This week, I’m talking about the hotness factor of Matthias Schoenaerts in two different films where he plays two different kinds of soldiers and brace yourself, because there are a billion shameless plugs at the end.
As devoted LS readers already know, Matthias Schoenaerts is one of those underrated actors we admire as he is becoming more of a hot commodity in Hollywood. He’s gradually creeping his way up the ladder of leading men through a combination of undeniable warm sexiness, excellent acting, and mad language skills. He’s a more accessible Tom Hardy. A less genial Tom Hiddleston. He’s more the quiet guy, more burly, more…Belgian. I’m always drawn in by how unassuming, quietly competent, and totally hot he is.
In DISORDER, Schoenaerts plays a soldier with PTSD who’s either paranoid or–unlike everyone around him–aware of hidden danger when taking care of a woman (Diane Kruger) and her little boy while her Arab husband is away.
This is different look for Schoenaerts – he’s a little grubby in this film. He usually plays the well dressed man. (With Mr. Oat in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD being a picturesque variation). Here he’s got a shaved head, scruff-i-licious beard, and a soldier-y look. He’s also playing a different class of character – more middle class with their offhand brusqueness. Ultimately, he’s a man hanging onto his shit as his mind is unraveling. It’s a fast, gripping little movie….
THE HOTNESS FACTOR: He’s all beefy and scruffy and you just kind of want to grip him hard and bite his skin.
And if you like this kind of hero then (shameless plug #1) you’ll lurv of the hero of my friend Adriana Ander’s second book: BY HER TOUCH. You all know Adriana—she’s been featured on this blog a lot. This is her second book with a DEA guy who’s got PTSD, and needs to remove all the gang tattoos he got while he was undercover in a biker gang. He encounters a female doctor willing to take off the tattoos. She’s eager to dig under his skin and sooth his caged soul. (Yum!!!)
In the other movie, SUITE FRANCAIS, Schoenaerts plays a German Lieutenant as the Germans roll into a French provincial town to occupy it in the first year of World War II.
Part of the regiment is quartered in the homes in the homes of the townspeople. And as an officer, the lieutenant is quartered in a very nice home that Michelle Williams’s character Lucille. She lives in with her controlling mother-in-law while her husband is away at the front. She was married off to her husband by her father, and clearly doesn’t love him, but goes about with her mother-in-law and generally lives a repressive life, doing her duty. However, she has a deep love of music and playing the piano soothes away the stresses of war. The lieutenant wanted a house with a piano because back in Germany before he became a soldier he was a composer. As they share their love of music, she’s drawn to his room to listen to the piano, and he’s drawn to her fragile, cultured goodness. He swiftly falls in love with her, even as the soldiers begin a series of abhorrent acts that he despises. Eventually, he is commanded to engage in these atrocities as well, and it takes a toll upon him—while he does what he can to help Michelle William’s character when she asks for his influence in certain matters relating to the townspeople.
The Schoenaerts Hotness factor: he’s tall and crisp–an imposing soldier with power over the town and and all townspeople. (Fans of dark romance would go ape over Schoenaerts in his German uniform.) In addition to that, he’s a sensitive composer, and a reluctant soldier. He brings the whole sane-people- in-a-world-gone-mad factor to the movie – otherwise it’s just a movie about a bunch of very uptight French provincials getting screwed by the Germans.
Even as Schoenaerts is all super clean shaven and short haired, there’s still something sensitive and sensual about his every look and touch. The combo of being all he-male in uniform and yet a man with no defenses when he’s around Lucille—ready to give her anything he can, and shield her in any way he can—it’s compelling. He’s on the wrong side of the war, and married, etc.
This is one of those movies that knows how romance addicts are. They string you out on the scenes between the two of them—there aren’t as many as you want and they aren’t very long. Instead there is a lot of fraught tension and wind up. And at a certain point – I could tell that things were as good as they were going to get between these two illicit lovers. It was all going to be a rather tragic downhill slide from there on out. I’ll admit I stopped watching and went for a jog instead. While I jogged I continued the story in my own mind, creating scenarios where somehow, despite all the multiple challenges the characters got to be together after the war. So if you like your romance more flavored with bittersweet love, then this movie is your poison.
But speaking of choosing your own ending! (shameless plug #2) My good friend Nara Malone (such an excellent writer) has a new Choose-Your-Own-Romance book out called STORM RUNNERS. You actually choose whom Trella, a singer/songwriter hooks up with — and what kind of Happily Ever After Trella lands. (BTW, Don’t you just lurv this cover?????)
And here’s my third shameless plug –if you like military romance–or even better yet, reading romances written by actual soldiers –check out another author–C.M. Moore. C.M. Moore is actually two people –my friends Connor and Monica. Both served tours of duty in Afghanistan and their military infused futuristic romances reflect that experience. Their second book, titled 2:05am is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
Final shameless plug which has nothing to do with Matthias Schoenaerts whatsoever, but does have to do with a sexy sorcerer/soldier. My publisher has started uploading my latest work WICKED ENCHANTRESS onto Wattpad. WICKED ENCHANTRESS is book two in my Wicked Magic Series. Here’s a blurb and a cover:
SHE WILL MASTER THE POWERS OF ENCHANTMENT…TO SAVE THE MAN SHE LOVES
After Rhine the sorcerer and soldier inadvertently saves a kitchen maid named Wart from an evil spell, he tries to reunite the maid with her one remaining friend, Zephyr the Sorceress. Yet the famous sorceress is not in her tower as usual. Her lover, Theo the Black Knight, has taken her to Balfad where elves rule and Theo’s father is the Winter King.
Rhine takes Elspeth all the way to Balfad–yet keeps his distance though Elspeth secretly pines for him. After Rhine is overcome by a deceitful enchantress, Elspeth is the only one determined to do whatever it takes to save him. If that means risking her own life to become an enchantresses too, so be it. When she discovers Rhine half-naked and locked up in chains, she realizes that the sorcerer is almost mad with the sensual torments of his enchantment. In helping him find relief, Elspeth’s inner wickedness begins to take over…one pleasurable deed at a time…
The first episode is going up tomorrow, Friday. Whooo-ha! So follow me on Wattpad and you can start reading …The story will be serialized for at least the next ten weeks, and all episodes will be available until January, 2018.