This photo is great, but also bittersweet.
Great, because Charlie looks extremely gritty-foxy — like, if you can still really get me with your gaze when the rest of you is dirty and scraped up and maybe a little sweaty, well, that’s some hotness (it makes me almost wish I’d watched Sons of Anarchy, even though I know absolutely that it isn’t my thing).There’s a vulnerability and a pleading in his eyes, not just shrouded in all the manliness but also somehow enhancing it. Seeing this, I understand how he got cast initially as Christian Grey; what seemed a little incongruous at the time makes more sense here somehow. It’s apparent he’d have brought some depth and darkness to that role with a skill that perhaps eluded poor Jamie Dornan. I am not big on dirty fingernails, but sir, I will scrub those for you all day if you need me. How’s THAT for romantic.
But, this is bittersweet because it reminds me of something: Eons ago, I recapped Judd Apatow’s Undeclared for Television Without Pity, and I referred to Charlie’s character as “Heath” because he looked SO MUCH like a stand-in for Heath Ledger, who had entered his blond period. Over the years that’s dissipated somewhat, but it’s back in FULL force here. Maybe it’s just because Heath Ledger ALSO played a knight and so there’s a weak parallel. I don’t know. I can see him so strongly: in the eyes, in the jaw, in the furrow. To the point where if I were Michelle Williams, I would maybe never see this movie and also give this magazine to my dentist’s office the second it arrived. None of that is anyone’s fault, and actually, it’s a nice compliment, even if it pulls at ye olde heartstrings.
Mostly, though, I am preparing for this cover to be the Mona Lisa of my coffee table. Everywhere I go, he will be watching. I can deal with that.