Let me be up front about this: the decision we are asking you to make here today is not an easy one.
Unlike People Magazine, Head Over Feels has a three-year tradition of leaving the crowning of our sexiest man up to our readers. (Not publicists. No offense, Chris Hemsworth.) Those of you who voted in our past races will note that we’ve changed the name of this title. And with good reason. While we were originally inspired by our dissatisfaction with People overlooking fandom and fringe sex symbols, our annual poll is its own thing. Also, we’re keen on People not suing us. (Hahahah, People. As if this website made us money instead of bleeding it from our bank accounts.)
The Most Handsome Young Man* mantle has a storied history in this blog, as we once chased Joel McHale down an empty midtown street and forced a trophy declaring this into his hands. He dubbed the honor “wonderful…and creepy” and we can only hope that this year’s winner will feel the same.
Joel got double the bragging rights after voting closed in our first annual HOF poll and he was our readers’ choice as well. He shared the honor with sexy elf king Adam Scott and your taste in wry and handsome boys was fully confirmed.
Our 2013 champ was declared after spending the majority of the voting period in a dead heat with the eventual runner-up. (Who, perhaps, you’ll see somewhere below…) The Sleepy Heads are a passionate group, and we adore them for it. They took up the cause and their spirited campaigning resulted in Tom Mison and his sass-brow besting his competition.
So here we are again, friends, on the verge of declaring this year’s Most Handsome Young Man. It’s a fitting time to do this thing, since these six guys are what we’re most thankful for this year. Explore your options carefully (trust us, you’ll want to.) and then make your selection at the bottom of this post. We may have chosen the nominees, but this is your poll. Feel free to cry, cajole, and campaign, all in the name of your favorite. Voting will close on Sunday. We’ll be here watching – rubbing our hands together and laughing manically. Good luck.
*P.S. Please don’t sue us, Community. Someone once called us “the soul of the fandom.”
We’ve made our feelings about Ben Affleck known here at Head Over Feels. Let it be known that Ben has always been handsome. He’s a founding member of the Handsome Men’s Club. He’s a former winner of that Sexiest Man Contest run by that OTHER magazine that we won’t mention anymore. Everyone KNOWS that Ben Affleck is a handsome man. So why now? Why THIS year? Because like a fine wine, Ben Affleck just gets better with age.
The new Bat Muscles certainly help, but what makes Ben Affleck truly sexy is the sense of ease that he has with himself now (well, that and how he is going salt and peppery. That always helps). The man has been through the paparazzi wringer and has come out the other side more confident and self-assured. Back in the days of Bennifer 1.0, you really got the sense that Ben CARED what all the headlines said about him and how the public viewed him. He reeked of (adorable) desperation. But Ben Affleck 2014? He pokes fun at himself, as seen in the above gif, where he is recounting the internet reaction to his casting as Batman. He smiles a lot more now (and they are geniune smiles). He doesn’t give a fuck what you think of him. Boom. HOTTER.
Lest you think we only care about personality here at Head Over Feels, let’s talk about the much vaunted nude scene in Gone Girl, shall we? Sage and I saw Gone Girl opening night at our favorite movie theatre on 84th street (guys, the seats are literal recliners) and spent the entire movie anticipating the Full Ben. Then the shower scene happened and I was too busy admiring the carved-out-of-marble ASS to even see the goods. So I have THAT to look forward to with the DVD release.
Sage saw the goods though…and assured me they were lovely. Mazel Tov, JGarns.
In Summation, you keep doing you, Ben Affleck. You’re one HANDSOME son of a bitch, sir. We’ll be there opening weekend to see you kick ass as Batman and prove all the haters wrong (even though, let’s face it, the movie is going to suck cause Zack Snyder is in charge).
A relative unknown before he salmon-laddered into our hearts, Stephen Amell is the soul of Arrow. Sure, he looks like a hero. But the twist is that he’s also so damn good. Kudos to Arrow for demanding that we take it seriously and to Captain Amell for being a clear team leader.
The thing about Stephen Amell is that he cannot be real. History tells us that people this attractive don’t have to be kind, and indeed, can usually bend the universe to their will with one tiny muscle movement, like the one above. Amell is chiseled right out of some ancient Greek marble, yet he spends his Friday afternoons gleefully sharing fan art on his Facebook page. He’s mobilized his fans to raise nearly $1M for cancer research so far. And he spoke for all of us when he called DC’s shunning of its lucrative TV franchise and the re-casting of Barry Allen as “bullshit.” Where did this guy come from?
When trying to convert new Arrow fans, I appeal to their basest instincts first. Oliver Queen spends a lot of time “training.” (Read: stripping down and getting sweaty.) Lest you wonder if there are some CGI’ed muscles behind those one-armed push-ups, Amell often posts videos of him working out on social media. Because fan service is the lord’s work. Also, Kim and I jumped on the chance to take a photo with him at New York Comic Con. So we’ve had arms around him. Trust us. He feels man-shaped coiled rope.
