With Emile Hirsch At Four Months And Counting, The SMA List Turns One

Emile Hirsch won. His authority challenged by the long-awaited, Zac Efron/Hunter Parrish-induced one-two punch of 17 Again, he held firm. Since the nature of rankings is to channel attention to those at the top, that might stand as the most interesting development on the June Sexiest Males Alive list. Three newcomers, a stream of personal bests and a few crushing setbacks, however, means every tier has something to report. Lucas Till, the guy whose presence made Hannah Montana: The Movie a fairly good experience, is Newcomer Of The Month at a very impressive #15, while the recently reintroduced Chris Lowell’s twelve spot surge wins him the title of the month’s best climber. In a brutally quick reversal of fortunes, last month’s big surprise, Jeremy Sumpter, nearly falls off in June, with a whopping fifteen spot slide, to #50. His slide is as hard to explain as his sudden May re-emergence was. Rhys Wakefield is the sole returnee, while we wish Daniel Radcliffe, Rafi Gavron, Gareth Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt better luck next time. Radcliffe should have a shot next month as the new Harry Potter movie hits theaters, but Levitt’s fall is somewhat curious, considering that I rewatched Mysterious Skin just last week.

As always, the changes on the list are usually caused by any particular guy being considered by me to be relatively more attractive than he was considered last month. That, however, of course doesn’t necessarily mean that any of the other people on this list have become markedly less attractive, only that they perhaps have not been as good at getting my attention lately. With that said, let’s break it down:

#1-10: The SMA of course is a fiercely subjective list, but I nonetheless strive for some sort of leveled playing field. I don’t have neither the time nor the persistence to treat all possible entrants equally, but if I know in advance that one of the top contenders is likely to gain special exposure, I often try to balance things by spending some time on his main challengers as well. For instance, I had known since last October that the release of 17 Again would represent a prime opportunity for Efron or Parrish to take top honors, so I decided to offer Emile Hirsch some help, to assure that he would not drown in the 17 tsunami. Watching The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Into The Wild and Lords of Dogtown in fairly rapid succession, I of course may have ended up skewing the competition in favor of Hirsch after all, but in the end, he himself is responsible for beating back the challenge. His fourth straight win was as well-deserved as all the others.

Boosted by season nine reruns of 7th Heaven, David Gallagher defended his strong May showing, and built on last month’s momentum. It’s too early to tell, but there are indications that Logan Lerman could be in the heartthrob game for the long haul. A glance at the Gamer trailer, makes me hope that he will take a step back and choose a little smarter for the future, however. Movies like that might be necessary to claw your way to permanence in a very competitive business, but since I have higher hopes for him than his mere survival – a new Hirsch or DiCaprio, say – it’s a little frustrating. The friendly rivalry between Mitch Hewer and Nick Hoult this month is resolved in Hewer’s favor, but apart from that, the real story is the continued rise of their Skins successor Luke Pasqualino. I’m still not convinced of the charms of the third season, but if anything lasting is to come of it, it has to be this guy. He’s sort of like a more obviously heart-stopping version of Chris Lowell, in a way.

#11-20: Speaking of comparing people, doesn’t Lucas Till look a little like Ed Speleers? Yeah, he does, you say, and thus we are all in agreement. Anyway, what follows is meant as a compliment, even though it may not sound like much of one: Till was made to play the regular rural Southern guy in Hannah Montana: The Movie. For all it’s flaws – food fights with pastry, Southern stereotypes, Billy Ray Cyrus – HM is actually decently entertaining, and Till’s calm smile probably was the one thing that made me relax enough to give it a chance. Of course, I’m capable of feeling more than one thing at once, but in keeping with the family-friendliness of the movie in question, I’ll refrain from elaborating on what other things the Till made me feel. The movie may be quickly forgotten, but like Luke Pasqualino, this guy may be a keeper.

Elsewhere in the Disney machinery, results are more mixed. Raviv Ullman, still best known as Phil Diffy of Phil of the Future, has begun the quest to fight his way back into the Top Ten with this month’s slight climb. Matt Prokop, though, who made a great debut in April, faces a five spot decline. When I’m not very concerned yet, that has to do with the consistent pitching of Matt over at the Dreamboats blog, a great source of cuteness and plain, not-all-that clean fun, that should also be attributed with warming me to Lucas Till even before HM. Jay, bless him, also keeps an eye on Logan Lerman.

