Male celebrities whose romantic lead status mystify you.
I'll start: Martin Clunes (picture at the link) plays the lead in the british romantic comedy series, Doc Martin. It's a lighter version of 'House' set in a small, sea side town. I like this show but for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would want to watch this man kiss anything. He is so unattractive. Yet the heart of the show is driven by the hopes that he and his female lead will finally hook up.
Another: Steve Buscemi. Boardwalk Empire is not a romantic show but his character has a romantic angle with the female lead. Their subplot drives the 'heart' of his character arc. Again, uglier than sin but the moments where he shows tenderness and/or passion for her are oddly affecting and a staple of the human plot.
How does this happen? Why is the media so bent on seeing ugly men find love while a perfectly attractive female actress might as well die off if she gets a single grey hair.
I find Steve Buscemi oddly hot but I don't have a clue why. Martin Clunes not so much. He always looks uncomfortable in the few kissing scenes in Doc Martin. Is he gay in real life?
I find Buscemi sexy. He's got charisma.
Buscemi is a romantic lead?
I never understood the appeal and actually I get creeped out just looking at him, but I'm glad I'm not part of a unanimous opinion.
it takes all kinds of flowers to make a garden beautiful
In the case of Buscemi's character, his sex appeal derives from his empathy for the plight of the female lead character and his powerful position. Was it Henry Kissinger who said that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac?
The same is true in Doc Martin. The man saves lives...what's not sexy about that?
Confidence and aloofness, which both characters have in abundance, might easily trump looks in measuring sex appeal!
II have a friend who works for HBO who said Buscemi was chosen for the lead mostly because he looked as little like James Gandolfini as possible (the real "Nucky Thompson" looked like a Gandolfini type, but the show runner was paranoid that if he cast someone who looked like the historical original he would be accused of copying "Sopranos").
The physically repulsive, emotionally offputting and completely untalented VINCE VAUGHN.
I'm trying to imagine a gender reversal.
What kind of world would it be if women were allowed the same characteristics and still be considered sexy?
A middle aged, slightly pudgy, big eared, fish-lipped woman who is rude but confidant and 'aloof', seen as irresistible and sexy by the most beautiful boy in town.
There's a show I'd like to see happen.
[quote]A middle aged, slightly pudgy, big eared, fish-lipped woman who is rude but confidant and 'aloof', seen as irresistible and sexy by the most beautiful boy in town.
A move about Catherine II of Russia would fit this!
R7 I couldn't agree more.
George Clooney owns this discussion. Okay, he shares it with Tom Hanks.
With Buscemi, as with Gandolfini, I never thought of them as "romantic leading men". That wasn't the point. The point was to find an actor who could convincingly portray the character.
These character aren't notorious for being good looking, sexy guys. They're definitely not romantic, tho they have their moments. They had their business, they had personal lives, and if you look at the show girl types in Nucky's life none of they are typical looking stars.
IMO, the beauty is Gretchen Mol who plays a monstrously evil person. She is exactly the way I would've pictured Kathy in East of Eden. Pure evil.
I like that none of them are traditional good looking leading men. It makes it more authentic to me. And I agree. Their main attraction was their self confidence, their power,even a sense of danger, and their money.
In Boardwalk, I find it interesting that the smarter a woman is, the more demands she makes on them. The hooker/showgirl types just want money, or to be taken care of. If they have more on the ball,they have a plan, and they demand more.
With Sopranos, Ton'y wife is no beauty. She is very believeable in her role. Dr. Malfi is attractive, but out of reach to him. The other women in their lives are disposable, and mostly have a very hard edge. I loved Ada Torturro.
Buscemi did say to the leading lady something like "If God were kind, would he give me a face like this?"
So his being ugly is worked into the script -- and he IS ugly. Even when young in Parting Glances.
r11, What is wrong with your eyes, George Clooney is a good looking man.
I can give you Tom Hanks, with Meg Ryan he worked but now that he is older he doesn't play the romantic lead much anymore.
