We’ve all got at least one entertainment figure that we’re attracted to. The ones we are most vocal about probably make sense due to them falling in line with our everyday attractions. For example, pretty much anybody who knows me can guess I dig brunette looking rocker boys and would be able to name a handful of celebrities I’d most likely be attracted to. There’s also the next level where at first the attraction doesn’t quite make sense, but after things like binge watching an actor’s entire movie history you find yourself endeared – like Micah did recently for Miles Teller. I know I’ve done that with more than a few celebrities.
But then, there are those attractions that we ourselves don’t get on any level. The attractions we wonder how the heck we we got into them. C’mon – I know most of us probably have at least one of those. For me, the most baffling celebrity attraction is Bobby Cannavale. The reasoning isn’t because he’s not my usual type, because while he may not be an indie babe, he’s still a beautiful Italian/Cuban male. It’s actually because of how I came to be attracted to Cannavale. It was as a villain.
The first role I saw Bobby Cannavale portray was Sicilian gangster Gyp Rosetti on HBO’s 1920s period drama Boardwalk Empire. To anybody who has watched Boardwalk, I’m guessing you just gulped and understood. For those that haven’t watched it, let me explain. Gyp Rosetti was a PSYCHOPATH. I’m not just talking adorable bad guy either. I’m talking truly chills inducing full on lunatic. Let me tell you, the story lines Cannavale was involved in were off the wall! Pretty much all he did was murder and induce chaos for some hot headed reason or another. But yet, each episode I found myself enjoying Cannavale more. (Now I want to make it clear that the character of Gyp Rosetti I was fully creeped out by, but I found myself intrigued by Cannavale. I do have rational thinking, even when it comes to villains.)
I remember I told my mom about my burgeoning attraction to the show’s ultimate villain as we both watched it every Sunday night and she jokingly asked if she should be worried. Though looking back, I was attracted to the majority of the cast of Boardwalk Empire. Shrugs. Gangsters in the show were always sharply dressed, plus dark and handsome.
It got more strange from there. Cannavale is kind of known for playing the villain. I saw Cannavale in a string of appearances where the characters he played weren’t quite as messed up as Gyp Rosetti, but they were pretty bad. On multiple episodes of Law and Order he was the suspect. In one of them he even played a character based off OJ Simpson. TV Guide once said, “He’s so good at playing bad it’s scary.” I was beginning to be baffled why I was continuously attracted to a guy who portrayed a villain so well.
Lucky for me, I finally saw Cannavale in Will & Grace re-runs where he plays Will’s adorable, sweet, and most importantly not bat-shit crazy cop boyfriend. I was just as attracted to him playing the good guy. Phew. (I also may love seeing him and his girlfriend Rose Byrne walk red carpets.)
While Bobby Cannavale may not my top Hollywood hunk, I have a soft spot for him because of how strange of a way my attraction to him sprung up. It’s a story of mine that my Boardwalk Empire watching friends like to give me a bit of a hard time about with a few laughs. We seem to live in a society where there are plenty of us who root for the bad guy in pop culture. That somehow the villain ends up having more fans and people attracted to them than the hero. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy are a good example of this. I’m not Freud so I couldn’t tell you why, but I use that as my excuse when my Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti story comes up. Just blame it on the villain complex.
Just to settle any worries, I promise the last guy I dated seriously was a soft spoken english major who was planning on becoming a teacher that volunteered as a little league baseball coach. Completely normal and non-villainly.
Side note: for any history lovers, I’d suggest a Boardwalk Empire binge watch. It’s a television show that fuses real life mob boss figures and events into a fictional story line. I became obsessed with researching and learning everything I could about the period after watching it.
Have you ever been attracted to a person who plays the villain well?
P.S. – Since we’re kind of talking about my dating life, learn how I can’t flirt. It’s awkwardly bad.
Until next time,