The man crush; it's one of the most absurd yet apt ways to describe a straight man's deep admiration for another man, with no hidden romantic intent whatsoever. A man with a man crush simply loves the object of his affection for their inimitable cool, their musical skills, their sports prowess or perhaps their incredibly muscular physique. Really, a guy with a man-crush kind of wishes he could be the guy he's crushing on, or at least spend more time with him, because the dude is just that cool.
There are two types of man-crushes; the first involves two dudes who have never met, or barely know each other, with one fantasizing about being best buds with the other. Then there's the man-crush between close friends, also sometimes called a "Bromance," like the deep, long-term friendship between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that was famously explored as something more on Jimmy Kimmel and other spoof comedies, with Damon and Affleck joining in on the ribbing.
Most guys out there have a man-crush, but you'll sure as hell be hard pressed to get any of them to admit to it. So it's interesting that so many male celebrities have in fact "come out" with theirs. All kinds of celebs, from A-list actors like Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum, have admitted to huge "crushes" on other celebrities.
So how would you know if your guy has a man-crush? Here's a hint; you know when he watches those Bourne Identity flicks over and over again, occasionally slipping out how awesome Matt Damon is mid-feature, starry-eyed? Man Crush! Or when he keeps talking about how wicked Tom Brady is as a QB, or how intense Georges St-Pierre is in the UFC ring?....man-crush! Oh, and all that talk about how amazing it is that Gerard Butler got into such kick ass shape for 300, or how incredible Tony Horton is as a P-90X trainer? Man-crushes again!
If your guy is singing in the shower about Ryan Gosling, however, or keeps sneaking peaks over your shoulder at shirtless photos you keep of Channing Tatum on your iPhone reserved for you and your girlfriends, then you might be into some different territory.
Here are 10 of the most famous celebrity man-crushes out there:
10 Channing Tatum on George Clooney
He may be the object of desire for droves of red-blooded females, but Channing Tatum has admitted to some man-crushing of his own. In 2013, Tatum told reporters about his googley-eyed admiration for actor George Clooney, saying, "“I’ve spent time with George Clooney and he’s the most interesting man on the planet." After more gushing, Tatum continued, ”“I guess what I’m saying is I’d have sex with him.”"
Tatum and Clooney got to know each other while vacationing together the previous summer in Italy as a result of a friendship between then girlfriends Jenna Dewan (now Tatum's wife) and Stacy Keibler (now split from Clooney).
Clooney isn't the first man-crush Tatum has admitted to. In 2008, he told ET reporters of his admiration for co-star Jude Law, who he worked with on Side Effects. When asked if he had a man-crush on the Brit actor, Tatum replied,“I completely do. I’m getting kind of sweaty thinking about it. He’s a mesmerizing dude." He then added, "Maybe I'm a guy that likes guys with accents."
9 Benedict Cumberbatch on Matt Damon
Although he played a gay man in his Oscar-winning turn as brilliant WWII code-cracking mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch has told the press he is straight in reality.
In fact, after his recent breakthrough acting success, with stand-out roles in Star Trek and the wildly popular Sherlock Holmes TV series, the talented Brit has admitted basking in the flattering attention of a growing squad of female fans, who call themselves "Cumberbitches."
Still, Cumberbatch does harbour a "man-crush" of his own; he is seemingly quite smitten with Matt Damon. During a 2013 interview with Vulture on an Emmy nomination for his turn in Parade's End, it seems Cumberbatch preferred to focus on his man-crush, gushing about the actor's accomplishments.
He also said, "My biggest wish is to hang out with him!...Do you have Matt's number? Can you pass along a message, and tell him that Benedict is a big fan and would like to hang? That would be brilliant.”
Vulture later revealed the crush to an amused, if slightly uncomfortable-looking Matt Damon during an interview with the Bourne Identity star; however, the sporting Damon kept a cool composure, saying he would indeed be happy to meet up with Cumberbatch for a beer sometime. Aw, shucks!
8 Mark Wahlberg on Tom Brady
Mark Wahlberg is known for playing tough guys in roles ranging from hardened cops to tough as nails boxers. But when it comes to pro-football player Tom Brady, who plays star quarterback to the New England Patriots, Wahlberg gets all dreamy-eyed.
Clearly on a high following an exciting Superbowl win by his favourite football team over the Seattle Seahawks, Wahlberg gushed to Brady, "you're the best ever, EVER. I love you man!"
Wahlberg and Brady are in fact real-life friends, with the power-friendship between the two even parodied on an episode of Entourage, in which the two buddies made a guest cameo appearance playing themselves on a round of golf with show superstar Vince and his pals. Wahlberg actually produces Entourage, and gave Brady an appearance in the film version, which just hit theaters. Brady previously made a cameo appearance in Ted 2.
Of Brady's cameo in that film, Wahlberg told Bill Simmons' BS Report: "We finished shooting Ted 2. We have a performance by none other than the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. He plays himself. He does an amazing job . . . I kept staring into his eyes. I kept saying his eyes are so blue — bluer than Daytona Beach and Spring Break!"
More recently, Wahlberg publicly supported Brady through the recent "deflategate" scandal--in which the Patriots star was given a four-game-suspension, accused by the NFL of at least "partially knowing" about the deflating of balls by Patriots staffers pre-game.
