7 British Actors Who Will Make You SwoonMeghan O'Keefe

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).

We don't know yet if the Academy will give Michael Fassbender an Oscar this year, but I will give him my panties.

Michael Fassbender

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?

The next season of Sherlock should show Benedict Cumberbatch uncovering the secret to my heart. Oh wait--he already did that in the last season.

Benedict Cumberbatch

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.

Hey, Idris Elba, are you chilling on a rooftop or are you so godlike that you get to hang out in the clouds all day?

Idris Elba

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.

News Flash! You are dreamy, Dan Stevens! (Also, if you need to flip to page 9--that's where my "single woman from the future seeks dreamy man from the past" personal ad is.)

Dan Stevens

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??)

Thanks to Nicholas Hoult's piercing gaze, I have lost the ability to write anything witty in a photo caption.

Nicholas Hoult

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.

Tom Hiddleston is my favorite new actor who doubles as a goober.

Tom Hiddleston

Oh, you.

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.


Winter is Coming, but Kit Harington's hotness will keep you warm (yes, I know that's terrible BUT IT'S TRUE).

Kit Harington

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.daneen Katherine Brashier

    Richard Armitage. Watch the BBC mini-series North & South. Or the Vicar of Dibley: A Holy Happy Ending. Or Robin Hood. Really just watch Richard Armitage. In anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40611148 Ann Stanaway

    Watch The Wire!! So great. In addition to Idris Elba there’s also (English) Dominic West. Two great characters, actors & beautiful men!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hannah.vanmuyen Hannah VanMuyen

    Kit Harrington is so good looking it makes me cry. I haven’t read the books yet but I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones and the bastard of Winterfell is probably my number reason to watch the show.

  • http://www.facebook.com/molly.lemoine Molly LeMoine

    Thanks to you I will be google imaging for the next hour. Sooooohoooo many hot britsh boys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/molly.lemoine Molly LeMoine

    YES. YES. Yes. I’ve been crushing on Michael Fassbender for a couple years now. I don’t care if he was a creep in Fishtank, I was into it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rcanalita Rachel Canalita

    Your article is beyond accurate. Best British exports are indeed male actors. I am so in love with Kit Harington, it’s actually ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=531107925 Bianca Koolmees

    I have to second whoever said Matt Smith, and add Andrew Lee Potts- especially back when I was 16 :)

    And I told myself I wasn’t going to get into this whole Irish-English debate, because everyone makes mistakes, but to Caroline Duff- Fassbender comes from Ireland, not Northern Ireland, which is its own independent state and appears as such in the Olympics. Whilst Ireland may be included in the geographic labelling of the ‘British Isles’, Nothern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England make up the United Kingdom, or Great Britain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarielMarrz Mariel Alvarado

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdFRWz97EHI this made my day! haha, thanks for reminding it :]
    Fassbender is closer to my heart for his german side :]

  • http://www.facebook.com/fionahelen Fiona Lyons

    No Matthew MacFadyen, Richard Armitage or Rupert Penry-Jones? Any of the leading men from Spooks/MI5 will suffice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61101261 Becca Robson

    I adore Benedict Cumberbatch :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508518939 Elizabeth Tucker

    if you love Michael Fassbender you should check out this awesome tumblr – http://michaelfassbenderwithpugs.tumblr.com/

    it’s Michael Fassbender WITH pugs! genius!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kboodram Krystal Boodram

    I so approve of this entire list!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amyerogers Amy Rogers

    I can’t believe I’m the first to mention Andrew Lincoln, and the only excuse I can think of is that he manages such a convincing and natural southern accent on The Walking Dead. Also, I can’t possibly be the only one with a crush on Martin Freeman (which I guess is the British equivalent of a crush on John Krasinski?).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851545526 Kristen Bolden

      I love Martin Freeman as well! You aren’t alone. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/wackyfacedme Angel Fernandez

    And lol, I bookmarked this page. Haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33300682 Rachel Tennial

    I absolutely loved this! I love British men as well, they are quite lovely.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1240598738 Kristy Kennedy

    I never really cared about Michael Fassbender until I saw him in Jane Eyre as the brooding Mr. Rochester. HOTNESS. To add: Rupert Penry-Jones also = hotness. He was the lead in Masterpiece Theater’s ‘Persuasion.’ He’s been in a bunch of other stuff too, but he totally kills it with the handsome broody stares in this one. I mean, look: http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/images/2007/03/30/rupert_440x293.jpg

  • http://www.facebook.com/kstings Kate Hastings

    Oh and you’re not alone with falling in love with Loki. Felt pretty sacrilegious when Chris Hemsworth was all but naked on screen, but there was just something about him! Not sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kstings Kate Hastings

    When I was in the 8th grade, my 3 best friends and I started the Orlando Bloom Is Super Hot Fan Club.. or the OBISH FC for short. Yeah.. we were cool. Whatever, we loved LotR and Pirates and we weren’t ashamed of it.

    And completely agree with you on Dan Stevens, Loved that adaptation of Sense & Sensibility, and now we get to stare at his Downton Abbey studliness.

    Speaking of Austen adaptations… Have you SEEN the guy who plays Wentworth in the ITV Persuasion?! Holy cow. I don’t usually go for the tall, blonde, and gorgeous type, but he is definitely swoon-worthy.

    And only since you brought him up… I’m sad there’s no picture of Ioan Gruffudd now that he’s on The Ringer. ((Only reason I gave that show a try.. but it’s actually pretty good.))

    Anyway, I might have to come back to this article each day for my daily swoon. Thanks. =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/autumn.kieft Autumn Kieft

    Agreed on Matthew Goode, Max Irons, Colin Firth…aw bloody hell, all of them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amalia.pantazi Amalia Pantazi

    I’ll have to go with Matthew Goode, too. He’s hot and he’s so british. He’s classy hot, like Rachel Weisz, or Natalie Portman. Jim Sturgess is also really growing on me, lately. Nicholas Hoult is quite adorable, I’ve seen him in “About a boy” but never since, so thanks, Meghan! He reminds me of Theo Hutchcraft from HURTS, who is not a british actor, but definately make me swoon!

    Oh, and, well.. Michael Fassbender is like a dream come true

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!