Both Busceni and Gandolfini are superb character actors, and now they are proving they can carry a series, too.
It's the cookie cutter pretty boys who are now disposable. The ones who last are the ones with unconventional looks who are good actors. They stand out.
Male producers and writers have no problem believing young sexy women would be attracted to old average looking men. Men like the producers and writers.
It goes without saying that the men are never attracted to old average looking women, unless it is a farcical comedy.
It's nothing new. Men aren't objectified as women are, so people tend to be far more open-minded about men's looks, age, weight, demeanor, temperament, etc. It's not unusual to see attractive women picked apart by catty bitches of both genders, but an ugly man will be found attractive because he is perceived to possess "charisma," "confidence," or some other intangible. "Aloofness?" A woman would be called just a rude ugly bitch.
Hey, three out of four of the homely nerds on "The Big Bang Theory" have girlfriends now, and two of the girlfriends are hot.
It's not exactly a triumph of realism.
R19 you realize that two of them are gay, do you?
R20, Sheldon isn't gay, he's asexual - in the sense that he isn't sexually attracted to human beings.
Yet, they've given him a girlfriend. It's so many kinds of wrong.
My personal favorite is the fat male sitcom star paired with skinny babe wife, often played by a much younger woman. At least the character played by Buscemi is rich, and might reasonably attract women out of his league due to money, but the sitcom characters are working class or middle class, at best, so how are those schlubs getting these hotties? Vince Vaughan has morphed into this guy, too. During the Swingers period he was tall and good looking, but he let himself go years ago, and the pairings with beauties are no longer believable.
Dagwood. No way would he be with Blondie.
R22 my bad, i misread the post and somehow thouht you were talking about the real life persons (since some posters talked about the celebrities and some about the roles they play.
r1 I've wondered that about Clunes but I've only seen him in this show and to be fair, his character [italic]IS[/italic] uncomfortable kissing women- which is another reason I find it hard to believe he's a romantic lead. He looks like he would be a stiff board in bed.
I believe Clunes has a family, if that means anything. He doesn't really ping in interviews.
A lot of fugly screenwriters out there are trying to secure a future by painting other fugly men like themselves as objects of sympathy. I find it gross and annoying, and no I will not suspend my disbelief and be manipulated into thinking hideous men are more caring or empathic; thank you very much!
Mark Ruffalo was born to play quirky weirdos. I never buy him as the romantic interest in any of his films.
Steve Carrell (somewhat attractive, but irritating)
Christian Slater (I've never considered him attractive, yet he was the romantic lead in a lot of early 90s films)
Jack Nicholson (yuck, gross, vomit, eeeks)
Mark Wahlberg. Gerard Butler. Bradley Cooper. The list goes on...
Men like beautiful women and beautiful women like money and security. I don't believe there is anything mysterious about it.
Steve Buscemi is UGLY! I can't imagine him being a firefighter donkey years ago! I don't believe he can haul a person outta a burning building! I saw him once in NYPL, he was dressed like a freaking homeless person...we made eye contact and i gave him a disapproving look, this was before Broadwalk Empire.
To each his own. I think Mark Ruffalo is sex on a stick.
Cause most men are completely delusional about their looks and overrate them by miles.
"Men like beautiful women and beautiful women like money and security. I don't believe there is anything mysterious about it."
Actually, women like hot men. Just saying. When women cheat on their husbands, it's always with more attractive guys.
They may cheat with hot men, but they marry rich ugly ones.
The same can be said of some men as well.
Johnny Depp. He's so preciously cutting edge. And filthy looking. He seems incapable of playing a role without scads of makeup, wigs, beards...
Benedict Cumberbatch is fugly and I dread the Hugh Grant-type romantic comedies in his future.
What the hell is Nia the Greek?
(And LOL at citing ONE movie, but whatever. )
When was Steve Buscemi cast as a romantic lead? I don't think Nucky on BE is supposed to be a romantic lead. Guys with money and power always get women no matter what they look like. I have never seen him in anything I would consider a romantic lead.