We can’t even be mad that he’s taken, not with the world class DILFing inherent in every photo he posts with his baby daughter. Amell is a man twice in love and there are few more excruciatingly attractive qualities a dude can have than desperate devotion to his little girl.
Finally, I’ve got to acknowledge Amell’s role in one of the great ships of 2014. Olicity is one of those organic wonders – born of the chemistry between Amell’s Oliver and Emily Bett Rickards’s Felicity. It’s a modern iteration of the +classic hero/love interest dynamic. We get all the romance of daring rescues (Oliver is fond of picking up Felcity and swinging on things, Tarzan-style) plus the satisfaction that Oliver is just as reliant on Felicity as she is on him. Their first kiss was the stuff fan videos are made of – look at how his hands cover almost her entire face. It’s so delicate, but so sure.
Amell plays Olicity scenes with such quiet intensity that it’s impossible not to flail. (Those piercing blue eyes certainly help.) And Oliver’s ardor is trumped only by Amell’s own feelings about the ship. Diggle may be the on-screen captain, but Stephen Amell is off. He feels it, you guys. Do you understand?
Two episodes into Selfie and I was sure of two things:
1. The show was too beautiful to live.
2. John Cho’s fine self simply had to be on this list.
We’ve known John Cho since he cornered the market on friendly stoners in the American Pie and Harold & Kumar series. But, like fellow nominee Ben Affleck, he’s all grown into his sexiness these days. That vest. That salt and pepper hair. Get a load of this Cary Grant bastard.
There’s something appealingly old-Hollywood and sophisticated about John. I bet he only wears flip-flops in gym showers and always drinks good coffee. He looks like he knows his way around a wine list. Now excuse me as I retreat to my mind palace, where we go to foreign films together and he always lets me hold the truffle butter popcorn.
He’s built to grace our lives as a romantic lead. Unfortunately, until the quick-draw nature of network decision-making changes, we can’t have nice things. Everything about Selfie’s untimely cancellation is tragic, but especially the loss of the all-too rare casting of an Asian-American in a leading man role. Paired with our girl Karen Gillan, John made up half of one of the most charming budding relationships in recent TV memory. In adapting My Fair Lady, the show took on some problematic gender roles. But John imbued Henry with an underlying sweetness and vulnerability that helped to smooth out the bumps. The trick is that Henry and Eliza are equally inept – their strengths balance out the other’s weaknesses. “I’ve grown accustomed to your face” is still a killer line. And let this be another lesson never to overlook the quiet, bossy dudes. You never know when they’ll hit you with a move like this:
Let’s not forget John’s too-short stint as doomed Andy Brooks on Sleepy Hollow. He made being a servant of a hell-demon bent on bringing about the apocalypse look good. I bet Abbie kicked herself for not getting at least one date in before he sold his soul.
His adaptability means that John looks comfortable in all situations, whether he’s having a bedroom dance party with Eliza and her babysitting charge or slipping into the Captain’s chair on the Enterprise. You remember that moment, right? His Sulu stepped up when the situation demanded it, all capability and self-assuredness. I guess I want my men flinty and determined, what can I say?
TV hasn’t been as good to John Cho as John Cho has been to TV. But despite our collective failure as a media-consuming society not to nurture promising comedies, we’ll always have Paris. (Paris=single seasons of Go On and Selfie.) And John can rest easy, knowing that – network success or not – no one can take his handsomeness away from him.
When we all gathered around a laptop at CommuniCon 3 to watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead, a collective moan would echo through the room whenever Rick Grimes aka Andrew Lincoln was on the screen. Andy has that effect on women (I seem to recall repeatedly saying I was pregnant that night). He oozes testosterone. He’s all wounded and broody (OUR LOVE WILL SAVE HIM). He’s just a bit dangerous. He would literally bite the neck out of a man who would threaten you (I like to imagine he would do that to cat-callers). He’s the guy you want protecting you during the Zombie apocalypse. And then after destroying walkers, he’ll toss you over his shoulder, take you back to his shelter, and do stuff and thangs to you.
And THEN you remember that he is a ridiculously charming British man who’s been tormenting us since he was secretly in love with Keira Knightley (“It’s a self-preservation thing.”) in Love Actually and it all just becomes too much. And then there is THIS wonderful thing I discovered on the internet this week…
An amazing thing about Andy is the more grizzled and dirty Rick gets…the sexier Andy gets (and seriously…those zombies have AGED him in the most perfect way). That, my friends is a true gift because the big gray beard SHOULD NOT work on him, and yet it does so perfectly. There was a mourning party for the beard on Twitter when word got out that Andy had to shave the beard for an upcoming TWD storyline. Then Andy showed up at NYCC all clean shaven and we forgot all about that stupid beard. WHY HAD HE BEEN HIDING HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE WITH THAT MOUNTAIN MAN BEARD?
Because the beard was hot, that’s why.
If you need further evidence of why Andy Lincoln might deserve this title, I present to you gifs of Rick and Judith. Boom. You’re pregnant. I don’t care if you’re a dude reading this. CONGRATS. Pregnant. Don’t worry though…Andy is good with kids, as evidenced by the way he expertly holds Judith right on his hip.
