Men I love

In Men on February 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

PS Have to add a post script to this because of all the great comments, thank you all SO much.

I did have George Clooney on my original list, but left him off as I thought it was dragging on a bit. Cary Grant also crossed my mind, but I was trying to do more recent arrivals at the Lust Ball. Clive Owen was also in consideration. Brad and Johnny never, as I don’t think either of them has aged well, although I do love Johnny’s acting.

But I realised this morning there was a couple of GLARING omissions and they have now been added. See the end of the piece…. and keep those comments rolling.

*   *   *

Yesterday me and my big sister bought a copy of The Lady magazine entirely because it had a picture of Colin Firth on the cover. We giggled wildly as we took it to the till and then play fought over who got to read it first.

Our collective age goes into three figures.

Obviously we are much too old for this kind of carry on, but I don’t think I will ever stop being a fan. I hope I never do. Having virtual mini crushes on film stars, footballers, rock stars etc makes me feel alive.

And it’s much better for a happily married woman than having a crush on someone you actually know.

The secret of it, though, is not to have one life-long celebrity crush. That’s stalkerish and a bit sad. The next thing you know, you’ll be running the Cliff Richard Fan Club and booking the coach for the big trip down to the Palladium.

To suck the life giving goodness out of a mini crush you have to constantly have new ones. So here is my current roster – with a couple of admissions to more long-term sympathies…

Colin Firth
I go way back with Colin. I saw his Hamlet, the year he was graduating from the Drama Centre, because my then boyfriend was a fellow student at the drama school and smuggled me in to see it.

Then went on to see him in Another Country, with Rupert Everett, one of the best plays I’ve ever been to. Which is all to say the future Sir Colin has been on my radar from the very start of his career, but I’ve never fancied him until now.

I didn’t even get the whole Mr Darcy thing, as I will never be able to see anyone other Lawrence Olivier in that role. And I could never understand why Bridget Jones would choose him over the drop dead gorgeous Hugh Grant.

But at some point in A Single Man, I fell madly in love with our Colin and that love has increased ten fold with The King’s Speech.

Which just goes to show some things definitely get better with age.

Tom Ford
Yes, I know he’s gay. But Tom is one of those gay men who loves flirting with women. He wants us to fancy him.

I’ve been in love with him ever since I first saw him stroll onto a Gucci catwalk at the end of a show, one shirt button too many left undone. He’s got the sexiest eyes going and he knows it.

I have loved him even more since A Single Man (see above) which I thought was brilliant. And even more since the BAFTAs when he and Julianne Moore giggled and nipped and poked, all the way through it.

I want to be their friend.

Steve Tyler
What? Yes, I know he looks like a middle-aged woman. The kind you’ll see elbowing their way through the Bloomingdales’ sale. I think that’s a large part of his appeal.

He looks particularly like Carly Simon, now I come to think of it, and she’s a very good woman to look like.

But if you don’t share my love of the tiny snake-hipped lead singer from Aerosmith, father of the more beautiful Liv, please check out this clip of him on American Ido

I heart him.

David Beckham
Darling darling Becks. The sweetest smile, the hottest bod and just such an all-round lovely bloke.

I love that he gets styled up to put the bins out – according to Mrs Beckham. I love that he loves playing with Lego. ‘I know it’s not a career,’ he has said. ‘But I just love doing it.’

And I love that he’s such a patriot, he agreed to wearthat terrible Marks & Spencer team suit to the World Cup last year, as part of the England support squad – even though the stupid coach won’t play him any more.

I just really really wish he’d move back to the UK.

Javier Bardem
If you haven’t seen Jamon Jamon, the 1992 film which brought Bardem and Penelope Cruz to international attention for the first time, get hold of a copy today.

About sex, religion, mothers, bullfighting and ham, it’s as hilarious as it is sexy. The chemistry between the two of them threatens to set light to the projection box, so it’s just perfect they’ve finally ended up together.

But she can have him in real life, the rest of us can be content with the naked bull fighting scene in the film.

Robert Pattinson
I go back a bit with Rob. I met him in 2005 when my daughter was in a film with him. True.

It was before he’d even been in Harry Potter, so imagine seeing Rob Pattinson in real life, before you’d ever seen a photo of him…

He stepped out of his trailer and I was rendered literally speechless that someone could be so beautiful. He didn’t seem entirely of this world.

