If you’re an American, you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday. And if you’re a red-blooded American woman like LHB, JAF, and myself, when your family made everyone around the table share what they’re thankful for, you had one thing in mind. And I don’t mean “family” or “friends” or “health” or any of that pansy-ass horseshit. No. Things got a little weird at the table after it was our turn to broadcast our thanks. Because we at For Shame were, are, and always will be thankful for hot dudes. Specifically, hot dudes who routinely star in historical films.
So instead, we bring you gratuitous photos and idolatry of attractive men in period clothing. You know you don’t hate it.
Lee Pace. I’m sorry I need to go change my pants after just typing the name. Oh god, I just changed, but it’s happening again because I went back and reread my first sentence. Here I come, pair of panties #3! (Making a conscious effort not to read any of the above material.) Ok. From the majestic, furry, caterpillar brows that he may or may not have sold his soul to acquire from face of Peter Gallagher, to his Tyra-good ability to smize, this man has stolen my heart on more than one occasion. I can think of two: Lee Pace (panties #4) in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and Lee Pace (panties #5) in The Fall. Before you get your (damp) panties in a twist because neither of these films are historical or literary costume dramas, why don’t you step back for a second and be THANKFUL that I’m showing you pictures of this hotty patotty in the first place and not get so caught up with details, mmkay? Miss Pettrigrew, not historical per se, but is historical fiction, and involves 1940s cabarets, air raid sirens, Frances McDormand looking sloppy then fierce, Lee Pace (panties #6) playing piano (panties #7) with dapper hair with the dejected yet hopeful look of a man without a penny who has everything in the world because he’s in love, and Amy Adams wearing fabulous vintage. Who I now hate because of how many times her lips got to make contact with Lee Pace’s face. She probably touched his eyebrows a couple of times. THAT WHORE.
The Fall is a little more difficult to justify because most of the film is expressed through the imagination of a little girl being told a story by Lee Pace (panties #8), while they are both in a hospital in southern California in the 1920s. (Steinbeck would have loved this shit.) The imaginary part is kind of timeless, but the hospital parts, totally historical, and let me tell you, Lee Pace rolling around in a 1920s wheel chair. Hot. Seriously. Hot. I don’t know about you guys, but I am thankful…that I brought more than just a couple pairs of underwear home for thanksgiving because after reading the rest of this post, I’m definitely going to use every last one (LHB).
Henry Motherfucking Cavill. My name is MRG, and I am addicted to period films. And it all started with Cavill. You might know who he is because he’s going to be in the new Superman movie or whatever. But I’ve been
fantasizing inappropriately about following Cavill for a long time. I guess you could say that I first became aware of his preposterously attractive face and body when I saw the shit-tastic Count of Monte Cristo starring Jesus and that guy from Memento. Sweet, young Henry, barely twenty years old, stole the show as Albert (pronounced al-BEAR, it’s fucking French) Mondego, illegitimate son of the eponymous count. The movie fucking sucked, but in a huge pile of shit, he was a gleaming, criminally hot diamond of hope. And he made twelve-year-old MRG feel a little tingly. THEN the next year he was in the film adaptation of I Capture the Castle which was and continues to be one of my favorite books. It’s about a really poor, really well-read family living in an English castle between the wars, there’s love, there’s coming-of-age, it’s fucking magical, you get it. And what was also magical was Henry Cavill’s face and also his portrayal of the kind and earnest and ultimately jilted family farmhand, Stephen. Stephen makes out with the main character, Cassandra, in a beautiful forest clearing filled with bluebells. And just when you think they’re about to bone, he’s like “No, don’t let me do this, I love and respect you too much blah blah blah.” More like a field of blueBALLS, am I right?!??! I think you can imagine what kind of a
role this film, specifically the picturesque heavy petting session and the fact that Henry obviously shares literary interests with me (obviously), played in my journey to ladyhood.
Then Cavill laid low for a little while, and so did my ladyboner. He showed up in the cinematic shit stain that was/is Tristan + Isolde as the petulant/unloved younger son, but imma let JAF discuss that gem in more detail below. And just when you think Cavill’s TOO PERFECT and TOO HOT, he fucking shows up on The Tudors as Henry VIII’s main compadre, Charles Brandon. Who is naked as the day he was born in like the first episode. And with that, the ladyboner was back. And the Cavill only got better – by Season 4 he was werking a very scruffy, very sexy beard. Now he’s in some shitty looking pseudo-300 kind of thing called Immortals, wherein he is shirtless for the entire movie. It’s about the Greek gods or some shit, I think he plays Theseus, I don’t know. But I do know that I’m going to rent it and watch it privately. As JAF would say, his body looks to be chiseled out of sex. Ladyboner (MRG).
