Showtime’s The Tudors has done worlds to revolutionize the world of hot men on television and pay-cable bodice ripping. The show “claims” to be about the marriages and tribulations of Henry the VIII, played by Irish Heartthrob Jonathan Rhys Meyers… but those who have seen it know the truth: The Tudors is handily the most lust-infused hour of television since the earlist days of 7th Heaven. Thanks in large part to its overtly sexual cast of belegginged males strutting in the King’s Court.
So, when I received an invitation to attend The Tudors Season 2 Premiere Party on Wednesday night, I knew I had to attend. And not just to win over the casting director to win the role of The Duchess of Cleves, but more importantly to finally answer the question being asked by ladies and gay men across the country: Who Is The Sexiest Man on The Tudors?: A Photo Essay.
The party was held at the swanky Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the exterior of which was transformed into an English Castle with various sexy faces peeking out through the windows.
Sort of like Medieval Times… only much less suicidally depressing.
The interior of the hotel was quite classy, and made to look like the inside of one of Henry’s castles: Red velvet lined the columns, and costumes from the show were placed in front of the windows, including this ensemble, seen left, replete with Lilo leggings.
And of course, no showbiz party would be complete without hundreds of gallons of wine, from which I had a small sip and surveyed the scene. The crowd was very posh: Many handsome and possibly European men donning fitted pinstriped suits, and most ladies in tasteful cocktail dresses or “hip slacks.” “Was I even cut out for a party like this?” I asked my now empty wine glass? It nodded reassuringly. But enough, Collins, there were more important things to worry about. You were on a mission to discover the show’s sexiest man!
And oh, did I ever. The actor who I had placed all my sexy bets on, Henry Cavill, entered the room, and much like Tony and Maria in West Side Story, my peripheral went a-blur as he flashed his “actor’s smile” to the throngs of needy hanger-onners. (Myself included, I think.) Cavill plays Charles Brandon, the King’s best friend and an open proponent of shirtless rendezvous. He is, how do you say… perfect looking. Handsome. Dare I say… pulchritudinous.
After the cut, run-ins with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Henry Cavill, plus exclusive photos of the cast/myself tipsy. Click ahead for more on the Premiere Party and find out who I’ve dubbed The Sexiest Man on The Tudors.
This was my frontrunner. So, of course, I had to speak with him. After all, personality is a huge part of sexiness. (Let’s just say I don’t want to spoon Paul Giamatti for nothing.) So I threw bag my second glass of Zinfandel, i.e. “Collins’ Liquid Confidence”, and made my way over to Mr. Cavill.
“So,” I sidled, “how does it feel being the sexiest man on The Tudors?” A trick question: If he says great, he’s off the list; If he stumbles, even falsely, he would do just fine. Happily, it was the latter: “Umm… that’s a difficult question to answer! That comes down to opinion, mostly.” Humility! So far, so good.
Onto my next question, “Cod Pieces: Yay or Nay?” He seemed flustered. “Do I have one, or would I like one?” he oozed with the finest of Queen’s English. “Personally or professionally,” I continued, prodding one might say. He thought for a second: “We tend not to wear them with these costumes. I imagine they would be quite uncomfortable.” We went on to discuss his character this season, who he assures us “has grown up now.” Indeed, he has. Before I knew it, Mr. Cavill was whisked away by another greedy-taloned young lady, and I found myself, recorder in one hand, wine in the other, checking Cavill off of my “Tu-Dor List.” Sexy? Most definitely. Sexiest? I’d have to meet the others to find out.
It was then that I noticed a Hollywood legend sitting not 10 feet away from me: Peter O’Toole, better known as Larry of Arabia, sitting at a booth with an attractive ladyfriend to his side. Peter looked good for his age, and was smiling and having an old-fashioned blast. Strangely, though, no crowds were gathering around him because, just then, Henry the VIII himself entered the room.
Yes, that Henry the VIII, aka Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who caused a near riot upon his arrival. Let me tell you a little something about JRM: On camera, his look is intense, to say the least, and his work as the former King of England has been surprisingly convincing, if not overtly pornographic. In person, Meyers exudes a confidence and charm that is simply magnetic. And I’m not speaking in hyperbole — I was literally drawn towards him. Which is why, when he sat beside Peter O’Toole, I was able to snap these shots:
I managed to snag Jonathan for a quick second. He had a firm handshake and a welcome face. When I requested an interview, he seemed game… until his publicist, realizing that I wasn’t, in fact, Meredith Viera, yanked him away. “Sorry,” he brogued, “Nice meetin’ ya!” A phrase which I’ve mentally set aside, wrapped in tin foil, and will re-open this Christmas to remember our good times. He was nothing short of a gentlemen, and truly damn sexy in person. (He’s got an animal magnetism, trust me.) That, taken along with this other report from the premiere, has forever laser-inked this man onto my “Good Celebrities” list.
Time was ticking. It was premiere time. The guests lined up by the coat check, and I had a lot to think about. Having only seen three of the show’s stars, I was starting to come to conclusions as to who I believed to be the sexiest, when I came across another young gentlemen on the coat check line. David Alpay plays Mark Smeaton, the court musician. So once again, I tried out my classic “Codpiece: Yay or Nay?” question, as a quick and easy sense of humor gauge.
“Codpiece? Sure. I always stuff my pants with socks.” Alpay quipped.
Uh oh… do we have a winner? Am I in love? Since he’s the musician, and I was on my fourth glass of dinner, I mean wine, I wondered aloud if he actually knew how to play the “Laura Mandolinney.” He gave an all-too-convincing laugh, and thoughts of any handsome British actors I had only just met went the way of parachute pants. So far, Alpay’s personality and charm were quickly turning him, the Court Musician, into the sexiest man on The Tudors. And duh… he was adorable.
Don’t let the bad angle or my bloated face fool you… I think he was staring at my rack! Or my watch. (with thanks to Carolyn for the photo.)
At the end of the party, it seemed David was winning the Tudors Sexiest Man contest by his curly hair and sense of humor alone. But now, it was screening time. The lot of us headed to an auditorium across the street to check out the first episode of Season 2, and as the lights dimmed and the episode began, I tried to put my mission aside and enjoy the entertainment in front of us.
Then, all of a sudden, a particular man appeared on the screen. I had seen this man before, sure, but in this new light, this new dim light, he looked different. And then he opened his mouth, and the most velveteen, chocolatey voice swooped into my earholes, tickling my aural with a resonance it seldom hears. I furrowed my brows and gave this man projected onto the huge screen in front of me a hard look. Could it be? Why yes… I think it must…
Which is why I am officially declaring Peter O’Toole to be The Sexiest Man on The Tudors. Sure, he may be a little older than what you were expecting, but for God’s sake — he’s Mr. Chips! He’s got character… and class. And any lady will tell you… nothing’s sexier than class.* Even Jonny Rhy-My couldn’t keep his hands off!
(*except for, maybe, the other guy’s on the cast. I’ll get back to you.)
Click here to see the first episode of Season 2, or tune into Showtime on Sunday, March 30, at 9 PM!