My daughter, then nearly four, fell immediately in love with him and repaired to a nearby meadow to pick him a bunch of wild flowers. When she gave them to him, he blushed.

The film is The Haunted Airman, if you want to take a look. The director is one of my oldest friends, which is how Peggy got to be in it (I’m not some ghastly stage mother…)

Anyway, the delightful young man we met doing that is quite separate in my head from Rob in the role of Edward Cullen in Twilight. It’s Edward the tortured vampire I fancy, not Rob.

I would be embarrassed to tell you how many times I’ve watched that film – except I know that so many of my normal grown up girlfriends feel the same.


Rather as above, I know this picture is of an actor called Mark Salling, but to me it’s Puck. The badass, Mohawk toting, jock from Glee.

There’s nothing else to say.

Zac Efron
I was so relieved when 17 Again came out as I could finally go public about my lust for Zac. While he was starring in movies aimed at my daughter’s demographic it had felt way too pervy.

One sight of that hairy armpit in the opening sequences and it was open season on Zac.

And, if you watch Hairspray (which I also have on DVD…), you’ll see he’s such a fabulous dancer.

Take That

How could I have forgotten them? My boys! My men!

I can’t quite explain my deep lust and longing for these five fellas from the North of England. Individually they don’t stand up to close scrutiny, but it’s something about the five of them together – and I do mean five. Robbie has to be there.

The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.

I’ve always thought my Take That fetish stemmed from the way they remind of the boys I went to school with, not very far from where they all grew up, but so many of my girlfriends, from all points of the compass feel exactly the same, there must be more to it.

July 4th, 2011 I have a date with them at Wembley Stadium. Bring. It. On.

Although if I can’t get close enough to the stage to smell Robbie’s testicles I will want my money back.



Robbie, Robbie, Robbie. The bloke from Stoke. I bloody love him. I grew up just a few miles from where he did and his accent has a Proustian affect on me.

I know lots of you won’t like him, but even if you don’t find him a sex god, as I do, his music is amazing. I’m a lyrics maniac and Robbie’s are up there with the greats. Really.

Let Me Entertain You has just had me dancing round the kitchen like a wild woman. While I was making some scones.

And that, ladies, is what grown up girl crushes are all about.


You were right. He should have been here all along. He puts the hubba into hubba.

So those are my current crushes. Who do you love?

  1. I’ll have Colin Firth, David Beckham and Javier Bardem and you can have the rest.

  2. Brad Pitt. I know, I know. But… if you leave behind all the baggage, he’s incredibly gorgeous, he can act and he looks fabulous in a tux…. and then…

    George Clooney. I think he’s just the most amazing man. And I’ve never seen his chest!

  3. Zac Efron. Finally, you have revealed my terrible secret. (Why was I so compliant when the girls wanted to go to HSM3? Why, indeed).

  4. Nice post Maggie,
    My crush is Nick Cave,I adore his suits and his voice and David Walliams of Little Britian, kind of campy, sexy and funny all at the same time and I love that he married Lara Stone !!!

  5. George Clooney. Timeless. Evergreen. And I LOVE that he knows he could never go into politics because he has too many skeletons in his closet.

    Antonio Banderas- back before he hooked up with Melanie, when he used to paint his toenails and couldn’t speak English.

    Norman Mailer. Yeah, I know, I know, but he was SUCH a writer. It’s probably lucky he’s dead.

  6. Agree with all of your choices Maggie except Colin Firth, too daddish for me. Sac Efron in 17 Again with the White t shirt & aviators. LOVE.

    My list would include Brad Pitt, Russell Brand and Cam Gigandet. *goes off to google*

  7. Some great pics and oh, I envy you seeing Mr Firth and Mr Everett so young in their careers! I love a man with a nice voice, so sign me up for Richard E.Grant, Tim Curry and Alan Rickman.

  8. Yes, Yes, Yes to Colin Firth Maggie. Unlike you, I was hooked when he strode out of the lake as Mr Darcy. There is something incredibly endearing about David Beckahm too. How about a couple of “oldies” – Jeremy Iron’s voice makes me melt, and I’ll watch any film with Cary Grant in it. An actor whose name I don’t know – the guy Laura Linney lusted after in “Love Actually” – sooooooooooo hot!

