Is it just us, or has this past year felt extra handsome?
After taking a hiatus, the annual poll to defeat all annual polls is back to determine exactly which of our/your faves contributed the most to this extremely attractive climate. We thank our reigning Most Handsome Young Man Andrew Garfield for his service and retire him to the MHYM Emeritus Board, along with fellow past winners Keanu Reeves, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harry Styles, and more.
And now, we turn to the future. As usual, we choose our nominees not solely on aesthetics but also on the year they had. The gentlemen below have won Oscars, hosted Saturday Night Live, directed films, sold out arenas, taken over the TARDIS, and even purchased Waystar Royco. And one of them has at least one more 2023 accolade ahead of them. So please, take a moment to read a little bit about each of our Most Handsome Young Man contenders before casting your vote in the poll at the bottom of the page. —Sage
Given that the 60th anniversary specials are finally about to air, by the time this poll closes, we may have already seen Fifteen in action. But in the meantime, Ncuti has had plenty more going for him this year. In addition to making the very, very handsome rounds doing Doctor Who press (each red carpet and photoshoot ensemble more fire than the last), he appeared in the fourth and final season of Sex Education as human ray of sunshine (and one half of the world’s cutest gay/straight boy BFF-ship), Eric Effiong. And he co-starred in the biggest movie of the year, joining past nominees Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu as one of the Kens in Barbie. To be handpicked by Greta Gerwig and Russell T. Davies? This guy’s got something alright.
In conclusion, Ncuti’s career is about to blow up and based on what we’ve learned from his lovely, candid interviews and impeccable, joyous work, there’s no doubt that he deserves it. Whether all of that also makes him your Most Handsome Young Man of 2023 is for you to decide. —Sage
Not to sound like a Handsome Young Man Hipster but we’ve been on the Pedro Pascal train since the early aughts when he was a hot and charismatic theatre kid treading the boards Off-Broadway with another hot and charismatic theatre kid named Oscar Isaac. (Shame that guy never went anywhere.) I remember how HUGE it felt in the theatre community when Pedro booked Game of Thrones and I remember getting the vibe that we were about to lose him to Hollywood.
Sure enough, we did. But New York City’s loss is the rest of the world’s gain and it’s been wild watching Pedro become the internet’s boyfriend over the past couple of years.
Or really, I should say, the internet’s Daddy.
That’s right. Pedro’s gotten the market cornered on one of our favorite tropes here at Head Over Feels: the reluctant father figure who despite all his best efforts ends up fiercely caring for his charge. We’ve been cooing and flailing over Din Djarin and Grogu since 2019 but the problem with The Mandalorian is that the nature of the character demands that his gorgeous face be covered by that mask 99.99% of the time. It’s absolutely criminal and it’s why Pedro’s role as Joel Miller in HBO’s prestige dystopian drama The Last of Us is a true blessing. Behold this handsomely grizzled man who feels too many things too deeply and does his best to hide how much he cares about the surrogate daughter he never wanted to have. Look how beautifully he cries!!
It’s so funny that for all the gruff and emotionally repressed characters Pedro gravitates towards, his IRL persona is the exact opposite. He’s a total cupcake in all of his interviews and red carpet appearances. He is somehow both Daddy and Babygirl, always giggling and talking in double entendre. I love that he’s still full of awe and gratitude for his successes even after being a megastar for almost a decade, deftly balancing popcorn franchises and artsy fare. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone so wholeheartedly embrace the internet Daddy label in the way Pedro does and I hope he never stops.
A man who can do both? Well, that’s just handsome. —Kim
Ke Huy Quan
Everything Everywhere All at Once hit theaters in 2022, but 2023 saw Ke cleaning up during awards season, culminating of course in his Best Supporting Actor Oscar win. As glorious as it was to watch someone who’d been unfairly sidelined by a racist industry find success again, it was almost as satisfying to see Ke reunite in these spaces that were previously closed to him with Harrison Ford, forever Indy to his Short Round. (I also need you all to know that Jeff Cohen, a.k.a. Chunk from Goonies, has closed all these deals for Ke as his lawyer. Who says there’s no loyalty in this business?)
