Every year, rather than doing a million different year-end lists, Guyism cuts to the chase and breaks it down by asking one simple question – who are the guys we would most want to have been in the past year? These are the guys who for whatever reason owned 2013. Some of them had breakthrough successes, others humbled us by making the world a better place. Still others were just plain lucky, and a few just lead such ridiculously charmed lives that we can’t help but envy them. But no matter how they got here, the one thing all these guys have in common is that they are one of 50 guys we wish we were in 2013.
When you’re done here, check out the 50 guys we wish we were in 2012 to see if they still hold true a year later.
50 Hebru Brantley – Artist
In late 2012, Chicago artist Hebru Brantley entered the public consciousness when he sold one of his paintings to Jay Z. 2013 saw Brantley kick things up a notch as he became the hottest artist in Chicago and was chosen by Swizz Beatz as his newest collaborator. It’s hard to make it in the art world, and even harder to do it outside of New York or L.A., and that makes both Brantley’s talent and devotion to his home of Chicago all the more admirable. It’s tough to do what you want to do on your own terms and be successful at the same time, but Hebru Brantley is doing it.
49 Lil’ Dicky – Internet Rapper
Lil’ Dicky has already carved out a niche for himself as the Internet’s favorite white rapper, but in 2013, he decided to go big with it. But rather than hunt for and prostrate himself before big record companies, he embodied the do it yourself ethos of the internet by boldly taking to Kickstarter in an effort to successfully fund his own album. The result? He’s raised almost $25,000 more than he asked for, and seems well on his way to making his dreams come true.
48 Steve Wampler – Mountain Climber
Steve Wampler is a mountain climber. That by itself is one of those things that makes him cooler than 98% of the rest of the planet. But here’s the thing – Steve Wampler also has Cerebral Palsey. That’s right, the dude is in a wheelchair, but still managed to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan. And you whine about having to get up to go the fridge every time you want another beer. Steve Wampler humbles us, and reminds us all that deep down we have the ability to do great and extraordinary things. We just have to want it bad enough.
47 Peyton Manning – Quarterback and Possible Terminator
A couple of years ago, Peyton Manning was standing on the sidelines, frustrated because his surgically repaired neck wasn’t healing properly. He had lost range of movement – a real problem when you need to keep your head on a swivel in order to avoid 900 pound defensive linemen chasing after you with murderous intent – and there were real questions about whether or not he could ever come back. After all, in quarterback years, he was roughly the same age as Methuselah. But this past season has seen Manning put up record setting numbers as he’s led the Denver Broncos to the best record in the AFC. He’s made it all the way back, and somehow, he’s even better than ever.
46 Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla – YouTube Superstars
Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla are the duo behind Smosh, AKA the Youtube channel with almost 15,000,000 subscribers. It’s tough to make it in the Internet world, where everyone fancies themselves a blogger or video star of some repute. But these guys haven’t just made it, they’ve owned it. For much of 2013, Smosh was the most subscribed Youtube channel of them all. Yes, that means that they’re even more popular than kittens on the Internet, which if you’ve been around here for longer than 15 seconds, you know is a pretty goddamn big deal.
45 Justin Timberlake – Singer, ‘Saturday Night Live’ Secret Weapon, Mr. Biel
Look, any year is a good year to be Justin Timberlake. Let’s not front. But 2013 saw Timberlake finally reconquer the music business. His new album, The 20/20 Experience, has already sold over two million copies, which is phenomenal in the post-album age, and his reunion with ‘N Sync fired up every dormant Millennial teen screamer who had their poster on her bedroom wall back in the day. And oh yeah, he still gets to go home to Jessica Biel every night, so I’d say he’s one of life’s winners.
44 Dale Beatty – Iraq War Veteran, Founder of Purple Heart Homes
Dale Beatty is such a great human being that we probably couldn’t even look him in the eye because we’re just not worthy. An Iraq War veteran, Beatty lost his legs and returned home to a community who helped him recover by building him a new home. Since then, Beatty has founded Purple Heart Homes, which builds houses for disabled vets like himself. 2013 saw Beatty recognized by CNN as a finalist for its hero of the year, but recognition or not, Dale Beatty is the type of guy all of us should aspire to be.
