Crush of the Week: Theo James (aka Mr. Pamuk on ‘Downton Abbey’, also aka Four In ‘Divergent’)

Look, I was just minding my literal business today. I was working really hard at my work stuff and I had a carefully thought out idea for this week’s “Crush of the Week” that would have been clever and awesome and fun…. and then I received a message from my friend that changed the entire course of my day.

Boiled down it was this: “Theo James has been cast as the male lead of Divergent. He’s greatly attractive to the female eye. His voice is sexy.”

Actually, let me quote her. She said: “Meghan. This guy, Theo? HE IS GORGEOUS. AND HIS VOICE IS PURE SEX.”

And I was undone.

I’m still undone.

I mean, I was kind of already undone.

Anyone who’s read Veronica Roth’s Divergent series has got to be madly in love/lust with the male lead of the book, Four. In fact, amongst my group of friends who read YA novels as a totally respectable adult pastime, Four is generally accepted as the hottest male lead in any contemporary YA book. Of course, you can dispute that. Everyone has their own jam. However, there’s something really, really, incredibly, amazingly sexy about Four that’s hard to articulate precisely, except to say that FOUR IS PERFECT.

Another thing that was also distracting me? I’ve actually been aware of Theo James for a while. After all, he was Kemal Pamuk on Downton Abbey. You know, Mr. Pamuk? The hot Turkish guy who wooed Lady Mary in a most scandalous way and then proceeded to die in a most scandalous way. Not to mention, he’s all over the television screen stateside in ads for CBS’s Golden Boy, where he plays the titular “Golden Boy”. However, he didn’t yet have that role that really defined him as “totally crushworthy.”

Much as young ingenues need an iconic role to make them breakout as real movie stars (think Rachel McAdams in The Notebook or Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde), hot young British actors still need a defining role that latches them into your fantasy life forever. For Tom Hiddleston, that was Loki in Thor. For Benedict Cumberbatch, that was the titular role in Sherlock. And famously, for Colin Firth, it was Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice. It’s not enough to be young and hot and British and talented. WHO ARE YOU PLAYING FOR ME TO FANTASIZE ABOUT? I NEED A CHARACTER.

Some of you may not care about Theo James because you have never caught “Downton Fever”*, nor have you read Divergent. You’re entitled to make these life choices, but I feel as sorry for you as I feel sorry for ancient hermits who chose to stay inside dark caves alone and miserable even though someone told them that outside was the sun. Enter the sun. Enter the Theo James.

Theo James is ridiculously good looking. He’s tall. He’s toned. He has a face modeled on classical Greek statuary. In fact, he’s kind of what I imagine when I think about the term “Greek God”. Maybe it’s because he’s half Greek. I don’t know. I just know looking at his face is like slowly entering a soothing hot bubble bath: your entire body is slowly consumed by warmth.

Also, he has a mouth of magic. As my friend insists, his voice is like sex–husky, playful, dangerous and fun. And his lips? I spent about three minutes unable to work today because I was staring at a photograph and I could move my glance away from his lips.

Somehow, I actually found some girls on the “Theo James” tumblr tag that said he was “too ugly” to play Four. I mean, sure. He’s ugly compared to fan art and angels and the “men” who show up in manga. But have you interacted with human beings lately? Because on the humanity scale, there’s ugly, there’s plain, there’s pleasant and there’s attractive. And then there’s Theo James ranked at the top.

There are also some girls who say Theo James is too old to play Four. Movie magic can do a lot in that department. Not to mention, Four is supposed to be young, but he has to possess innate maturity. He’s not a pretty, clean-shaven boy in a pop band, guys. Nor is he an adorably slight and scrawny youth. He’s a full grown man who has survived hardship. He’s suffered pain and earned wisdom. He’s someone who’s fought to get where he is. He is a full grown man–which is what Theo James is and what a lot of the young dudes supposedly up for the role weren’t.

Plus, he’s 28. He’s younger than Andrew Garfield, who’s playing Shailene Woodley’s teen love interest in the Spiderman sequel. So calm down.

Embrace the sun. Embrace the Theo James.

* A condition that afflicts a person when they decide to casually watch a few episodes of Downton Abbey and halfway through their third episode find they must continue watching every available episode or else they’ll explode. See: my mom over Christmas break this past year.

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