10. Terrence Stamp as Wilson in THE LIMEY
Since he seduced every living thing in his vicinity in Pasolini's TEOREMA, Terrence Stamp has reigned as prime minister of Sexy Beasts. Because it's pretty much impossible to choose which film turn was his beastiest, we'll go with 1999's THE LIMEY, in which a sixty-year old Stamp didn't only show us he still had it, he showed us just how much we didn't and never would, not really. Sorry.
9. Matt Damon as Tom Ripley in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
Although the invincible Jason Bourne may represent Damon at his most beastly, the character is more android than sexy. Android beast. Not sexy. Unless you're Rutger Hauer. Tom Ripley: all boyish grin, understated sartorial fabulosity, and cold, scheming obsession, has us waiting for the adaptation of the next novel in Patricia Highsmith's classic Ripley series.
8. Michael Caine as Jack Carter in GET CARTER
Embodying cool in just about every way, Michael Caine's Carter is the ultimate gangster out for justice. Dissed by many critics of its time for its soulless, dirty portrayal of the British underworld, GET CARTER is now considered a classic for the very same reasons. And Jack Carter, in his perfect suit, his slick dialogue, and his cache of big, gleaming guns, defined a genre.
7. Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in WALL STREET
OK, so maybe it's still a little unclear to you (and us) exactly what we mean by 'sexy beast'—let's just agree to cast a wide net. And what do we catch at #7? A snake named after a lizard. Gordon Gekko is not an assassin or psychopath, but he makes a career out of destroying people, becoming a hero to the rather unsexy beasts of the real Wall Street. Twenty years later the man still looks cool on a mobile phone with the dimensions of a toaster oven.
6. Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in AMERICAN PSYCHO
"I want to stab you to death, then play around in your blood." That is a pick up line. Bret Easton Ellis wrote his novel as a response to the supply-side delusions that inspired Gordon Gekko. Bale's Bateman somehow got this while managing to capture the heartlessness that produced our screwedness. Sure, maybe a certain Youtube-able rant makes the actor less sexy beast than spoiled brat, but the character makes us want to put on Versace and wield an enormous blood ax.
5. Malcom McDowell as Alex in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
Hiding a bit of the old ultra-violence behind hybrid witticisms, a bowler hat, and a codpiece, uber-badboy McDowell's career began here, inspiring the Halloween costumes of a million co-eds. Thank you Malcolm. Thank you Stanley. Thank you old ultra-violence.
4. Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas in AMERICAN GANGSTER
Denzel's recent filmography put him in two roles that qualify him for this list. In TRAINING DAY, his crooked detective won him his first Best Actor Oscar. But, frankly, he looks better sporting the dapper 70s gear of real-life Harlem kingpin Lucas, especially that chinchilla coat. Not that we endorse killing chinchillas.
3. Al Pacino as Tony Montana in SCARFACE
Mountains of cocaine, a grenade-launcher-equipped M-16, Michelle Pfeiffer, suggestions of incest with Mary Elizabeth Mastroantonio, and, wait, is that mascara? Gaudy, Miami-style opulence aside, Tony Montana dominates the production with maniacal, drug-fueled brilliance in one of his definitive performances.
2. Steve McQueen as Doc McCoy in THE GETAWAY
Steve McQueen didn't just play a sexy beast. He was one: performing his own stunts, racing motorcycles, boozin', smokin', gun-toting, all while being the highest paid actor in the world. We're picking this one because along with BULLITT this is our go-to McQueen movie, and he plays a cop in BULLITT, and we all know that cops don't make good sexy beasts unless they're crooked.
1. Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
No sexy beast on or off this list would exist without Brando. Period. The entire idea of sexy beastness originates with this 1951 performance—1951!—in that hot, New Orleans apartment. Sure, LAST TANGO IN PARIS is hot. But STREETCAR made it hot.