That smile. Those eyes. That devil-may-care attitude. Sure, ladies love him -- but who wouldn't be lost in the wily, sardonic sea that is "Wanderlust" star Paul Rudd, the guy who put the "man" in "bromance"?
Having first caught our eye in Amy Heckerling's "Clueless" in 1995, this former bat mitzvah DJ has always had charm to spare and the kind of non-threatening good looks that headliners are made of. Despite featured roles in hit movies like "The Cider House Rules" and "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet," not to mention practically becoming the unofficial seventh friend as Pheobe's husband on "Friends," it took Rudd nearly a decade to truly enter the bro-sphere with a little watershed film called "Anchorman."
In the 2004 Will Ferrell newsroom comedy, 1970s-era crazypants antics reigned among members of the Channel 4 News Team, including the stylish one of the group, Brian Fantana (Rudd).
"I know what you're asking yourself, and the answer is yes, I have a nickname for my penis," said Fantana. "It's called the Octagon, but I also nicknamed my testes -- my left one is James Westfall and my right one is Doctor Kenneth Noisewater. You ladies play your cards right, you just might get to meet the whole gang."
Rudd played the mustachioed Fantana's over-the-top bravado to absolute perfection, so much so that you could practically smell the crockpot of testosterone through the screen … or was that Sex Panther by Odeon?
Rudd solidified his standing as the American male's hetero lifemate the following year, helping Steve Carell get some action in Judd Apatow's "40-Year-Old Virgin." In 2007's "Knocked Up" he played Leslie Mann's fantasy baseball-loving husband, who takes the journey with slacker Seth Rogen of going from manchild to grown-up despite having a good decade on Rogen.
All three of these movies made Rudd a bona fide member of the Frat Pack, as well as an all-star MVP in the Apatowverse, to the point where he was actually the alternate choice to play the Adam Sandler role in "Funny People."
He's not just a fave of the Apatow clan, though, as evidenced by his longtime association with "The State" alum David Wain, who wrote and directed Rudd in several hit comedies including "Role Models" and "Wet Hot American Summer." It was the latter cult summer-camp film that made men want to carve their names with his on a tree after one of the all-time classic scenes, the infamous cafeteria temper tantrum.
How else could this guy be more likable and diverse? Yes, he also treads the boards as a frequent collaborator with playwright-filmmaker Neil LaBute. That's right, Rudd was a legit theater guy, an actor's actor, before you knew how he knew you were gay.
This week our mancrush will reteam with Wain for the communal comedy "Wanderlust" (costarring Jennifer Aniston), and later this year he'll reprise his "Knocked Up" role alongside Mann in Apatow's nonquel "This Is Forty." Will he continue to be an outstanding comedic actor while also getting the opportunity to show off those dramatic chops we know he has? Will he keep flashing that smile that makes men and women melt in equal measure?
A great quote from a 2003 EW interview pretty much sums up why Rudd is a guy's guy who makes the kind of movies we actually want to watch: ''I'd like to have the acting equivalent of Elvis Costello's or Tom Waits' career -- navigating a life where art and commerce don't have to go together.''