  9. I love how we get crushes on the characters they play as much as the actors themselves. Mr Darcy, Atticus Finch, Hubble. Great post, I’m going to be thinking about this all day. Mmm, nice.

  10. Ahem, I’m sure it was an oversight that Mr Clive Owen was not on your list!
    I would also add Mr Elliot Cowan but not too many more, your list is surprisingly close to my own.

  11. Matt Damon does it for me….and he always appears so humble in interviews

  12. Oh and how could I forget Roger Federer….

  13. Colin grew on me as I got older. Puck makes me feel like a gleeful dirty old lady

    • Yes, that is exactly his appeal. He makes me feel I could be one of those high school teachers you read about who has a life-ruining peri-menopausal fling with a boy like that …. (think I need another cup of tea).

  14. Definitely Colin. He’s been a long-term crush.

    The guy from ‘Heartbreaker’ opposite Vanessa Paradis – such a new crush I’m yet to discover his name.

  15. With you on Javier Badem. All the way.
    Clive Owen. Sigh.
    George Clooney, suave and funny.
    (Had a crush on Jude Law in the very early days but totally over him now.)
    Yes to Cary Grant.
    Long standing crush on Sean Connery.

  16. Clive Owen. Tommy Lee Jones. Mike Patton. Dougray Scott. Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. Matthew MacFadyen (the other P&P)and Edward Cullen too, of course.

  17. Love Javier Bardem, yummy!

  18. yes to all those men, maggie. i still have this sad crush on zac, several years after my 10 year old daughter stopped liking him.

    for mine however there is one notable omission: JAMES FRANCO. oh, my …

  19. Colin Firth as Mr Darcy totally did it for me. And he still does. George Clooney always and forever.
    John Malkovich. Sure he’s getting on a bit but it was true love when I was 16 and saw him in Dangerous Liaisons. That voice just sends shivers up my spine.
    And the two mini crushes that make me feel like a dirty old lady – The guy who plays Damon in Vampire Diaries and the blonde brother in Supernatural.I don’t know their names and don’t need to. They’re just so pretty 🙂

  20. All of the above, I find I am getting worse as I get older. Very glad I am not the only ‘gleeful dirty old lady’. Thanks for the giggle.
    What about the musicians, nothing like a beautiful man and a guitar.

    • I was going to do darling Keef, but when I looked at the pics he looked replusive. So watch out for a future posting…. Who would you suggest for the musician slot? Apart from all of Kings of Leon…

  21. Ahem…what about Johnny D and Christian Slater? I ❤ them for the bad boy, maverick coolsters they are.(That clip of Steve Tyler left me very moist or eye.) He is so on the list now. And my All Time Top Ten would have to include Cary Grant, as Dexter in Philadelphia story, rather then Archie Leach from Bristol!

    • Cary did cross my mind, but decided to stay contemporary on this list – but WATCH THIS SPACE… Christian Slater is a good call, but Johnny lost it for me long long ago. I don’t like his style, he always looks a bit dirty, but not in the right way. So glad you get Steve T… I could have put a few on here that only you would have got ha ha ha xxx

  22. Well George and Colin of course. And John Krasinski. And Don Hany (Dr Chris in the wonderful Australian series Offspring … my oh my!). And the dark haired brother in The Vampire Diaries (can’t see the appeal of RPat in Twilight though…). And Toby Stephens.

    And yes to Zac Ephron in 17 Again.

  23. Gosh Darn It now I’ll have to hold off on my post idea about why it’s healthy for maturing women to have celebrity lustings. No Brad for me, he’s never done it. Nobody it seems, doesn’t like Johnny Depp he’s an evergreen. Clive Owen was a surprising omission, though I see I’m not the first to point it out.
    Love and Other Drugs brought Naked Jake Gyllenhaal to my attention like never before, and I think I staved off HRT a few more years simply by viewing that film. John Hamm as Don Draper…so bad, but so good.
    There. Now my future post is half written. 🙂

  24. You may want to have a look at the first episode of Carlos (miniseries) which revealed Edgar Ramirez in all his …er.. glory. No wonder he won Best Actor in the Golden Globes this year

    • Hey Gouldie, this is the sort of thing we used to do for a living, drooling over a lightbox in an office near Fleet Street… OK Edar Ramirez, I’m off to Google to find you xxx

  25. I’m with Mandi on John Malkovich.

    Felix from The Cat Empire (musicians are indeed v sexy).

