Benedict Cumberbatch To Play Hamlet! And 7 Other Hunks Who've Taken On Shakes

21 March 2014 by

GALLERY >> 7 Actors Who've Taken On Shakespeare

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Jude Law as Hamlet - 2009

When longtime hunk and tabloid favourite lothario Jude Law gave good face as Hamlet in 2009, the critics were lining up to describe his performance as 'electrifying'. We can't say we disagree. Law's pretty boy looks withstanding, his brooding intensity was perfect for the part that has been described as Shakespeare's most difficult. Plus not everyone can make indecisiveness look this gorgeous.

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David Tennant as Hamlet - 2008

Take one TV doctor and give him the role all TV actors want on stage and what do you get? This, aka David Tennant's hot but slightly alien-ish take on the Danish prince. "What is this I see before me? Oooh a skull." We reckon this production is best reimagined with a thick Scottish accent.

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Ben Whishaw as Hamlet - 2004

Playing Hamlet aged 23 made Ben Whishaw one of the youngest men ever to take on the part. But 'scuse us while we say he was bloody amazing. Catapulting straight to the top of our lust list, Ben hasn't moved much further down in the last decade. That's what Shakes does for a career folks. 

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Eddie Redmayne as Richard II - 2013

Now there's no use even pretending that Eddie isn't closing in on one of the top spots in our sexy Shakespearean list of lotharios. Blame the Burberry effect, blame the super-cute freckles, or lump it all on just his general lovely manner. But we must also commend his role as Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse in 2013. We heard he was so good we failed to get tickets in time.

James McAvoy as Macbeth - 2013

Bold, brutish and brilliant: the words so often used to describe Macbeth are as well assigned to James Mac as they are to the impetuous Scottish King. Perhaps why he did such a good job in 2013. Or perhaps why he'll always be remembered as the Macbeth that stopped his production to yell at an audience member for tryign to film the play on his phone. Either way, we still love him.

Dominic West as Iago in Othello - 2011

Impressive in The Wire. Equally impressive as a Shakespearean villain. Tricky transition, that.

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Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus - 2014

If you weren't familiar with the story of Coriolanus before the unexpected heartthrob Tom Hiddleston enlightened you earlier this year, we forgive you. As we say, education and recreation combined.

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Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello - 2007

Man of the Moment Chiwetel Ejiofor doesn't just excel on the silver screen, dontchanknow. He also packs a pretty impressive punch as Shakespeare's notorious Moor, Othello. Bravo.

Students of the country, we bring you good news! Because your A level English class is about to get a whoooole lot more appealing, trust us. When the news reached us this morning that Sherlock hottie Benedict Cumberbatch is set to give a little screen-god glow to Shakespeare's famous 'sweet prince' Hamlet at the Barbican theatre in London next year, we confess we couldn't wait to see what the chameleon actor best known as our favourite BBC detective would bring to the role.

But hearing the good news hasn't only been a cause for celebration and lust, but also an opportunity to reflect. Because when you stop to think about it, how many silver screen hotties have taken on the great bard on the boards and won in recent memory? Between the Tom Hiddlestones and the Eddie Redmaynes you can hardly move for brilliant brawn and excellence. The fiercest debate within Grazia HQ was who was our favourite.

So in the interest of *ahem* educational research, we've rounded up our top seven hunkiest actors to play Shakespearean heroes and villains on the stage. Click through to see them all and let us know who your fave is in the comments section below. Then get bookmarking Cumberbatch's turn as Hamlet at the Barbican in London in August 2015. Because if we remember correctly, waiting to get a ticket to a production like this is like waiting in line for the chance to get inside a 1D concert on the day (bitter, us? Never.) You've been warned.


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