The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Pop Culture’s Most Man-Crush Worthy Men

Written by: Tom Sanford V, CC2K Contributor

ImageA man-crush can be, for some, a difficult infatuation to admit to. Not me! Comfortable with my sexuality for going on three weeks now, how could I turn down the chance to make readers, my family, and my girlfriend question how I really feel? I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 dudes it’s no secret I’m head over heels for and presented them for CC2K’s Sex Week.

Some men can’t be fully honest with themselves about the way they secretly feel for their favorite actor, character, or musician.  They might listen to a song or see that person on television for a few minutes, and each time they’ll be hypnotized by their voice and grin ear to ear. If there is anyone around, they will surely hush them and force them to pay attention to what that person is doing. The rest of the day or while hanging out with their crew, they will no doubt speak volumes about the greatness of the individual.

“Oh, James Cameron is a genius. Have you seen how amazing Avatar was?  Don’t get me wrong, he may have re-invented science fiction, but if we were trapped on a desert island, I totally wouldn’t go looking for coconut milk with him. Still, he’s the man.”

“Johnny Depp is an excellent actor. I don’t care what I said about him in sixth grade. If anyone should fill Heath Ledger’s shoes as Joker/play every single historical figure ever/ take home every big, golden statue each year, it should be him. He’s the man.”

It is time to come to terms with your guilt. I, too, have done this and while my thoughts and statements may not be as tinged with sexual undertones as someone less comfortable than myself, I’ve gone on and on and on a bit more about guys that I may as well just admit to having a man-crush on. These guys are so cool, so filled to the brim with awesome that I can’t help but boast about why they are. When the people around you are rolling their eyes and sighing because you’re beginning another long winded, praise-filled rant, you must realize you have a man-crush.  Don’t worry, it’s not bad, and it’s not sexual unless you are lying to yourself about one or two dreams you’ve had over the past couple nights.

So, in celebration, I’m getting in touch with whatever side of myself it is I’m getting in touch with, and giving you ten guys that I wouldn’t mind carrying on a bromance with. These men are sly, attractive, and good enough at what they do that I gush over them just a bit more than I would an idol.

10. Tom Cruise

I chose Tom Cruise to begin the list because not only have I consistently enjoyed what he does, he’s the one I’ve always been most vocal about. He’s garnered a horrible reputation over the years and our critical culture has been unable to separate his work from his personal life. That’s never been, and will never be an issue with me. Because of this, though, people are more apt to argue with me about liking him than they would be about anyone else. He may be constantly written off as one note by the masses but it’s performances like Collateral and War of the Worlds that are underrated in their subtleties and unfortunately ignored that prove the masses wrong. So, I’ll defend Tom Cruise a little too passionately as an actor as long as he remains interesting and talented.


9. Kenneth Branagh

While I’m not as familiar with his work as I should be, everyone has to have an “older gentleman” that they…think highly of! Nothing is much more charming than that Shakespearian enthusiasm, and besides, Patrick Stewart is way out of my league. From Hamlet to Shackleton , no one else could make vivacity look so simple. With my heavy disdain for super hero films as of late, Branagh would be the one man I would trust to bring me a movie that won’t bore me to death with another useless origin retread. What more could my summer blockbuster appetite want than to see Thor with someone at the helm that I constantly gush about?


8. Dick Grayson (Nightwing)

The infatuation here doesn’t really lie with how badly I wish I looked as cool in a one piece suit but just the swagger Dick Grayson’s seemed to carry in comics in recent years. Even before Batman R.I.P. dominated with its’ excellence, Grayson’s been doing a great job coming into his own and not worrying nor caring about being in Bruce Wayne’s shadow. Now with Batman & Robin showcasing his ability to be just as good if not better at being Batman than Bruce, it’s really hard not to like Dick’s intensity. Wow, I’m really helping my case here, aren’t I?


7. Serj Tankian

The System of a Down frontman and solo artist is off the wall and magically opinionated. He doesn’t have enough of an effect on me to stop getting me to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken (he can rest easy because I prefer Popeyes anyway) but his music is that which I could not live without having experienced and he has proven time and time again he is immensely talented. It’s certainly endearing after five harmonically ingenious, hard as hell System albums and one better than average rock solo album that his next project is rumored to be jazz based, but that’s part of his draw. His wheels never stop turning and whatever mysticism floats in his head, it will always be backed up by a tremendous voice and surrealist food for thought.


6. Lafayette Reynolds

I’m certainly walking a fine line with this one. It probably wouldn’t be the easiest thing to have a steady heterosexual bromance with a man that couldn’t be any gayer if his name were Ellen DeGeneres, but I don’t really care because Lafayette Reynolds is about as cool as it gets if you ask me. Few characters are as comfortable with themselves as he is, and it shows in his speech, mannerisms, and innocently noxious personality. Those developing True Blood smartly realized the value of such a character and have kept him alive longer than he’s lived in the book series from which he was adapted. How many characters can lay claim to achieving such a feat amongst Hollywood adaptations? Very few, of course, but let’s be honest, how could you kill off someone who dances so well in front of a webcam?


