Hollywood as Much of a Playboy Town as Ever? Just Ask Wilmer, Colin et. Al
By Stacy Jenel Smith
Last Spring, describing his ambitious activities in television, film and fashion design, "That '70s Show's" Wilmer Valderrama let us know he'd put his hard-partying ways behind him and was now a serious professional. There just isn't time for that sort of thing when you're toiling in show business 18 hours a day after all.
"I'm a workaholic. I'm on the phone all day. I just got out of a meeting now. I went through a time in my life when I was having fun with my success, enjoying it very much. Then I thought, 'You know what? Let's do the homework and put the hours in and really make things happen," he said.
Yes, he makes things happen all right. This was about the time of the notorious dance-off between Wilmer and ex-girlfriend Lindsay Lohan at Manhattan's club Suede. Before startled witnesses including Pam Anderson, Stephen Dorff, Joey Fatone and J.C. Chasez, the pair went from staring daggers at each other across the crowded chic nightspot to a furious, can-you-top-this demonstration of their dance moves that included dancing on top of banquettes and a Michael Jackson-esque terpsichorean turn by Wilmer.
Today, at No. 5 on People en Espanol's Sexiest Men list - complete with hunkalicious photo spread - Wilmer says he really is looking for Ms. Right. (Guess recent date Ashlee Simpson
isn't in the running.) His mother, who gets to meet his girlfriends, wants him to find a gal who knows how to cook and do laundry.
In spite of that, Wilmer has proven to have charm enough to attract young lovelies from Mandy Moore to Jennifer Love Hewitt to Ashley Olsen.
What does he think of his ladies' man rep?
"I don't really pay that much attention to it," he insists. "It's an odd subject for me, because I don't know exactly know what that kind of attention means."
He also says, "I'm a free-spirited guy who likes to do to others and have others do unto him." Ooh-la-la.
Clearly, Wilmer is carrying on a long-standing tradition of Hollywood playboys - one that stretches back to the very beginnings of this thing called movie stardom, through the Errol Flynn period, Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, to today's group of men about town. And if you think that the Women's Movement and the mindset that makes "playboys" into "womanizers" has had a chilling effect, think again.
At age 44, suave George Clooney shows us that a guy can be a playboy and remain politically correct. He has a brief marriage (to Talia Balsam) and a long string of romances with fabulous beauties in his past - from British television personality Lisa Snowdon to French model Celine Balitran, Italian heiress Gianna Elivra Cantatore, actress Krista Allen, and an appreciation of Renee Zellweger that reportedly had George gifting the star with a $30,000 diamond bracelet.
Impressively, George's ex-girlfriends seem to have good things to say about him - like Allen, who's worked with him since their breakup and can't say enough about how much she reveres his talent and abilities as a producer.
The story goes that his pal, Nicole Kidman, bet Clooney $10,000 he'd be married by the time he was 40. Obviously, she lost. "Nicole sent me a check for $10,000," he was quoted as saying. "I mailed it back and wrote, 'Double or nothing for another 10 years.'"
Clooney's also said that he's just too busy to do justice to marriage and fatherhood - but perhaps given another decade he'll follow the Beatty track. At 54, after burning up the tabloid pages for years romancing his leading ladies and other beauties, Beatty wed Annette Bening. They have four children. There's nothing like babies around to keep daddy feeling young.
Irish hellraiser Colin Farrell is the first roguish face that comes to mind for many when the words "movie star" and "playboy" are uttered in the same sentence. The one-time flame of Britney Spears bought a house for his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, model Kim Bordenave, but didn't marry her. He sued another ex-girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Nicole Narain, trying to keep her from marketing their sex home movie. Wed briefly to actress Amelia Warner, he told GQ last November, "I was madly in love. Jesus, it was a whole thing. I asked her to marry me. I had a ring. There was a time I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with this girl. That time didn't last that long, and that was that." And he admitted that since then, he'd probably avoided a deep relationship: "I'd be freaked, I'm sure, within a day. I'd be waiting to walk away, waiting for the change, and then I would create the change."
Owen Wilson has let it be known that he and brothers Luke and Andrew have competed for ladies' affections, and even all dated the same girl in succession years ago. Luke, whose past girlfriends include Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow, and Owen like the same traits in women, he says. They've certainly been seen squiring around some beautiful girls.
Jared Leto, recently linked to Ashley Olsen, has burned quite a trail through town, having dated Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz, and enjoyed a flirtation with Lindsay Lohan.
Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal, who was linked with Natalie Portman, has been reported as romancing gals ranging from an 18-year-old yoga instructor to British ballet dancer Naomi Reynolds - within a span of months.
Oscar-winner Adrien Brody dated a string of hot girls -- supposedly Keira Knightley and Nicole Kidman - before moving in with model Michelle Dupont.
Josh Hartnett's dating card includes such names as Paris Hilton, Gisele Bundchen (during one of her off-again periods from Leonardo DiCaprio), Katie Holmes (between Chris Klein and Tom Cruise), and his "The Black Dahlia" costar Scarlett Johansson.
Suave Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro would never confirm or deny his purported fling with Scarlett Johansson, but is known to have romanced Alicia Silverstone and former "24" actress Sara Foster.
Besides being a hip hop mogul, designer, recording star and rising movie actor, Sean Combs seems to have found plenty of time for romantic Diddy-ing around. The former Puff Daddy's ladies include ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, Misa Hylton-Brimm mother of his 11-year-old son, and model Kim Porter, mother of his six-year-old son.
Mark Wahlberg would like the world to think he's grown past his playboy rep. The actor, formerly involved with actress Jordana Brewster and Swedish model Frida Andersson, has a two-year-old daughter, Ella, with girlfriend Rhea Durham, covergirl and model for such giants as Revlon and Victoria's Secret.
Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, 37, who's been known for partying hearty when it comes to young women, has also let it be known he's matured beyond his formerly wild ways, having reached a point where he likes a woman who shows she has a brain, like girlfriend Leila Arcieri. Bimbo types, he notes, would "say stuff like, 'Who do you think would win if Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey had a fight?' And they would ponder that."
If Jamie's leaving the playboy party circuit, you'd better believe there are dozens of up-and-comers in the Hollywood realm who'd be only too glad to take over his space.