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When Did Bradley Whitford Become Hot? (A Pajiba Investigation)

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | February 16, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | February 16, 2018 |


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Bradley Whitford is a storied and respected actor, who most recently awed and terrified us as a deadly bigot in the four-time Academy Award-nominated Get Out. As an actor, we’ve loved him for decades, because omg remember The West Wing? But when did Whitford become smoking hot?

Look at his come-hither stare.

Now, even though you know damn well Whitford is going to play an evil leader of the nightmarish patriarchy in season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, you’re still thinking, ‘He could get it.’ Right? But when did this happen? When did he go from admired thespian to panty-dropping bad boy? Pajiba investigates.

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Whitford made his screen debut at 26 years old with an appearance on the crime-drama The Equalizer. He played a kidnapping killer and got ill on set because he decided his character would chew tobacco. Turns out that was not a wise choice for an all-day shoot. “You don’t have to swallow it to get sick,” he told TV Line. But most relevant to our investigation: he hasn’t figured out what to do with his hair yet. Oh, youth.

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By 1987, Whitford was still playing bad guys but had upgraded from low-class criminals to douchey cheats as Chris’s cad of a boyfriend in Adventures in Babysitting. To his credit, Whitford had flawless skin here. But his hair is that regretable helmet hair look that I’m pretty sure was mandatory for an inexplicable portion of the ’80s.

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Whitford leaned into the white-collar dick niche, playing the baddie opposite Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. He didn’t make bad look good, quite yet. But damn, those are some pearly whites!


Four years later, Whitford would keep the suits, but shift from soulless to soulful as The West Wing’s lovable Josh Lyman. And look, who among us wasn’t crushing on Josh? He was all about hard work, hope, talking fast, and swooning over Donna. His passion won our hearts and minds. But did it rile our lions?

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Next came some TV shows I didn’t follow. Including something called The Good Guys, where Whitford sported a painfully unappealing mustache, and whatever monstrosity that shirt is.


Oh. Here we go. Sure, on the surface, this is another white-collar baddie role. But Whitford brought some mischievous fun into Cabin In the Woods by playing into the soulful soliloquy style of Josh Lyman, only to cut it short with his zealous declaration, “TEQUILLA IS MY LADY.” And yes, his evil engineer was doggedly torturing a batch of co-eds. But who among us hasn’t worked for an evil corporation? At least the guy knew how to live it up. Things are getting sexy.

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Oh man, remember Trophy Wife! Much like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it was a sharply funny and feminist-friendly show that had a cringe-inducing title. Whitford was totally fun on it. But his chief job was to play a loving dad/schlubby husband opposite three gorgeous, strong-willed wives (ex and present). Not a great look. Bit of a lady-boner killer.

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Oh god. Was it when he played an absolutely horrific villain that Whitford went from chastely charming to smoke show? Yes, his character is exactly the kind of faux-liberal fucker that we rail against on this site. But, he finally figured out a hairstyle that works for him. And by that I mean, my lions roar for a silver fox. Am I alone here?

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And Whitford’s setting thirst traps! Like how about this pic from Amy Landecker’s Instagram with the caption, “Gotta say. Love me a flexible man.” Now, I don’t know why Whitford posing like a forgotten Ken Doll does it for me, but sexuality is a mystery that we are meant to enjoy not solve. So, back off.

And then he posts sweet stuff like this. What? Am I just not supposed to lust for this well-dressed, silver-locked gentleman? Am I supposed to be made of stone?

This investigation has been concluded. I’ll be in my bunk.

When did you realize Bradley Whitford was smoking hot? Sound off in comments



Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter, and hear her sound off about movies and feminism on the Slashfilmcast.


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