Jesse Bradford: Still Swoon-Worthy

The onetime teen heartthrob stars in the WWII epic Flags of Our Fathers

There’s nothing sexier than a man in uniform, and in director Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers – the story behind the six U.S. servicemen who raised the flag over Iwo Jima – Jesse Bradford, 27, cuts one dashing figure. The onetime teen-movie heartthrob (Swimfan, Bring It On) unleashed his killer smile on PEOPLE’s Kristen Mascia.

Ladie’s Man: Historical accuracy demanded Bradford look sharp in Flags: The Marine he plays, Rene Gagnon, was known for looking “damn good in his uniform,” says Bradford. “If you were on leave and you wanted to meet some girls, he was the guy to hang around.” So Bradford would “double-stick my tie down” and use straps called “gators” to hold his uniform shirt down extra tight. “For me, getting dressed in the morning took 10 minutes longer than for everybody else.”

Fit Boy: The former Norwalk, Conn., high school tennis ace (and homecoming king) works hard maintaining the lithe bod he showed off in Swimfan‘s Speedos. “I took swimming for the movie, and it’s such a great way to stay in shape. And I play any sport I can get my hands on.”

Living Single: Since recently ending a 2 1/2-year relationship, “I’m more single now than I have been in a long time, and I’m not comfortable with it yet,” he says. “When you say that, does a girl go, ‘Oh, God, emotional baggage!’ or does she go, ‘Oh, that’s sweet’?”

His Favorite Female Body Part: “There’s always something in the eyes. There’s either this little extra thing that’s there, or there’s not.”

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