Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Hot off the presses! Paul Rudd is People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The newsies can’t believe it. The reporters can’t believe it. This is “Dewey Defeats Truman” all over again.
You see, Paul Rudd is not the sexiest man alive. I would bestow many other positive adjectives upon him (funny, charismatic, and handsome all come to mind) before ever even thinking about including sexy to the list. Rudd himself was confused by his new title, telling the magazine, “There are so many people that should get this before me." Maybe he should have been named Self-Awariest Man Alive instead.
As a woman of having-sex-with-men experience, I like to believe that I am the target demo for this little dog and pony show we do every year. I know a sexy man when I see one, so let me tell you who is actually 2021’s Sexiest Man Alive.
His name is Lee Grinner Pace.
Just look at him. He stands at a cool 6'5'' (the tallest you can be before it’s awkward), has a smile that could shatter a wine glass, and — sorry to objectify but that’s literally the point — body-ody-ody. The man is built like an actual Adonis. That’s just the physical stuff. Pace went to one of the sexiest colleges (Julliard), only stars in underappreciated television shows (hot of him), and, most importantly, is gay. There is nothing sexier than the person you can’t have, and the women reading People at a nail salon in two months would go absolutely gaga for this absolute hunk that they have even less of a chance with than, say, George Clooney.
Has anyone had a better year in sexiness than Pace? Rarely have so many people agreed that a 42-year-old character actor was this hot. His Instagram is filled with idyllic images presumably from the house he built himself in Maine. He wore Thom Browne shorts to the Met Gala and pulled it off. I have more than once seen people talking about Halt and Catch Fire (a show I’m not sure even existed). We have been blessed to live in the Year of Lee Pace, and anyone with eyes and a libido would tell you that. People magazine doesn’t need to tell me what I know to be true.
Not only is Pace currently the sexiest man alive. He’s always been the sexiest man alive, which Rudd cannot say. Compare breakout roles for a moment. Pace first caught my attention in Pushing Daisies for being both charming and sexy. Rudd’s function in Clueless is to serve as the guy who you only realize is hot because he was nice to Cher and maybe is easy on the eyes if you’re looking at the right angle. You cannot question sexiness, it’s either there or it isn’t, and it’s always been there for Pace.
There is of course the question of: Would a Lee Pace Sexiest Man Alive cover sell magazines? Yes, you fucking dimwit. I can tell you the last time I went out of my way to buy a magazine and it was when Brad Pitt did his “I’m so sad about getting divorced” GQ Style cover. Do you want to know why I bought it? Because he looked fine as hell and the pictures were cool.
“Yeah, but Paul Rudd is also promoting the long-delayed Ghostbusters movie that everyone says is bad and also a new AppleTV+ show.” God, you’re dumb. Lee Pace also has an AppleTV+ show, it’s called Foundation and no one is watching it. Would I watch if I knew People’s Sexiest Man Alive was on it? No, because I don’t like sci-fi, but I’m sure someone would!
Ultimately, this is just a slight misstep from People. They can do better next year, or even the year after that, or any year, really. Lee Pace is going to keep being the sexiest man alive, I have no doubt about it. He’s the type of man who will age like Robert Redford or Paul Newman, where even in old age you’re still kind of like, “I would.”