I found myself recounting the entire beginning-to-end Degrassi: The Next Generation storyline of Rick, the guy who shot Drake, on the Canadian teen drama a couple days ago, while I was eating dinner with my friend. I honestly don't remember how it came up but I told her all about how Rick wooed Terri (and, obvs, Terri's romantic background with Spinner and Paige, which is a crucial part of the story), how he became controlling and abusive, how he came back to Degrassi High and joined the quiz bowl team, and how he eventually became unhinged after a public prank. That all lead up to the moment that he brought a gun to school, paralyzed Jimmy Brooks, and cemented Drake's iconic place in pop-culture as "Wheelchair Jimmy." (What? He's a rap superstar now? Huh? I can't hear you because I'm blasting "Whatever It Takes" at full-volume).
So, yeah, I did shoot #Drake.
— Eeeeekphraim Ellis (@ephraimellis) January 19, 2017
But at no point in that conversation did it ever occur to me to look up what Ephraim Ellis, the actor who played Rick, is actually up to these days. Well, at least until the news broke that Drake's notebook from his Degrassi days is on the market. Personally, I'm less interested in any lyrical musings the notebook may contain and more interested in whether or not he happened to doodle the initials of any of his co-stars that he may have crushed on. If there is "S.F." with hearts for Stacey Farber, I may actually collapse. So if I had $54k to drop on this precious notebook, believe me, I'd be dropping it. Still, the revelation took me back, and so I decided to do a little digging to see how the-artist-formerly-known-as-Aubrey Graham's co-star is faring. And, you guys, it turns out that Rick is actually kind of hot now.
Like, in a nerdy way still, obviously. But to the degree that when I sent my co-worker his IMDb page and his headshot popped up, we were both like, "Daaamn, Rick!" Guy sure knows how to take a picture for sure. And the fact that he can sing? Swoon. Sure, nobody can rock a glow-up like Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis, but Rick is looking seriously good these days. Especially considering that, uh, this is primarily how we remember him.
And he's been working, too. After finishing his run on Degrassi almost a decade and a half ago (okay, suddenly we feel old AF), he's been making regular TV appearances, and even starred in the 2014 film Stage Fright with Minnie Driver. And in 2016, he starred in the flick Deadly Inferno with David Sutcliffe (aka Christopher from Gilmore Girls — and if you've seen Degrassi: The Next Class, yes David had an incredible cameo where a character was convinced he, the actor from Gilmore Girls, was her long-lost dad. See how we just came full circle?). Plus, his Instagram also shows that he's been heavy in the theater world, traveling across the States for work.
Okay, okay. So he's probably still not everybody's type. He does (we suspect) wear transition lenses and play with lightsabers. His hair can be completely unruly and probably not everybody feels inspired to run their fingers through it. But if you're not feeling it, just give it a few years. Because, if this SFX makeup for a commercial is anything to go by, Ephraim is going to be legit rocking the hot dad look down the line, and we just want to say, we were fans first.
And then, oh, yeah, there's this. Just in case any of the rest of that stuff didn't manage to convince you, he also occasionally models — and he looks dang good doing it. He started from the bottom… now he's here.