Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WWATN: Hopping From One Basic Cable To Another...

Raviv (then Ricky) Ullman got his big break as so many child stars do-- as a part of the Disney Channel line up. Ullman played Phil Diffy, the star of Phil of the Future-- the only son, and the elder of two children, in a family that got stuck on a vacation back in time and had to assimilate to the mid-2000s lifestyle. Ullman was one of those precocious men-children, then, which was only further exhibited by his star turn as a rapist on Law & Order: SVU. It was surprising to see the Mouse let him out to do such a not-kid-friendly role, but it has been even more surprising to see what Ullman has been up to lately.

A promising young star, who was able to capture the hearts of young girls and their moms, Ullman proved he had the acting chops to go the distance after stints on other network dramas like House and Cold Case. However, these days, Ullman is utilizing his floppy brown locks, piercing hazel eyes, and crooked smile not in theater or independent film (ala Josh Peck) but instead as a series regular role on Lifetime's middle-aged sitcom Rita Rocks. His character there is a somewhat cartoonish, always stereotypical, dumb boyfriend of the aforementioned title character of Rita. It is a show that no one seems to know is there, but which might not be such a bad thing for Ullman after all, since it wastes his talent completely.

Ullman has some feature film projects on the horizon that unfortunately aren't any more poised to put him a bit more on the map, though. Spring Break '83 with Jamie Kennedy and Sophie Monk centers on a group of friends getting revenge on their high school bullies, and How To Make Love To A Woman is Jenna Jameson's comedic attempt at mainstream film. While the latter is sure to have a bunch of publicity and maybe even some controversy surrounding it, both will undoubtedly end up as straight to DVD/VOD monstrocities. Ullman is multi-talented, though, and if his new acting roles keep getting buried, he always has music to lead him to the spotlight. Ullman, who taught himself to play the drums and can be seen jamming with Nicole Sullivan and Tisha Campbell-Martin on Lifetime, also just released a debut CD with his band, His Orchestra, on iTunes in February of this year.

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