Monday, November 17, 2014

Male On Monday - Who's the Best of the Brit Pack?

Heidi Rice takes a scientific approach to discovering why British actors are currently rocking Hollywood. Is it their looks? Their accents? Their abs? Their acting chops? Their cult appeal? Or that special secret ingredient (here quantified as their Phwow-Factor) that makes them practically perfect in every way? And scores each accordingly to discover Who's The Best of the Brit Pack. [Disagreements on scoring will be handled in the comments].

British actors seem to be all the rage in Hollywood at the moment. For the purposes of this blog I've picked the five hottest properties IMHO. But why are they so popular? And who is the best of the bunch? Just for the Pink Heart Society I've done some extensive research on these all-important questions for the ages... And here are my results [BTW: If you disagree with the utterly sexist and totally gratuitous objectification of some of our best British acting talent you may want to stop reading NOW!]. In the interests of fairness, and wet-ab appreciation, I have illustrated this post with them all doing their Ice Bucket Challenge!

BTW If you'd like to donate to The Motor Neurone Disease Association  - which is why all these gorgeous guys got soaked... click here.

Benedict Cumberbatch


The well-spoken star is a man who has made the leap from small screen TV in the UK to big-screen appeal in a series of challenging roles... ie: this guy is a proper actor, as comfortable playing Shakespeare as Sherlock. But while he may be a super hot property at the moment... How hawt is he? Really?

Looks: 5/10 - Nope, just don't get it, he's a bit horsey looking.
Accent: 9/10 - Anyone who can make manic elementary-detection monologues sound sexy gets my vote.
Abs: 4/10 - Based on a lack of statistical data... Anyone ever spotted them?
Acting chops: 10/10 -  He's played Alan Turing, Julian Assange and a Star Trek villain with equal aplomb! Nuf said.
Cult Appeal: 8/10 - He's quirky that's for sure [see notes on Acting Chops].
Phwow-Factor: 6/10 - Lack of quantifiable ab-data and that not-classically handsome mug lose him points here. Sorry.

Total Score: 42/60

Tom Hiddleston


Another super-posh boy, this one has the charm of ten men - and has enough of a naughty twinkle in his eye to make Chris Hemsworth's Thor look a bit.. well... dull. FYI, if you've ever trawled YouTube for images of him (see how extensive my research was?) you'll discover he can also dance and has a wickedly wry sense of humour.

Looks: 7/10 - Slightly higher than Benny, but still a bit unconventional looking for me.
Accent: 9/10 - Super-posh but amazingly not super plummy. Result!
Abs: 7/10 - Lean rather than mean, but still built (except when standing next to Chris Hemsworth).
Acting chops: 7/10 - Potentially good, but he seems to have gotten a bit stuck in super-hero mode recently... And that's not PROPER acting, Tom.
Cult Appeal: 9/10 - All you Loki lovers will agree, I'm sure.
Phwow Factor: 7/10 - He's sort of sexy, but in an understated offbeat way, let's face it folks.

Total Score: 46/60

Henry Cavill


A Brit pack member who's frankly too good looking to be true... Which  makes him perfect for the role of Superman, ok... Luckily for us he also took the whole Man of Steel thing very seriously indeed (check out those iron-hewed biceps!). But can he act? And is he a bit of a charisma-free zone...? Hmmm.

Looks: 10/10 - No denying it, Henry ticks all the boxes model-perfect features wise, right down to that perfectly symmetrical dimple on his chin.
Accent: 5/10 - Is it just me, or is his accent a bit nondescript?
Abs: 9/10 - One mark docked for being a bit too OTT in Man of Steel. You're an actor Henry, not a bodybuilder, for god sake.
Acting Chops:  4/10 - Anyone else see The Cold Light of Day? I rest my case.
Cult Appeal: 7/10 - Again maybe a bit too lantern-jawed and clean cut for cult appeal despite his Superman/Man from UNCLE gigs.
Phwow Factor: 7/10 - It's hard not to be blinded by that perfect dimple and those pneumatic abs, even if Henry is a teeny-tiny bit charisma challenged.

Total Score: 42/60

Jamie Dornan


Set to become the hottest British actor around when the 50 Shades movie comes out next Valentine's Day, Northern Irish actor Jamie has already made quite an impact in The Fall (in the UK) and Once Upon a Time (in the US) not to mention a string of super-sexy Calvin Klein ads. Should we count model gigs if this is an actors ranking? ie: Are we going the full objectification..? Hell yeah!

