Not long ago, we shared with you our list of subjectively handsome actors. If you missed that one, you’ll want to click here for an explanation of what, exactly, a subjectively handsome man is. We found in the compilation of that list that a particular wealth of subjectively handsome thespians come from the UK, and although some made the cut for the original list (we’re looking at you, Snape), we didn’t want that surfeit of subjectively attractive actors with dreamy accents go to waste. So, here it is–a list of actors from the British Isles that we find absolutely captivating on film, whether they are perfectly symmetrical or not. Enjoy!
Tom Hiddleston: Poor Tom Hiddleston. That liaison with the uber-famous pop star might not have helped his career. I don’t know. But then again, it may have introduced this tall, articulate, honey-voiced actor to a generation of millenial, pop-star aspiring women. Ok, so he’s a little pale and creepy as Loki in the Thor movies, but his range is good, and his accent is excellent–everything from Shakespeare (The Hollow Crown) to high-octane intrigue (The Night Manager). Do yourself a favor and check him out. See what I did there.
Benedict Cumberbatch: Smart is most definitely sexy, and when Sherlock hit the small screen back in 2010, the actor who played the intriguing Mr. Holmes reminded us all of that. Dramatic roles (The Imitation Game), melodramatic roles (August, Osage County), imaginary creature roles (how many actors do you know who can generate that much excitement over a dragon?)–for heaven’s sake, the man’s even played a dashing wolf (Pengu
ins of Madagascar)! He has a throng of female superfans who call themselves a name that we will not mention here as we are a family library blog.
Bearded Richard Armitage: Ok, Richard Armitage is a very good looking man. Sometimes folks seem to think that being subjectively handsome means you’re not objectively handsome. This is not the case. The point is, subjective handsomeness transcends physical attributes. What makes Richard Armitage subjectively handsome is not the piercing blue eyes or the ability to grow a lush and alluring beard. It’s his voice. It’s the look in his eyes when he’s suffering as John Thornton or Thorin Oakenshield. It’s his ability to own that 3-foot long, hair extension in the Hobbit or that stuffy cravat in North and South. Definitely subjective.
Patrick Stewart: There was a bit of a disagreement in the office about whether Patrick Stewart was subjectively handsome or not. One member of our team said he looks like his face should be on your money, and whether that kind of regal presence qualifies as subjectivity is the central question of this argument. But, when you get down to it, the man has pretty much everything subjective: he is smart and funny, has incredible depth and range, possesses an amazing voice, and he is an advocate for human rights. As you can see, he made the list. He’s been in everything from X-Men to Star Trek to Shakespeare, excepting-shockingly-the Harry Potter series. Check something out. Enjoy his regal presence.
Vince Noir and Howard Moon (Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt): You know what else is sexy? Funny. Funny, that’ll get you a place on the subjectively handsome list whatever you look like. Irreverent British humor plus awesome hair equals The Mighty Boosh.
James McAvoy: At the young age of 14 I knew that my life would not be complete until I attended a fancy dance with a man in an ascot. I think most of us first swooned when we met him in Becoming Jane (although one officemate described Tom LeFroy as “the only port in the storm”), but we all enjoyed him as the tragic hero in Atonement as well.
Eddie Redmayne: I had a conversation with my 16 year old niece last night. It involved a lesson on the charms of Eddie Redmayne, aka Newt Scamander, with the added pleasure of a YouTube clip of him teaching Jimmy Fallon some pretty impressive moves. But before he was the Fantastical Beast wrangler, he was Angel in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (hate the character, love the actor) and Marius in Les Miserables. He also played Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and he’s really just getting started.
Cillian Murphy: To me, Cillian Murphy has the “hot psychopath” look, which is roughly equal parts danger, charisma, and boredom. Add to that a suave, menacing persona, a coolly intelligent manner, and sinister lurking/spying/hunting abilities and this man becomes a very dangerous and also extremely attractive kidnappervampiregangsterwhathaveyou. I read somewhere that he was Stephenie Meyer’s pick for James in Twilight, and I can totally see it. For proof of his subjective handsomeness, you can find no better example than Red Eye, in which he plays a terrorist and does many terrible things and is still by far the most riveting, breathtaking, and attractive presence on screen, and that includes the incredibly objectively beautiful and talented Rachel McAdams whom I happen to love in everything.
Kenneth Branagh: Who doesn’t love Benedick? If you have not yet seen his “The world must be peopled!” monologue, get thee hence to the library and check out Much Ado About Nothing opposite Emma Thompson, who is utterly delightful as well. He’s played pretty much all of Shakespeare. Two highlights: A bleached blond Hamlet who is intense and inscrutable. He’s an unsolvable problem, which is, of course, the central attraction of every bad boy ever. Also, if you don’t get a little hot and bothered at that St. Crispian’s day speech or the kiss scene with Catherine in Henry V, I can’t help you. And check out Wallander, of course. He seems to be at his best, and most subjectively attractive, when playing a weary hero, weighed down by a too-great burden. My colleague said it best: he stirs up passion.