Been a while since I was in high school, but I still remember that one boy who made me sneak out my bedroom window to hook up, cause my mama was never letting him through the front door.

Meet the newest version of the teen heartthrob/

heartbreaker, The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Daren Kagasoff, who plays Ricky Underwood. Ricky’s one-night stand with a shy marching band member leaves him expecting more than detention next semester.

Now that I’m old enough to pay for my own windows, I skipped curfew to chat with the 20-year-old newcomer about his first starring role.

Tell me about Ricky, the resident bad boy.
He just does whatever he wants to do. All the girls love him at school, and they want to get with him regardless of what problems he’s stirred up with their friends. He’s got this dark past, and he’s got a very vulnerable side that only comes out when he’s in sessions with his psychiatrist. That’s the only time he’s really true to himself.

Were you a real-life bad boy in your high school days?
I was a baseball player in high school, so I was pretty bad (laughs). This guy is a lot more forward than I ever was. He’s the funnest character to play because he has so many different sides to him and it’s just fun to have the opportunity to play that up.


What was your most embarrassing high school moment?

In health class I had a B-average throughout the year. The final came and the teacher said, “I know this kid isn’t pulling this off,” and put me in the corner to take it. I got about 15 percent on the final. She called my mom to ask why I failed, and my mom tried to play off that I was a great student, but it came out that I had been cheating throughout the year. I had to do a lot of extra papers to pass the class.

Are you single?
I’m very single, and I’ve been doing good with that. I been able to focus on my character and really live it throughout the day, but we wrap July 22. I haven’t met any cute girls yet, but I’m hoping too.

What would be your ideal girl be like?

She’s got to be really intelligent and be able to keep a steady conversation. I like a challenge so she’d be somebody that always keeps me thinking and that I can learn something from. A cute face and body would be great too.

 

What’s your best opening line to meet a girl?

It’s not my thing to be Ricky-forward and spitting game. I kind of wait to see if I’m interested in someone, or if they come up to meet me. If they don’t, it was never meant to be. But maybe it would be, "Do you want to have a good time tonight?"

 

I don’t think that’ll work.

Exactly (laughs).

 

You turn 21 on September 16. Any big plans for your birthday?
Maybe go to Vegas. I’ve never been. A lot of people do that for the 21-thing!

 

Gals, if you see Daren out on the strip this fall and want a chance at winning his heart, walk up and say hello!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager premieres Tuesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

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