5. Robert Muldoon

“Robert I wonder if perhaps you would be good enough to take a gas Jeep…and bring back my grandchildren.” Of COURSE he would be good enough! Robert Muldoon would’ve gone to Site B all by himself to retrieve Lex and Tim. He would’ve done it wide-eyed, skeptically and with a sigh, but he would’ve done it! This is what a decent man does, and sometimes all it takes is a decent man to bring about a hero. This is all rendered irrelevant for the better as a different man rescues Lex and Tim and Muldoon gets to do what he wanted to all along, face off with a fucking velociraptor. The manliest, most bad ass game warden ever may not have survived the encounter, but he was fearless in the face of defeat when about the only other person on Earth to act in such a valiant way might be Roland Tembo himself. I don’t know how I feel about fully bald heads, though, and I like the way Muldoon pulls up his socks so my crush lies here.


4. Tony Leung

Good God, Tony Leung. Arguably one of the most talented actors I’ve ever seen coupled with an allure rivaling Clark Gable’s, he’s a walking pile of raw talent. When someone is as excellently magnetic as he is, it’s often difficult to come up with a way to describe them and suit their sophistication. I am also horribly ashamed that I am not as familiar with his work as I should be but it hasn’t stopped what I have seen from making an impact. I wouldn’t sneak into his house and flood the kitchen floor or lie on his bed for hours waving around a model airplane, but I understand.


3. Christian (Jay Reso)

Christian, or Christian Cage, or Jason Reso is a wrestling personality who’s as talented as the greats like Stone Cold or The Rock, but wasn’t given the correct kind of exposure when he came to the next step of his wrestling career. When I’m asked by anyone, wrestling fan or not, who I think deserves the next big title opportunity, I immediately start going on and on about Christian and how talented in the ring he is without being roided out and and how excellent his microphone skills are. They immediately roll their eyes and wish I would talk about someone else, but how could I? After being wasted on WWE programming, he gave the company the finger and pushed himself to the next level with TNA for a few years before recently returning to WWE and awaiting the exposure he deserves (read: Money in the Bank winner.) For a non wrestling fan my choice may seem long winded and useless, but that really only proves the point further that regardless of who I am talking to I never shut up about someone like him. Besides, not many people could have an awesome nickname like Captain Charisma and be true to it. He’s the man.


2. Josh Homme

Look at the sway of this rock and roll pretty boy. Wouldn’t you put that poster on your wall? Between slick hair and sweet buttoned down shirts, there’s nothing more metal than people not quite noticing by the look of you how metal you really are. He’s become influential in what seems like a short period of time in the grand scheme of modern music without being an overbearing asshole like Bono. I can’t speak as professionally on music as I could about film or literature, but I’ll assume I’m not entirely in the wrong in saying that on a personal level it’s hard not to be impacted by Homme and his work. Queens of the Stone Age is his brainchild but he’s reached his hands into many other acts, including The Strokes, Lupe Fiasco, and some bands I’ve never even gotten the chance to hear at this point. In the midst of it all he comes forward at the front of Them Crooked Vultures which have re-opened my ears after a few years of caring for just about nothing. While I’m too young to have made it to a generator party, I won’t miss a show that he’s involved with that I can readily attend ever again. So as I gear up to see Vultures for a second time, if you see the candy hearts on stage, Josh, then I’m sorry for throwing them. Just please, don’t step on them, they’re for you to pick up and read later.


1. Jason Bateman

I went crazy after Arrested Development was well on its way to being cancelled like most people probably did. With tears in my eyes but a good feeling in my stomach, I watched the last four episodes of the show wrap up knowing that I was losing a wonderful thing but gaining a person with brilliant comedic timing that I never even knew about. In turn, it will come as no secret that I’ve gotten my hands on everything that he’s come into contact with and finally realized why I used to sit and watch Hogan Family as a kid. That’s not the only miserable eighties property he’s made watchable, and anyone that’s ever actually given Teen Wolf Too a chance will know this. Even a miserable movie is saved by someone so hilarious. And I am not ashamed to point out the fact that with his grown up Gen-X look and hands in his pocket, he looks sharp as hell. Uh, I mean, you know, he’s a cool guy.

Jason Bateman is at the top of the list and unfortunately would be my only failed bromance. Why? Because in the end, I probably could not keep from telling him that I love him. Then again, that could happen to anyone on this list. I can’t deny love for any of these guys, but rest assured it’s not the kind of stereotypical love you buy at the supermarket in the frozen food section with secret eye contact or something awful like foot signals under bathroom stalls. It’s also not the kind of love religious zealots have been denying exists since the dawn of man. It’s simply the love for someone you can’t help but tell outloud “hey, man…you know, you’re pretty cool.”