December 8, 2022
Raymond Ablack’s sensible crew neck sweater has disappeared. Nothing has taken its place. Instead, Alex Russell (Margaret Qualley) is staring/drooling across the dinner table at a vivid fantasy of Nate (Ablack), wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, and not much else. “I was thinking, maybe tomorrow, we could do a baked potato bar?” says Nate, leaning on the table, arms framing his chiseled chest. “Pick your own toppings?” OOF.
The steamy scene lasts less than 10 seconds, but that’s all it took for the internet to lose its collective mind over Raymond Ablack, the breakout star from Netflix’s hit 2021 series Maid. On social media, the screenshots became thirsty memes, with Twitter users describing him as “SCRUMP-DILLY-ICIOUS” and “hot af.” “It feels really good to have people say nice things about you, specifically that way,” said a bashful Ablack when I asked him about the memes. “I wanted that for a long time…and I didn’t get it.”
This isn’t Ablack’s first, ahem, rodeo. He is the friend-zoned potential love interest in Ginny & Georgia (2021) and Boyfriends of Christmas Past (2021) and the ex-boyfriend in Love in the Villa (2022) and The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020). And, before all that, he got his start on television as Sav Bhandari, a series regular in Degrassi: The Next Generation, sharing the high school halls with the likes of Nina Dobrev, Aubrey Graham, aka Drake, and even having a flirtatious friendship with guest star Keke Palmer. He’s been on screen for over a decade, often cast as the neighborhood nice guy who ultimately doesn’t get the girl. Despite landing will-they-won’t-they lead roles and a growing fanbase, Raymond Ablack isn’t used to the spotlight — yet.