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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.

by Anonymousreply 8610/13/2012

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?

by Anonymousreply 110/03/2012

I find Buscemi sexy. He's got charisma.

by Anonymousreply 210/03/2012

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

by Anonymousreply 310/03/2012

Owen Wilson.

by Anonymousreply 410/03/2012

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!

by Anonymousreply 510/03/2012

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").

by Anonymousreply 610/03/2012

The physically repulsive, emotionally offputting and completely untalented VINCE VAUGHN.

by Anonymousreply 710/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 810/03/2012

[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!

by Anonymousreply 910/03/2012

R7 I couldn't agree more.

by Anonymousreply 1010/03/2012

George Clooney owns this discussion. Okay, he shares it with Tom Hanks.

by Anonymousreply 1110/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1210/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1310/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1410/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1510/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1610/03/2012

Jeremy Renner

by Anonymousreply 1710/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1810/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 1910/03/2012

R19 you realize that two of them are gay, do you?

by Anonymousreply 2010/03/2012

Joaquin Phoenix

by Anonymousreply 2110/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2210/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2310/03/2012

Dagwood. No way would he be with Blondie.

by Anonymousreply 2410/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2510/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 2610/03/2012

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!

by Anonymousreply 2710/03/2012

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)

by Anonymousreply 2810/03/2012

Matt Damon

by Anonymousreply 2910/03/2012

Mark Wahlberg. Gerard Butler. Bradley Cooper. The list goes on...

by Anonymousreply 3010/03/2012

Men like beautiful women and beautiful women like money and security. I don't believe there is anything mysterious about it.

by Anonymousreply 3110/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 3210/03/2012

To each his own. I think Mark Ruffalo is sex on a stick.

by Anonymousreply 3310/03/2012

Cause most men are completely delusional about their looks and overrate them by miles.

by Anonymousreply 3410/03/2012

"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.

by Anonymousreply 3510/03/2012

Shia LaBeouf

by Anonymousreply 3610/03/2012

They may cheat with hot men, but they marry rich ugly ones.

The same can be said of some men as well.

by Anonymousreply 3710/03/2012

You're right, R7, those movies rarely happen.

by Anonymousreply 3810/03/2012

Er, R8.

by Anonymousreply 3910/03/2012

Johnny Depp. He's so preciously cutting edge. And filthy looking. He seems incapable of playing a role without scads of makeup, wigs, beards...

by Anonymousreply 4010/03/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch is fugly and I dread the Hugh Grant-type romantic comedies in his future.

by Anonymousreply 4110/03/2012

What the hell is Nia the Greek?

(And LOL at citing ONE movie, but whatever. )

by Anonymousreply 4210/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4310/03/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4410/03/2012

[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?"

by Anonymousreply 4510/03/2012

Ah r35? women are more interested in the money. Stupid women, not so much. In bed, smart women want to be the pretty one.

by Anonymousreply 4610/03/2012

Unattractive or schlubby comedians cast as romantic leads, including:

Adam Sandler

Bill Murray

Kevin James

[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.

by Anonymousreply 4710/04/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 4810/04/2012

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)

Woody Allen

Adam Sandler

Will Farrell

Jack Black

Seth Rogen

John Cuzack

Jason Segal

Ricky Gervaise

Michael Sera

Ben Stiller

Tom Hanks

Billy Crystal

Vince Vaughn

Owen Wilson

Kevin James

Paul Giamatti

by Anonymousreply 4910/04/2012

"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.

by Anonymousreply 5010/04/2012

[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.

by Anonymousreply 5110/04/2012

"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.

by Anonymousreply 5210/04/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch is hideous! I'm mystified that anyone would find him attractive.

by Anonymousreply 5310/04/2012

Robert de Niro, Pacino, Dustin Hoffman

by Anonymousreply 5410/04/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch is a romantic lead? Since when? He's the first to admit he's odd looking.

by Anonymousreply 5510/04/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 5610/04/2012

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?

by Anonymousreply 5710/04/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 5810/04/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 5910/04/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch is HOT! Those eyes...

by Anonymousreply 6010/04/2012

I've always had a crush on Joaquin Phoenix. He's eccentric and unconventionally handsome. For some people that's a big turn on.

by Anonymousreply 6110/04/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6210/05/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6310/05/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6410/05/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6510/05/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6610/05/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 6710/05/2012

Jack Lemmon.

Save the Tiger.

by Anonymousreply 6810/05/2012

Gerard Butler isn't attractive, he should play thugs and be happy for that.

by Anonymousreply 6910/05/2012

Nicholas Cage in anything but Moonstruck.

In fact, his entire career mystifies me.

by Anonymousreply 7010/05/2012

When was Steve Buscemi ever a romantic lead?

by Anonymousreply 7110/06/2012

The reading skills of some people on this thread are ... amusing.

by Anonymousreply 7210/07/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch was the romantic lead for Parades End - it was awful!!!!

by Anonymousreply 7310/09/2012

I feel left out.

by Anonymousreply 7410/09/2012

Cactus Flower was on TCM not too long ago and this thread was created for Walter Matthau, may he rest in peace.

by Anonymousreply 7510/09/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 7610/09/2012

Rob Pattinson. Cries when he comes (which ain't often!). His limp noodle persona translates into his roles.

by Anonymousreply 7710/09/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 7810/09/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 7910/09/2012

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?

by Anonymousreply 8010/09/2012

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.

by Anonymousreply 8110/09/2012

The men we get to see naked on film are men we aren't anxious to see get naked.

by Anonymousreply 8210/09/2012

Probably all those girls...are actually gay guys.

by Anonymousreply 8310/09/2012

Daniel Craig is another ugly one who gets a pass because he has "charisma."

by Anonymousreply 8410/10/2012

R81 - Sounds like internalized sexism to me.

by Anonymousreply 8510/13/2012

Daniel Craig really is unattractive, so I don't get his appeal at all.

by Anonymousreply 8610/13/2012
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