7 British Actors Who Will Make You Swoon

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/autumn.kieft Autumn Kieft

    Matthew Lewis. Neville Longbottom sure grew up nicely. Shoutout to Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe as well, but man, Matthew Lewis. Yum.

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      They’re ALL great.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mackenzie.barrow Mackenzie Barrow Warren

      I hear you! That was the best surprise ever!

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

      Oh golly, MATTHEW LEWIS YES.

      Also no love for Andrew Garfield (I would marry this guy in a heartbeat!!!) and James McAvoy? (And yes, I am cheating. I know he’s Scottish.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dairemcanallen Daire McAnallen

    Michael Fassbender is Irish. Which is pretty much the opposite of British. Though he does play a lot of British characters so we’ll forgive you.;)

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      Technically, he’s half-Irish, half-German, which according to most Hollywood casting directors is British. I could have omitted him, but I COULDN’T omit him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chiromum Tedra K. Erickson

    Not to be picky, but Michael Fassbender is Irish :) He is from Killarney, County Kerry (about 20 minutes from my house!) Thanks for the awesome article, certainly brightened my Tuesday morning! Off to daydream about Benedict Cumberbatch’s molten chocolate voice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/anaraquel.romao Ana Raquel Romão

    Luke Evans. Welsh guy who sings. Dark, handsome and beautiful. He shed a whole new light on Aramis from The Three Musketeers. I rest my case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/FarathSS Farath Said-Soilihi

    Aaron Johnson is one good looking english man too.

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      Another one who was ALMOST on the list! I’m thinking I need to write a sequel.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1805451 June Vanisa

      Meghan, PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL. Because this is pretty much my life. Aaron Johnson is definitely one of my tops, but another post with him, Jamie Bower, Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio & Waiting For Forever – hello love!), and Charlie Bewley (broke my f-ing heart in Like Crazy) is very necessary…for me, if not anyone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cristinamoreno Cristina Moreno

    Thumbs up for including Idris Elba, but I’m disappointed by the lack of Tom Hardy. I know he was mentioned, but hot damn, he’s a beautiful man and an incredibly versatile actor.

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      He was supposed to be on this post when it was 10 British actors. I didn’t have time to devote to them all, so he got cut, along with about 51,402 other actors!!!! I might do a sequel post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lizziemayck Lizzie May Campbell-Kelly

    Oh yes. Our men are the closest thing to gentlemen that you can get on this planet :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/elodie.fiers Elodie Fiers

    Oooh I’ve named this disease “the fassbenderite”, but it’s actually my boyfriend who gave it to me by saying “hey there’s a movie with Michael Fassbender tonight. I’m sure you’re gonna love him, he’s something like British”. I resist for a year, saying that he wasn’t my kind of man AT ALL : 300, Jonah Hex, Eden Lake, etc. I didn’t care about him AT ALL. Plus he was dying in these. It helped.

    Then I saw “Fish Tank” in wich he’s a perfect asshole. This didn’t help. I suffer from this curous pain since a year now. And I feel the same for “Shame” : don’t really care about the subject, the big point is that he’s gonna be naked for 2 hours almost.

    Ooh and I will see the movie with Michael Fassbender in the same room. It will be some kind of press conference.

    Yeah, this gonna be hard…

    Excuse the bad english, I’m French ^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/HollaBackatYa Liz Hayes

    I hate how you all make the mistake of calling Michael Fassbender british. Just listen to his accent he is clearly not british!

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      I’m sorry. I’m a horrible person. I’m going to rot in Hell for my mistake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lizziemayck Lizzie May Campbell-Kelly

    He’s actually German…

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      He’s actually German-Irish–which I knew, but for some reason I thought he was raised or spent an ample amount of time in the UK. Casting directors consider him British. Basically, I messed up. I murdered all of the puppies. I should never have included Fassbender on this list in the first place. In fact, I’m going to ask that they delete this post so I can restart with lists of actors based only on the streets that they were born.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.abella Jennifer Abella

    Richard Armitage = swoon. Just sayin’. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/carlynn.lane Carly Lane

    Have you watched Idris in Luther? It will totally change your opinion of the man (in a good way, promise).

  • http://www.facebook.com/emilyanne Emily Wagman

    Jamie Bell should totally be on this list (in my opinion)
    He’s my favorite British actor and I love him (like a lot, it’s probably something I should consider dealing with at some point)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cristina.araujo1 Cristina Araujo

    Should you ever consider making that list bigger, Richard Armitage is definitely an added-value 😉 Swoon and out.

    • http://megsokay.tumblr.com Meghan O’Keefe

      Don’t get me started on Mr. Thornton. I think I might do a sequel post in the near future. I had to cut far too many good guys off the list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ehrdy erin hardy

    crushed it. and if it helps, i wasn’t bothered at all by the fact that you referred to michael fassbender as british. (and since someone already mentioned tom hardy) my only suggestion for an addendum would be matthew goode.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryson.amy Amy Bryson

      Oh, Matthew Goode! I’m pretty sure if you look up “charming” in the dictionary, his picture will be there. I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve watched Chasing Liberty just to see him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Quorra Alison Latimer

    Jamie Bamber. 😀

    • http://www.facebook.com/lafiammatabella Maria Irene Q

      and if we include him can we add the infamous towel picture? 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/gea.marin Audrey Hemzy

    The first thing I think when someone says “British actor” is Benedict Cumberbatch, so well done putting him on this list! I really love his act, isn’t he one of the best actors in our era?! I think he is, his Sherlock is just PERFECT I really am waiting for the 2nd season and I hope they release it soon ’cause I’m going crazy thanks to the last chapter… F**k you Moriarty!
    And well, Kit Harington is one of those guys you MUST know, of course!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gizzashottayourgee Nikki Francis

    Where is Jim Sturgess? And James McAvoy? Excuse me while I go cry into a huge cup of tea…

  • http://www.facebook.com/MsPeggster Peggy Korpela

    Oh my gosh, I have my entire list of British Men who Make me Swoon. Rupert Grint, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Rickman,Ed Sheeran,Chris Martin, Hugh Laurie…I could go on. Thanks for sharing yours, I will definitely be intensely google image searching these gentlemen 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/laceytobias Lacey Tobias

    Get out of my brain Megan O’Keefe! Get out! Get out! Get out! Seriously though, who among us hasn’t been Fassbendered? Which is to be rendered incoherent by the hotness of Michael Fassbender.

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