The Sneaky Sexiness of Stanley Tucci
What is it about an enthusiastic man eating his way through Italy that got everyone going?
There are a few things I got into while stuck at home over the last year or so, like creating a home office space, labeling every container in my kitchen and watching Stanley Tucci make cocktails.
The last felt most meaningful, as I was able to watch Tucci shake it…the Negroni, I mean, and get permission to drink my drinks in whatever container was around at the time.
Despite the tight tee and primo ingredients, the clip lacked pretension and included just enough flirt with the female voice in the background to launch a thousand thirst traps.
That’s his wife, Felicity Blunt, by the way. She’s the sister of Mary Poppins herself, Emily Blunt, who is also a treasure.
Fast forward however many weeks — time still seems to stand still and move at a heightened speed at the same time around here — and he’s starring in a travel series on CNN where he traipses around Italy eating all the things and drinking all the drinks.
I’m talking about Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, a title that still confuses me as he seems to have had no trouble finding all the best of the boot-shaped country.
He vocalizes his pleasure munching on pastries and cheeses and the freshest seafood with little moans of delight, charming Italians region by region in those thick-rimmed glasses. He does all this, consumes all this, while sporting those dang fitted tees. Some have collars. Some are a little sporty. They all accentuate a physique that is confounding considering all of the carb loading that occurs over the course of his six episodes.
He leans in and he smells, he swirls and he sips, and sometimes he’s even cooking meals of his own using the tools he’s learned from the locals or ingredients he’s been gifted in his travels.
It’s a lot, and yet not enough?
It all reminds me of that time my gal pals and I spotted a Patrick Stewart look-alike while out in wine country. That man can also get it. In that case, I think it’s about the accent, with a dash of confidence and what up to this point has been a lack of Hollywood drama.
I just Googled “Has Patrick Stewart done anything bad?” and nothing of note came up, but do correct me if I should go about canceling him.
In Tucci’s case, it’s the sneaky bod for sure that should not be occurring on a 60-year-old man, but it’s also his love of food and culture as he travels through a country you know he loves and feels a deep connection to. It helps that this country oozes sex appeal what with its Isabella Rossellinis and its buxom landscapes and all that pasta that’s so slurpable.
Tucci himself loves Italy, and his enthusiasm for Italy is infectious.
Having grown up as the child of two Italian immigrants, he says he started the show to give folks at home the deeper understanding of Italian cuisine and culture that he was exposed to growing up.
“I think in America there are a lot of very specific ideas about what is ‘Italian,’ and one of the reasons I wanted to do [my new] show is to dispel some of those myths about what Italy is,” he told CNN. “I’d like people to see that incredible diversity, and how it came about — from geography, from invasions, from the influences of the Arab world, from the Spanish, the Normans, the Austrians. It’s an incredible culinary melting pot.”
You see that as he travels from place to place, from Naples to Rome, Bologna to Milan, every region is unique, and every region boasts different flavors for him to delight over.
He has an enthusiasm for good hospitality, highlighting not only the playmakers in food wherever he finds himself, but the mere mortals among us who roll out that pasta day after day or find unique uses for cuts of meat not typically found on American menus.
The effect is profound.
You wind up aching for Italy, sure, but you also wind up lamenting the fact that the journey’s done in just six installments. Tucci leaves you wanting more.
And that’s hot.