Top Ten Tuesday: The Man Crush
It could be in honor of Gerard Butler hitting theaters this weekend in THE BOUNTY HUNTER. It could be in honor of Jude Law taking out your kidneys in REPO MEN. It could be for Michael Shannon who looks great in eyeliner in THE RUNAWAYS, but I kind of doubt it. Whatever this list is in honor of, it makes us guys here at We Are Movie Geeks proud to know that we can stand up, look at a select group of men, and say, “Yes, I have a crush on that guy.” Crack open a Pabst Blue Ribbon, put on the AC/DC, and scope out this list of the top 10 men us guys just love to love.
10. Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds is, quite simply, the man every man wants to be. With an incredible physique and a top-notch sense of humor that is often embedded in geek culture, Reynolds is the best of both worlds. What other actor gets to be both Green Lantern and Deadpool and in HAROLD AND KUMAR? It’s an unfair world, I tell you. Wait, he’s married to Scarlett Johansson? Why do I even bother trying anymore?
Sure, Johnny Depp might be a little too “pretty boy” to be on a list with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Steve McQueen (in case you haven’t jumped ahead already, they’re down there somewhere), but the Captain Jack Sparrow role alone boosts Depp’s love from the guys. Just the fact that he based his performance in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards makes Depp A-okay in most guy’s books. Throw in awesome performances in films like DEAD MAN, DONNIE BRASCO, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, and PUBLIC ENEMIES, and you’ve got a guy that just about every man can’t help but love, pretty boy or not.
8. Sean Connery
Who else could embody the charming, handsome British agent, James Bond but the one and only Sean Connery. His superior prowess along with his signature Scottish accent made him so appealing as Robin Hood in ROBIN AND MARIAN, King Arthur in FIRST KNIGHT, and Jim Mallone in THE UNTOUCHABLES. He brings testosterone levels to a new high as the formidable Captain Marko Ramius in THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and the immortal Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez in HIGHLANDER. We’ll take a Connery, served shaken, not stirred, anytime.
7. Clint Eastwood
What is there to say about Clint Eastwood that hasn’t already been said? The dude is unstoppable. He started his career from a young age and quickly established himself as a heartthrob to both and females alike. The gals wanted to be with him, and the dudes wanted to be him. There was probably a time where every guy who considered himself a film lover didn’t have a poster of DIRTY HARRY or THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES on their walls, honoring the man in the title role. Clint has played some of the most notable men in history including the aforementioned Dirty Harry Callahan, the Man with No Name and his share of bitter old guys with a chip on their shoulder. Even Clint doesn’t play the traditional tough guy he used to, you can still find him directing fine films and giving himself starring roles in nearly all of them. If Clint ain’t a man crush for you, what in God’s name is wrong with you?
6. Denzel Washington
Denzel, the man with the perfect face. Literally, people who analyze such things have determined that Denzel’s face is perfectly symmetrical, which makes him grade A in the beauty world, I guess. In the world of the man crush, it accounts for one more aspect that makes the man so bad ass. Who doesn’t love Denzel Washington, a man who’s stepped toe-to-toe with some of the biggest, most notable, other man crushes in Hollywood from Gene Hackman in CRIMSON TIDE to Ethan Hawke in TRAINING DAY to Russell Crowe in VIRTUOSITY and AMERICAN GANGSTER. King Kong doesn’t have shit on him, and King Kong never did it while looking so cool.
5. Christian Bale
Christian Bale didn’t start out as a man crush. Most remember him first from EMPIRE OF THE SUN, and it’s just wrong to have a man crush on a 13-year-old boy. It wasn’t until AMERICAN PSYCHO that he really stepped it up in the world, a film where he plays a rich playboy who spends his nights slaughtering homeless people and innocent women. He would then go on to play another rich playboy with an alternate night job, and it was the ultimate one of those, at that. With BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, the man came into his own. Now, just about every project he chooses becomes that much more interesting simply from his presence. Bale, we love you, buddy. Stay rich, and stay cool.
4. Kurt Russell
While other actors dominated leading man roles and hero figures in the 1980s, character actor Kurt Russell was always where it was at. Since his childhood days working for Disney, Russell has proven himself to be incredibly versatile. Like Ryan Reynolds, Russell straddles a line between the badass with roles in films like ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE THING and the comedic in films like DEATH PROOF and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. He pulls off both with finesse, and for my money, he has the best laugh in the business.
3. Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen was known as “The King of Cool”. He had an everyman quality about him that most guys would want to emulate. McQueen made playing a game of chess with Faye Dunaway in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR so seductive, the frequent escape attempts of Captain Virgil Hilts, aka “The Cooler King,” in THE GREAT ESCAPE so ballsy, and the cool-as-a-cucumber Fireman in THE TOWERING INFERNO so brave. What card-carrying male wouldn’t want to be a race car and a motorcycle driver in their spare time?
2. Robert Downey, Jr.
Make no mistake, the fact that Robert Downey, Jr. was a “bad boy” for so many years didn’t hurt his chances of making it on this list. But, then, Downey did something every comic book fanboy has wanted to do at some point or another in their lives. He strapped himself into the Iron Man suit, and he looked damned good doing it, too. Now, with new-found success, Downey is just as cool off the screen as he is on it, whether he’s giving slick answers on the red carpet or sporting a bright, blue tie to the Oscars. Robert Downey, Jr. has embodied the Tony Stark character (the fact that he continues to sport that goatee while he’s NOT shooting an IRON MAN film makes most fanboys love him even more). Who can deny him his rightful place as one with the man crush?
1. Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson. The name should strike fear and awe in every film lovers’ heart. The man behind the “tough guy” icon has starred in some of the greatest films known to man and has constantly kicked ass and taken names in every one. Some of the most notable flicks include THE GREAT ESCAPE, DEATH WISH (I-V), THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE DIRTY DOZEN, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and tons more. Bronson didn’t speak english as a child (despite being born in Pennsylvania) yet found this challenge easy to overcome. His early roles involved him beating folks up, playing boxers and soldiers and often henchman. He found his place though in the much loved cult series DEATH WISH, playing the hard boiled architect turned vigilante, Paul Kersey. The first film spawned 5 sequels and ended with Bronson’s final film, DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH. Bronson died in September of 2003 of pneumonia and Alzheimers disease. I think it goes without saying that he fought till the very end and will surely be remembered as one of the greatest tough guys in film history, and a true man-crush/role model to male audience members everywhere.