In a second tier dominated by minor incidents – Tyler Hoeclin and Ryan Sheckler are down slightly, Kevin Zegers regains what he lost in May and Alex Pettyfer is locked in at #19 – I cannot help but pointing to Zac Hanson yet again. If Jay could be credited with pitching Lucas Till, then credit certainly is due for Bryan on the subject of Zac. A follower of this Tulsa treat for more than ten years, I didn’t exactly need serious convincing, but Bryan’s persistent advocacy nonetheless made it easier for a preternaturally nostalgic soul like me to fully embrace even Zac’s non-musical qualities. Now I love them both. Finally, Gaspard Ulliel’s seemingly significant five-spot decline should not be read as a particular sign of weakness. For a guy who, unlike people like Hoechlin who has regular syndicated television exposure, or Zegers or Pettyfer who are all over the gossip blogs, has no natural source of exposure, it’s highly impressive to stay comfortably within the Top Twenty for months now. Same goes for Charlie Hunnam, who has not been a mainstream feature since Undeclared in the early 2000’s, apart from small movie appearances, and the fairly marginal TV series Sons of Anarchy.

#21-30: In the case of Chris Lowell, you would be forgiven for assuming that I’m overcompensating again. Chris Lowell was simply let out of the April edition, after all, and he returned last month, his #37 showing seemed to spell trouble. But when I saw an episode of (the missed and frequently excellent) Veronica Mars a couple of weeks I ago it was strictly coincidental, even though I immediately understood that it would seriously bolster his standing. For June, he climbs a massive twelve spots, to #25. Next month will be the real test of his strength. While I’m optimistic on his behalf, Jeremy Sumpter’s story may serve as a reminder that it can be incredibly hard to defend such huge gains. Or I could point to Adam Brody or Jesse Eisenberg, who, while they have climbed in smaller steps, are no strangers to the ups and downs of this list. Now, Brody is once again looking up, while Eisenberg slips six spots to #28, running counter to my expectations. I half-expected him to benefit from the physical association I made when watching Adam Samberg in I Love You, Man, but the competition is exceptionally hard at the moment. That seems to have hit Jamie Bell,, too. His slides to #29, his weakest showing to date. The aforementioned examples, however, suggest that we be careful in reading too much into it. That leaves Ryan Donowho as the beacon of relative stability in a rather volatile environment. Jay Brannan, who made a big splash with his #18 return, drops a significant but not entirely unexpected nine spots. If we compare with his previous run on this list, #28 is still high for him. Wiliam Moseley and Jonathan Taylor Thomas continue to silently work their way up.

#31-40: Here, Rafael Nadal has finally been able to break a cycle of decline, surging eight spots at the back  of an excellent profile in this week’s New York Times Magazine. Unfortunately, he has since withdrawn from next week’s Wimbledon, making it very hard to predict how he’ll fare in the coming months. Hopefully, he will at least be fit (heh) for U.S. Open in August. In other positive news, Joe Jonas’ surprise rise to #34 clearly deserves some attention. With Jonas Brothers releasing their new album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times, he has of course gotten lots of exposure, but I have to admit that it was these pictures that did it for me. I’ve never looked at him this way before. Generally, the bottom two tiers are the place for people on the decline, so kudos still go to Taylor Hanson and Ryan Phillippe for rising. Chris Pine makes his debut at #39 courtesy of Star Trek, and if the memory does not fade, I wouldn’ t rule out that he could be accompanied by Chris Hemsworth, his Trek co-star and formerly of Home and Away. Speaking of H&A, Mitch Firth no longer seems able to ride the coattails of the recent Chris Egan EGA, falling eight spots to #35. Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his move to Real Madrid this month, but in the short term, his moving away from Manchester United doesn’t seem to have won him much in terms of upward drift on this list. With regard to Leonardo DiCaprio, I’m awaiting my copy of Revolutionary Road to see if he might be on the up.

#41-50: Over the last couple of months, two things have been discussed continually in this space: The questions of the true hotness of Aaron Carter and Chace Crawford. As far as the preliminary verdict goes, both have reason to worry. The shift from May is most dramatic for Carter, a ten spot slide suggesting he has reached a point of no return, while Crawford seems to have stabilized somewhat at #44, but such a reading risks underestimating both Carter’s ability to bounce back, and Crawford’s recent lacking displays thereof. His showing actually disguises an under-performance, as the publicity he garnered when he was named to replace Zac Efron in the Footloose remake should have given cause to a climb. Apart from Carter, then, Dev Patel is in the worst shape of the fifth tier. Franz pointedly asked me what I saw in the guy, and I felt I couldn’t really say. Upon re-examination, it felt right to move him down. Maybe rewatching Slumdog Millionaire (highly unlikely) can save him? June’s final newcomer is Corbin Bleu, at #44. This guy has been on the bubble ever since I caught HSM3, and after having had to endure Lucas Grabeel’s brief stint on the March edition, his time has now finally come. It should be interesting to see whether and how he benefits from his role on the upcoming CW drama The Beautiful Life. Mysterious Skin probably helped Brady Corbet stay on for another month, while Jeremy Sumpter seems practically doomed.