(Seriously…that baby loves her fake dad Andy.)
What can I say about Chris Messina that I haven’t said already?
A lot, actually. I’m waiting to get tired of swooning over him in my weekly Mindy recaps, but it seems unlikely. Messina is no stranger to this poll, either. Last year, it was him who remained in a dead heat with Tom Mison until the bitter end. No shade towards Tom who I adore, but there’s one reason and one reason only that Messina didn’t take the title last year: we voted pre-“Christmas Party Sex Trap” dance.
Danny Castellano’s secret santa gift to Mindy Lahiri changed us all. We knew from “The Club” episode that he could move, but his routine to “Try Again” felt like unwrapping the best present you’ve ever gotten. It solidified Danny and Chris as guys who you think you know, but who’ll always have one more hidden talent for you to uncover. Just you.
Messina is another prime example of a thinking girl’s leading man. Those brown eyes will deliver an intense stare that will stir the deepest reaches of your soul, but then he’ll break out into a crooked smile that’ll have you understanding what the first day of sunlight must feel to those people in that town in Alaska who live in two straight months of darkness. His body is obviously sick, but touchable. He looks like he gives incredible hugs. The hair is good, and the height is just right. (For me…which is all that matters.) Danny’s obsession with Mindy’s butt was all his idea, born when he went straight for it in their first screen kiss. (Chris Messina thinks you look like a woman and that’s good, look like a woman.) And his New York accent can confuse you into thinking that you could meet a guy like this perusing the stacks at the Strand. That thought alone gets me out of bed every morning.
I talked to Chris Messina once. It was on a hectic red carpet with fans and publicists and camera crews all around us. He engaged with me like we were the only two people there. He was genuine and sweet and made sure my picture had come out alright before he moved on. (And kind of ran game on me? I don’t know, I blacked out.) He made direct eye contact one more time and told me it had been nice to meet me. He said it in a way that had me believing that he really meant it – that talking to me for 30 seconds was actually a highlight of his day. Now that’s a star.
I wasn’t home when Diamond Dan aired for the first time, but I did receive several tweets and texts offering me moral support for when I finally watched it. Because my reputation as a Messina fangirl precedes me, always. And the moment was not oversold. If you’re interested in my treatise about Danny’s striptease and why it’s so important, see my recap. Here, I’ll simply say that what brought the ovary-shaking moves to the next level was Messina’s dead-ass-serious take on that scene. For Danny, this wasn’t a joke – it was another from the heart gift for Mindy. And for Chris, who also writes and directs and surely wants a long and prestigious movie career, this role on a goofy sitcom his his gift. He’s all gratitude when asked his role, and he might worship Mindy Kaling even more than we do. I love that Danny Castellano is just as important to him as anything else in his filmography.
People are finally starting to catch on. There have been several pieces this year citing Messina as one to watch. So beyond Mindy and the (sob) three remaining episodes of The Newsroom, we’re bound to see him pop up in other places. The gif above is a little treat from the Sam Smith video that Messina did with Dianna Agron, in which he played a cheating bastard. (In this case, FINE WITH IT.) His directorial debut feature has distribution and I believe is coming out in the spring. So while we like having our little secrets, like Danny, we know to share when the time is right. And Chris Messina’s handsomeness belongs to us all.
While the world discovered Chris Pratt this summer in his Charm Assault Tour for Guardians of the Galaxy, we sat back smugly. Because you see…we’ve always known about this one. We love Chris Pratt as chubby, cuddly, loveable doofus Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. We love Chris Pratt in his new buffed-up superhero/movie star form. To quote Mark Darcy, we love him…just as he is.
WHY do we love him, do you ask? We love him because he is a comedic GENIUS (Mike Schurr and Amy Poehler have both said that they don’t even WRITE pratfalls into scripts anymore, they just write “Pratt does something funny”.) We love him because he was so open about how MISERABLE he was getting into super hero shape (#thestruggleisreal). We love him because he dressed up in his Star Lord Costume to go visit sick kids in the hospital and we love him because he french-braided a girl’s hair during an interview. We love him for how much he loves his wife and how he’s her biggest cheerleader. (And bonus points to Anna Faris for repeatedly saying that she misses Chubby Chris.) We love him for his genuine “Aw, shucks” demeanor and for his heart of gold.
Basically, Chris Pratt is the guy you want to take home to your family for Christmas or to your high school reunion (LOOK WHO I MARRIED JERKS!). He’s the guy who your mom adores, the guy who will let your little nieces and nephews use him as a jungle gym (and love it), the guy who will play cards with your Nana, and the guy who will wear the silly matching Christmas Pajamas. And he’s also the guy you would do dirty things with in your childhood bedroom. Am I projecting? Maybe. But close your eyes, and picture it, dear readers. You know it to be true.
Long story short (seriously, I had no idea I felt this way about him until I sat down and wrote this), Chris Pratt, I love you. And you’re one handsome man, Burt Macklin.
And so, dear readers…make your voice heard. Who IS The Most Handsome Young Man? CHOOSE WISELY. And let us know your agony over your ultimate choice in the comments.