I know, it’s been a while since I blogged, even though I promised to blog more after I finished writing my book. Sorry about that. Life happens.
Anyway, now that I’m sorta-kinda back, I want to do what I happen to be good at, making lists. After being thoroughly entertained by Kick Ass (watch the movie if you haven’t already, it totally kicks ass!) and after saying goodbye to my favorite action hero in the last eight seasons, Jack Bauer (so long, Jack!), I thought it’d be appropriate to list my top 10 Alpha Males.
Why? Because it is the age of the geek and reluctant heroes now, and the alpha males of our world have been taking a backseat lately. The world is cheering for Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) – the ultimate geek, the two guys that invented Youtube (can’t remember their names for the life of me), even Hollywood is rooting for the underdog. Lee Dewyze, the nervous bumbling paint salesman won American Idol. Kick Ass – the movie about an average loner geek trying to be a superhero – actually did kick ass in the Box Office. And who can ignore the unbelievable success of Glee, a TV show about a group of talented show choir outcasts? Even Chuck, the nerd-turned-super spy dramedy got a fourth season renewal, while 24 with its alpha male Jack Bauer finally bowed out (after eight seasons of counter-terrorizing the world, but still).
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day indeed – it’s the age of the geek and the underdogs and I’m happy about it, but let’s not forget that tough, badass Alpha Males do make for a great entertainment, even if they make lousy husbands/boyfriends (hey, Jack Bauer’s love interests were all either killed or gone batshit crazy).
So, here is my list of the Top 10 Alpha Males, in honor of those ripped, muscular, gun-toting, bad guys killing machine. Without them, my “nighttime fantasy” would be a lot less interesting.
Are you ready? Here we go!
“I have killed two people since midnight. I haven’t slept in 24 hours. So maybe you should be a little more afraid of me than you are now.” – Jack Bauer, 24.
1. Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24.
Since 24 has decided to end the series with its eighth season, I thought Jack Bauer should get the top honors in this list. And I think he truly deserves it. I mean, let’s face it, Jack Bauer is something more than human. Sure, he was truly human in the first season: he was struggling to understand his rebellious teenage daughter while trying to repair his relationship with his wife in the wake of their separation and his affair. He was also struggling to be the boss of his department at work with a looming crisis and subordinates and superiors who challenged his every decision. On top of all that, he had to stop an assassination and rescue his wife and daughter. When he said, ‘This is the longest day of my life’, we felt for him. But after the second, third and fourth season, Jack has morphed from a mere human to a real action hero/terminator. And by the eighth season, he could kill for the hell of it. Goodbye, Dana Walsh! I hope you won’t miss that ear, Pillar! And this badassness (or is it badassery?) is what makes Jack Bauer totally AWESOME. We’ll miss you, Jack, until we meet again in the big screen!
“You know if I had to do it again, I’d be a fucking sniper. One shot, one kill, let me be the faceless enemy.” – Sgt. Steve Shriver, Stop-Loss.
2. Channing Tatum as Sgt. Steve Shriver in Stop Loss, Shawn McArthur in Fighting, Capt. Duke Hauser in GI Joe.
I chose this man, who I also think is God’s gift for mankind (that abs! that washboard abs! And he dances too!), as number two because he seems to love playing Alpha Male roles. Even when he was in a Nicholas Sparks tearjerker flick Dear John, he played a Special Forces guy with anger issues. And when he was in the highly popular but totally laughable dance flick Step Up, he also played an Alpha Male – a juvenile delinquent with a hidden talent for shaking his money-maker. Oh, and to further prove that I practically have seen almost every movie he’s in just so I could take a peek of his beautiful shirtless body (damn you Jenna Dewan, you get to sleep with that every night!), he played a cop in Stuart Townsend’s political drama Battle In Seattle, and another juvenile delinquent in criminally slept-on indie movie A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. He is the ultimate Alpha Male, and that’s why he’s number two in the list.
“Gentlemen, we just seized an airfield. That was pretty fucking ninja.” – Sgt. Brad Colbert, Generation Kill.
