This is a very simple list because I’m feeling quite simple this week. In a nutshell, even guys get tired of just being a piece of meat. Here are ten men who tried to escape that pigeonhole with varying degrees of success.
Jude Law in Anna Karenina: Back in the late 1990s, Jude would have indeed played Alexey Vronsky. Both roles are equally conflicted and complex, but I think Jude probably got a lot more out of playing the pious Alexey Alexandrovich Karenin.
Keanu Reeves in The Gift: After A Walk in the Clouds and The Matrix, it’s no wonder Keanu was itching to grow some scruffy stubble.
Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds: He made a valiant effort in 12 Monkeys to shed the heartthrob image, but it was Lt. Aldo Raine’s weird-ass facial expressions (and neck star) that finally made Brad look unsexy (in a good way).
Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky: Okay, so it’s no secret that I don’t find Tom Cruise sexy at all, but he’s always been a pretty boy. When it wasn’t unintentionally hilarious, this movie at least made Tom look not so handsome.
Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men: At this point in his career, Javier wasn’t very well known stateside, but he had already wrestled with a Spanish heartthrob rep for quite some time.
Christian Bale in The Fighter: Sure, this movie came after The Machinist, but Bale did more than lose weight for this role. He did some serious uglifying in the make-up chair as well.
Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here: Sure, this was a rapid misfire on many levels, but it also definitely wasn’t pretty.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Hesher: Actually, I think JGL’s metalhead transformation turned on more people than it turned off. At least he tried.
Jared Leto in Chapter 27: Did the weight gain for this movie role finally scrub Jordan Catalano from the collective “squee” database? Probably not.
Johnny Depp in nearly any Tim Burton movie: No explanation needed, but Depp’s pretty boy rep persisted until he finally decided a few years ago to never (ever) take a bath again.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.