  26. My husband knows that should Colin Firth or George Cluney turn up at our doorstep, the marriage vows are temporarily null and void. That is just the way it is.

  27. George Clooney: there’s something about that smile wrapped around that amazing mind- and he has the good sense to laugh at his own failings. My number 1 for longer than I care to remember…Dr Ross anyone?

    And what about Hugh Jackman? Not only sexy and smart, but crazily in love with his wife and family…very attractive features in a crush.

  28. Jon Hamm as Don Draper…utterly delicious. Conflicted, tormented, brooding…fabulous. Jon Hamm the actor doesn’t have the same appeal!

    I agree that I never, ever understood why Bridget chose Mark Darcy over Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones’ Diary. The whole point of that movie was lost on me. So, a salute to Daniel Cleaver – about the only time I’ve ever found Hugh Grant attractive. I love it when he walks out of the lift to the sound of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    • You are my girl. I nearly put Don Draper in – as you say, not Mr Hamm, Mr DRAPER.

      And SOOOOOO nearly put Hugh Grant in – and yes that is EXACTLY the moment. The first I saw the film (in a preview theatre) I let out a small howl at that point. I left him out as so many have come to loathe him. Such a shame. Also – the two funniest lines in the film ‘Hello Mummy’ and ‘They look like something I might wear myself…’ in relation to Bridget’s big pants weren’t in the script. He ad libbed them. Sigh.

      • oh is that right? I love the underpants line! Hilarious. I’m now going to dig out the movie and watch it, just for those two scenes.

        I do think there might need to be a column dubbed ‘An Ode to Don Draper’. Men don’t dress like that any more. If men knew the power of a good suit, a good shave and a good haircut it would be wonderful. I’ve just moved from Canberra where grown men wear cardigans and grown women despair.

        Now I’m in Sydney where there are more spangles than the Milky Way!

  29. Gee, you really started something here, didn’t you… Neil Finn, Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg, all musicians with a conscience, after whom I would follow any time, any where. And Alan Rickmann, with whom i fell in lust in Truly, Madly, Deeply, long before Harry Potter …

  30. Fabulous post Maggie! What is it with Colin, the older he gets, the better he gets!

  31. Just quietly, what has happened to Johnny Depp’s face? I sat through the tedium that was The Tourist and his face was freaky. It wasn’t a plot device. It was strange. Like someone has stretched him by the ears…

  32. Jeremy Northam is my number 1 crush: those eyes, that voice…And I love the way he shuns publicity.
    Eric Stoltz, particulary in The House of Mirth, he looks divine!
    Last but not least – Javier, he’s so masculine! Boy they don’t make blokes like him anymore…

  33. I would add Benedict Cumberbatch. Fabulous voice, lovely man in real liofe too.

  34. Love your list Maggie… but Robbie, oh Robbie…
    I have to tell you a funny story. A couple of years ago I was in the town of Marlborough, Wiltshire and as I parked my car and stepped onto the pavement there walking by was Robbie (and minder)… I almost fell over with excitement and stalked him all the way down the High Street trying to think of something witty to say with out sounding like a sad nearly menopausal woman with an absolute crush on him!! Alas he scooted into a hair salon and I could not follow! (Think he was picking up his then girlfriend who he has now married….) So sad.
    Very pleased that I can now go back to buying a paper at the weekend here in Melbourne to read your section in the M magazine. Such wonderful news.

  35. Oh, how could I forget Sean Bean? he such a bad boy!

    Watch out ladies, he’s single again!

  36. Having read ‘Shall We Dance’ I could have guessed that Zac Efron, Rob Pattinson, Take That and the guy from Glee would be on your list 🙂 And is ‘Chard’ based on Steve Tyler? I’m getting a mental image of your writing space… crowded with pictures torn from the pages of Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. Love it!

    • Chard is more of a mixture – he’s a guitarist, not a singer, so different references for him. Also think about some of those UK bands made of blokes who went to posh schools together. My writing space is in a state of flux as I’ve taken down my mood wall for Shall We Dance? and am about to put one up for a new book… No idea what it will be yet.

