First there was James Franco, now we have Ryan Gosling. Hollywood hottie obsession has been around for a long time, but sexy male intellectuals really took hold of our collective consciousness in 2011 -- the year modern-day lust really found its voice on the Internet (or at least the part of the Internet that holds animated gifs and cat blogs). What can we say, Tumblr comes alive with the touch of a former Mouseketeer.
And yet, no matter how working-class the feigned accent nor hard the body, no man can be blog fodder forever. We'll soon need someone fresh to inspire us to learn Photoshop. So when Gosling becomes played out, who will assume his throne? We evaluated three strong contenders. Please leave your best guesses in the comments.
After his starring role alongside Angelina in 2008's Wanted, it looked like it might be the Year of McAvoy. His dashing, dark looks had just set hearts aflutter in the soul-smashing Atonement, rocking the unbeatable combination of period dress and forbidden love. But then the Scottish-born actor stepped on the brakes, and has only been in a few movies since -- one of them was Gnomeo and Juliet.
He's young, good-looking and his accent makes him sound super smart, but McAvoy will have to step it up with a little more than voice acting in Arthur Christmas if he wants to see any Gosling-level action. It might not be a bad idea for him to commit more acts of random kindness, maybe break up a street fight or two.
This summer's latest offering in the X-Men franchise was one of the most eye-searingly awful movies we've ever seen, but through the glare of Kevin Bacon's Austin Powers costume and the white noise of pathetic dialogue, Hotbender, we mean Fassbender, still managed to shine.
Only months previous, he took a turn as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, and fans of buttoned-up Gothic romance are exactly the type of people to create cat blogs. Up next, Hotbender stars as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method, in which he participates in an S&M affair with Keira Knightley. We're pretty sure there's something in there to appeal to the Internet.
Like Gosling, Gordon-Levitt is a slow build. He came on the scene with long hair and an impish grin on Third Rock from the Sun and toiled sexily just shy of major Hollywood spotlight for years. He began capturing mainstream attention again as an adorable hipster-type in 500 Days of Summer before filling out a well-tailored suit in Inception. His success with the latter was important to ramping up his appeal with the male audience -- something Gosling has also managed through a combination of tough guy roles and wet gore.
JGL owns his own production company, HitRECord, which gives him Franco-like cred as a true artiste and although his Nirvana covers could use some work, he sure can dance. It's also our understanding that he hangs out accessibly at Brooklyn parties, and mingling with the masses tends to get everyone in a hot lather.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.