Looks: 10/10 - Ignore all those people who say he's not stunnily good-looking enough to play Mr Grey, they are clearly blind (or Charlie Hunnam fans).
Accent: 9/10 - A soft Northern Irish lilt, which can only be topped by a soft Irish/Scottish lilt IMHO.
Abs: 9/10 - We admit those CK underwear ads into evidence as exhibit A. Although he gets docked a point for saying he doesn't go to the gym. There go all our sweaty bicep-curl fantasies
Acting Chops: 7/10 - I got a sneak peek at the first episode of The Fall 2... OMG! That said, New Worlds was not that great and the jury's still out on FSOG, but he gets points for tackling it (no tackle pun intended, honest).
Cult Appeal: 9/10 - A high score because he's tackling FSOG and that's got the biggest cult following of the century. (Tackle pun unavoidable that time, honest).
Phwow Factor: 9/10 - This kind of depends on if you want to see FSOG or  if you couldn't give Fifty Shades of S**t about it. I have scored according to my preferences because this is my poll. So live with it.

Total: 53/60

Richard Armitage

The dark, brooding leading man who burst onto our small screens a few years back in period drama North and South, then again as the deliciously bad Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood and tatooed tortured spy hunk Lucas North in Spooks (not to mention Dawn French's love interest in The Vicar of Dibley)... TBH he hasn't exactly cracked Hollywood yet, but he is certainly getting noticed as the chief dwarf in The Hobbit movies. (We're just going to pretend corndog disaster movie Into the Storm hasn't happened).

Looks: 9/10 - If dark and brooding does it for you (it does me), Rich is your man.
Accent: 9/10 - Distinctive, deliciously English with a Northern lilt and not posh! Yay!
Abs: 8/10 - Understated but exceptional, I've seen them in the flesh. (No really, I have.)
Acting chops: 9/10 - I saw him at The Old Vic in The Crucible. It's a tough play. He aced it. He's electrifying in the flesh (literally in this case - those abs were a little distracting!).
Cult Appeal: 9/10 - Absolutely, if you're a fan of tortured anti-heroes - or sexy dwarves with too much facial hair.
Phwow Factor: 8/10 - A tough one to quantify cos many of his roles are pretty offbeat... But for North and South alone, he gets my vote.

Total: 52/60

  So from my Top Five... The winner is:


By a nose.. Or possibly a tackle! (Enough with the tackle puns, already)

Special mention goes to Benedict Cumberbatch for the 
Best Ice Bucket Challenge!

So do you disagree? Have I missed out your favourite Brit Packers? Idris Elba? Sam Claflin? Theo James? Sam Heughan? Tom Hardy? Eddie Redmayne? Feel free to score them in the comments. And let's get this poll really rocking and rolling.

Heidi's latest Cosmopolitan Red Hot Read is out now... 10 Rules to Sex Up a Blind Date is a red hot tale of naughty sex, not-so-white lies and Twitter etiquette:

After a nasty breakup, Tally Gladstone has no interest in anything serious. But she's dipped her wary toe back into dating with a few blind dates—all bad…or worse. The only good thing to come out of it is a sizable following on social media. Her latest date is doomed from the get-go—he isn't even straight. But at least he knows someone who meets her every very exacting wiish.
American-in-London Brent O'Neill is everything she wants—on paper. He's hot, sexy and emotionally off-limits. Tally can play all she likes without getting burned. He's so good in bed he's addictive. But her millions of social media followers want disaster, not boring-ever-after. They might get their way yet—how is she going to walk away before her heart is in tatters?

She is currently working on a longer book involving sex, lies and baking... Not necessary in that order.  You can find out more about Heidi through her website, blog, Twitter or Facebook.  Eye candy may or may not be present.


  1. Oh man, How. To. Choose. I mean there's always Hiddleston, but I gotta go with an older demo

    So here's a few alternates. Idris Elba, Colin Firth, and even Hugh Laurie, Piers Brosnan, Sir Patrick Stewart, & his BFF Sir Ian MacKellan!

    While I hit the X-Men, I'll give a shout-out to Michael Fassbender. I'm branching out to full-on European actors. :-)

  2. So true KarenL.. Too many class acts.. Too little space in the bloggesphere.. And if we're going the full European Michael's definitely your man.

  3. Jamie Dornan for me every time. Am loving his chilling evilness in The Fall. In addition to your most excellent Top Five, I'd have to add Rupert Penry Jones, Toby Stevens and James Purefoy for their mouths if nothing else. (I know, a bit weird, but still...)

  4. Richard - 100%. And my runners up would be Mark Strong, Matthew Macfadyen, Jonny Lee Miller, Toby Stephens, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and sexy-as-hell James Purefoy. Is that too many?

  5. Ooh, I like that you added some new candidates.... I like Toby Stephens, not sure about James Purefoy and Rupert. Too many posh boys!! What about Jack O'Connell.. I LOVED him in '71, easily the best film of the year so far IMHO.

    (PS: I never knew you had a mouth fetish Lucy!)

    1. Oh yes, indeedy. I think that's why Richard Armitage doesn't really do it for me. His lips are too thin. Sorry!

    2. And Jack O'Connell - maybe in ten years' time!

    3. See '71... He's all grown up now... Hmm, never noticed RA's thin lips before, maybe that explains the beard.