Top Ten Sexiest Men in Period Drama

Previously on this blog, we discussed what makes period dramas so awesome and with a few top ten lists already under my belt with The Top Ten Claire Moments and Top Ten Jamie Moments of Outlander Season One, I decided to throw my hat in and do something a little differently. Why not a top ten list of men I think are sexy in a Period Drama. Now this is just in period drama roles, and not overall and it’s a perfectly debatable top ten list since beauty is of course, in the eye of the beholder. This list will include men featured in miniseries, television shows and feature films. Don’t agree with this list? Want to add to it? Feel free to comment with your own personal favorite or someone I didn’t mention. That being said, onto the list!

#10 - Jonathan Crombie - Anne of Green Gables

My first book boyfriend come to life, Jonathan Crombie played the infuriating, and ultimately wonderful Gilbert Blythe. Starring as Blythe in the entire Anne of Green Gables franchise,  he had boyish charm, a competitive spirt and ultimately a well felt love for Megan Follows’ Anne with an “e”. Watching him progress from boy to man over the course of the three different miniseries was perhaps the start of my love affair with men in period drama.

#9 - Clark Gable, Gone With the Wind

No one else on this earth could play Rhett Butler so well. Timothy Dalton tried to do so in the made for tv miniseries Scarlett (based on the sequel of the same name that was written by Alexandra Ripley) but there is no one that could play the dashing scoundrel with such ease as Clark could. His sarcasm, wit, and charm were well delivered thanks to Clark’s impressive timing and though he actually hated the role, you couldn’t tell when he played opposite Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O'Hara.

#8 - Heath Ledger, Casanova

Heath Ledger is no stranger to period drams. He was in quite a few before his untimely death at the age of 28 but my favorite role for him, has to be Casanova. Charming, debonair, fly by the seat of his pants type. He was charming, sexy, and arrogant, and yet it was far to easy to love him. He and Sienna Miller had true chemistry in this film and it will forever be a treasured favorite to see him avoiding inquisitors and realizing what true love is after all.

#7 - Ewan McGregor, Moulin Rouge

Another star crossed lover’s story is Moulin Rouge. We have a down on his luck writer with a gift for song and a love for a dancer/courtesan. While Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge is flashy and full of pizazzz, Ewan doesn’t need any of that to stand out above the rest. He’s a hopeless romantic, handsome, full of love and light and optimism despite all obstacles. His voice is heart melting alone but when he looks at you, you feel like the only woman in the world.

#6 - Tom Hardy, Wuthering Heights

Dark and depraved Heathcliff is played excellently by Tom Hardy. He manages to be as charming and handsome as he is frightening. He manages to be so cold, and yet there is nothing one wants more than to be Cathy and let him kiss you as passionately as he can. Yes, Heathcliff was truly a terrible anti-hero when one considers his actions but there is no denying that Tom Hardy makes you want the bad boy even more.

#5 - Sean Bean, Lady Chatterley

Aside from being known as “that guy that dies in every movie” Sean Bean is an exceptional actor and has appeared in quite a few period pieces like The Black Death, Scarlett and my personal favorite, Lady Chatterley, where he plays the married groundskeeper to the Chatterley estate, and consequently, Lady Chatterley’s lover. Witty, sarcastic and passionate, he lights up the screen and makes more than few smiles that might very well knock your socks off.

#4 - Richard Armitage, North and South

Often, the characteristics of a great period drama include broody men who are tall and dark haired. Mr. Thornton, played by Richard Armitage, is one such character. His presence is powerful and despite the air of command he exudes, there is gentleness as well as an honesty in his manner in disposition. You get the keen feeling he will protect you and hold you close, but not be afraid to speak his mind. And honestly that kiss at the train station was a cherry on top of a perfect miniseries romance.

#3 -  Henry Cavill, The Tudors

Playing opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers as his best friend and the Duke of Suffolk, Henry Cavill brings a bit of elegance, charm and ruthlessness to the role of King Henry VIII’s best friend. More than a little debauched, it was totally worth all of the screen time when he was busy walking around naked and showing his taut buttocks. Most people who don’t enjoy period dramas probably only see him as Superman but to those of us that have been fans of period dramas since the dawn of time, you will have noticed him in a few roles aside from this one, but for me, this role was my absolute favorite.

#2 - Sam Heughan, Outlander

I’m an Outlander blog so OF COURSE Sam is going to make this list, but he is not my number one. Shocking right? Well he is my number two. Red hair, tall, built, he personifies Jamie Fraser in a way no one else could and man can he act! Sexy, and easily playing a man both generous, innocent and at the same time rather worldly, Sam Heughan pulls it off effortless. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a man in a kilt?


So this is a top ten list, as such plenty of sexy men did not make the cut. Leonardo DiCaprio for Titanic, Dominic Cooper from The Duchess, Cillian Murphy from Peaky Blinders, Tom Hiddleston from Crimson Peak, Jonathan Rhys Meyers from The Tudors and Francois Arnoud from The Borgias were narrowly edged out. You don’t know how hard a time I had deciding between all these men who are each sexy in their own, unique ways.

So, without further adieu, let me introduce my number one pic for sexiest man in a period drama

#1 - Colin Firth, Pride and Prejudice

Colin Firth, is the ONLY Darcy. Let’s be real here. Sure, Matthew MacFayden did a good job in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice opposite Keira Knightly but ultimately, the crown will forever be held by Colin. He is perfectly Mr. Darcy. Of course, this was not his only period drama either but it is perhaps one of his most iconic roles. He is sophisticated, tall, brooding, dark haired, handsome, and even be taken down a few notches by Elizabeth Bennett. He is Darcy, he is sexy and I have just three words for you to epitomize my reasons for making him number one. The pond scene.

So, do you not agree? If not, who do you think should be number one. Feel free to tell me who I missed, and who I got wrong.

Until next time Sassenachs.


“My mum used to play in Agatha Christie’s garden – she used to live in Wallingford as a child and that’s where Christie had a house. My mum told me that she used to climb over the garden wall and play in her garden. I’ve always got this image of my mum creeping up to the house and pressing her nose against the window and watching Agatha Christie at her typewriter. Complete fabrication in my head probably!”


“It’s like a big game of Cluedo, this episode. It’s all set in one house – it’s quite contained and suffocating. There are so many characters, all of whom are loose cannons. It’s quite fun to play it with a certain amount of ambiguity because you know people are going to be looking at everybody - you can lace everything with a bit of suspicion which ups the game for everyone.”