Monday, March 3, 2014

Man Crushing

          Man Crush. 

          The very term would once have brought nothing but images of Herculean types doing great bodily harm to one another.  But today, the meaning of “being a guy who is enchanted and enraptured by another man, without any sexual overtones necessary” is becoming commonplace. We see it talked about on social media, in films, on television and even in—what else?—blogs.

         My man crushes are many and I’m not ashamed of a single one.  I tend to fall for, admire and desire to hang with men who are talented and individualistic:  men who dare to do more than their peers, achieve more diversity in their artistic output and remain utterly charming and down-to-earth, with a great sense of humor to boot.  Who are these men?  You may have heard of them…
          I’ll start with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  You may know him as an actor from his television role on “3rd Rock from the Sun” or from some his big films “50/50”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Lincoln” or some of his smaller films, such as the haunting and heartbreaking “Mysterious Skin”.  But he’s also a director, writer, producer and more…and has created his own open collaborative production company for cross-functional, multi-media artistic endeavors.  A new adjective is needed to describe how cool this guy is.

          Then there’s the indomitable James Franco.  You may know him as an actor from his television role on “Freaks and Geeks” or from big films like “Spider-Man” (1, 2 and 3), “127 Hours”, “Pineapple Express” and “Milk”, or smaller films like “Howl”, “Palo Alto” and “Interior. Leather Bar.  But like JGL, James is also a director, writer, producer and more:  his is a published author, has taught classes in film and acting, and has been involved in charities for children and students. He has suffered criticism on many fronts and remains steadfast in his desire to make daring films and have a winsome sense of humor that shines in every goofy Facebook selfie.  You gotta give him props.

          Now, lest you think I only fall for younger, pretty faces, my other man crush is Kevin Spacey.  Not that Kevin isn’t handsome in his own right, but neither he nor I qualify as “young”—except at heart.  But his acting in “Swimming with Sharks”, “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty” is, in each case, a master class in the art.  And he, too, is no mere actor:  Spacey has gone on to create Trigger Street, a groundbreaking production company and online platform for feedback and exposure for undiscovered writers and filmmakers.  He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.  And he’s now involved in another groundbreaking venture: the Netflix streaming project House of Cards”, which earned the first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for original online-only web tevision.

          So you see: I am admittedly and unabashedly attracted to these men.  I admire their drive, their diversity and their daring.  They inspire me to be more than I am today.  They also inspire me to want to buy them a beer.  Or a martini.  Whatever they heck they want.  Hopefully, I won’t look like a big dork when they take me up on it.

          Now 'fess up:  who's your man crush?