When you think of Hollywood leading men of color, a few usual suspects come to mind: Denzel, Will, and recently Idris. Unfortunately, Jeffrey Wright’s name isn’t always among the fray.
Quite possibly one of the most exceptional-yet-underrated actors of our generation, Wright’s performances in films such as “Basquiat,” James Bond film “Quantum of Solace,” “Cadillac Records” and his recurring TV role on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as Dr. Valentin Narcise, has solidified his ability to fully disappear into character to embody a role. Wright has the distinguished ability to transform and take on the subject’s mannerisms, speech and personality, bringing the character to life.
This year, the actor has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards, which will air February 22 exclusively on TV One. But in the event you aren’t familiar with the Washington D.C. native’s work, or aren’t a believer, take a look at some of Wrights greatest performances and watch the actor disappear before your eyes and give life to his role.
Felix Leiter “Quantum Solace”
Muddy Waters ” Cadillac Records”
Dr. Valentine Narcisse “Boardwalk Empire”
Watch the 45th Annual NAACP Awards LIVE, exclusively on TV One, in a in a two hour special Saturday, February 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed). Before the main event, see the nominees and even more stars grace the red carpet in a one-hour pre-show at 8:00 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed).
1. The Hotness
People magazine released their "Sexiest Man Alive" list with "The Voice" judge Adam Levine taking the #1 spot for 2013 (really!?). Even though some of our favorites like Idris Elba and Pharrell were sprinkled throughout the list, we can't help but think of all the other sexy Black men in Hollywood. From Columbus Short to Michael B. Jordan and of course Denzel, click on to see the hotness and get ready to swoon!
2. Michael B. Jordan
Number one was a no brainer. I mean, have you SEEN "The Wire" and "Fruitvile Station"? Sheesh! Although Mike snagged number one, number two is close behind..
3. Columbus Short
*Sigh* Columbus Short a.k.a Harrison. Our favorite Gladiator, aside from Olivia, of course. Now the question is, Shonda, when is Harrison going to have a love interest on "Scandal" and how do I audition for the part? Just saying..
4. Jay Ellis
Jay Ellis is a newbie to the Hollywood scene but he's definitely making a staple as one of the hottest black men in Hollywood! That smile? Good Lord.
5. Michael Ealy
Get lost in Michael Ealy's eyes ladies. It's something about those blue eyes! Not to mention, I love a man with a scruffy beard! Not debatable.
6. Trey Songz
7. Idris Elba
Idris Elba!! A man with a British accent? Automatically qualifies as a hottie. No debates here.
8. Isaiah Mustafa
Say heeelloooo to the Old Spice guy (from the Old Spice commercials)! I don't even use the men's product but I'll buy whatever he's selling!
9. Derrick Rose
Not exactly Hollywood, but Derrick Rose deserves a mention on this list. Wouldn't you agree?
Skateboard P gives us sexy sounds, style and seriously, does this man age!? Sheesh!
Tip, you sir, are fine.
12. Charles Michael Davis
The sexy stare that this "Greys Anatomy" star launches into? Man, listen...
13. Colin Kapernick
Those arms! Who can really focus on the game?
Oh, hey Nelly. Who knew you had all those abs in those jeans?!
Nas still looks as great as he did when he was in his 20s!
16. Terrence J
Nothing like a man that's gorgeous AND super successful! Television host, actor and now author? What CAN'T Terrence J do?
17. Lenny Kravitz
Love the whole rocker thing Lenny Kravtiz has going on!
18. Will Smith
The "Fresh Prince" is aging quite nicely if you ask me!
19. Kendrick Lamar
Just because he's killing everybody in the rap game right now. My opinion. No debates lol.
20. Lance Gross
Tall, dark and handsome. Hey Lance Gross!
21. Reggie Bush
Kim Kardashian let a fine one get away! Reggie's muscles are chiseled from the gods!
22. Damon Wayans Jr.
Damon. Wayans. Junior. Who. Knew.
23. Mechad Brooks
Seriously, have you seen this man's Calvin Klein ads?
Miguel is absolutely adorable!
You may or may not like Future's style, but let's just stand back and admire his chiseled face and high cheek bones!
26. A$AP Rocky
Say what you want about A$AP, but he's beautiful! Especially when he decides to cut his braids!
27. Boris Kodjoe
One of the few that can actually pull off the bald look and we've never heard German sound so smooth as it does when this native speaks it!
28. Shemar Moore
Shemar's been looking good for decades!
29. Tyson Beckford
The body? Those lips? Tyson Beckford's hot-factor needs little explanation.
30. President Barack Obama
Yes, that's our President! Not exactly a man in Hollywood but he deserves a mention anyway just for being him - great father, husband and the hottest President EVER!
Usher, you're fine.
32. Jesse Williams
Lawd... I could stare into those blues eyes all day.
33. Laz Alonso
Well, hello there!
34. Pooch Hall
Everyone fell in love with Pooch Hall as Derwin on "The Game" and for good reason too!
You must admit that Drizzy cleans up nicely in a suit and tie!
36. Denzel Washington
Had to throw Denzel in the list for everybody's mom and auntie! LOL
37. Luke James
With songs like "Make Love To Me" this crooner who opened up for Beyonce has some sultry tunes, and he just so happens to be easy on the eyes too!
38. Lamman Rucker
39. Blair Underwood
Wish we saw more of Blair on the big screen!
40. Taye Diggs
Taye made a few women want to get their grove back with that perfect smile!
41. John Legend
Love a man that can sing!
Gotta love an intellectual man!
Whether he's rocking a full 'Fro or a shorter crop Maxewell always brings the sexy.
44. Morris Chestnut
Thanks to this hottie, I can not WAIT to see "The Best Man Holiday!"
Ludacris has stepped it all the way up since he's started his acting career! Well, hello!
46. Mack Wilds (Tristian Wilds)
Might be a little young for some, but quite a cutie nonetheless!
47. J. Cole
Yup, crooked smile and all!
Unfortunately, we haven't heard much from Jeremih lately but we could never forget how gorgeous he is!
49. Brian White
Brian White, yes! NFL player turned actor.. we see you!
50. Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard definitely deserves a mention!
51. Derek Luke
52. Andre 3000
Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Andre 3 Stacks! Just because he's so darn fly!