Jon Hamm vs Brad Pitt

Lainey Posted by Lainey at November 15, 2010 06:59:05 November 15, 2010 06:59:05

Arguments for Jon Hamm:
- Sigh. He’s perfect. He really really is.
- Don Draper, in short time, has become a television icon. He and Don Draper are inextricably linked. And Don Draper is a Dude. Dudes approve of Don Jon Draper Hamm.
- There’s the tv thing, but there’s also been a well planned foray into film, complemented by a sense of humour that is so engaging and charming and so silly, he’s hitting every single checkbox for sexy across all age groups
- Blemish-free. Like completely. He’s not only not a womaniser, he’s completely devoted to his woman to the point that there has never, ever been the hint of a whisper of straying, looking, flirting, NOTHING. He respects her, he protects her, he defers to her with seeming weak, he includes her without looking like it’s desperate, he’s committed without appearing controlled. All of this is MiniVan approved.
- Jon Hamm is NICE. He is unspoiled. He is gracious. He is kind. He does favours for friends. He just shows up for no reason, because he wants to. Because he’s supportive. Because he doesn’t put a price tag on his time like every hour is for sale. Amid so many famewhores, he is so refreshingly authentic.
- Hamm was rejected for a long long time. Success came relatively late. And as such, he’s humble and accessible – two words that give the People demographic an instant erection. For the magazine’s most popular feature, on its 25th birthday, you couldn’t ask for a more appealing candidate.

Arguments against Jon Hamm:
- Jon Hamm is not Movie Star. Yet. I have always maintained, in the 6 or so years I’ve been doing this, that the SMA has to be a Movie Star. Television stars simply aren’t enough. Television is provincial. That is slowly changing, sure. But television still isn’t what Film is. This is why Patrick Dempsey, at the height of McDreamy, never made it. Yes, Jon Hamm is more than just a tv doctor. It’s rare that a television star can move beyond his character. And he has. But has he moved far enough? Is he Global? Does some guy working in an office in Croydon know the name Jon Hamm without looking at a photo? They don’t watch SNL overseas the way we do here. They don’t know when Jon Hamm’s being amazing on 30 Rock the way we do here. To put it bluntly – he’s a tv star on a very small network who has made supporting appearances everywhere else, and particularly in his most recent film. And that’s the thing: the SMA is NOT a supporting star. The SMA is a Leading Man. Jon Hamm has not led a movie. Can Jon Hamm carry a movie? We actually don’t know. On the 26th year, sure. 27 yeah, ok. But on the 25th anniversary, such a major, major milestone, do you want the Sexiest Man Alive to be a SUPPORTING player at the movies?
Please. If it were up to me, no doubt, he gets my vote. But if I’m an editor at People, I’m thinking about Legacy. And with that kind of expectation, it’s the one knock against Jon Hamm. Sadly, it’s a MAJOR knock against Jon Hamm.

Odds: 3 to 1

Arguments for:
- He shaved his beard
- He is a Megastar. If you ask anyone around the world to name a Megastar off the top of their head, it would likely be Brad Pitt.
- The Family Brange. Toting around his children. The MiniVan eats that sh-t up
- The Jolie has a film coming out soon. Having her partner named SMA wouldn’t hurt her box office. Giving him the title gets HER too. People Magazine may not be able to resist the one-two Brange cover gift.
- Pitt has not been named SMA since 2000. He has not owned the crown since he hooked up with Angelina Jolie. Securing it means victory for them. That they have finally conquered Aniston. That they have finally moved beyond the triangle. They may claim that they don’t care about this, oh but of course they do.
- Look, if it were any other year, if it were 26 or 27, Brad would never be at the top of the list of consideration. But as I keep saying, 25 is a huge milestone. And over the last two decades, no other man has personified Global Sex Symbol quite like Brad Pitt. Not for this stretch of time. Even if you’re onside with Jennifer Aniston, you cannot deny his brand. This choice isn’t simply a choice for one year, this choice is the ambassador for what the entire Sexiest Man Alive institution has become. And no one better represents the feature on the 25th anniversary of People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. Also, since he was the first two time winner, it’s only fitting that he becomes the first three time winner too.

Arguments against:
- Much of People Magazine’s MiniVan demographic still cannot forgive the fact that he left their best friend, especially when she’s still bitter and alone.
- The 25th anniversary issue of the SMA might come with some conditions. The interview, the pictures, the kind of access Pitt has been reluctant to give. Though the Brange would covet the title, they may not covet it enough to have to come down from their golden cloud and kowtow to the people.
- Is it time for someone new? The 25th milestone may be a perfect time to honour a perennial favourite, but you could argue it’s also the best time to hail a new one.

Odds: 3 to 1

This will be a tight fight. Again, if I’m picking as Lainey, I’m picking Jon Hamm. But if I’m picking as a guardian of the magazine’s most enduring Institution, with a quarter of a century to commemorate (and you have to believe, even though they do some dumbass things over there at People Magazine, that they are truly feeling the significance of this selection), how can you deny a heavyweight like Brad Pitt for the 25th anniversary? In another 25 years, when they open up the archives, you want a face to next to that number, and you want to be able to say, Oh yeah, of course... Brad Pitt.

Do you hate me?

Are you mad at me?

Are we fighting?

Let’s fight about this tomorrow during the Weekly LiveBlog. Sarah from Cinesnark will probably be mad at me too.

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