  1. Emile Hirsch (Previous ranking: 1)
  2. Hunter Parrish (3)
  3. Zac Efron (2)
  4. Jesse McCartney (4)
  5. David Gallagher (5)
  6. Logan Lerman (9)
  7. Mitch Hewer (8)
  8. Nicholas Hoult (6)
  9. Chris Egan (7)
  10. Luke Pasqualino (14)
  11. Zac Hanson (13)
  12. Tyler Hoechlin (10)
  13. Ryan Sheckler (11)
  14. Raviv Ullman (16)
  15. Lucas Till (new)
  16. Kevin Zegers (21)
  17. Gaspard Ulliel (12)
  18. Charlie Hunnam (17)
  19. Alex Pettyfer (19)
  20. Matt Prokop (15)
  21. Ryan Donowho (20)
  22. Jonathan Taylor Thomas (23)
  23. William Moseley (26)
  24. Adam Brody (29)
  25. Chris Lowell (37)
  26. Ed Speleers (25)
  27. Jay Brannan (18)
  28. Jesse Eisenberg (22)
  29. Jamie Bell (24)
  30. Sean Faris (30)
  31. Rafael Nadal (39)
  32. Shad Moss (28)
  33. Taylor Hanson (34)
  34. Joe Jonas (41)
  35. Mitch Firth (27)
  36. Cristiano Ronaldo (31)
  37. Leonardo DiCaprio (36)
  38. Ryan Phillippe (42)
  39. Chris Pine (new)
  40. Fernando Torres (38)
  41. Andrew Carroll (40)
  42. Aaron Carter (32)
  43. Dev Patel (33)
  44. Chace Crawford (43)
  45. Cody Linley (47)
  46. Corbin Bleu (new)
  47. Rhys Wakefield (RE)
  48. Brady Corbet (48)
  49. Michael Pitt (46)
  50. Jeremy Sumpter (35)
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18 Responses to With Emile Hirsch At Four Months And Counting, The SMA List Turns One

  1. jay says:

    I’ll do anything to keep matty and his amazing locks
    in the top twenty ! hehe . Lovely to see Lucas up there too , just how deep is his voice ? . Logan to me is pretty interesting as apart from being very easy on the eye and a very polite and witty guy to swap a message to 2 with . I think he could be around for a long time to come .

  2. queerlefty says:

    You keep up your advocacy, Jay. I read your blog every day, but I don’t comment nearly enough.

  3. poeticgrin says:

    You know what I like about Emile, aside from the obvious? He is TALENTED. Boyfriend can back it up. Good choice and great to see him still on top!

    More important, however, is SMA’s BIRTHDAY!!!! WOOOHOOOOO! If you want, I can put on something sexy and do a birthday dance.

  4. poeticgrin says:

    I wonder if Jeremy Sumpter can hold on or if he’ll fall off next month? Does he have any projects on the horizon?

  5. queerlefty says:

    I love Emile. When I declared the frontrunner for the Young Leonardo Award, it didn’t all have to do with his physical resemblance to the leading of that sinking ship saga. It was also because American cinema really needs this guy. Like Leo, or for that matter Johnny Depp when he was younger, Emile has shown an ability to choose interesting projects. This means that if Emile is in it, you can be fairly sure that whether the movie is good or not, it will at the very least be flawed in an interesting way (like in ‘The Mudge Boy’, or ‘The Emperor’s Club, or even ‘Lords of Dogtown’). The only obvious exceptions to this rule are ‘Girl Next Door’ and ‘Speed Racer’. I look forward to see just how good this guy can be.

    I’m likely to write something on my rewatching of ‘Into the Wild’ sometime next week.

    It’s been a great year with the SMA. I’ve created a semi-respectable reason to do my gossipy ‘research’, and in the process I may actually have learned a thing or two about my own preferences. And, of course, I am deeply grateful for the support and feedback provided by my beloved entourage. I mean it.

