This particular top 5, a list of my favorite Brits, has been brewing in my head for weeks. Perhaps I've been overexposed, what with all of the television and movie coverage of several of these favorites as of late. I do have a well-documented love of all things British, though, so it should come as no surprise that I have particular favorite individuals. It's not just about the literature, historical landmarks, or yogurt for me (seriously, the yogurt in England is unlike any other-I would ship it to myself by the truckload if possible).
5. Kate Winslet. She's the only lady on my list, and for good reason. I have adored her since she heartily admonished Hugh Grant's Edward Ferrars to read Shakespeare with more feeling in Sense and Sensibility and passionately wandered the English countryside in the rain just to observe the home of lost love and gold-digging scalawag Willoughby. Besides possessing a considerable amount of talent, Kate is admirable for not giving in to the super-thin Hollywood actress stereotype. She takes on gutsy, challenging roles and is not afraid to sacrifice how she looks. Which is luminously beautiful, by the way. Love her.
4. Hugh Laurie. An incredible actor. His talent is astounding, especially considering that he was best known in England for his comedic roles, while now snagging repeated Emmy nominations here for his role as the pill-popping, high maintenance genius of the eponymous House M.D. As House, he is simultaneously infuriating and funny, but somehow manages to make the viewer pity his lonely existence. Quite masterful, not to mention all done with a pitch-perfect American accent. Seriously, it's the BEST accent you've ever heard. In fact, when he auditioned for House, the producers/writers/powers that be apparently had no clue he was British, and were shocked to hear him speak naturally after the audition. Let's not belabor the sad fact that a group of talented writers and producers were unaware of Laurie's noted celebrity and renown in his homeland. Couldn't they at least have dredged up the memory of his tiny role on Friends as the grouchy passenger highly irritated with Rachel's shenanigans as she flew to London to stop Ross's wedding?
3. Chris Martin. Oh, my beloved Chris. The man behind the band that I adore, the driving force and inspiration behind some of the world's greatest songs. Stupendous musician. Husband of Gwyneth, father of Moses and Apple (two tiny carbon copies of himself, by the way). To add the to the growing list of qualities I admire? He's not afraid to make fun of himself, as evidenced from this hilarious turn on Extras.
2. Jamie Oliver. I'm not sure that there has ever been a chef/television personality more appealing than Jamie Oliver. He manages to be funny, charming, and inspirational all at once, rattling off quick, easy, and delectable recipes that make the viewer (or reader) feel as if it's a piece of cake to make a lovely dinner for your family without spending too much money or time. I adore hearing him chat about his daughters (Poppy, Daisy, and Petal) or wife Jools, and of course am completely smitten when he tosses about common English sayings like "tuck in." I thought it would be impossible for me to love him more, and then Jamie's Food Revolution came along. I am a fan for LIFE.
1. Robert Pattinson. I must confess, I waffled back and forth about placing Rob at the number one spot thinking SURELY Jamie deserves it and for goodness sake, I've admired him for longer and he certainly has a more solidified, respectable reputation. It's certainly less embarrassing to put Rob at the #2 spot. He is, after all, a recently discovered talent who shot to fame by taking on the role of a much beloved romantic character. We really haven't seen what he can do, so to speak. However, honesty must prevail on this blog of mine, and Rob is simply my favorite. That is my truth! For the record, my admiration is not at ALL due to his physical appearance. I happen to think that he's got quite a bit of potential, both musically and theatrically. He takes himself a bit too seriously, granted, but he is tremendously appealing in interviews and legitimate publications. Goofy, funny, self-deprecating, and wildly unprepared for his current status as a worldwide movie star. Additional points granted for almost exclusively taking on literary roles and keeping his Kindle with him at all times. Yes, I know that he has a Kindle. My celebrity knowledge is exhaustive, seemingly without limit.
I must now away to my study to continue my close reading of Sir Walter Scott's The Antiquary. How appropriate!