This is my contribution to What’s Something Awesome You Made When You Were a Kid? (Assuming 17 still counts as a kid. It does, right?)
In November of 2003, there was a LiveJournal hotness ranking meme: the goal was to pick 20 of your crushes and rank them according to sex appeal. Before you judge my list, keep in mind that it was 2003. And that, as my friend Anna noted at the time, my taste is “whack.”
20. Shia LaBeouf
This was pre-Transformers. I was weirdly obsessed with Project Greenlight and The Battle of Shaker Heights.
19. Peter Krause
I wasn’t really watching Six Feet Under, but I had leftover feelings from Sports Night.
18. Mo Rocca
I loved I Love the ’80s. More importantly, I loved the men of I Love the ’80s.
17. Jake Epstein
Who wouldn’t swoon over Degrassi: The Next Generation’s Craig Manning.
16. Jimmy Fallon
Yeah, he was hilarious on Saturday Night Live, but did you know he also had an album that I bought and listened to a lot?
15. Michael Ian Black
See above re: Mo Rocca.
14. Adam Pascal
Would you light my candle, Adam?
13. Adamo Ruggiero
You better believe I was in love with the actor playing the gay character on my favorite Canadian melodrama. Yes, dumb hair and all.
12. Chris Carrabba
I was listening to Dashboard Confessional constantly at the time. And all I wanted was for Chris to want me. For Chris to need me. For Chris to nooooootice me.
11. Chris Pratt
Before Zero Dark Thirty. Before Parks and Recreation. It was all about Everwood.
10. Adam Brody
Weirdly, I wasn’t even watching The O.C. I just knew I loved Seth Cohen.
9. Kieran Culkin
I saw Igby Goes Down on my 16th birthday. It left an impression.
8. Tom Lenk
I mean, duh. He was the closest thing Buffy the Vampire Slayer had to a gay character.
7. Rodrigo Santoro
It was 2003. Love Actually was big. Weren’t we all a little bit in love with Rodrigo Santoro?
6. Ethan Hawke
I was very into his Hamlet. And thus began an unfortunate obsession with jerks in douchey sunglasses.
5. Jason Lee
Remember Heartbreakers? What a movie! This was also during my Kevin Smith phase.
4. Cillian Murphy
28 Days Later: seriously scary, surprisingly sexy.
3. Nicholas Brendon
Really, though, I just wanted to be Xander.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal
Listen. It was 2003. You thought Donnie Darko was the greatest movie of all time, too.
1. Ian Somerhalder
Rules of Attraction was my sexual awakening. The dance in front of the mirror. The dance on the bed. The Ian Somerhalder-James van der Beek makeout scene. There went the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality. Good riddance.
In the interest of fairness, I also ranked the 20 hottest women. It was mostly just the celebrities I wanted to hang out with: Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson (hello, Ghost World), Jena Malone (Donnie Darko again), and yes, Daria.
20. Daria Morgendorffer
19. Emily Van Camp
18. Marguerite Moreau
17. Christina Ricci
16. Emma Caulfield
15. Charisma Carpenter
14. Allison Mack
13. Penelope Cruz
12. Thora Birch
11. Claire Danes
10. Alyson Hannigan
9. Neve Campbell
8. Parker Posey
7. Evan Rachel Wood
6. Clea DuVall
5. Julie Benz
4. Jena Malone
3. Joey Lauren Adams
2. Keira Knightley
1. Scarlett Johansson