Sandy speaks on matters of life and mirth.
Monkeys are seldom present.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The List

Given my recent fascination with various 'cool' gentlemen, I decided to actually go ahead and create a list of men I seek to emulate, both in their demeanour and their accomplishments, but mainly in how awesomely kick-ass they are. I hope to eventually achieve twenty names, but this'll do for a start.

Here's what I got so far. In no particular order, here is the list of men I wish I was as cool as:

Gary Sinise - The original man I wished I was as cool as. Gary gets into the list simply because he has an aura of 'coolness'. Whatever role he plays, (except maybe the one in Forest Gump, I haven't seen it) he gives off this incredible air of competence - he's got it covered. Plus, he has an awesome accent. In our house CSI:NY has been renamed CSI: GS.

George Peppard (in Breakfast At Tiffany's, not the A-Team) - I have never seen anything else with George Peppard in, which tells you how awesome his performance in Breakfast at Tiffany's must have been to get him onto the list. George plays Paul Varjak to perfection, balancing the coolness with a real empathy, all wrapped up in a sardonic humour that I wish I had.

Sean Connery (in the James Bond movies) - "The name's Bond...James Bond." 'nuff said, really. Sean Connery defined the role of James Bond, and no-one has ever quite matched it, though a few have come close. Connery combined suave sophistication with brute force, and always got the girl. I'm hitting 0 for 3 of those right now, but I'm working on it.

Cary Grant - Cary Grant may actually be the coolest thing on two legs. Nothing phases the man. He is, in fact, unflappable. Communist spies kidnap his undercover girlfriend? No problem. Fiancée return to the father of her child? That's life. Wife run off with a Russian music teacher? Well, you get the idea. Basically, Cary Grant gets in on his ability to just deal with anything.

Jimmy Smits - Congressman Matt Santos only arrived in The West Wing (the best programme no longer on television) in the sixth series, and yet he instantly became my favourite character. With his charm, quick wit, and ability to speak faster than should actually be possible, Jimmy Smits should run for US President in real life. He'd get my vote. (Apparently he's pretty good in LA Law, as well.)

Dylan McDermott (in The Practice) - The Practice isn't just another courtroom drama. Mainly because only very small amounts of the action occur in the courtroom. McDermott's character Bobby Donnell is a defence attorney, and the show revolves around the cases his firm takes. Often the people they represent aren't wonderful people (this isn't Perry Mason, after all), but some of McDermott's speeches are just downright awesome, and he seems much more real than other lawyers - he fights cases, not causes, and yet still manages to come out with most of his conscience intact.

John Cusack (in general, but especially in Grosse Pointe Blank) - John Cusack is another actor who excels at making ridiculous characters believable. GPB is a superb example of this - Martin Blank is not made into a romanticised figure, but he is a genuine hero, despite being a hitman. It's an extraordinary role that could only ever be played well by Cusack, and so he gets in on unlikely likeability. That and his extraordinary ability to deliver wisecracks perfectly.

Hugh Grant (in movies post-Bridget Jones) - New Hugh Grant is so much more amusing than old Hugh Grant. He's not nearly as annoying for a start. At some point somebody told Hugh Grant to stop acting for the Americans, and start actually being good. And he listened. Wise-quipping, sarcastic, and most-importantly, non-floppy-haired, Hugh Grant deserves to be on the list.

Ray Mears - The original bushman, Ray Mears was out surviving when the current crop of TV wildmen were still exploring their cots. Smart, courageous, and most importantly, English, Ray Mears could build a shelter for six out of two bits of wood, a magnifying glass and a hat. And he wouldn't charge you a penny for it.

Marvin Harrison - He plays for my American Football team, he regularly defies gravity, catching balls that should be uncatchable, and then landing inbounds when all common sense says that should be impossible, and oh yeah, he happens to have just won a SuperBowl, but that's not why he's on the list. The reason is that in an era where professional athletes are expected to be brash loud-mouths lauding their every achievements, after he's outperformed them all, Marvin Harrison goes home to his family. He's the best at what he does, and for him that's enough - he lets his play do the talking, and boy does it do a good job.