43 James Packer – Australian Billionaire
Your life is already pretty good when the word “billionaire” follows your name. It gets even better when you’re referred to as the “world’s most eligible bachelor.” And then it gets into “come on, this isn’t even fair” territory when you start boning Miranda Kerr. Look, we kind of hate this guy, but it is the hate born of pure envy. He’s living the dream.
42 Marc Nager – Startup Champion
Marc Nager is the fairy godmother (godfather?) of the startup community. He basically travels the country helping people get their projects off the ground. In 2013, that led to him getting nominated for the Geekwire Do-Gooder of the Year Award. He’s helped startups everywhere from his native Pacific Northwest to Israel. He’s rung the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and one of his successful companies – yes, he has more than one – UP Global “aims to be the leading organization furthering human welfare through entrepreneurship.” Basically, he’s tech Santa Claus, only more altruistic.
41 AJ McCarron – Quarterback, Golden Boy
AJ McCarron started 2013 in pretty much the best way possible – he won the national championship as the starting quarterback for Alabama, and was famously outed by Brent Musburger as the dude banging Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, AKA the lady Brent couldn’t stop slobbering over during the broadcast. He followed that up with a senior season that saw Alabama ranked number one for most of the year, and won the Maxwell Award as player of the year. And oh yeah, his special guest for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, for which he’s a finalist? His girlfriend, Katherine Webb.
40 Matthew L. Scullin – CEO, Alphabet Energy
Matthew Scullin is the CEO and founder of Alphabet Energy, a company which seeks to capture excess waste energy from places like power plants and convert them into recyclable energy. In 2013, Scullin’s company was recognized as a 2014 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. He’s on the vanguard of the renewable energy effort, and if everyone were more like him, the world might be a whole lot better place. Oh, he also put himself through grad school by DJing, including with pop-star M.I.A., so yeah, he’s both a lot better and a lot cooler than you.
39 Nicholas Woodman – GoPro Founder, Billionaire, Surfer
Nicholas Woodman may be the coolest person on Earth. His time as a surfer led him to come up with the idea for GoPro, which has become perhaps the one viable camera company left on earth. Woodman became a billionaire in late 2012, and 2013 saw both his fortune and his company grow. GoPro has become more and more part of the mainstream, as well as a godsend for guys everywhere. But more than that, Nicholas Woodman is one of those intrepid spirits who will jump out of an airplane, or rush out into an ocean during a massive swell. He’s basically Bodhi from Point Break, only with better business sense.
38 Tom Mison – Actor, Your Girlfriend’s Newest Fantasy
You probably know English actor Tom Mison better as Ichabod Crane from Fox’s breakout hit Sleepy Hollow. If you don’t, just know that he’s the guy who your girlfriend would gladly slit your throat for just to touch his hair and listen to him talk for ten seconds. Sleepy Hollow was the biggest breakout network TV show of 2013, and Mison was the biggest breakout star. He’s got that debonair English thing going on, along with that dark cover of a romance novel sort of swashbuckling look to him that all the ladies love. 2013 was his coming out year, and the future only looks brighter.
37 Lars-Kristian Eriksen – Norwegian Soccer Star, Luckiest Man on Earth
Lars-Kristian Eriksen is a decent soccer player. That’s cool and all, but what really makes us want to be him is the story of his wife, who bounced back from pregnancy in record time. Aside from being amazingly hot, she was apparently given powers by some horny wizard that allows her to pump out babies while her body keeps on rocking. Naturally, this led feminists everywhere to freak out and declare her an enemy of the people, but Norway is a magical place, devoid of both the shrill abuse of judgmental assholes and apparently the laws of physics. She hit the genetic jackpot, and dammit, so did her husband, the lucky son of a bitch.
