I’m as susceptible as the next woman to Daniel Craig’s six pack or Colin Firth’s smouldering gaze, which is why I checked out the Romaniacs Hunky Heroes last week. But a while ago I found myself lusting after someone who rarely features in lists of must-have men. Come on, ladies, how many of you (over the age of twenty) have Max Beesley (in case you didn’t know, drummer for Robbie Williams and partner of Spice Girl Mel B.) on your to-kiss list? And how on earth did I fall for a sandy-haired toy-boy?
Well it all began around 2005 with a BBC3 series called Bodies. Trust me, this was riveting stuff. (Excellent precis here) MB played Rob Lake, a junior doctor specialising in gynaecology, pitched against self-seeking and incompetent surgeon Roger Hurley played by the excellent Patrick Baladi (later seen in soapy Mistresses). Childbirth has never been messier than this. As Hurley regularly screwed up in theatre only to slide out of malpractice suits, our sleep-deprived hero teetered every week on the brink of professional and personal disaster. I have seldom suffered so much angst whilst watching tv or felt so much for the downtrodden hero. Reader, I loved him, with that embarrassingly gut-wrenching can’t-miss-an-episode love felt by every woman at least once in her life and probably many times over.
Then, a year or so down the road, when Bodies had run its inexorable course, Mr. B. popped up again in Hotel Babylon. I tuned in with a feeling of guilty self-indulgence. But what a disappointment. The series was a glossy piece of nothingness, my hero reduced to a jumped-up bell-boy. Yes, he has very cheeky eyebrows and an interesting mouth, but mostly I felt, well, embarrassed for myself. I jumped ship (and after a couple of series, he did too!)
But it made me think about other stars who had got me, as well as countless others, hot under the collar. Because, you see, Colin Firth in the wet shirt did it for me, but Colin Firth in Bridget Jones less so, and as for Colin Firth in Nostromo: – what was that about?In the same way, David Tennant as fidgety superhero Dr. Who had me spell-bound, but watching his real self on a chat-show made me wonder why I’d ever taken an interest (how I hope he never reads this!) in the nice but unexceptional minister’s son from Paisley.
These guys, you see, are good actors: they can exude sexiness or set it aside almost to order. But the looks are only small part of how they create that animal magnetism and/or touching vulnerability, because on stage or screen they respond to the character, a character created by the author or dramatist.
I don’t know if being in love with a fictional character is better or worse than the real thing, but if you fancy a frisson, best call the writer.