Character Crushes

I used to have crushes on celebrities, back when I was young and thought they were their characters.

Sweet, sweet life experience. You hurt, but the Justin Biebers of the world don't deceive you.

I now have what I call Character Crushes - a certain actor in a certain role, with certain writing, certain lighting, certain costumes. You could say I have a crush on more than the actor - I also have one on the writer, the costumer, the cinematographer, the director. It's on all of them - my character crush is a community creation. Cuh-learly.

Here are three of my Character Crushes, from old to more recent. Take note that they are a criminal, an alcoholic, and a hit-man. Because Hollywood loves a mess.

1. John Wayne as Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (1939).

I didn't really get John Wayne when I was younger. He's so beautiful in this movie, though. His entrance is classic, framed by beautiful, desolate wilderness, an outlaw commandeering the stagecoach.

The thing with Ringo is the eyes. He watches, doesn't say much, just takes things and people in.

Here's the clincher, though. When Ringo finds out that his love, Dallas, was a prostitute, he stands by her, and follows through with their mutual plan to start over. Good man.

2. Paul Newman as Brick Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).

First of all, that face. Oh, my gosh. Let's also throw a girl crush in there because him and Liz Taylor together? Ridiculous!

It's hard for me to like Brick Pollitt in this movie. He spends 90% of it sulking and skulking and being the self-appointed truth-teller to everyone but himself. But that face.

He pulls it together, though. Then he tells Maggie to "lock the door," at which point I forgive him all. You might think I'm lying, but I'm typing this with chills.

The ending of this movie was a departure from the original play. I side with the movie.

3. John Cusack as Martin Q. Blank in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997).

First - from what I read, John Cusack is not very nice to people. Hence the character crush. Second, I realize this character is a killer.

Martin Blank, like many of John Cusack's characters, is smart. I'm not talking about books. He's smart about people. He thinks a lot of them are stupid but he doesn't see the utility in looking down on them.

He's strong and smart and scary but he doesn't need everyone to know. A lot of people underestimate him, and he's OK with that. I can't tell you how appealing that is.

He has loved and thought about this girl for ten years, too. Yes.

If you monitor your media content pretty closely, you can still enjoy Grosse Pointe Blank on the delightful VidAngel.

I'm realizing that in real life, none of these relationships are making it. But I believe. I believe!