3. Alexander Skarsgard as Sgt. Brad Colbert in Generation Kill, Eric Northman in True Blood.
I know, you might scream foul for me putting this man in number 3, he deserves the top honors, that’s true. But despite being a 6’4, blonde, blue-eyed, blood-sucking viking, he’s also a sweetheart in real life, as most Scandinavians are – and he has played a transgender in a Swedish movie and a gay male supermodel in Zoolander. So because he’s not the typical Alpha Male, he gets the number 3 spot. However, in Hollywood, someone who looks like that will have no choice but to play alpha male roles, at least in the beginning of his career. And he did play those roles well. He was pure awesomeness as Sgt. Brad Colbert in Generation Kill, and I didn’t just say that because we got a shot of his butt in a scene (one word: yum), and everyone knows just how fantastic he is as the soulless bloodsucker/bar owner Eric Northman in True Blood. He may worry about being typecast, but for now I think we’ll continue to enjoy him in his Alpha Male roles.
“I know that it’s confusing. It is one thing to question the official story, and another thing entirely to make wild accusations, or insinuate that I’m a superhero.” – Tony Stark, Iron Man.
4. Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man.
Robert Downey, Jr, or RDJ as we love to call him, never really used to be the “Alpha Male”. He got an Oscar nomination playing Charlie Chaplin, for one. And after his descent into the deep dark drug-addicted bottom of the well, he reemerged as this sensitive, character actor with a sardonic side. He even put out a Jazz album! Yeah, I know, we pretty much have forgotten about that. He favored small indie movies where he either played a lovable loser (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), or a man struggling with his past (A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints) over big action hero roles, and he even did a TV stint in Allie McBeal for a brief period of time. But that all changed when he was cast as Iron Man and he truly inhabit the character Tony Stark. Not only did he get buffed for the role, he also made Tony Stark an unforgettable, fashionable, witty and charismatic Alpha Male, endearing the superhero to both men and women alike. And now with the success of Iron Man 2, does anyone even remember the drug-addled RDJ begging for forgiveness in court oh so many years ago?
“30 years of karate. Combat experience on five continents. A rating with every weapon that shoots a bullet or holds an edge. Still haven’t found any defense to Mom crying into my shirt.” – Michael Westen, Burn Notice.
5. Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in Burn Notice.
If Jerry Maguire had Renee Zellweger at “Hello”, then Jeffrey Donovan’s alter-ego in Burn Notice, Michael Westen, had me at “My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy, until…” The great thing about this burned spy Alpha Male is that he does have a softer side that he reluctantly shows every once in a while, but it never throws him off his game. When push comes to a shove, he easily becomes the very embodiment of Alpha Male: gun-toting, high-kicking, knife-wielding, total badass. Yes, I do use that word a lot here, but it’s necessary. But unlike Jack Bauer who with every season turned more and more into a killing machine, Michael Westen, despite being burned and chewed out by the very government he vowed to serve and protect, manages to keep his humanity intact. He doesn’t kill for the hell of it. In fact, the last time he killed a man at point blank was Tom Strickler, agent-to-the-spies, and it wasn’t because he felt like it but because Strickler was endangering the life of the woman he loves. Killing for the honor of a woman? Give me more of that, please!
“Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!” – King Leonidas, 300.
6. Gerard Butler as King Leonidas in 300.
Sure, he’s gone soft now and chooses to play romantic leading men in various rom-coms like The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston, but deep down, he’ll always be the Alpha Male that is King Leonidas in 300, the role that made the man a household name. After all, aren’t his characters in The Ugly Truth and even Bounty Hunter for that matter (I am ashamed to admit I’ve seen them both) at the very core alpha males? But, there’s no denying King Leonidas is the king of all Alpha Males, not just because of that magnificently CGI-ed abs, but also because he’s a Spartan, dude. We all know Spartans were raised to be Alpha Males, whether they liked it or not. And anyone who can make lines such as, “Give them nothing! But take from them everything!” or “This… is… SPARTA!” in raspy growling screams sound downright sexy deserves to be in this list. Plus, let’s not forget, it was King Leonidas who taught the world the importance of a good hearty breakfast!
“Here’s a third option, we just get to it right here and you die in the car. Any takers? OK, then.” – Raylan Givins, Justified.
7. Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givins in Justified.