  37. Currently, though need a time machine for a couple …
    Ewan McGregor
    Clive Owen
    French guy ( Olivier? ) that hung out with Kylie for a while
    Josh Brolin circa Westworld
    Paul Newman ‘Hud/Cat on a tin roof’

    • Have never seen the point of Ewan McG. Maybe I just haven’t seen the right films. Agree with all the others, but deliberately left the retro ones off this one. Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke…. gaaaaaaaaa

  38. what was I thinking! – James Brolin back then, but Josh isnt too hard on the eyes

  39. You had me at Colin Firth, you still had me at Javier Bardem ooh yes Spanish hamster (to quote Fawlty Towers) but you lost me on Steve Tyler wtf? Loved your description of him- hilarious! Nah to Becks, Robbie, Zac and who the hell is Puck( horrid hairdo) Got to have the Clooney! For your consideration the other C man-Sean Connery and bad boy Jack Nicholson and what about Denzel Washington( that slight lisp oooh). But the ultimate man on all counts has to be Barack Obama -beauty and brains and the most powerful man in the world!

    • You know I love a rocker (Stevie T….) watch the clip and you might get it. Who is PUCK??? GLEE!!!!!!!!!!! Yes Sean is going to be on a future post. Watch this space. Used to love Obama but now not so much. xxx

  40. John Cusack floats my boat but I have soft spots for Paul Rudd, David Tennant and of course, Sir Colin! One against type (for me that is!) is the Gene Genie, Philip Glenister from Ashes to Ashes! If I was Alex, I would have gone to much greater lengths to get him upstairs and keep him there!

  41. I agree with most of the mentioned gentlemen, also with those who are not on it. And I would add Simon Baker to the list – killer smile!

  42. I like Colin, but today no-one can raise my dew like Don Draper…
    Among the young ones, my only one, too soon disappeared, still is terrific actor Heath Ledger
    And here are my vintage ones, in order of my life’s experience (I’m a grown woman!):
    Paul Newman in Exodus 1960
    Alain Delon in the 60’s – as man more than actor
    Sean Connery (as Bond) in the 60’s –
    William Hurt in the 80’s –
    Sam Shepard in the 80’s – the best
    Jeff Bridges in ‘Starman’ because he was ado-ra-ble in it to the point of being sexy…
    Clooney doesn’t do it for me as the actor, but definitely as the person when a clever, funny mind creates sexy.
    And what about sexy women? There are so many…Sharon Stone heads my contemporary list.

  43. Thanks Maggie. Meeting you in person boosted my already loyal interest…I think that aside the great humor, your loveliness (coming through the writing) is another reason why it’s hard to quit your books, your columns, etc.
    And so great to keep in touch via the computer, and getting so much more to read, thanks to the G.W effect.
    Another example where less creates more…much more
    I want to grow old with you, please NEVER retire Yxxx

  44. delayed reply – how about Robert Redford; I liked him in a film he was in with Brad Pitt, so I think that hauls him into the contemporary pile, right? Don Hany from “East-West”; Hugh Jackman ( my flat-mate and I wanted a poster of him in that towel he wore in that awful film “Sword-fish” so very much); Javier Bardem despite the frightening door-opening trick form “No Country for Old Men”; and George Clooney despite/ because of “Up in the Air”

  45. Debbie, Robert has many qualities, is very likeable, but sexyness? And the poor guy has the most awful skin, post-acne or whatever…Best as a friend. And being American, he wouldn’t expect his cheeks to be kissed, either…

  46. The men- Jeff Bridges, Cary Grant, Alain Delon, Don Draper (perhaps not John Hamm), Aidan Quinn, Clive Owen

    The boys- James Dean, Rob Pattinson, Gael Garcia Bernal, Heath Ledger

    • OUr husbands ha ha ha

      OH GOD Aidan Quinn in Desperately Seeking Susan!”!kjgfkjhasgrf,j*sgrfkjsdg I saw the film so many times just to see him in those Levis. Heath Ledger, sob. I see your Alain Delon and raise you BELMONDO…? non? A Bout de Souffle?

  47. Currently Jake Gyllenhaal, Don Hany (who has got a couple of mentions, I’m glad to see!) and Richard Armitage (especially in Strike Back – he was great in Spooks but was given a terrible ending). I seem to have a “type” – tall, dark and handsome 😉

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