Is there anyone out there who has never had a FanGirl or FanBoy crush? It’s okay to admit it; you’re among friends. The Urban Dictionary defines FanGirl as:
A rabid breed of human female who is obesessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. Fangirls congregate at anime conventions and livejournal. Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obesessions.
Hugh Jackman: 'ello.
Fangirl: SQUEEEEEE! *immediately attaches to Jackman's leg*
I can’t imagine attaching myself to Hugh Jackman’s leg. My FanGirl crushes have been limited to flipping through tabloids at the grocery store checkout counter whenever I see the object of my affection on the cover. But I'll admit that back in his Legends of the Fall days, I thought Brad Pitt was hot.
Then the impossibly adorable Ryan Gosling came along in Lars and the Real Girl. My admiration skyrocketed after I saw him with Michelle Williams at a Q&A following a screening of Blue Valentine. He arrived at the theatre late, wearing blue jeans, a red lumberjack flannel shirt and tousled hair, looking as if he’d just rolled out of bed. He apologized to the audience for inconveniencing us. Very respectful. A hot guy who’s not full of himself? The vibe in the room shifted. FanGirl crushes blossomed everywhere.
Then I saw Thor and had to admit Chris Hemsworth fell into the serious eye candy category. He earned extra points because he had a twinkle in his eye and seemed like a stand-up guy.
"There’s a moment in fandom when you realize you’ve effectively lost your mind. For some people, it’s when your Google search bar truncates “Hen…” to “Henry Cavill’s girlfriend” “Henry Cavill’s ugly girlfriend” “Henry Cavill is dating a troll” when you were just searching for cornish hen Thanksgiving recipes. For others, it’s when you wake up drooling on your cell phone because you feel asleep reading fanfic. For some, it’s breaking down a Vanity Fair behind the scenes video for evidence of unrequited cast affection. For me, I’ve known for years that I loved Outlander, and specifically Jamie Fraser. And I’ve known for a few months that I wanted to know more about Sam Heughan. But Sam’s first official public appearance just sealed the fangirl deal."
Okay, so Sam Heughan is adorable, but what makes so many people lust after him? Granted, he's playing a role that has a built-in audience of millions of fans of the Outlander novels written by Diana Gabaldon. But that can't account for all the admiration being heaped on Heughan. What is it that attracts people to movie stars, sports figures and fictional characters? It’s not just physical beauty. There are many good-looking people in the world. In interviews, Heughan comes across as sweet and just a bit proper, maybe even shy. That persona might be an act cultivated by his publicist, but I don't think so. I think he has that certain something that sets him apart from the crowd.
Here's an informal survey: Sophia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Connery, Tom Brady or Mr. Darcy. Who do you think has "that certain something," that je ne sais quoi? I'm making a list because Hugh Jackman's leg has already been taken. And all you authors out there—did you pattern your characters after people you know and love?
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