Get ready for much poorly thought-out food-based wordplay, ’cause it’s JONHAMMTIME. Let me make one thing clear, right off the bat. I do NOT watch Mad Men just because it is a brilliantly crafted character study and examination of a time so markedly foreign but disturbingly parallel to our own, with a fetishistic attention to period detail that rapes my willing eyes every Sunday night. I watch it for that aforementioned genetically-blessed slab of delicious, mouthwatering, no-water-added, man meat.
But forserious, anyone who has read 3 consecutive sentences on this blog knows that MRG and I (and hopefully in the future, sweet and wayward young LHB) would give our spare ribs to be on that show (TAKE NOTE MATTHEW WEINER TAKE FUCKING NOTE). So there’s no need to dwell on Hamm’s better known feast-for-the-eyes. Instead, let’s take a journey down ‘Independent Cinema Lane.’ It’s just past the ‘Anonymity Outlet,’ behind the ‘SAG Award Store,’ and adjacent to ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams.’
Howl. Nobody saw it. It was fucking innovative. Let’s not talk about it (but we’re talking about it). Let’s talk about the fact it starred one Jonnifer D. Hamm, AS WELL AS another for shame! fav, James “Plant ‘o da’ Apes” Franco. That’s right biddies, this is a twofer. A tagteam. A gangbang of historically dressed hotness.
See, Franco’s a repeat offender. It’s hard to remember he does good things in between absolute piles of horseshit like Eat, Pray, Love, or, Annapolis, or, 127 Hours. Besides Howl, in which, if I do say so myself, he pulls off an excellent and very bangable (-confusing-) Allen Ginsberg, you can also check Jimboy’s uncannily drug-addled face and phD-gaining tight little patootie in such historical gems as James Dean, Flyboys, Milk, Tristan+Isolde (because we weren’t mindfucked enough by Baz Lurhman already), and of course, Nights in Rodanthe.
But back to Jon. As if to make things come full circle. To connect the beginning of the section to the end, through the same subject material. Like a word sandwich. OR A HAMM SANDWICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I’m absolutely sure no one had any idea where I was going with that one, it was so good. So good like A HAMM SANDWICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
But really, he hasn’t been in too much. Just take Mad Men and Howl. They’re satisfying enough (JAF).
MRG here with another piece of man meat, this time more British and less punny. Matthew Macfadyen. Oh, Matthew Macfadyen. I’m going to quote JAF again, because she so rightly pointed out that Macfadyen “feeds his children with period drama.” He’s got AN historical face, and he knows how to use it.
Unlike Cavill, Macfadyen doesn’t necessarily exude the sex. But like the Cavill, the Mac first entered my consciousness/provoked a ladyboner when he appeared in the film adaptation of a beloved novel about British girls wookin’ pa’ nub. He walked a mile in the kid leather riding boots of a one Mr. Colin “MRG’s #1 Older Man Crush Forever of All Time” Firth (who really sort of began the Costume Drama Hotties Renaissance, actually) and played Mr. Darcy in the 2005 Joe Wright Pride & Prejudice. Lots of Janeites trashed it, but say what you will, it was a beautifully made movie with a damn good soundtrack and, of course, a dashing, haughty, NAUGHTY, totally Brit-hot leading man in The Mac. Darcy’s a hard role to play because it calls for an actor to be a smoldering hot, socially awkward, unforgivably rude, ultimately endearing asshat. Those are a lot of conflicting qualities, but the Mac mustered up all the subtlety he could and nailed it. Nailed it like I wish he would nail me.
The man’s IMDB page reads like an un-chronological history textbook. From P&P he moved on to some Brit miniseries about the Schmazis and Schmueremberg, and then he had an ASTOUNDING turn in Frost/Nixon as Frost’s bff John Birt. I knew the Mac was a man I could get behind (or in front of, or under, or on top of, amiright?!) (that was gross, sorry) when I saw this film for two reasons: 1) the man’s got acting chops and some serious breadth – not many thesps could play 18th/19th century literature’s #1 heartthrob AND a middle-aged dude in the 70s, and 2) they tried to hard to make him unattractive, SO HARD (seriously, look), and I still had a massive ladyboner throughout the whole movie.
