I have a British actor issue. It started when I was a little girl and I was introduced to the likes of Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in various Jane Austen adaptations. Then, when most girls in high school were swooning over soccer players and boy band singers, my best friend and I were planning our respective weddings to Ioan Gruffudd and Ewan McGregor. In college, I was obsessed with David Tennant. Orlando Bloom, Jude Law, Christian Bale, Ben Whishaw, Daniel Craig…the list goes on. That’s kind of my favorite thing about British actors: there’s an unending supply of them. The British acting schools and theater community are constantly churning out young men who can portray a superhero as easily as they can rock out a cravat and riding boots. Great Britain’s greatest natural resource is charming young men. Here are seven up-and-coming British actors whom I would buy stock in (and whom I’d eagerly date).
If I’m ever in a bad mood, all I have to do is look at a picture of Michael Fassbender and I know there is good in the world. Everything about him is good. His face is good. His hair is good. His body is good. His performances are good. His soul may not be good, but I don’t bring morality into my fantasies. Do you know how bad his old television show Hex was? It was terrible, but I still watched the entire first season because I cared so much about
the characters him. I am so emotionally invested in Michael Fassbender that after I saw X-Men: First Class, I started a tumblr about Magneto just so I could have an excuse to comb the internet for photos of him. My only issue with the premise of his new film, Shame, is that we’re supposed to be disturbed by the idea that he’s a sex addict. But how could I be? What else was Michael Fassbender built for?
Cumberbatch started his UK-USA crossover career by playing the creepy dude who gets away with sexual assault in Atonement. It’s not the dreamiest of roles–in fact, he kind of played a nightmare in human form. However, Cumberbatch redeemed himself in Sherlock, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s modern retelling of the classic Sherlock Holmes story. Cumberbatch’s version of Sherlock is maddening, devilish, condescending, and slightly psycopathic. It’s also charming, seductive and genius. Oh, and he also sings the classics (aka impersonates Alan Rickman singing “Candle In The Wind”). He’s basically a whole bunch of talent in a single, good-looking body.
Confession: I have never seen The Wire. I know, I know…it’s supposed to be “the televisual masterpiece of the age”, but I’d much rather spend my free nights watching youtube clips of ninja kittens than get engrossed in what I expect will be a brilliant, but ultimately depressing story. It’s not that I can’t do brilliant and depressing television, but I prefer those shows to include dragons or cylons. So I haven’t seen The Wire, but I have seen Idris Elba, and every time I see Idris Elba, I want to see more Idris Elba. The man is dapper. The man is charismatic. The man is talented. The man has a deep, soothing voice that could command the waves of the ocean to calm down. Oh, and the man is beautiful. *sigh* I might have to finally sit down and watch The Wire.
I first noticed Dan Stevens in ITV’s adaptation of Sense & Sensibility. He was cast as Edward Ferrars, or as others call it, “the Hugh Grant role”. Like Hugh Grant, Dan Stevens has dreamy blue eyes and the ability to rock floppy hair. Unlike Hugh Grant, Dan Stevens doesn’t seem to have a dash of moral dubiousness about him. If Dan Stevens was to tell me that he would love to escort me to a country ball, but he can’t because he had to read to orphans at a church function, I wouldn’t doubt him. He oozes dependability–which is why he is perfect in his breakout role as Matthew Crowley on Downton Abbey. (Have you seen Downton Abbey yet or are you still waiting to know what real happiness is??)
When I was in middle school my sisters told me that I should be nice to the awkward dork in class because one day he’d grow up to be a hot, intelligent and successful man. Nicholas Hoult is the British film version of the awkward dorky kid who grew up to be a dapper, dashing lady killer. He made his onscreen debut as a the awkward and dorky Marcus in About A Boy. While critics hailed his performance as a shy child who sings with his eyes closed and who accidentally kills a bird with a loaf of bread, no one could have predicted that in five years he’d turn into the Byronic lead of the original Skins. Nicholas has since become a spokesmodel for Tom Ford and is set to appear as the lead in Jack the Giant Killer next year. I wonder if he’ll kill a giant with just one long stare from his beautiful baby blue eyes–because right now I AM DEAD.
Also important: HE SINGS.
How do I explain how much I adore Tom Hiddleston? First, he’s an amazing actor. He has polish and pathos. He’s like the love child of Leslie Howard and Kenneth Branagh–not that one of them has polish and the other one pathos–they both do. He just looks like the love child of Leslie Howard and Kenneth Branagh and that delights me. He has this charisma as an actor that no matter what’s going on, you want the story to be just about him. As much as I loved Midnight in Paris, I spent the whole
film past few months wishing it was just two hours of following Hiddleston’s F. Scott Fitzgerald and Allison “GODDESS” Pill’s Zelda Fitzgerald around at parties. I forgot that I saw a film called Thor, because I walked out of the theater obsessed with Loki. I hope that before The War Horse comes out that Steven Speilberg renames it, “Tom Hiddleston’s Latest Movie”, because that’s what I really care about. Also, he is a goofball. A big goofball. A big darling goofball.
I adore goofballs and I adore Tom Hiddleston.
When I found out that Kit Harington was going to be playing Jon Snow in HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones, I immediately got excited. In case you haven’t noticed following the career paths of young British actors is a hobby of mine and I love finding new young British actors to obsess over. I was also nervous because Jon Snow is my favorite character in the books series. Thankfully, Kit Harington was up to the task of bringing my beloved bastard of Winterfell to life. Not only does he have the acting chops to pull the character off, but he also has the brooding good looks. He’s still new to the business, so he still has that adorable, unassuming, “Oh, you’re looking at me? Why? I’m just an attractive man who is good at brooding.” vibe about him. It’s adorable, but also kind of maddening. You want to shake him and say, “Don’t you know you’re special?” And then you want to make out with him or ride horseback with him to Winterfell or just make out with him. Even my mom is attuned to it. As she put it: “Doesn’t he know he’s a hunk?”
There are many, many, many more up and coming British actors I could have listed here (Henry Cavill, Richard Madden, Tom Hardy, Andrew Garfield, Matt Smith, Harry Lloyd, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Robert Sheehan-who is technically Irish, Allen Leech-who is also technically Irish, and…<insert your favorite British actor that I omitted here>). I just didn’t have the time, the space or the oxygen left in my squealing fangirl lungs to give them all their due. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s kind of the way I like it.