Friday, May 18, 2007

The Second-Look Guy

I think we can all agree on the First-Look Guy. He's the one we know, with a mere glance, is handsome. He attracts us. He is visually perfect, or pretty darn close. He makes our hearts beat. He makes us think thoughts we should never mention to our significant others. His name is Johnny, or Brad or George or Orlando, Joaquin, Antonio, Matthew.

But I want to talk about my favorite kind of guy, the Second-Look Guy. He's the one we have a tendency to walk right by on the street. We don't give him a thought. Initial glance doesn't pull at our heartstrings or nudge us to wonder if we're wearing our sexy lingerie or the holey cotton undies. (We pray it's the sexy stuff should he be a First Look.) No, the Second-Look guy is the one we pass. But then...

...we do a fast look over our shoulders. Or we see him again down aisle three and this time are drawn to a distinctive feature on his face. Perhaps a crooked smile. He is worthy of a second look, and we go there. Sometimes, we even go for a third look. No matter if it takes a 2nd or 3rd, something about him attracts us. We often can't even put a finger to what it is that we find attractive about him, be we know it deep inside.

I've been a fan of Second-Lookers since I started dating at 17. I think I dated two First-Looks; the rest were all Seconders. Now, I'm using celebrity photos as examples, but we all know our own Second-Lookers who may be friends, lovers or hubbies. And I'm being shallow and talking purely physical looks here. We don't have time to look beneath the surface to the mental and emotional man. Second-Looks are for letting your eyes learn new seductions and interesting enchantments.

I submit to you, Jean-Hughes Anglade. He's a French actor. He of the Gallic nose and small chin and a scatter of messy hair. He is plain, and yet, there is something about those eyes. He will not look past you. Ever. He likes to look into you.
How about this fellow to the right? Jason Statham. If you had not seen him on the big screen, you'd likely walk past this almost-bald, scruffy guy on the street. But a second-look discovers an intensity to him and an interesting angled nose. And what about that short hair? Wouldn't you like to buff your palm over the top of it?

Even older, John Malkovich has an interesting allure. He made me take a second-look as the Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons, wearing a long black wig and seducing a woman he both loved and reviled. I know we're only looking at the surface, but that brow just screams intelligence, and don't you want to have a conversation with him?

All angles and bones and surprises of bright blue eyes and almost girlish lips on Guy Pearce. He treads First-Look territory for me, but he is an actor who enjoys looking grungy. And even beneath the stringy hair I want to know why his tendency to androgeny appeals to me.

He's wearing a silly black wig, but Michael Wincott has another of those faces that is all angles and overpowering features. A bold, masterful nose, and a chin to go along with it. But what is that? Those, eyes, they appear so soulful. You can't tell from looking at him, but he sports a two-pack-a-day rumbling voice that sounds like Lucifer has come up for oxygen. So sexy. I don't have to look at this one, all I want to do is listen. :-)

Another Frenchman for you, because I can't resist the awkward allure of the classic Frenchman's bold and defiant face. Vincent Cassel. Look at that nose! Mischief twinkles in this Second-Looker's eyes, and not the nice kind. He's thinking naughty thoughts, and I want to know what they are.

So what about you? Do you agree with some of my Second-Look choices? What are some of your favorite Second-Looks? One girl's First Look could be another's chick's Second, so don't be upset if I've listed one of your Firsts as my Second. :-)

Here's to men, no matter their looks, and especially for their looks. They are a wondrous and delicious bunch, and I, for one, intend to never stop looking again, and again, and again.



Cindy Gerard said...

Great post Michele. And you are so insightful to bring this up. I think that Harrison Ford is a second look guy. Sure he's cute, got that quirky smile but he's not in Pitt or Clooney territory in the looks department. But man, do you keep coming back for more - even now when he's pushing seniorhood. There's a character on THE UNIT - Mack "dirt diver" Gerhardt played by Max Martini. At first glance - not so much. But man, has that guy grown on me. Sex on a stick as my friend Marilyn Puett would describe him. All rangy angles and hard planes and raw, rough man. He's got me looking twice, let me tell you.

Helen Brenna said...

Love this topic, Michele. Second lookers are my favorite kind of guys.

Bruce Springsteen, Ashton Kutcher, Jim Carrey, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Bill Pullman (From While you were Sleeping) Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Kevin Spacey, James Woods, I could go on and on and on.

