Bleats

Which One Of Your Man Crushes Should Go Mega-Blonde Next?

Zac Efron, Ansel Elgort, Chris Messina... then your MCM?

First, Ansel Elgort debuted a bleached blonde mop at a basketball game in December. And it was like… OK?

Then, Chris Messina showed up at the Golden Globes with his new look: a close-cropped peroxide job, courtesy of his role as Birds Of Prey villain Victor Szasz.

And nobody was OK.

THEN, Zac Efron turned up at Sundance with the answer to the question “What do you get when you cross a twink and an otter?”

And there was much rejoicing.

The jury’s still out on Elgort’s new look, but Efron’s beard-n-bleach combo is a vibe for sure, and the mass Blonde Messina thirst is currently powering several small towns.

So: who’s next? Here, with the help of some extremely expensive and advanced imaging technology, we imagine what it might look like should your current crush decide to go the full Malfoy.

Timothee Chalamet

Tim-O-Tay is one of our favourite works of art, but this Marilyn Monroe version of his iconic locks is not doing it for us.

Here’s another, more cheekbone-friendly version, helpfully ‘shopped by a Twitter user who agrees with us that he’s a strong contender for the next bleached boy (and also that Messina is the gold standard).

Noah Centineo

Oooh, boy. This is Not A Vibe. This looks like your weird neighbour lady who writes you pissy notes about taking your bins out promptly and never goes outside except to slip said notes in your letterbox.

Quick, let’s remember him as he was.

Henry Golding

The Crazy Rich Asians star is actually pulling this the heck off (with a strong assist from his casually excellent brows, which I’ve never noticed before). Perhaps a new look for Nick in the sequel?

John Mulaney

Turns out that the comedian’s boyish, clean-cut charm only works when he doesn’t look like an overgrown extra from Children Of The Corn who’s also running for an Alabama Congress seat on a platform of teaching the literal Bible in science class.

Flume

Awww, it matches his Grammy! And he can get it.

Rami Malek

Nope. The Freddie teeth were a better look.

Michael B Jordan

Look, could ANYTHING make this man less hot? Everyone – even Nicki Minaj – wants to get it. A cheeky bleach isn’t going to change that.

Paul Rudd

I just realised why Paul Rudd refuses to age: because if he ever shifts into Silver Fox mode, it might actually kill us all.

All images via Getty.

Zac Efron Is A Disturbingly Sexy Ted Bundy In His New Movie, And It's The Latest In A Problematic True-Crime Trend

For some people, not even murder is a turnoff.

The first full trailer for Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile dropped over the weekend.

Bundy, played here by Zac Efron, murdered at least 30 women and girls, sexually assaulted most of them before and/or after (usually) bludgeoning or strangling them to death, and kept the heads of at least 12 of them in his home as trophies.

But with the generic swaggering retro rock soundtrack, lingering sexy scenes, shots of Efron sprinting comically or brooding handsomely, and BIG SMASHY TAGLINE SCREENS, the trailer comes off more Catch Me If You Can than Monster.

We get it: fun and sexy sells more tickets than dark and depressing. And trailers are a pretty lost art these days – just watching one risks spoiling the entire movie – so there’s absolutely no reason to assume the film has the same jaunty tone.

What’s more, the point of the movie is supposed to be that Bundy’s handsomeness and charm were exactly what allowed him to lure women into situations where they were alone, to insist on his innocence when his girlfriend Liz Koepfler reported him to the police as a suspect (and even after he was convicted), and to maintain adoring fans and correspondents who mourned him after his execution.

The entire design of Efron’s casting is to use the fact that he is extremely handsome against you, the audience. You’re supposed shift uncomfortably as you admire his chiseled features, finding yourself charmed or convinced as he represents himself in America’s first nationally televised criminal trial – you’re supposed to feel confused, conflicted, and repulsed by your feelings about him, like Koepfler must have, even though you know he did it.

Reviews from Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered, say that Efron nails the charm bit, as well as the necessary creepiness. Variety calls his performance “startlingly good: controlled, magnetic, audacious, committed, and eerily right… We see the desperate soul hidden in the psycho hidden in the charlatan hidden in the handsome straight-arrow.”

And while there are flashes of body-dragging in the trailer, there’s reportedly no actual onscreen depiction of any of the murders, in order to keep the audience perspective closer to Koepfler’s anguished uncertainty – which another review says “has the absurd effect of elevating Efron’s winsome Bundy into a protagonist you root for getting away with it all”.

We need to be having conversations about the fact that not all violent men are shark-eyed and scary-looking; that they can be charming, handsome, and kind to some people, and then commit unspeakably horrific violence before coming home to kiss their loved ones goodnight.

This is even more important as we reckon with the ugly stories we don’t want to believe about handsome men we don’t want to see as monstrous.

But so much true crime now, in the process of trying to turn criminals into characters, paints portraits of monsters that are a little too compelling.

And as we’ve learned from the weird fandom that’s grown around Penn Badgley’s handsome, violent obsessive in Netflix’s hit show You, you can show the whole story and people will still tweet about how hot the murderer is

So it feels like there’s almost no way to win when you’re telling the story of someone who was extremely sexy and shockingly evil and vile.

But unlike You, Extremely Wicked isn’t fiction – Ted Bundy’s victims were very real people. And in a way, focusing on his charisma instead of his crimes feels as cheap as any blood-soaked  re-enactments.

Noah Centineo Is Playing Yet Another Fake Boyfriend In Another Netflix Movie, And He Kind Of Maybe Needs To Stop

Can't someone cast him in one of the five million serial killer biopics going on?

If you’d told me in August that I’d ever get sick of Noah Centineo’s effortlessly charming schtick, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to my fifth hungover rewatch of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

From being the only good thing about the bonkers-bad SPF-18 to the most good thing about the sneakily-probbo Sierra Burgess Is A Loser to giving endless interviews where he proved that he’s actually Peter K IRL, none of us could get enough of Noah.

And we’re definitely extremely here for the TATBILB sequel, which he and co-star Lana Condor announced adorably late last year.

But we’ve just found out what his next project is (not counting the Charlie’s Angels reboot) and it’s starting to feel like, I dunno, maybe, sorta… too much of a good thing? (Please don’t hurt me, stans.)

Yes, he’s playing another fake boyfriend – this time, it’s a young man improbably named Brooks Rattigan who monetises the fake-BF thing like a PG-friendly Girlfriend Experience.

The fantasy-fulfilment thing is a huge part of the YA romcom vibe here, and as new-gen role models for teenage dreamboat archetypes go, the caring, consent-educated, kombucha-drinking Peter K is almost as good as it gets.

But someone with the overflowing buckets of natural charisma of Noah Centineo could do something more interesting with it, surely.

Perhaps he just needs to get through the inevitable TATBILB threequel, and then he can emerge from his dreamboat chrysalis as a fully formed actor.

He can also emerge from that robe.

It worked for Zac Efron – and how.

From High School Musical and 17 Again to raunchy comedies like Bad Neighbours and Baywatch, Efron moved from floppy-haired Disney poster boy to perpetually shirtless grown-up effortlessly – and is now in the phase of his life where he gets to grow manly beards and play serial killers.

At the very least, perhaps we can hope that his love-interest role in Charlie’s Angels is more Sam Rockwell than Luke Wilson.

If bearded, shirtless, murdery Noah is where we’ll end up, I guess we can sit through a couple more movies of him scrunching his adorable face in a tux.

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