One night I went to dinner with a very handsome, known-the-world-over movie star, and every other woman in the place was making plans to poison my mahi-mahi. Movie Star was quite used to his dates continually getting death threats, but after one or two nights of that, I went back to the guys with ruined faces who fell down on their knees in gratitude that someone not drooling or crazy or beastlike would deign to love them a little, and be there to wipe the tears from their bloodshot eyes — which were spaced just a little too close together.I'm sure somewhere there's the equivalent essay written by a man who's ecstatically in love with the ruined faces of women. It's harder to find fabulously ruined actress faces these days, though, as the actresses tend to go for ruin by surgery -- and it would be awfully creepy to be into that sort of ruin.
It’s the Florence Nightingale trap, I think. Even if you were raised by feminists and the men who divorced them, females are still hard-wired to be accommodating and supportive, the shadowy figure behind the throne....
And who’s your ruined man? When you see the dissipated face of Hugh Laurie as House, maybe your fantasies don’t go horizontal, but there’s a character that needs saving, and the challenge is almost irresistible. When you see Jeremy Irons on-screen, you’re looking at the wreck of the Hesperus, a beautifully ruined face that could have seen the fall of Rome or fought at Agincourt with the rest of the dissolute Englishmen, like Bill Nighy in “Love Actually,” or Terence Stamp in anything, or was he not quite ruined enough? Standing alongside all of them is the ghost of Richard Burton, all pocked and anguished and icily composed.
October 22, 2006
"There's something about a man carrying the world’s ills on his back that makes us want to lie down on ours."
S.S. Fair writes a scary, hilarious essay about her taste for men with ruined faces.