After all, isn't the majority of the population second lookers?

Betina Krahn said...

Yeah, Michele. . . wonderful post! And for me, Daniel Craig is a second look kind of guy. Well, mostly. Because when you first see him on the screen or in still photos, he seems rather. . . ordinary. Then the camera and my eyes begin to focus closer and on individual things. . . those blue eyes, that walk--WOW, and the stubborn sensuality of that mouth. . . and yeah, I'm taking third and fourth looks. There's an intensity to the guy. . . just as you mentioned in several others.

And most of my dates were with second lookers. . . though there were a few first-lookers in the pile. . . who mostly turned out to be disappointments.

Hey-- I'm off to the mall tomorrow-- now I'll have something to watch for as I sit in the sidewalk restaurant over lunch. Cataloging guys as first or second lookers! Discreetly, of course!

Debra Dixon said...

Michelle! -- I love the 2-look! But I never really had a name for it. Jason Statham is fabulous. Over the years my eyes have developed a tendency to bounce over the 1-look guy because they're sort of 1-note, no melody. While the 2-look is a much more satisfying song. :)

Michele Hauf said...

Betina, report back on your man watching!

Yep, Harrison, oh Ed Harris!, and James Spader, Kevin Spacey are great #2s. Yes, Daniel Craig caught my eye in Layer Cake. Anyone see that little movie?

I have to be honest and admit I married a First-Look (to me he is, maybe to others he's a Second, which is exactly as it should be). :-)


Michele Hauf said...

I'm with you, Deb. One note wonders for those First-Lookers. But not entirely unsatisfying. But those Seconds demand a lot of your attention, and at first they steal it, then, you become the greedy one and can't stop preening over all the fascinating things they have to offer.

Oh man! I gotta stop thinking about men and do some work today! Well, maybe I'll stare at the bottom photo of Vincent Cassel just a while longer...


Anonymous said...

For me, Tommy Lee Jones is worth the 2nd & 3rd looks. Ed Harris is right up there too.

Celebrity aside, I also think these guys are seconds: Bruce Willis, Paul Reiser, William Peterson from CSI, John C. Reilly, and Tim Allen.

Have a good Friday.

Marcia in OK

Diane in Syracuse said...

Such an interesting idea - I had never thought in those terms. For me, it goes beyond "second look" to developing a fondness or attraction based almost wholly on what I know their character to be and not on looks at all.

My favorite example that may (or not) be familiar is the actor (sorry, I've forgotten his name) who played Lord Peter Wimsey about 10-15 years ago when they did the Harriet Vane cycle. Not good looking - not even on second glance - but within minutes, he WAS Lord Peter (who isn't supposed to be handsome), and for a certain type of woman (including, need I say, me), it just doesn't get any better than that.

lois greiman said...

I think attitude has a lot to do with the second look guy. One minute he might not be very appealing but the next...

That's why actors strike us differently each time. They adopt differenr personas. Think of Johnny Depp (sorry Michele) I mean really, in real life he might not be knock me dead fabulous, but in his role...Yikes. Or Viggo Aragorn. Think about it...

Michele Hauf said...

Viggo is definately a Second-Looker for me. How much do I love the blouse man? :-) But he didn't do it for me as the greasy haired Aragorn (sorry Lois).

Yeah, I do love how men have the chameleon-like ability to change and morph and, depending on their moods, appear attractive or something else entirely.


Kaitlin said...

I've never been the kind of woman who's found pretty boys attractive. I've always liked masculine, manly men. :) I like the kind of craggy, mannish features. Here are some examples of actors I find attractive. :)

Clint Eastwood (esp. during his spaghetti western days, but he's still hot).

Daniel Day Lewis (only in Last of the Mohicans *sigh*)

Johnny Depp...Yum! :)

Michael Vartan (of Alias fame)

And my very all-time favorite Gerard Butler. Excuse me while I go wipe up the drool. LOL!

JoAnna said...

Ohhh! Daniel Day Lewis in the Last of the Mohicans is an absolute!

I have to agree with Lois on Viggo (the hottie king) he is a must have second look.

Another 2nd-look I have that I could never explain is the lead singer of the GOO GOO Dolls, Johnny Resnick.

Michele Hauf said...

I've just come from Spiderman 3, and I think I have to add Thomas Hayden Church to my Second-Look list.