Crush of the WeekCrush of the Week: The Dudes of The Dark Knight RisesMeghan O'Keefe

When I started this column, I thought it would be easy. I presumed that each week there would be an obvious man to crush on. The heart is fickle, though, and sometimes I feel like I’m crushing on more than one person in one day.

For instance, when I saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend, I found myself crushing on almost the entire male cast in the course of two hours and forty minutes.

And so, here we are. The Crush of the Week isn’t one person, but all of the dudes of The Dark Knight Rises.

Obviously, the first guy I was crushing on was the hero himself, Christian Bale.

Christian Bale has been driving me crazy for decades. I know a lot of girls go back to Newsies, and others harp on his unbelievable performances in American Psycho and The Machinist and, well, every other film he’s ever been in. He is an unbearably talented actor.  For me, my Christian Bale obsession started with Little Women. You have no idea how important the character of Laurie is to someone like me. I’m the youngest of four girls and I was raised by a progressive single mother. Little Women is the story of me.

Former illustrious professional glory aside, Christian Bale kills it in The Dark Knight Rises. His Bruce Wayne is a broken man who has to find the will to put himself back together again. By the end of the film, it’s hard not to marvel at how much Bale gave to the role. He physically and mentally embodies a mythic hero and a wounded spirit. It’s really hard not to fall a little bit for him. After all, he is Batman.

Then, you’ve got the incredibly hot and talented Tom Hardy.

The saddest part of The Dark Knight Rises was the part when we couldn't see Tom Hardy's hair or face looking like this.

I first noticed him ages ago as Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis. He was bald and beautiful and had big lips. He was also supposed to be an evil clone son of Captain Jean-Luc Picard that the Romulans made to fight Vulcan…I don’t even remember. I try to block that film out of my mind, to be quite honest. It’s not dear Mr. Hardy’s fault, but I was distracted by the fact that he was bald*.

My point is I like Tom Hardy better with hair.

So, it was a tiny bit disappointing to see him bald as Bane. It was also incredibly disappointing not to see his mouth. Do you remember Tom Hardy’s hair in Inception? Do you remember Tom Hardy in a suit in Inception? Do you remember Tom Hardy teasing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception? It’s almost impossible to believe that the man who struts around as Gotham’s bald, mouth-guard-breathing reckoning in The Dark Knight Rises was Eames in Inception, but he was. That’s how good of an actor Tom Hardy is. Tom Hardy is just good. I love guys who are just good like that. (He’s also supposedly good with dogs. I melt.)

A favorite everywhere! A favorite!

Of course, you’ve also got to consider the ridiculously charming, and aforementioned, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I realize he’s already a favorite around here, but isn’t he also kind of a favorite everywhere? It’s like every time I see Joseph Gordon-Levitt he’s doing something absolutely lovable. Either he’s standing up for the rights of the innocent as an idealist Gotham police officer or he’s earnestly wooing Bianca Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You or he’s dancing off of walls while hosting Saturday Night Live or he’s singing French songs in drag at Le Poisson Rouge on Halloween. Yeah, I was there. The man puts on a great show. I mean, he kind of is a great show.

Then you’ve got Gary Oldman. Oh dear Lord, Gary Oldman. Let me make a confession. This is probably not the best place to say this, but Gary Oldman is my favorite actor of all time. I just think he’s simply the best. When I was a tween, I convinced my mom to let me have an unrestricted rental card at Video Showplace (this meant that I could take out any R-rated film I desired from the video store down our street). I used this privilege to almost exclusively watch Miramax films and independent movies and gritty action dramas directed by auteurs–because when I was a tween the most hormonally exciting thing to me wasn’t pornography. I get turned on by pretentious art. So when my classmates were experimenting with stuff tweens and teen experiment with, I was getting my kicks watching Gary Oldman kill it in films like The Professional, Sid & Nancy and Immortal Beloved. So, now, when I see his avuncular Jim Gordon kindly standing up for what’s right, I feel a swell in my heart. I adore Gary Oldman. He’s the best. I’m not debating this. How can you not adore Gary Oldman? He’s Gary Fricking Oldman!

