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Top 10 Cool Cats

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 4:55 PM Central

by John Couture

I know that it's been awhile since our last top 10 list and we could sit here and come up with excuse after excuse, or simply let the past be the past and look towards the future.

We're opting for the latter and hope that you do the same. If it makes you feel better, we're back with two lists this week. We are so not above bribes.

And for your reading pleasure we present two lists that are very complementary. This week's lists aim to recognize those top actors and actresses that exude cool.

Obviously, the term "cool" is pretty nebulous so I'm sure that we'll have plenty of feedback on our efforts. First up, we tackle Hollywood's nouveaux James Deans. These are the actors that sizzle both on-screen and off.

If they were casting Grease today, these are the "Cool Cats" that would give John Travolta a run for his money. But enough talk, let's get down to business. As always you can tell us what you think or let us know whom we've forgotten to include on the list here.

Sit back and enjoy our return to the Top 10 world.

  1. Dane Cook, Casey Affleck - Do you know how hard it was to writtle down this list to a "Top 10?" Let's just say that it couldn't be done. Sadly both of these guys deserve to be on the list and probably will be by this time next year. In Dane's case, Good Luck Chuck, with Kool Kitty Jessica Alba is the first of an onslaught of movies including Dan in Real Life and Bachelor No. 2 that will catapult him into super cool status. For those of us that are fans of his stand-up, we already know he's there. It was tough choosing between Dane and Ryan Reynolds this year. Next year, it'll be a simple choice. Five years ago, who would ever think that Casey would be on the precipice of this list while big brother Ben wouldn't even sniff it. Ironically, it's Ben's directorial debut Gone, Baby, Gone that will launch Casey's cool factor. Couple that leading role with playing opposite of Brad Pitt later this year in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and there's little reason to doubt that Casey will make this list next year.
  2. Jason Lee - If you don't think that Jason Lee is cool, just ask writer/director Kevin Smith who helped to convert the former skateboarding star into an actor. For us Kevin Smith devotees, we've always known that Lee is cool, but, thanks to his TV show My Name is Earl, all of America is discovering how cool he is on a weekly basis. Perhaps The Weinstein Company should rethink their decision to not allow Kevin to cast Lee in Fletch Won
  3. Hugh Jackman - If being Wolverine weren't enough to merit inclusion on this list, Hugh is set to take America by storm all Desperate Housewives style with his musical TV show "Viva Laughlin." Whether or not the new show is a hit doesn't really matter as this Aussie star already exudes coolness in everything that he does.
  4. Don Cheadle - In the first of two inclusions from the Ocean's Eleven set of movies (three if you include Casey Affleck), it really makes you appreciate the coolness factor of those series of films. Don is someone that always brings something great to everything that he does whether it's a militant D.J. or a demolitions expert. In Crash Don finally got mainstream recognition for an amazing body of work.
  5. Ryan Reynolds - Ryan has certainly cooled off from his days as Van Wilder but he still merits inclusion on this list thanks to his cool as cool turn in this year's Smokin' Aces. Ryan better hope that some of his upcoming flicks sizzle or he could find himself off this list sooner rather than later. Perhaps that rumored stint as The Flash in the Justice League of America movie will help keep him afloat.
  6. Matthew McConaughey - He's been cool ever since he muttered those immortal words, "That's the thing I like about high school girls. I keep getting older and they stay the same age" in his debut film Dazed and Confused. And ever since then, his penchant for sexy roles and lack of desire to wear a shirt have had all the women swooning for him. Despite his odd foray into naked bongo playing, he still ranks as pretty cool.
  7. John Cusack - To paraphrase Chuck Klosterman, there was a time when all the guys wanted to be him and all the girls wanted to do him. Obviously, that day has past, but he still commands considerable weight at the box office. He might more on the downside of cool, but he's one big role away from being back on top.
  8. George Clooney - Like Cusack, there was a time and place where Clooney would be the undeniable top spot on this list, but his star has been tarnished as of late. He's still got that sultry cool thing going for him, but his choice in roles lately have become a little too political in nature and it's hurting his cool factor just a wee bit.
  9. Samuel L. Jackson - This is the man who had the balls to remake Shaft. He's played a Jedi Night, a golf-obsessed pharmacist and a Snake Charmer. If those aren't roles that scream cool, then I don't know what are. Sammy has lost his way in cool a little bit since Pulp Fiction made him into a cool star, but for my money there are few cooler dudes than him.
  10. Clive Owen - How cool do you have to be to actually turn down the role of James Bond? Pretty damn cool. Clive is someone who is still relatively new to the American audience but that doesn't stop him from completely owning every role that he accepts. If you don't believe me, rent Sin City and tell me I'm wrong. I dare ya.
  11. Jeremy Piven - He's been the mac daddy pimp of cool for most of the '90s and that was before his landmark role in Entourage. Ever since then, Jeremy has been the summit to which all other cool dudes hope to someday reach. The studios know it too as his movie schedule is beyond booked for the next couple of years.