    As for the dance, just don’t do anything the husband would disapprove of. Other than that I’m ready for anything:)

    About Sumpter, I suspect he would have been higher if I had actually followed Friday Night Lights, on which he has been a regular. I know I should be watching it. Let’s see what the summer brings.

    You may have noticed that I’m open to persuasion when it comes to who should go up or down on the SMA, so your very mention of Sumpter is likely to trigger a re-examination. Feel free to file other suggestions or complaints.

    Thanks again, Bryan.

  6. jay says:

    Oh you should check out Friday Nights Lights , my brother really rates it , I get him the box sets every year .

    Allthough i have to confess , i haven’t watched it myself yet which i should do now jeremy sumptuous is in it . I always feel that Zac ‘King of the Idols’ took Jeremys crown when he danced and sang into tweens and teens hearts everywhere .

    Nothing against Zac , i just think jeremy is way more sexier and the better actor .
    thanks for reading my blog to .

    • queerlefty says:

      I like your blog both for the visuals, and the light tone of the posts. I can’t say I agree on Jeremy coming even close to Zac (obviously), and I’m not sure about the acting part either (I suspect they’re both fairly mediocre), but I might give him another look, anyway.

  7. poeticgrin says:

    Friday Night Lights and Jeremy Sumpter?!??! I didn’t know that!?!?!?! I’m adding it to my Netflix list right now!!!

    • queerlefty says:

      I’m not sure if he’s in season two or three, but he’s in there somewhere, for several episodes. My brother absolutely adored the first season, but for a host of reasons I still haven’t gotten around to watch. Heck, this show even unites two of my favorite American journalists (!, David Plotz of Slate and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post). That’s how you know you’ve missed out on something.

  8. If you watch the “(500) Days of Summer” trailer, I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be way up there. But I’m glad Emile is #1! We all love him. If only he knows that. lol

    You know what? I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz that Alden Ehrenreich = Leo + Emile. Ehrenreich is a newcomer from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro.” I saw some interviews (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwa3f23uNiQ) of him talking about the film. Ehrenreich has that Leo smiling-with-your-eyes look. I have yet to see the movie.

    I cannot see Jeremy Sumpter that way. I’ve seen when he was wayyy too little in “Frailty.” Yes, even if he’s only a year younger (1989) than me. =P

    P.S.: I cannot get Jesse McCartney’s song “How Do You Sleep?” out of my head!! It’s too catchy.

    • queerlefty says:

      (I don’t usually do this, but) OMG, Franz, you love ‘How Do You Sleep?’, too? Have you checked out his ‘Departure’ album? There’s plenty more catchy pop songs where that came from. It pretty was my soundtrack of last summer, but I still listen to it regularly. Now that you sowed the idea, I might have to write something about that too.

      Days of Summer looks great, and so does JGL. In some scene he has almost the same look as he had in Mysterious Skin. Oh, joy! I’m definitely going to see it once it comes out.

      I partly see your point about this Alden guy. He looks like he could be really cute, but he needs to drop the facial hair. On a different note, wouldn’t it be great if Coppola could finally make a good movie again?

      On Sumpter, I close to your view. One thing is that not exactly sure how attractive I think he is, but another is that he’ll always be Peter Pan, and it seems a little a tad unseemly to watch him in another light, if you see my point. I haven’t seen ‘Frailty’.

  9. Smilie says:

    With so many cute guys it’s hard not to drool. Keep up the good work!

  10. Smilie says:

    I’m glad to see you watched Star Trek and that you’re as interested in Chris Pine as I am! ;-)

  11. queerlefty says:


    I hadn’t seen CP before, but you could say I was pleasantly surprised.

    And I’ll do my best. This is ‘work’ I love doing, hehe.

  12. Yep, I have the album on my iTunes. Unfortunately, I only really like “Leavin'” and “How Do You Sleep?” Sometimes I like “My Baby,” sometimes I hate it. “It’s Over” is pretty good but it’s wayyy overplayed on the radio. I also like his ballad “Not Your Enemy.” Kind of. It’s an OK album. =P

    My friend who goes to UCLA saw the premiere of “(500) Days of Summer” and JGL was there doing backflips. I officially hate her!! Hahaha.

    Oh ya… I forgot that Sumpter was also in PETER PAN a few years ago. He’s so young(-looking)! I’ll feel like a pedo if I start liking him that way.

  13. poeticgrin says:

    So they’ve announced Aaron Carter will be competing in the US reality hit “Dancing with the Stars.” Trainwreck or a step in the right direction? I wonder if they drug test…

  14. anne says:

    youre beautyful JEREMY…I LOVE YOU JEREMY

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