7 John Mayer on Brad Pitt
Of Pitt's relationship with Angelina Jolie, Mayer controversially spouted to Rolling Stone Magazine in 2006,""Everyone thinks Brad Pitt has it great because he married Angelina Jolie," he said. "I think he has it terrible, because when Angelina Jolie is giving you a blow job, what do you tip your head back and think of to help you finish? You have nothing left – just Jesus on a polar bear in the middle of the snow, saying, 'You greedy mother-cker, I've got nothing for you.'"
So when Mayer began dating Pitt's ex, Jennifer Aniston just a couple of years later, it was hard not to wonder if Mayer was really just trying his hand at "Being Brad Pitt," his possible secret man-crush. Of course, Aniston and Mayer had a reasonable go at their relationship, with the well publicized on and off romance lasting two years.
6 Dax Shepard on Brad Pitt
Comic actor Dax Shepard told Ellen Degeneres that he just can't stop thinking of Brad Pitt (that guy again!), ever since he saw the actor's wavy blonde locks on Legends of the Fall (1994). During Shepard's appearance on the show, he told Degeneres, "I have really strong, strong feelings about Brad Pitt." He went on to gush about the actor's taste, the fact that he's a great producer and philanthropist, finally complimenting Pitt's enduring good looks, saying, "He's gorgeous."
At show's end, Ellen presented Shepard with a mock portrait of himself standing alongside Pitt in Legends-style garb, much to the audience's amusement and Shepard's enthusiasm.
Shepard's wife, actress Kristen Bell, appeared on the Ellen show not long after, where she confirmed her hubby's affection for Pitt. She said, "He just adores him. He's on a pedestal, his work, his vibe..he loves everything about him." And that painting Ellen gave Shepard as a joke gift? Bell confirmed that the comic actor packed it into his car, showing it to her when he got home first thing. Bell told Ellen he then placed the portrait up lovingly in the boudoir of his marital home - resting it on the headboard of the couple's bed.
5 Dwayne Johnson on Channing Tatum
After working on GI Joe with Channing Tatum, pro-wrestler turned actor Dwayne Johnson couldn't help giving a full on gush about the sexy star of Magic Mike.
Johnson said he thinks of Tatum as a brother, but then went on to say that he understands why People Magazine gave Tatum the title of "The Sexiest Man Alive" after working closely with the actor. Johnson said, "The truth is...and I can say this because I'm very comfortable in my own manhood, and sexuality..he is a very sexy guy, he's a good looking guy."
4 Ben Affleck on Justin Timberlake
Ben Affleck has admitted that he hated working with singer/actor Justin Timberlake when the two collaborated on the film Runner, Runner; but only because of how bad the uber-talented superstar Timberlake made Affleck feel about himself.
The actor joked on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, "He's so bad for your self-esteem. There's nothing the guy can't do!" He continued, "He can dance like Michael Jackson he sings, he writes music . . . 400 million boy bands, and he's the one guy that became a gigantic star."
Affleck even admitted turning down Timberlake's invitation to go golfing, as he was concerned he'd embarrass himself in front of his man-crush--especially after having witnessed the multi-talented singer making half-court basketball shots in a suit!
All that, and "Dick in a Box," would intimidate others too, Ben...not to mention create a genuine man-crush!
3 Michael Fassbender on Brad Pitt
Fassbender and Pitt worked together on 2009's Inglourious Basterds. In an interview with People, Fassbender gushed, "Brad is a wonderful human being who has a generous soul. I have a lot of reasons to thank him. He has always been a real champion for me." He continued, "I've been following him ever since. I'm trying to get involved in any film he's doing so I can be with him!"
But it seems Pitt is following true-form to the way someone typically responds to crushes of any kind in reality; when asked if a "Bromance" was brewing between the two actors, Fassbender joked to People, ""I don't know about that, because he never returns my phone calls or emails."
2 Patrick Dempsey on Johnny Depp
There's something about the sexy smoulder of actor Johnny Depp that gets pulses racing in most women--and apparently lots of guys too. One of them happens to be Patrick Dempsey, once of Grey's Anatomy fame.
In 2008 Dempsey was interviewed by LGBT-interest magazine, The Advocate, where he was asked about his reaction to his huge gay following, launched in part by his first foray into TV in a three-episode arc as Will’s sportscaster boyfriend on Will & Grace.
Then, upon being asked if there was an actor Dempsey found sexy, he didn't hesitate with his response, saying: "Johnny Depp, certainly, without question. There’s just something about his individuality, his humility, and his sense of style. He’s also immensely talented and intelligent, and that’s all very sexy."
1 Seth Rogen on Zac Efron
Comic Seth Rogen appeared on the Conan show, where he gushed about his co-star Zac Efron. Having starred in the comedy Neighbours together, Rogen talked about seeing Efron's famous buff bod for the first time, telling Conan all of the actor's muscles reminded him of a "plinko" board that your eyes run over from top to bottom. Rogen said, "Zac Efron is incredibly handsome . . . He literally has the best body I've ever seen on a human being ever in my life.""
With Efron shirtless for much of the film, Rogen joked about being dumbfounded at the actor working out in between scenes to make his muscles "pop out more." Rogen then admitted he was mesmerized and oddly drawn to the sight of all those muscles, saying, "We literally had to write in to the scene that I couldn't keep eye contact with him 'cause I kept just like reaching out and touching his body like I was seeing some magical mirage or something like that."