Lives in: West Loop
Interested in: Women
His type: Funny women. “If I bust a gut because your timing is on point and you’ve got original ideas, that’s really sexy.”
Perfect first date: “Walking, being outside, observing how she reacts to crowds and nature.”
Go-to conversation starter: “I like to ask about family. If she goes on about her mom or dad, you can find common ground.”
Childhood crush: Phylicia Rashad. “I like older women. I don’t want the daughters. I want the mama.”
I’d never date someone who… “Didn’t have faith in God.”
When it comes to dating, being a TV actor definitely has its perks. “A lot of honeys bless my Instagram DMs just wanting to know what’s up,” says LaRoyce Hawkins, who plays Detective Atwater on NBC’s Chicago P.D. “There’s always that question of do they want to date you because you’re on TV, but the way I see it, if a woman wants to date me, let’s do it.”
Given that openness, his romantic horror stories are surprisingly benign—more bad come-ons (“This girl on Tinder wanted me to arrest her”) than scary stalker tales. Not that the Harvey native doesn’t have his own idiosyncrasies. He is an unabashed foot fetishist (“I’m not going to lie: I’ll suck toes if they’re pretty”), can be superficial (when his kindergarten girlfriend’s light-up kicks stopped working, he broke up with her because “the excitement was gone”), and has a strong distaste for women who, um, pass gas in public (“I wasn’t raised in a family that farts around each other”).
The son of a hairstylist and a lawn-care-business owner, the 6-foot-3 former high school basketball player got into acting through standup comedy (he won two state speech championships, for original comedy and humorous duet acting, while at Thornton Township High School). He majored in theater at Illinois State and in 2008 landed his first (small) film role in the Dennis Quaid football drama The Express. In 2012, he auditioned for Chicago Fire. He didn’t get the part (“They changed the race of the character”) but was memorable enough to nab a spot on the spinoff.
When Hawkins is not on set (“My schedule is never consistent; I could work for two hours or I could work for 12”), he likes to “vibe and groove” with a tight-knit group of friends from his hometown. For dates, he’s partial to the members-only Soho House (“couches and love seats—you can really get comfortable with somebody”) and the River North club Revelry.
These days, as his career begins to take off, he says he doesn’t have time for anything more than casual dating. He landed a recurring role on the new HBO series Ballers, owns his own motivational speaking company, and runs Refuge Sundays, an R&B-centric open mike show at the South Loop lounge Refuge Live. But when it finally does come time to get serious about a relationship, he plans do so with the same passion he puts into his work. “I want to do it right and give it all my energy.” —Tomi Obaro