Hadji, from the 1960's version of Jonny Quest. Yep. My first crush. So early in my life, I didn't know that's what it was. I only knew I liked Hadji. We'd have gotten along just fine. He had all the best lines in the show. He made me laugh. And while, at that young age, I might not have known that a sense of dry humor was sexy, it sure set a pattern for the rest of my days. Not to mention that in the late 1990's, a new version of Jonny Quest came out: The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. Hadji grew up *so* well. For a cartoon character.
He's smart, kind, and that dry wit is still very much in play. Okay. The hint of dialect doesn't hurt either. Laugh all you want over my crushing on a cartoon character. His best line in the entire series (scene begins at about 2:20) comes after he and Jonny end up lost at sea. They find a bit of floating debris, climb aboard and start rowing. Jonny says, "How long can we keep going?" Hadji replies, "Easier paths have lead to darker places." Jonny stops, turns to look at him, and asks, "What kind of answer is that?" Hadji says, "We're in the middle of the Indian Ocean, paddling vaguely westward, in the hope that we might hit Africa. What kind of answer do you want?" Maybe you had to be there. But trust me on this. For a cartoon, Hadji's got it going on.
My cartoon crush apparently set me up to appreciate more cerebral, brooding man-candy. A certain ruthless edge doesn't seem to hurt either. Oded Fehr, right, played Ardeth Bay (not that you ever knew that in the movie, I think) in the 1999 version of The Mummy. Yes, I know. All the other girls were drooling over Brendan Fraser in that movie. Yes, I went to acting school with Brendan and, boy, did I have a crush on *him* at the time. But, my heart is apparently fickle and the instant Oded Fehr appeared on screen - sorry Brendan - it was all over. Mmmm. Dangerous. Brooding. Gorgeous dark eyes and part of a centuries old secret society? Sign me up.
More brooding and intellectual? Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient. Troubled, ultimately tragic - but dang, right there in heart of the movie before everything goes to hell in a small plane, he's magnetic and tender. And I want to be the one to get that brow to unknit. Interesting. Wonder what it means that it's the characters that intrigue me rather than the actual people who bring those characters to life?
Yep. More brooding, potentially tortured man-candy, the vampires. Kyle Schmid as Henry Fitzroy from Blood Ties. The TV series plays up his ability to sensually assail the heroine's professional resolve to keep her distance from him. How can she? I mean, those eyes, those hands, and...everything.
Then, of course, there's James Marsters as Spike. Tortured, broody, dark not in a physical sense - but in the sense that he completely embraced being what he was - a killer. My admiration goes beyond sheer appreciation for a fine physique and acting ability. Here's my first crush that's both character and actor! I have first hand reports that he is genuinely a stellar human being. (He came to a Seattle Comic Con and signed autographs - a dear friend stood in line for his autograph and reported that a lady with two autistic children was in line right before her. James got out of his chair, came around the table and got on the floor so he could talk to those kids eye to eye - if that sort of kindness and caring isn't sexy, nothing is.) Mind you, the ripped abs do not hurt. Not a thing.