Armie Hammer’s people just keep throwing out thirst traps until all the gays are on the bandwagon, huh?
There are only so many more times I can look into those dreamy eyes or marvel at that perfect nose or appreciate his perfectly manicured feet before critical thought ceases in my homosexual brain. Just look at that artful rip of that very expensive sweater, revealing just enough of that swollen tricep. Wow.
And I have resisted! Since the festival release of Call Me By Your Name, I have watched Gay Twitter begin the ceremonial process of elevating Hammer to the ranks of Universal Gay Crush, joining folks like Jake Gyllenhaal, Channing Tatum, Ben Cohen, and other straight men who either play a gay-friendly role in big film or who pander to the community via keen marketing or community service or both. (Also, notice how I didn’t mention Mahershala Ali? He was definitely a hot straight man who played a gay-friendly role in Oscar winner Moonlight. And he did get *some* community fanfare for being hotter than any of the men listed above, but PoC hunks always receive a more muted response from the media gays. Because racism.)
Anyway, with the staggered release of CMBYN, I have found that observing the gradual conversion of media gays into slobbering Hammer stans has been somewhat akin to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That gif of Hammer dancing is everywhere, with some variation of:
“Isn’t he great? Isn’t he so hot? He’s the hero we need right now! Yasss Armie, clapback to the media! He’s so politically progressive, y’know. And he’s so nice!”
Yeah, we all know you guys want to sleep with him because he looks like a Tom of Finland drawing came to life.
Bringing us back to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers comparison, I feel a lot like Donald Sutherland, desperate to stay awake and keep myself from being transformed into one of the terrifying pod people, only for the the final reel to reveal the horrible, terrifying truth [Spoilers for a fantastic film from 1978]…
I am one of them. He’s hot. I like him. But I’m going to temper the crush a little bit with some realities about Hollywood as an industry. Because I’ve watched BoJack Horseman, you guys.
Now, confession time: I haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name. I missed it during the festivals, and it won’t be released in Toronto until this Friday. But I will see it that day and probably love it, at least based on all of the reviews I have read, the fantastic source material, and the fact that the film sounds thoughtful and joyful like Todd Haynes’ Carol. And by all accounts, Hammer is great in it, and his handling of the promotional campaign has been excellent. He hasn’t pulled a Henry Cavill and said any odious things that temper the hotness, and when he has spoken up, there has been just enough personality to make him seem like more than a pretty face.
Still, I want to see more of Hammer before I make any firm judgments about him. I don’t necessarily doubt him the way that hostile Buzzfeed piece did the other day, but I do think that article raised salient points. This isn’t Hammer’s first time at bat for movie stardom, and much like Taylor Swift, he’s a performer with a certain amount of familial privilege who has done what he can to distance himself from that fact. He knows that his contacts and looks can only take him so far, and that getting the general public to buy into his persona is the key piece of the puzzle that has been missing.
He tried the television route and the blockbuster movie route, but neither gave him the launchpad to true stardom. At some point, one of his people said, “You need more substance. You need to stand out.” So now he’s doing the indie movie route, and taking on a challenging role that requires him to move out of his comfort zone (namely, play gay). He’s making woke statements in the press, and being gracious with his gay fanbase and just trying to present himself as an all-around good guy worthy of being in the big leagues. Whereas former Armie Hammers like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are on the wrong side of public opinion post-Weinstein, he’s playing right into the public’s concept of what a good leading man should be, and he’s doing a bang-up job. This is Oscar Campaign 101. And Hammer will rightfully get a nomination, and his career will probably get a boost.
It is then that I’ll be watching him closely. Like a politician who makes tons of promises only to renege on them once they’re in office, I’ll be curious to see how much of this persona holds once the Oscar campaign is over. If there’s anything the last year has taught all of us, it’s that there is often a firm division between public personas and private lives. I mean, Hammer deleted his Twitter account after one negative press piece and is retracting some of his more firm political statements already, actions which suggest that maybe he’s not the outspoken, firm-in-his-beliefs character he has sold himself to be during much of the CMBYN promotional campaign. Perhaps, like Swift, he is someone prone to saying the right thing in the interest of gaining popularity, but never taking too much of a stand over anything out of fear of alienating a conservative fanbase. His position is whichever one leads to the biggest windfall.
Maybe the best performance Hammer is pulling off isn’t onscreen at all, but in his attempt to fashion himself as an interesting leading man driven by art, not access, and who is ready for superstardom. Or perhaps he really is a good guy who came from a good family who just wants to do what he loves? Time will tell.
But in the meantime, yes, he’s super hot. Super, super hot. And given the options that an actor has in the biz these days, it shouldn’t be too long before trainers are broadening his physique and studios are stuffing him in tights and getting those gorgeous eyes and nose behind a cowl, which I welcome with open arms. More actors in tights, please. And, besides, who really cares what a superhero is like in real life? Let’s do this, Hollywood.