I admit, I only checked out Justified at first because of Timothy Olyphant, I have loved him since he played a gay photographer in The Broken Hearts Club oh so many years ago. But as it turns out, Justified is more than just Timothy Olyphant being the handsome little devil that he always is, it’s actually a really good show, with solid writing and interesting characters. And it reignited love for the TV Alpha Male when Burn Notice was on a break. Raylan Givins is that kind of Alpha Male I love; charming, soft-spoken, a true Southern gentleman, but he sure can kill bad guys (with that heartbreaking smile plastered on his face, no less). Not to mention, he loves his cowboy hat. As a self-professed Mad Hatter myself, I do have a soft spot for hat-wearing gentleman. Now that the first season is coming to an end, I think it’s about damn time to honor him with a spot in this list, don’t you?
“I know you are all expecting to regroup with the fleet, but I’m ordering a pursuit course of the enemy ship to Earth. I want all departments at battle stations and ready in ten minutes. Either we’re going down… or they are. Kirk out.” – Capt. James T. Kirk, Star Trek.
8. Chris Pine as Capt. James T. Kirk in Star Trek (2009).
Let me just say first and foremost that I am not a Trekkie. I am a Star Wars fan, and I tried liking the original Star Trek, as well as the Next Generation series, but I couldn’t. After Wil Wheaton left the show, I stopped watching, to be honest. But I was one of those who were excited when JJ Abrams, the man behind Lost, Alias, Felicity and Fringe, decided to restart the franchise. And I went to see the movie and loved it. Mostly because, with all due respect to William Shatner, Chris Pine is way hotter as Capt Kirk than he ever was. I mean, look at those dreamy eyes, and those lips, so kissable, so sexy… aah. Not to mention, he was funny, rebellious and did I mention those dreamy eyes? Never mind. He also rocked that skin-tight uniform way better than Shatner ever did in his prime. Die-hard Trekkies (like my dad) might disagree with me, but when it comes to the ultimate Capt. Kirk, Chris Pine is it. And yes, that’s why he’s in this list.
“Guess what? Everyone hates me. But you can’t deny: we were bad ass!” – Damon Salvatore, The Vampire Diaries.
9. Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries.
When I heard there was going to be another vampire show in the wake of all the vampire-craze and it was going to be on the teen channel The CW, I groaned and rolled my eyes. “Great. Another show about stupid whiny sparkly vampires a la Twilight.” But boy, was I wrong about this show! First of all, it’s nothing like Twilight, in the sense that, yes, there’s that forever 17 self-loathing teen vampire who doesn’t drink human blood and is no fun in general, but there’s also his brother, who’s older, wiser and way more violent and therefore, more awesome than any of the Cullen clan in Twilight. And his name is Damon Salvatore, played to perfection by the oh so sexy Ian Somerhalder. Damon is a true vampire: he’s diabolical, devoid of human conscience and has no qualms about killing people. Oh and yes, he is also very very very sexy, and he’s shirtless a lot too, tho not as much as the vamps in True Blood. This is still The CW after all. Sure, he’s gained a bit of humanity by the end of the season, but there’s still enough evil in him to send Edward crying to his mommy. Now this is one nocturnal creature I wish would visit me in the dead of night.
“I don’t hit women! I would never hit a woman! I’d hit a woman who was trying to hit me with a bottle! That’s different. That’s self-defense, isn’t it? Or a woman who could do Karate. I’d never hit a woman generally, Chloe. Don’t think that.” – Ray, In Bruges.
10. Colin Farrell as Ray in In Bruges.
There was a time when Colin Farrell’s name was synonymous with Alpha Male. Not only was he in so many action films (The Recruit, SWAT, to name a few), he was also Hollywood’s bad boy, who drank, smoked and cursed on set, during interviews, on the red carpet, and everywhere else you could think of. But then his career took a hit after the bomb that was Alexander, he found out his son had life-threatening disease, and he changed his life. He took on more sensitive roles, starred in art-house flicks, avoided getting drunk and swearing too much in public and soon after, he was no longer Hollywood’s bad boy and beloved Alpha Male. However, he regained his Alpha Male status when he took on the role of an assassin on holiday in Belgium in the indie In Bruges, and he got a Golden Globes for it. Let’s face it, he’s way more believable as a foul-mouthed, fight-picking, drug-addled, trigger-happy Irish assassin anyway! And even though he followed up this funny and extremely violent role with a sensitive one (as a country crooner in Crazy Heart), he still remains an Alpha Male in my book and thus, he’s the man I chose to round off this list.
So there you go. As Quinn Fabray sang in last Tuesday’s episode of Glee, this is a man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl, especially one who would objectify these gorgeous alpha males in a list like this one.
Until next time!