You’ve got to give props to FOX for finding this fake Prince Harry lookalike for its new faux dating/reality show I Wanna Marry “Harry” premiering Tuesday, May 20 at 8pm ET on FOX. The everyday guy turned fake prince starring in the ruse is Matthew Hicks, who was schooled on looking and acting like the redheaded royal. So who is Matthew Hicks anyways?
Hicks is a 24-year-old English environmental consultant who shares a strikingly similar resemblance to the famed bachelor prince. Hicks tells us that his princely looks were often a running joke at the university he attended. He actually was discovered by the series’ production company from photos he posted on a lookalike website. “It was more than a year ago now, I had some pictures on a lookalike website here and I was contacted by Big Bag, the production company, and I wasn’t told any of the specifics at first. It was all a bit hush hush at first — ‘there will be a TV show coming out regarding some lookalikes, are you interested?’ I did a few interviews and it all escalated really, really quickly.”
In real life, Hicks works as an environmental consultant. “My intentions always were to follow geology and see where that took me because I love traveling. This Harry thing sort of came out of nowhere.”
“I was a bit speechless at first, it was all a bit bewildering,” Hicks says of the premise and of his involvement. “I found it thoroughly entertaining. I just sort of wondered how this happened to me.”
In the series Hicks poses as an eligible bachelor who wanted to keep his identity private. Throughout the eight-episode series, Hicks courts 12 American wide-eyed dreamers who believe — thanks to private helicopters, security and posh surroundings — that he just might be Prince Harry.
Although he’s not a trained actor, it didn’t take too much work for Hicks to fall into the role. “I’m well spoken so I didn’t change my voice too much. All I had to do was bolster my background knowledge and I had to know everything about Harry — all his background details, his schooling, his military career. I had a few pointers in course writing, polo, we even spent the first week of filming getting me up to scratch on this. I had some academic work. I had some fencing lessons, horse riding, ballroom dancing lessons.”
Once Hicks was up to speed on all things Harry, it was time to introduce him to the ladies. Never does the show indicate his name, in fact he remains nameless throughout the series with the exception of some of the nicknames his potential suitors give him. “I remained the mysterious man for a good proportion of the show,” Hicks says. “Obviously straight away they wanted to know who I was, what my background was and initially it was easy — you could flirt around the topic. There were 12 of them there to bounce off of them and have a bit of fun with it and find out about them without giving too much away. They were calling me sir or the gentleman, some of them referred to me as their boyfriend or babe, they just came up with their own ideas. One of them called me Charlie.”
Regardless of how absurd the thought is — that Prince Harry would actually do a reality series to find an eligible woman — most of the women let their dreamy imaginations take over. “They were left to come to their own conclusions and that’s a much more persuasive manner to get someone to believe something you want them to believe,” says Hicks. “There were some girls in the group who were more convinced than others — rumors spread. Even the ones that didn’t believe at all, there was still that little bit of doubt in their mind, I think, and it just progressed along those lines and it just snowballed.”