier that day. "And you had to step your game up?" he asks with a smile. "You chose well. I love this. I love the lace." We chat about TV, which he doesn't watch much of, though he does love New Girl. If he does watch TV, he tries to watch shows his friends are on to support them. He recently got into documentaries and was fascinated with Making a Murderer. I try to convince him to watch my favorite show, This Is Us, which stars his former Mistresses costar Justin Hartley. "He's a really great guy. And Milo [Ventimiglia] is in that, isn't he?" Ricky asks. I nod. "So, I do need to." He knows Milos from when they were both in Vancouver filming separate projects —Ricky was there for The 100. "He's another lovely guy. It looks really sad though." It's really good, but it will make you cry. "I'm not sure I want to cry all the time. Grey's Anatomy I sat there in tears, like a little baby crying… Shonda Rhimes is genius. She'll have you crying one minute and laughing your head off the next… This Is Us looks really sad and I'm not sure I can handle it. I'm a big softie." With Ricky, it's more of a conversation than an interview as he wants to know my thoughts as well. He isn't rushing to get through this and is very generous with his time. See, there's that California state of mind. And while I could talk to him all day, I try to wrap it up for his sake, but not before asking if I missed anything. "Not that I can think of. Basically, what's your magazine?" We're luxury lifestyle. "I guess my luxuries are my hobbies. It's fast cars, motorcycle, and jumping out of airplanes. It doesn't get much crazier than that. And then just working with people I grew up watching, idolizing. It's kind of a crazy life I live right now. Coming from a rough neighborhood in Manchester to now living on the beach. It's been a tough one, but y'know, we got here in the end. It's really exciting. Hopefully this remains home. It's pretty luxurious for me, for sure." As the lead in this year's most anticipated T V show, I have no doubt that life is about to get even bet ter for Rick y with the success that will surely surround American Gods. And with Rick y being such a genuinely nice guy, I will definitely be rooting for him. ML WE WANT MORE! HE CAN DANCE "I was on the U.K. version of Dancing with the Stars [Strictly Come Dancing, 2009] so, I can throw down a mean foxtrot or we can salsa the night away. When I got the opportunity to be on this show I always watched, I jumped at the chance and I got to learn how to dance," he says of the show he'd watch with his grandma when he was younger. "I lost in the final. I'm still bitter and twisted." He laughs. "I was the runner-up. Up until recently, I still held the record for the most 10s in the whole history of the show, but a good friend, Danny Mac, I think he's just taken the record. He's trained in dance, so I don't think it counts. And I love ballroom." Even after the show, he continued to take dance classes in L.A. –just in case a role calls for a skilled dancer. ON HIS ACCENT "I always have an accent. I never get to play British. I always end up playing American from Mistresses, The 100, American Gods. But I think the biggest compliment is that when I do talk shows and I use my own accent, people are shocked by it. I see on social media and they're like, 'Wait, he's British!' And that's a massive compliment for me." WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU? "The reason I got into movies was Tom Cruise. I'd love to work with Tom Cruise 'cause I've heard nothing but beautiful things about him and he commits to everything —he does his own stunts. One of the first films I watched as a kid was Top Gun and I was at a party… I was mesmerized at this huge TV screen, watching this incredible story. I watched it twice in a row. To this day, it will always have a special place in my heart because it got me into movies." Keep up with Ricky on Twitter @MrRickyWhittle and Instagram @RickyWhittle and don't miss American Gods on Starz, premiering April 30th, on Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT.

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