As far as Hollywood goes, some might say we’re smack in the middle of a leading-man renaissance. Instead of the Brad Pitts and Tom Cruises of the world getting women all hot and bothered, it’s a new breed of actor stealing the spotlight, one that’s equal parts brainy, quirky, sensitive: Enter the Era of the Nerd.
In terms of television, NBC was one of the first to champion the nerdy leading man, with offbeat single-camera comedies like “The Office,” which brought its hot nerd trifecta—John Krasinski, Ed Helms, and B.J. Novak—to the masses, followed by “Community” and “Parks and Rec,” both filled with slightly left-of-center actors who embraced their outsider status with sexy aplomb.
“Saturday Night Live” followed suit by adding a handful of new, smart, slightly geeky castmembers like Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg, who both went on to score their own TV shows.
In film, we have Judd Apatow to thank for changing our perception of actors like Jason Segel and Jay Baruchel, nerds at their core, but who have emerged as in-demand leading men. And let’s not get started on Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Cera.
Okay, enough talk: Click through the gallery above to see 25 men who are the hottest nerds in Hollywood!