Wanted: Romantic Leading Men

Nathan_lQuestion: Why do we spend so much time worrying about who will be America’s Next Sweetheart when we really need to find the next Hugh Grant and Dermot Mulroney? (Mulroney doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, if you ask me. The man made women whimper during The Wedding Date.) These guys won’t be making romantic comedies forever, people. It’s time we focus.

Were I a casting director, my criteria would be thus: Did your last movie make me go home and YouTube you? For Nathan Fillion (pictured), costar of Waitress, the answer is yes. (And I know I’m not alone.) It took me years to disassociate him with evil Caleb on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (his turn as Firefly and Serenity‘s Captain Tight Pants was, somehow, not enough). Thanks to a few slices of watching-him-have-sex-with-Keri-Russell pie, I’ve done it. Also recently receiving immediate Internet attention: Adam Brody, star of In the Land of Women, which I clearly enjoyed more than EW’s Owen Gleiberman did. Those of you who’ve read this week’s PopWatch Confessional can imagine how much I enjoyed learning that Brody had forced his friends to go to Medieval Times for his birthday.

addCredit(“Nathan Fillion: Alan Markfield”)

So, who do you pick as your new romantic leading man? Remember, thisis the guy who — if the recent trend holds up — you’ll be watching playa divorced or widowed man with a family member who quickly lets it slipthat he hasn’t brought a woman home since. I doubt that Fillion andBrody are looking for that kind of role, but I would watch them in it.Sadly.

P.S. Is there a way to write a romantic comedy so actors would want to be in it?

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  • whol

    oh..Fillion would get my vote based off of ‘Waitress’

  • Martha

    There are a number of hot actors from the UK right now who should be able to pull the big rom-com thing off, particularly if they can do an American accent. (I’m thinking Cillian Murphy, Matthew McFadyen, James McIlroy, etc.) The problem is, do they really WANT to do that kind of role when most of the time it’s just so thankless? If you got some good rom-com writing going, maybe you’d entice some of them over to the light side.

  • No Brand Woman

    Definitely Fillion. I am dying to see him in Waitress! This man needs to be in more movies. Not only is he a good actor, but he’s oh-so-nice to look at to boot.

  • Omaha Jenn

    Fillion has had my vote for a long time (since his opera days). But, after seeing him on Lost as Kate’s husband, he’s a shoe-in. Love him.

  • kat

    I’ve had a bit of a crush on Nathan Fillion since his days as Joey on One Life to Live. Then he was on “Two Guys, A Girl (& a Pizza Place)” and I even liked him there. He deserves to be a star! He’s “dreamy” enough for women to love him, yet manly enough to have the men on board, too. I think he’s destined to be a Harrison Ford type if he could just get the right role for mainstream stardom.

  • Sarah C

    I like my leading guys smart, ironic, and a little sheepish.
    Dermot’s successor: Aaron Eckhardt and Michael Vartan
    Hugh’s successor: Matthew Goode and Ioan Gruffudd

  • Cliff

    There are great romantic parts out there (Hugh Grant’s people find the best scripts: Four Weddings, Notting Hill, About a Boy), but you’re right, the actors who get most of the parts aren’t suited for them. Adam Sandler mumbling his way through romantic subplots is rarely believable. How about Jason Bateman?

  • Nicole

    After Ryan Gosling’s turn in the Notebook he should be a shoe-in for this group…and he’s got the acting chops.

  • Sophie

    I imbd’d Timothy Olyphant after watching Catch & Release (bad movie, but he was appealing).
    I also love Bradley Cooper!

  • Jess

    I can’t wait to see John Krasinski in “License to Wed” with Mandy Moore this summer. Anyone who watches the Office knows he can play the cute, funny leading man.

  • Umm

    James Franco…anyone who saw him in Freaks and Geeks knows he can pull off the bad boy with just enough good in him…and he was delicious in Tristan and Isolde. Also Bradley Cooper.

  • Anonymous

    David Boreanaz. The man could have chemistry with a cactus.

  • Elaine

    Loved Fillion since “Two guys and a girl”. I adore Vartan. He’s SOOOO pretty. I think Adam Brody might make a good successor to Hugh.

  • Elaine

    I forgot to add Bradley Cooper. MMM…

  • Charlotte

    Scott Speedman…. where has he been!!

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