And speaking of ladyboners, how fucking good was Any Human Heart? I’ll answer for you, since you probably didn’t see it (not a lot of people did). IT WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. SO FUCKING GOOD. It’s on the Netflix. I haven’t not rewatched it twice in the past year. Basically it’s a miniseries based on a book with a beautiful title about a man who lives through all of the most important events of the twentieth century. Plus he meets Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh (whose novels produced some damn good historically-costumed man candy in their own right), and our old inebriated friend Ernie Hemingway along the way. If you want to laugh and cry and cry some more and observe how good Macfadyen really is at his job, watch Any Human Heart. Seriously. He was also in Pillars of the Earth with Eddie Redmayne (another fine historical ack-tour, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, anybody? No? Okay.) In Pillars he plays a monk. A sexy, sexy monk. Did I, as an arbitrary Catholic, feel weird about finding a monk so attractive? Sure. Did I give a shit? Absolutely not. Macfadyen: breadth and bangability (MRG).
Deep Breath. Ok, this is big. This is big for me. I’ve loved James McAvoy since I was 14 and went to see Wimbledon with my biffle. I went for Paul Bettany, the greatest historical dilf I will even encounter, despite the terrible, terrible films he’s been in lately (of which I have seen all), I will always love him for being Geoffrey Chaucer, That Hot Surgeon That Gets Shot On That Ship In That Really Long Movie From That One Time, Russell Crow’s Imaginary Friend, Mrs. John Krasinski’s Creepyass Advisor, Sexually Repressed Medieval Sherlock Holmes, and Charles Darwin, even though he had mad male pattern baldness. I mean, God bless that man. He can wear the shit out of some britches and it must be in his contract that he has to be half naked in every film. God bless Paul Bettany. But, I digress. I went for Paul, I came out enthralled with James. His baby blues, his lopsided smirk, his tousled brown locks. This type of obsession only led to McAvoy Marathons and a desperate attempt on my part to six-degrees myself closer to him (I’ve been told I look like Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep has a son. In this picture, Meryl Streep’s son sort of looks like James McAvoy. BOOMILOOKLIKEJAMESMCAVOYYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS).
The versatility! The panache! The shear bloody talent of James McAvoy on display, in all films, but when dressed up in some hawt 1930’s gardener garb… irresistible. If you haven’t see The Last King of Scotland, where he’s the hottest morally-bankrupt dirtbag you’ll ever set eyes on, put it on a double Netflix bill with his sexually saintly turn in Atonement, then come and tell me you don’t wish you were Anne Hathaway (that slorebag!) in Becoming Jane. There were two reasons I went to see X-Men: First Class, and neither of them are because I care a whit for superheros. One was James McAvoy, doing his three-piece-suit-goddamnest to make me drop all sense of propriety I ever learned from a conservative upbringing, right there in the dark of the theater, and run screaming towards the screen, ripping clothes off as I went. The other was a a certain man named Michael Fassbender. My colleagues can also illuminate their feelings regarding this new, unbearably alluring, for shame! favorite (JAF).
That part in Inglorious Basterds when he shoots the Nazi in the balls was the most delicious thing since someone started putting thinmints in the freezer. Oh, and I hate that slut from Jane Eyre who gets to kiss him all of the time but she’s so so cute and I love her so it’s so hard to hate her. But I do. So much (LHB).
The first time I saw Michael F. Assbender (thank you, TSI), it was in a shitty Sherlock Holmes BBC thing and he played a pyscopathic butler, and his twin, who was obsessed with feet and high fashion. He was great and weirdly sexy and I was a
little lot frightened that I thought I might let him lick my toes then dump my body in the Thames. Whatever, we all go through phases (JAF).
I first encountered the Fassbender in the new Jane Eyre (the one LHB mentioned), which is a beautifully executed send-up of ol’ Charlie Bronte because it draws heavily-but-subtly on the Gothic undertones of the novel and doesn’t shy away from the grittiness of life in nineteenth-century northern England. Another reason that it is an excellent movie is Fassbender. No one ever has or ever could make fits of rage, wife-hiding, and blindness so very, very sexy. His portrayal of Rochester makes me want to slap on a corset, become a dowdy governess, and undo a hundred years’ worth of women’s rights. Sure, it’s culturally problematic. But you can’t fight an insane lady-crush like that. Also, here’s a video for you to watch all of the time for the rest of your lives, fellow Fassbenderophiles (MRG).
And remember dear readers, for every one hottie we mentioned, there are dozens more that go unrecognized. So please, contribute generously to the For Shame! Ladyboner Fund, and we will sponsor a beautiful, strapping, period-piece actor, so that he can continue appearing in all your silver-screen costumed fantasies.* And from all of us, Happy Day After Thanksgiving, and to all, pleasant wet-dreams.
MRG, LHB, and JAF.
*This charity does not exist, but you can send us money anyway. Please make all checks to cash.