“I like the ‘Alive’ part,” says McConaughey, 36, of being crowned PEOPLE’s 20th Sexiest Man Alive. “Now I’ve made it. Wait until you see the roles I could take after this. You’re going to see my gut hanging over, plus 22 (lbs.). It’ll be a whole new kind of sexy!”
The alluring star of Grey’s Anatomy may have lustrous hair, but he has to work hard for it. “It’s my biggest asset and my biggest flaw,” Dempsey, 39, says. “It takes hours to look like it hasn’t been studied.” And he puts just as much effort into his body. “I’m almost 40. I go to the gym as much as possible.”
How does Howard, 36, rate his sexiness on a scale of 1 to 10? “It’s unratable,” says the married father of three. “The minute you rate yourself you’re done. Your quest is over.” And come Oscar time, the buzzworthy star of Hustle & Flow and Crash says, “Whatever happens, man, I’m still sexy. I’m damn sexy.”
“He’s a different sort of person,” says Maria Bello of her A History of Violence costar Mortensen, 47. “He truly lives his life with art. You can’t separate Viggo from his art. Everything he does is art.”
At 35, Vaughn’s magnetism is palpable. “His persona, when he goes into a room, is so much larger than life that he immediately fills the room,” says his Mr. & Mrs. Smith director, Doug Liman. And the actor – Jennifer Aniston’s new squeeze – has a way with words. “He’s like a verbal stunt pilot,” says pal Jeremy Piven. “He’s got a lot of confidence.”
Lachey, 32, not only has wife Jessica Simpson to keep him grounded, but also his high school buddies. “We see movies, work out, go to the grocery store – normal stuff,” he says. But the ultra-fit pop star says there’s one indulgence he can’t resist: “Sugar-free vanilla latte. I’ve definitely become dependent on coffee.”
Surfer-dude hair and scruffy whiskers? Gone. Bachelor pad in Los Feliz, Calif.? Sold. At 26, the Aussie actor and erstwhile teen heartthrob is moving on, and yes, maturity becomes him. With partner Michelle Williams, Ledger’s now dad to Matilda, born in October, and he’s upping the stakes onscreen, riding roughshod over sexual taboos in the forthcoming Brokeback Mountain.
DANIEL DAE KIM
Because he plays such a serious character on ABC’s Lost, people are pleasantly surprised to see Kim, 37, grin offscreen. “I’ve actually gotten a lot of compliments on my smile,” says the married father of two. Even sweeter, the actor, who came to the U.S. from Korea when he was a toddler, is a romantic. “I’ve hung onto almost every love letter any girl has ever written me.”
“I spent several hours with him recording ‘The Twelfth of Never’ for my new CD,” says Dolly Parton about Aussie country rocker Keith Urban, 38. “The longer I was with him, the sexier he got. I couldn’t keep my mind on my business.” It’s no wonder Nicole Kidman is spending so much time with him on his Harley.
The 63-year-old star of HBO’s Deadwood is the real thing – just like his trademark mustache. But, he says, “Every summer I shave it off as soon as I finish the show. My wife (actress Gwen Humble) is not a fan.” Still, no one can deny his sultry appeal. “Am I sexier now than when I started out? I would hope so!” says the Blackburn, England, native.
When pal (and former Sexiest Man Alive) George Clooney heard that Damon had popped the question to nonceleb Luciana Barroso, he exclaimed: “Can you believe it? He’s settling down. Another one bites the dust.” But for the actor, 35, it’s all about keeping it real: He’s already bought a house in Miami so his future stepdaughter, Alexia, 7, can go to school there.
The star of the FX firefighter series Rescue Me knows how to generate his own heat: “No matter what anybody says, relationships are based on physical attraction. The first time I saw my wife, it was pure animal whatever,” he says. But he’s a tough guy with a soft heart – the 48-year-old actor has raised $5 million since 2000 to benefit fire departments across the country.
“I am pale and skinny with gray hair,” says the host of Anderson Cooper 360º. “I don’t get the appeal.” But his viewers do. Anderson, 38, is CNN’s “Man of the Hour,” and his riveting coverage of Hurricane Katrina helped propel his program into a coveted prime-time spot. “I am haunted by people I have met, stories I have told, places I have been. I am changed by all the stories I do.”
Angelina Jolie once raved that “Clive is one of the best kissers.” Of course, that was onscreen in 2003’s Beyond Borders. In real life, the British heartthrob, 41 – who’s now romancing Jennifer Aniston in the sexy thriller Derailed – is a one-woman man: The 6’2”, green-eyed stunner is married to actress Sarah-Jane Fenton and is the father of two.