Ke followed up his trophy-collecting rounds with roles in two Disney series: American Born Chinese (also starring his EEAAO wife, Michelle Yeoh) and the second season of Loki, unquestionably the best Marvel show the streaming service has produced so far. He slotted right into the TVA family as Ouroboros, the friendly genius who literally wrote the book on the multiverse. And how cute is this jumpsuit??
Throughout this whirlwind, Ke has proven to be the kind of guy you’ll never be sorry you rooted for. Never one to hide his enthusiasm, his Instagram is full of selfies with artists he admires, and who among us wouldn’t want to go table to table at these things, shaking hands and taking pictures? His acceptance speeches were all loaded with emotion, and we love a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. Dreamy, talented, and emotionally available? That’s MHYM material right there. —Sage
Of course, much more recently than that, Alexander got a lot of attention for playing possibly psychotic tech billionaire Lukas Matsson, who somehow manages to be more chaotic than all of the Roy siblings combined, on Succession. I say this with the utmost respect and appreciation for him as an actor: Alexander imbued this character with such off-putting, rancid energy, I might cross the street if I ever saw him in real life. (THIS IS A COMPLIMENT.) He also earned an Emmy nomination for his efforts.
Lukas in all his blood-sending glory sort of sums up what I love about Alexander as an anti-leading man. He clearly has the looks and the bearing to play boring, handsome guy roles (did I mention he’s 6’4″?), but he embraces the bizarre instead. The fact that I’m too squeamish to watch his other big 2023 project, Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool, only proves my point. There aren’t many household name actors out there who would be walked into their own premiere on a leash is all I’m saying.
One Direction may have gone on an 18 month hiatus eight years ago, but our love for the boys of the band hasn’t waned a bit. After Harry Styles, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne took the Most Handsome Young Man crown in 2015, 2017, and 2018 respectively, it is FINALLY time for Doncaster’s finest export Louis Tomlinson to step up to the plate in 2023.
Don’t get me wrong, Louis has ALWAYS been gorgeous. But as Sage said in the intro, Most Handsome Young Man is as much about the moment as it is about the handsomeness. After multiple stops and starts in his solo career due to personal tragedies and a struggle to land on his exact sound, Louis began 2020 on the precipice of having his moment having finally released his full length solo debut Walls and gearing up for his long awaited tour. But then he was hit by another setback, getting in a measly two tour shows before COVID shut the world down for eighteen months. Lesser people probably would have folded after that, but not Louis, who has always been defined by his relentless determination in the face of adversity. He picked up his tour in February 2022 and never looked back, growing more and more confident in his performance with every tour stop. He released his second album Faith in the Future in November, earning his first #1 album in the UK and his current world tour launched in May 2023, often booked in venues three times the size of the last tour. Louis’ moment is NOW and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
The fact that he’s aging like a fine wine? Well, that’s just a bonus. Maturity looks so good on Louis y’all, from the grays to the ever present stubble to the eye crinkles to the way his already spectacular bone structure has grown more angular. (I’m just saying, people show their plastic surgeons pictures of HIS cheekbones when they go in for buccal fat removal.) He’s always been pretty but now he’s HANDSOME.
The best thing about the 2023 tour has been how Louis has embraced his hotness. We’re being fed a steady diet of Instagram OOTD posts for every tour stop. He’s ditched the more demure styling of previous years, favoring slim fitting track pants and teeny tiny tank tops that show off his wicked (and hot) scar from breaking his arm last year and needing surgery to repair it. All I can say is: god bless physical therapy. His arms and shoulders have never looked so good.
And if he just so happens to have said teeny tiny tank tops ripped to shreds when he runs down and dives into the barricade at the end of every show? Well, as his chest piece says, it is what it is. And what it is is HOT.
