It was back in 2008 that I began the series 12 Days. The original intent of the category was to highlight Christmas movies with male nudity. I was inspired after seeing Nick May in Houseboy, especially the scene featuring some of the actors lying naked under and around the Christmas tree. There was a certain holiday magic with the mix of male skin, tinsel and Christmas lights.
Over the next few years I did one or two pieces around the holiday season, but it wasn't until 2014 that the series really took off, with 15 posts devoted to the theme. I loved including classic Christmas movies along with modern holiday films and undressing those Christmas sweater actors who appeared within them.
The series took off with the rise of Hallmark Christmas movies. The Hallmark movies are usually focused on a female lead, with their male counterparts often serve as window dressing. They always cast a hot male lead and are usually written as caring, upstanding and romantic characters. Given how angelic most of the male characters are written, it was fun to find other roles where the actor was a little more unwrapped.
The interesting thing about Hallmark movies, is that you don't really have to pay attention to enjoy them. My mother always had them on when I was back home visiting, and would often catch just a few minutes of one, see an actor I found attractive, and make note to look him up when I had the time. I often have on at home as background, a movie I can have on, but not have to pay close attention to. They are almost like music, you can do other things, cook, work, write, and still look up from time to time and still get the gist of the story.
I also love the variety of actors usually cast. There are new actors on their way up, there are once in demand actors on their way down. Their is also occasionally a popular established actor, as well as soap stars, reality stars and more than a few male models in their first role. I also especially love researching the numerous Canadian actors who frequent Hallmark movies. Since most of the films are shot in Canada, Hallmark movies are full of Canadian actors and actress's in both lead and supporting roles.
I almost ended the series this year. It was mother who first introduced me to the Hallmark movie mainly because most of November and December, they were on 24/7 at my parents house. I so connected them with her, with this being the first Christmas without my mother, I wasn't sure I would feel like turning them on. But... the goal of most of the Hallmark movies is to comfort, and a couple of weeks ago, that's just what happened when I turned one on. I liked the male actor, and although only watched or heard) about half of it, found it comforting to have one in the background as I painted the ceiling in my kitchen. Check out the movie, and the former WB teen idol in the lead on Page 2 HERE:
There have been many Dorian Gray's on-screen, and actor Jedidiah Goodacre seems the perfect addition to add to the list. The former Disney actor has taken on the iconic role in season two of Netflix's The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and me thinks he's going to give Ross Lynch's Harvey Kinkle a run for his money.
His name, as you can see from these images, isn't the only thing incredibly sexy about the 29 year old actor. That head of hair, not to mention the hair flowing down his chest and stomach. Unlike his shirtless scenes in The Originals, let's hope the producers of Sabrina don't force him to shave!
The tale of LGBTQ characters in fairy tales is unfortunately not as old as time, even today, representation remains a struggle. If there was a gay character, they were usually closeted, and written as comic relief. The bungling bestie of the prince, or the clownish and deliberately campy valet or manservant to the king.
Those beauties on the stairs of the palace were always fair maidens or princesses. The virtuous heroines, even the strong ones, were written paired with masculine counter parts furthering the heteronormative narrative that artist Richard Rothstien has taken on as a theme within his work this past year.
I have loved featuring Richard's telling of the tales, including his visual re-writings of The Little Mermaid, (Chasing Tail) Little Red Riding Hood, (Basket of Goodies) and even taking on the Shakespeare,(Shakespeare in the Park) a writer who included more than a few campy sidekicks in his works including Feeble the tailor in Henry IV and Osric the courtier in Hamlet.
Look into my eyes!
Don't you recognize
The beast within the man
Who's here before you?
I was excited when I first saw images of Richard's newest re-telling of the fairy tale Beauty & the Beast, first written back in the 1700's by french novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve. The original novel, more than the adaptations and movies that followed, focused on subjects like identity and appearance, and it's role in shaping who we are.
Although the town gushes over the strength and the visual manly specimen that is Gaston, he is not the one the beauty eventually chooses. Romance rules in Beauty & the Beast, and it's the Beast who has the heart, and wins the heart of the Beauty. Richard, along with his beauty, (Sergey) and his beast (Dee Whitt) beautifully capture the stories romance
I think this shoot is one of my favorites from Richard's theme thus far. No one could ignore or deny the elegant beauty of Sergey on the stone stairs. He is like a delegate, yet powerful magnetic force that draws you towards him. He certainly drew the beast, and Dee Whitt's beast cannot neither be ignored or resisted, especially when handing you a rose and inviting you out on to the dance floor.
You can almost hear the music, and feel the electricity as Sergey and Dee Whitt begin their waltz. Richard's images invite the viewer to fantasize about the climatic conclusion after the music has stopped playing. Although Disney captured the romance, it was not nearly as erotically passionate as depicted by Sergey and Dee Witt in Richard's tale of a more open and current time. Check out more from this series, including some behind the scene images on Page 2 HERE:
As beautiful as the beast and beauties waltz was in part 1, I equally love their dance in the leaves in these outtakes and behind the scene shots from DeWitt and Sergey's Beauty & the Beast inspired shoot with New York photographer Richard Rothstein.
When Maggie’s secret plan to reunite Danny and his two brothers with Julia during the live broadcast in Vermont goes awry, Maggie is reminded that above all, it is the love for family and friends that makes the merriest of Christmas.
I first fell in lust with the hot 19 year old Chad Michael Murray when he was playing Tristin Dugray back in 2000 on Gilmore Girls. Tristin was a hottie bad boy at prep school and was seen most in the show's first season. This was before Jess came along and I always hoped Rory would drop Dean and have a little fun with Tristin.
Soon after his stint on Gilmore Girls, Murray spent 12 episodes romancing many of the women on Dawson's Creek, I think pretty much all the lead character other than Grams. The show wisely had the hot young actor almost naked in about half of scenes, shirtless, stripping or in boxer briefs. It was then I first noticed Murray's great chest. You'll understand from these shirtless shots why I nicknamed him nipples.
The CW obviously saw the appeal of their hot heart throb and a year after completing his stint on Dawson's Creek was cast in the lead on teen high school basketball drama One Tree Hill. I tried to like OTH, but although I liked Dawson's Creek and loved Gilmore Girls, could not get past more than a few episodes of OTH.
With Alexis Bledel in Gilmore Girls
Not watching, didn't mean I didn't pay attention whenever Murray was showing a little skin on the show. His most famous OTH skinning was the rather daring basketball scene that fans of the show, or just fans of actor's anatomy remember well.
One Tree Hill
Seeing the promos for Road To Christmas had me thinking back to when I first noticed Murray on TV and back when I was a magazine fiend and enjoyed all his shirtless pin-ups in Teen People and Pop Magazine. It also had me thinking it was time Chad Michael Murray took a turn in my Actors & Skin feature. Check out that post below!