Didn't anyone see Dogfight, River Phoenix paired with Lily Taylor? I always liked Taylor as an actress, but she was a little hard to look at.
[quote]he was dressed like a freaking homeless person...we made eye contact and i gave him a disapproving look, this was before Broadwalk Empire.
... and he rolled his eyes, gave a little sigh of ironic despair, and mumbled "what's with these prissy, pretentious new York queens?"
Ah r35? whatever...smart women are more interested in the money. Stupid women, not so much. In bed, smart women want to be the pretty one.
Unattractive or schlubby comedians cast as romantic leads, including:
[quote]In bed, smart women want to be the pretty one.
I would think smart people would rather be attracted to the person they're having sex with than worrying about their own looks.
Truly smart women want both money and a hot guy. They realize it doesn't always have to be a choice.
The fat and/or schlubby husband with the hot (but somewhat bitchy) wife sitcom trope started with The Honeymooners. The Flintsontes, According to Jim, Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Still Standing, Family Guy, etc. are all based on that model.
Here's my list. Every one of these slubs has been cast in at least one movie where he gets a gorgeous girl---someone who wouldn't look at him twice in real life. It must be a formula that works because it's been shoved down our throats in almost every romantic comedy in the last 10-15 years. Weirdly, there are no fugly black men. All the black guys in romantic comedies are hotter than the girl IMO.
Harrison Ford (over 50)
"Dogfight" was about a good looking guy dating a homely woman, the lead character friends had some sort of bet about dating the ugliest woman they could find. IIRC, that was the movie's storyline.
Re George Clooney, I've never found him attractive, no matter how 'handsome' the public thinks he is, his smarmy smirk and arrogance is a huge turn off. And he uses those quirks in his acting.
Those negatives would turn me off with any other handsome man I might initially be attracted to.
George Clooney seems insufferable. He's just about to drop his latest rent-a-woman, time to upgrade I guess, this way, with a new 'girlfriend', the media won't be wondering why he hasn't yet married the current one.
When will he just come out? That's another turn big off, he's closeted. He's basically a one-note smirking liar.
[quote]Christian Slater (I've never considered him attractive, yet he was the romantic lead in a lot of early 90s films)
I'm with you on this one. I never got his appeal, either. I remember watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as a kid and Kristi Swanson-as-Buffy saying her only ambition in life is "to graduate high school, move to Europe, marry Christian SLater, and die!" My 12-year-old self was like, "Ew!" He's not even remotely attractive. I never understood why she didn't pick his hotter contemporaries, like Jason Priestley or Richard Grieco. My sister used to get those Teen Beat magazines and the like and they tried so hard to push Slater as a heartthrob. I didn't even know anyone who liked him. It seemed it was only on TV and the movies that we were told we should like him.
"Another: Steve Buscemi. Boardwalk Empire is not a romantic show but his character has a romantic angle with the female lead. Their subplot drives the 'heart' of his character arc. Again, uglier than sin but the moments where he shows tenderness and/or passion for her are oddly affecting and a staple of the human plot."
OP, first you say he mystifies you as a romantic lead, then you say his tenderness are oddly affecting and a staple of the human plot.
Sounds like you are not mystified at all. Rather you are engaged and moved.
Benedict Cumberbatch is hideous! I'm mystified that anyone would find him attractive.
Robert de Niro, Pacino, Dustin Hoffman
Benedict Cumberbatch is a romantic lead? Since when? He's the first to admit he's odd looking.
A guy simply having a girlfriend doesn't mean he's a "romantic lead" unless their romance is main storyline.
Most of these examples are way off the mark.
Believe me r47 a man can be the best looking thing in town but if he can't eat at the Y, what good is he?
It shouldn't have taken until r43 for the obvious to finally be stated.