Really good acting is really sexy. Sorry. It is.

Morgan Freeman also wears some great bow ties. Every time I like a guy in a bow tie–or merely admire the bow tie–I feel like I’m rebelling against my mother. When I was a teen she told me to never trust a man with a bow tie. “They march to the beat of their own drum,” she explained. “You never know what they’ll do.” So bow ties are dangerous and sexy and Morgan Freeman wears a lot of bow ties in this movie.

Oh, gosh, and then you have Michael Caine being an adorable Alfred. Michael Caine makes me turn into a puddle. I’m a puddle.

And there are even more hot guys in the film–but some of those hot guys are spoilers. So, I shall not spoil the movie or the potential crush for you.

The bottom line is I can’t choose one Crush of the Week. It’s impossible. Such a choice would tear my heart in twain. Just go see The Dark Knight Rises and pick one for yourself. Or be like me and pick them all. After all, in the world of crushes, there are no rules. It’s all imaginary and silly and fun. So, have all of the crushes–because you can.

Photos via Shutterstock: Featured image via, Tom Hardy via, Joseph Gordon-Levitt via, Gary Oldman via

*I mean, true, Jean-Luc Picard was bald, but in one of the last the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, Q lets Picard revisit his younger self at the Starfleet Academy and young Picard had hair. Any way, I thought that was a continuity error and I hated it. Plus, like I said, Tom Hardy has amazing hair. Why deny us the right to see it?

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  1. Gary Oldman is a stone-cold fox. And Tom Hardy’s lips…
    I mean, really.

  2. Gary Oldman. Definitely. He was Sirius Black AND Sid Vicious! I mean, really!

  3. My husband thinks I’m kookers for just fawning over Michael Caine throughout the whole movie! I had to keep reminding him: “It’s the voice and the smile, my dear, the voice and the smile!” Just adorable! And YES, having Tom Hardy bald and his adorable face partially covered up was just a crying shame :-( lol! :-)

  4. Gary Oldman is the love of my life. No one ever understands! He’s so charming. He’s the best dresser, like, ever. If the world were full of men who dressed like him, well, it’d be a much better place. Thered be no war or hate or people who hate puppies. I just want to live out a romance where we run around London together going to cafes and art galleries and low budget plays…. He could read me the ingredients of a Twinkie while watching paint dry and I’d be in pure heaven!

  5. i did not know Tom Hardy was in 2009 BBC miniseries of Wuthering Heights, about to go watch that when i get home!

  6. Yes. To all of this. Pretty much every male in this movie is totally swoon worthy. Also, high five to being a tween who rented gritty action dramas and arthouse flicks all the time! I was the same way! I can’t even tell you how many times I saw the Professional when I was 13…

  7. I mean Hardy. There isn’t really a comparison. Also, I agree. The fact you can’t see his face, ever, clearly takes away from the magic that this movie could be :)

  8. I have the biggest crush on Gary Oldman atm <3
    I love this article, all these men are super talented and attractive

  9. I was surprisingly, ridiculously attracted to Bane. It sparked my old crush on Tom Hardy to reignite. He became my number one instantly, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt who has claimed that position since 3rd Rock From The Sun.
    Oh, how I would like to thanks these beautiful males’ parents

  10. Teddy forever!!! Oh how I love Little Women

  11. Preach it, sister! Love all these gentlemen. They slay it anywhere they are.

  12. Gary Oldman was also Sirius Black. Also, once I grew up and realized that Christian Bale was Laurie in Little Women I about had a heart attack.

  13. Yes good picks! I am also a Bale lover from the start. I used to watch Little Women like every single day. BEST MOVIE EVER.

  14. I’ve just recently become OBSESSED with Tom Hardy. I think I’m worrying my husband. He’s amazing! Just watched the 2009 BBC miniseries of Wuthering Heights and he was fantastic as Heathcliff!

  15. Oh, Gary Oldman <3

  16. The spoilers were gorgeous ;)

  17. YES. Gary Oldman is just…..I can’t even!

    Also, Tom Hardy and Christian Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but Gary Oldman es mi numero uno.