Sexy is no longer a matter of opinion. Now there are documented records of what exactly is sexy. People magazine has been naming their Sexiest Man Alive every year. However, in this fast paced generation, sexy can change more than annually. In those cases, trends like internet blogs, searches and hardcore stalkers can help aspiring groupies figure out who is sexy this minute.
One of People's recent cover guys is Hugh Jackman. The Aussie dreamboat is even the idol of men, as comic book fans swoon for his Wolverine. For the ladies, Jackman gets romantic in this year's Australia.
On the day after his magazine cover hit stands, Jackman was trying to play modest. "This thing happened to me yesterday, being labeled with something that, trust me, I never thought would happen and all my mates never thought would happen," Jackman said. "But my son Oscar, who is 8, goes, ‘You? You’ve got to be kidding me!’ And I thought, there's the truth.”
The coveted People magazine slot has become an industry joke among Hollywood's hunks ever since two-time Sexiest Man Alive George Clooney began comparing the race to a political campaign. Now Jackman joins the fun.
"I think we ran a very strong campaign and I’m not proud of it. I can admit it now. We’re the first campaign to run a negative campaign and we spent years bringing Clooney, Pitt, Damon, McConaughey all down to size. And then I was prepared to do absolutely anything," he says, laughing.
Jackman needs to maintain a sense of humor about this, because he will never hear the end of it from his "mates" back in Aus. "[You would not believe] the amount of hazing I'm getting from my mates in Australia, who never e-mail me for anything except to give me a hard time. Well, I'm inundated with vitriol and hazing."
Mrs. Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, considers Jackman's role as house-husband far more erotic than any of his muscle-bound superheroics. "I seem to be asked to take out the garbage more. Previously, my wife had said the sexiest thing about me was that I took the garbage out, that I came trained so to speak, when I came to her. So all of a sudden since [People Magazine], it's like, 'All right, baby. Show it to me. Let's go.'"
The six pack abs and rippling muscles on display in Australia do not come for free though. Jackman has paid his dues to earn the title Sexiest Man Alive. "In terms of physicality and what you eat, it is very important. [I ate] a lot of steamed chicken. It is also important before you train. When you wake up you have to have some food in your belly before you work."
Putting that protein on his bones required some improvisation. Since he was filming Australia in the desert of the outback, there were no 24 Hour Fitness locations nearby.
"When I say in the gym, we were in the outback and I had a caravan with a fireplace, and next to it, and it kind of looked bizarre, a rack of weights. Free weights. I suppose you could call it a portable gym. We were literally on the dirt with a few weights. It was very much all body stuff, everything I did was not about this [makes a muscular pose], but about being malleable and physical because those guys out there are strong, yet they can be thrown off a horse, thrown on the ground and get straight back up again so you have to be sort of a little bit flexible."
When he's Wolverine, the workout changes slightly. "Wolverine, I kind of have to eat a lot more, train with a lot heavier weights and get my naturally leaner body a little bigger."
Of course the greatest adversity to his training regimen is good old fashioned middle age. Jackman is now 40. "We all know that. You just don’t get away with your errors, shall we say. You don't get away with them anymore so you've just got to be a little more disciplined."
Luckily, Jackman is not alone. It takes a whole team to achieve Sexy status. That team becomes part of the family, even his personal trainer. "It is funny even calling him my trainer because Mike and I have been mates since I was 18 and he is actually a fantastic trainer, but it is an odd relationship. He’s just the most competitive guy in the world. As he says, 'I will race you to the door.' He will be trash talking me the whole time like, 'This is pathetic, I’m going to smash you.' All that kind of ridiculous boy teenage behavior, that’s what we turn into.”
There is a whole generation now that does not even read magazines. To them, sexy may come from simply playing their favorite role. Zac Efron enjoyed the spotlight and adoration for the High School Musical films. Now Robert Pattinson is the latest teen idol.
The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer have such a rabid fan base that when a feature film was announced, they vocally protested every casting suggestion. Nobody could live up to their imagination of vampire Edward Cullen, described by Meyer as impossibly beautiful. They even rallied against Pattinson when he ultimately won the part. Somewhere along the line though, they warmed up to him. Now that the film is in theaters, Pattinson is the star of a nationwide tour of Hot Topic stores, where young girls can wait in line to get a moment up close with him.
The modest Brit still thinks they were right the first time. "I still believe the initial reaction I had when I first found out I had been cast was the true reaction," Pattinson said. "Now everyone is like, ‘Okay, I just love the book so much I’ll just let him go with it’ and ‘Yeah, okay, alright, he’s beautiful, whatever.’ But the initial reaction was, ‘He is completely wrong for it.’ And I agreed with them. But I didn’t play it like some guy who knew he was some beautiful person, I hope. I still don’t really feel it. I don’t really feel it at all.”
Such a description would be intimidating to any actor. There's really no method or process for getting beautiful, so Pattinson could only be himself. "When you read the description of him, it says he's so beautiful it hurts to look at him. I think it's kind of difficult to act that so I wouldn't really know how to go about doing it. I hope there's been a lot of post production."
It is also interesting that women are so drawn to such a deadly character. Edward is a vampire, so he and Bella's (Kristen Stewart) relationship is plagued by his constant temptation to attack her. Despite Bella's insistence on his good nature, Edward knows what he is. Perhaps the adoring fans should be careful too.
"I think the more Bella says, 'I'm not scared of you, you're not a monster, blah blah blah,' the more I believe it myself and I kind of forget that I am a vampire and what my actual urges are. I try to kiss her and obviously it kind of ends up being a nightmare. She has this hormonal rush and I have the 'I will kill you.' It kind of ends up being more sexy in a way. You're at a point where you want to do everything and kill them at the same time. It's like the peak."
It's nothing new. Women always like the bad boy. They think they can save them.
"I think he’s spent his entire life suppressing everything, and is ashamed of himself when he lets his façade of formality break when Bella comes into his life. He does not want to feel anything because he wants to make his world smaller and smaller and smaller, because he does not feel like he belongs in it. He doesn’t know why he is in it. He just either wants to be a human or die because his existence is completely pointless. And that is why he doesn’t talk to anyone or really feel anything in the book, apart from when Bella comes. He is literally counting the cracks in the wall and stuff. It is just like every single day is just exactly the same thing and if he feels anything he cuts it and shuts it down immediately because if you start liking someone or something, he just thinks he’s this monster, so he doesn’t let himself feel anything at all, even within himself.”
They like his hair too. Women obsessed over Pattinson's flowing blonde hair so much that it became a fixture in their minds. Even after he cut it, the ladies still saw Edward.
"I cut it yesterday. No one’s even noticed all day. They’re all like ‘So they’re still not letting you cut your hair.’ And I’m like ‘I already did cut it.”
Pattinson admits to staying up late at night reading blogs about himself. It is truly a phenomenon bigger than himself, as there would be no Rob Pattinson fan sites without Twilight.
"It's bizarre. You kind of know that it is essentially the book. The book has so many obsessive, obsessively loyal fans. It's strange because people just immediately relate you to the character right away rather than you as an actor."
Merchandising tie-ins for Twilight mean that Pattinson could be a staple on bedroom walls around the world. He is personally intrigued by the notion of a miniature Rob Pattinson. "I like the doll. The doll is cool. That's what I really want. I want to have a little button in the back so you can do stuff. I'm looking forward to the doll more than the poster."
With three more books to adapt, Pattinson could maintain the sexy spotlight for a while. Jackman will have to retire his crown in 2009, when People Magazine decides who is sexy then. Who knows? Maybe it could be…..Rob Pattinson!
Australia and Twilight are in theaters now!