I agree with most of the actors listed as not-sexy but John Cuzack, Tom Hanks, Christian Slater and Robert de Niro all turned me on in their prime.
R49, I never found Billy Crystal sexy, but he was always convinced he was gorgeous. He liked to talk about how his childhood nickname was "The Face." What a delusional narcissist.
Benedict Cumberbatch is HOT! Those eyes...
I've always had a crush on Joaquin Phoenix. He's eccentric and unconventionally handsome. For some people that's a big turn on.
Let's face it -- the first thing a guy does when he gets rich and famous is date models. Look at Ric Ocasek. Dan Ackroyd. Mick Jagger looks like the Crypt Keeper and young models still fuck him.
Young attractive women in Hollywood try to hitch themselves to guys who are successful writers, producers, directors and actors. It's not surprising these guys then write tv shows where fat ugly guys date thin beautiful women.
OP, I've had a crush on Steve Buscemi forever. I don't care about the other supposedly goodlookng guys mentioned in this thread. That said, he's not being cast as a romantic lead per se.
Kermit the frog. I never could understand the attraction: scrawny arms, bugged-out eyes that look like golf balls cut in half, that squeaky voice, and he is green. Miss Piggy could have done better for herself.
Steve Buscemi, aside from having a face only a mother could love, has a pallor that makes him look like a cadaver. How anyone can think he's attractive is baffling.
I think Doc Martin is popular with the sexy school principal because all the other fellows are fat fishermen on the make, and DM is an MD and smells nice.
She did become involved with an architect, but he was a weeny. DM is weird, but resolute in his oddness.
Jack Lemmon. Never understood why he was a romantic leading man. The Apartment, Irma La Douce, The Odd Couple (where the two twins fall for him) etc. He was non-sexual.
I can watch When Harry Met Sally up to the point where they have sex, then I have to change the channel till they are back to fighting again. I just cannot fathom Billy Crystal as a leading man. He's fug and sexaully unattractive.
Also, Gerard Butler. Looks like a crazed pitbull. A poor girls Russell Crowe except Crowe had sex appeal to begin with.
Save the Tiger.
Gerard Butler isn't attractive, he should play thugs and be happy for that.
Nicholas Cage in anything but Moonstruck.
In fact, his entire career mystifies me.
When was Steve Buscemi ever a romantic lead?
The reading skills of some people on this thread are ... amusing.
Benedict Cumberbatch was the romantic lead for Parades End - it was awful!!!!
I feel left out.
Cactus Flower was on TCM not too long ago and this thread was created for Walter Matthau, may he rest in peace.
Walter Matthau was a character actor and was miscast in leading male roles unless they were comic only. He looked like an old fart even while young.
Rob Pattinson. Cries when he comes (which ain't often!). His limp noodle persona translates into his roles.
The casting is also to appease the straight male audience members who believe shows with goodlooking men are "fake" but require all females to be supermodels and don't find it "fake" at all.
In the first episode of Boardwalk Empire there is sex scene with Steve B and Paz de la Huerta that left me with the desire to gauge my eyes out. I never need to see him having even pretend sex again!!!!
Mark Ruffalo was super sexy in the Kids Are Alright...
Robert Pattinson looks like Spidarus from the sunny patch kids.
I love Steve so go gouge your eyes out. That would make me happy.
Ruffalo can be very sexy, even though I don't find him very attractive...maybe it's just his charisma?
I notice that on several of the celeb gossip forums I post/lurk at, the female posters will rip an actress to shreds if she's not looking her best, especially if she's looking old. Madonna, Sharon Stone and Julianne Moore take some nasty hits. But someone like Johnny Depp is considered foxy, although he looks like mangled wolf pussy, and probably smells just as bad.
The men we get to see naked on film are men we aren't anxious to see get naked.
Probably all those girls...are actually gay guys.
Daniel Craig is another ugly one who gets a pass because he has "charisma."
R81 - Sounds like internalized sexism to me.
Daniel Craig really is unattractive, so I don't get his appeal at all.