Lest you think he only slays in his stage wear, let me remind you that Louis still knows how to wear the HELL out of a suit, as we all saw on the red carpet premieres of his documentary All of Those Voices. This Givenchy suit is like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi realness except it’s way sluttier.
In short, us Louis girls have been playing the long game here. But, as one of my favorite Faith in the Future songs says, it’s worth it all this time. —Kim
I don’t know that Kim and I ever properly discussed putting Taika Waititi on the list of nominees this year. He just appeared there, mutually decided upon as an immediate given. It’s where he belongs, and I think he’d be the last one to argue with us on that point.
To lead with the obvious, Taika returned this year along with the rest of the crew of the Revenge in Our Flag Means Death, and not that Ed Teach wasn’t one of the hottest characters I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes in Season One, but Season Two Blackbeard did not come to play. Whether he was being slammed into a wall by Rhys Darby, kissing Rhys Darby in the moonlight, or running into Rhys Darby’s arms on the beach, killing every British soldier who got in his way, THIS is a romantic hero. (I have also thought about that ponytail look with the smudgy eyeliner and the little tendrils of hair framing his face every day since that episode aired, and that is not an exaggeration.)
Not to be outdone by his pirate alter ego’s love life, Taika secretly got married to singer Rita Ora in 2022. Like a true power couple, they didn’t release photos of their nuptials to the public until a year later, and they did it in Vogue. Judging by their respective Instagrams, they spend the rest of their time together looking equally fine and fashionable OR cosplaying Shrek and Fiona. There is no in between.
Before the year is out, I’m so excited to see Taika the filmmaker get back to his roots with his next feature, Next Goal Wins, a heartwarming comedy based on a true sports underdog story. And let’s not forget that we also have him as a producer partially to thank for the little miracle that is Reservation Dogs, which ended its perfect three-season run in September. One of Taika’s most attractive qualities is that he uses his fame and influence to support other indigenous voices, and that means we all win.
Fashion plate, gay icon, king of leaving the door open behind him, Dad on Tour… what more is there to say? If Taika is your MHYM of this year, let your fingers do the walking below. —Sage
Jeremy Allen White
Not content to merely be your current Feelies champion for Leading Performance in a Male Role – Comedy, Jeremy Allen White is here to make a run at the highest honor in the land…the Most Handsome Young Man of 2023.
We’ve already waxed poetic about just how fucking good Jeremy is as Carmy Berzatto on The Bear during his Feelie campaign and given the fact that he won by an overwhelming margin, you are all aware of that too. He’s absolutely brilliant and giving the performance of his career (so far). Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get to a truth that is universally acknowledged: Jeremy Allen White is really freaking attractive. ESPECIALLY in this particular role. As Carmy, Jeremy’s got the “my love can heal him” sad boy thing going on AND he’s got the “he’s so pretty I want to cry” thing going on too and it’s all just very very very good, okay? I am a simple woman with simple needs and he meets all of them.
It’s those brilliant blue eyes and the way they convey every single emotion he’s feeling. It’s those wild curls that are just begging to be tousled. It’s the way his nose was definitely chopped off of an ancient marble bust of Julius Caesar. It’s those ARMS and the way those smedium white t-shirts that are a staple of Carmy’s wardrobe showcase them. It’s Jeremy’s overall slightly feral intensity that harkens back to a young Marlon Brando and if we DON’T see him play Stanley Kowalski in the next few years it will be a true tragedy.
See what I mean?? This man is out here bringing all our sexy dirtbag fantasies to life opening beer bottles with his bare hands whilst wearing a slutty mesh tank top. I don’t know WHY it’s mesh, but I’ll tell you one thing, I’m certainly not mad about it.
Not just a sexy dirtbag, Jeremy knows how to SERVE in evening wear, which is great for us with awards season fast approaching.
In conclusion, YES CHEF. Absofuckinglutely Chef. —Kim
The poll will be open until Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5PM ET, after which we’ll take some time to put together a tribute to the winner. So vote, share, and campaign your little hearts out until then. You can also let us know who you’re backing in the comments below.