Well, well, well, it’s the choice that I think a whole lot of people, and People, have been waiting for: Chris Evans is officially your sexiest man alive. Last year’s pick, Paul Rudd, was like the comforting and safe cup of soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Chris Evans is basically that but with a glass of whiskey on the side. He’s not a surprise, he’s going to be a widely applauded pick, and there’s also just a tiny bit more of a rough edge. The photos do a good job making the case that he is, yes, really quite sexy, and in a rumpled way. He would be the hot neighbor at your countryside Airbnb who helps you figure out which fuse you just blew, there might be motor oil on his shirt but somehow it doesn’t smell bad, and he’d have a very large and friendly dog that likes you, which, hey, Pete the Golden Retriever’s opinion is the one that really matters. Somewhere in here you’re probably sucked into doing farmy things with him, and he’s impressed that you don’t mind helping birth that calf at midnight while the vet is stuck with a flat tire. Then suddenly you’re banging him in front of a fireplace and selling your big city apartment. So like… these photos are kind of a Hallmark movie fantasy of a smokingly fine man who just wants a simple, but hot, but simple and hot life. They’re great. I’m into it.
Aside from being a natural and easy pick, Chris Evans also feels like the guy you keep in your back pocket when there aren’t any immediately zeitgeist-y options (they do love a news peg). He’s evergreen, he will ALWAYS work, so you don’t pull the ripcord unless it’s an emergency. There doesn’t HAVE to be a current project to promote, but certainly People likes to pick someone who is of-the-moment or unavoidable, and there aren’t any immediately obvious (to me) pop-culture kings right now other than Harry Styles. But I am GUESSING they were planning this as far back as summer or Venice, when Don’t Worry Darling and all the associated gossip was making the rounds. Since that movie flopped out of the awards conversation, I suspect Harry’s people, and again People, preferred not to resurrect any of the associated gossip now that it’s died down — especially because it’s hard to do one of these with a bachelor without SOME coy mention of a personal life, or whether they want kids. Harry will have his day, or end up one of the Most Beautiful People, the ones that don’t have a first-person interview, and that’s fine. Chris Pine might’ve been in play, if DWD had been an Oscar hopeful. I would not be shocked if J.Lo’s camp had tried to get Ben Affleck in contention, although she’s on Vogue in December (posting it tomorrow!) so maybe her attention was elsewhere, and also, I am not feeling that pick. Who else are we left with? In recent years People has shied away from recent repeats… Daniel Craig has The Glass Onion coming out, but he’s another pretty solid evergreen choice who doesn’t really NEED to be deployed right now. Henry Golding, maybe, if people hadn’t hated that Persuasion so much? He’ll get it someday, for sure. Rege-Jean Page is probably on someone’s list, but methinks he needs another Bridgerton-like big moment first. As far as TV shows with buzz, they’re not gonna pick anyone slinging f-bombs from Succession, or the guy whose face rotted off on House of Dragons. I don’t think People wants to walk along that edge. Did enough people watch the new Lord of the Rings to make a household sexyface out of any of them? Probably not.
Who would you have nominated? Or is this the right Chris at the right time? It IS soothing my nerves today, that’s for sure.