36 Daniel Bryan – WWE Superstar
2013 was a massive year for Daniel Bryan, AKA the WWE’s most unlikely superstar. Somehow, this dude with a massive beard and long, mountain man hair became the most popular wrestler in the world. He did it by being both insanely good in the ring, and insanely likable outside of it. The odds against him have always been stacked. After all, the WWE is infamous for its love of larger than life jacked-up supermen, but he has overcome the odds at every turn. He also found himself the unwitting star of the E! reality show, Total Divas, as his down to earth relationship with WWE Diva Brie Bella quickly became a fan favorite. So he’s become the most popular dude in a hyper-competitive world all on his own terms, hooked up with one of the hottest women in that world, and crossed-over to mainstream success thanks to E!. Is that someone we would want to be? Yes.
35 Pete Holmes – Comedian
Underrated comedian Pete Holmes, best known for his podcast, You Made it Weird, really broke through in 2013 as he got his own nightly comedy series on TBS. Since then, the buzz around Holmes has only grown, including a positive profile in the New York Times. No matter what happens with the show, it’s a sign that Pete Holmes has arrived, and that arrival is yet another signal that the future voices of entertainment aren’t necessarily being bred in the same old tired places, but right here on the internet. He’s someone who anybody who makes people laugh on the internet – or anywhere else for that matter – can look up to.
34 Sebastian Vettel – Formula One Race Car Champion
Being a professional race car driver is one of those super-cool things that every kid wants to be growing up, but Sebastian Vettel isn’t just some anonymous race car driver. No, he’s a Formula One race car driver, which is pretty universally acknowledged as the coolest/sexiest of all the different kinds of racing. It’s the one with that elusive fighter-pilot mystique. It’s dangerous, it’s glamorous in that oh so European beaches and casinos of Monaco kind of way, and Sebastian Vettel is the best in that world. In fact, he’s won the Formula One championship four years in a row, and 2013 saw him take that dominance to a whole new level, winning 13 out of 19 races. That’s pretty incredible. He should just hire someone to play the theme to Top Gun whenever he walks around.
33 Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook Guru, Richer than God
Look, whatever you may think of Mark Zuckerberg personally, and no matter how much you might loathe Facebook or bitch about its constant tinkering with its features, you can’t deny that it would be amazing to be Mark Zuckerberg. Not only is he ridiculously wealthy, but Zuckerberg has sort of positioned himself through Facebook as king of the tech world mountain, vacated when Steve Jobs decided to start playing the iHarp in heaven. Almost every new cool idea that comes out eventually ends up getting sucked into Zuckerberg’s world. Whether it’s Instagram or Snapchat or whatever, eventually Zuckerberg comes calling with a sack full of money. It’s his world, and you get the sense that everyone else is just allowed to live in it.
32 James Deen – Porn Star, Legit Actor
2013 was a big year for James Deen, as he became one of the rare actors to break out of the porn ghetto when he was cast in The Canyons. The notoriety from that film, as well as the reviews, which almost all noted that Deen was one of the best things about it, helped legitimize him, and has set him up to actually make it as a “real” actor. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that whenever he feels like it, he can just go back to porn, bang out a few hot ladies, and then show up to set to hang with dudes like Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader. Sure, he had to pretend to bang Lindsay Lohan and legit bang Farrah Abraham, but no one ever said fame came without a price.
31 Nev Schulman – ‘Catfish’ Kingpin
Nev Schulman made waves with his indy hit Catfish a few years back, which captured the unique internet phenomenon of, well, what has become known as catfishing. Whenever something you do becomes the default term for an entire spectrum of behavior, you know you’ve done something huge. But 2013 saw things get even bigger for Schulman, as MTV brought his vision to weekly television, and in doing so created a buzzworthy hit that solidified his place in the cultural lexicon. Even if you don’t know his name, you know what he created, and with that comes an enormous amount of cultural and industry cachet.
30 Elon Musk – 21st Century Howard Hughes
Elon Musk became a billionaire thanks to his time as CEO of PayPal. But rather than resting on that, he kept moving forward – way forward – as he became an innovator in both the auto industry and the space exploration game. As CEO of SpaceX, Musk has developed the Falcon 9 rocket, and in 2013 managed to secure a lease from NASA as the new operator of one of their historic launch pads. That means that Elon Musk will be one of the main people leading us in the future of space exploration. That’s pretty incredible. But wait, there’s more. Musk is also the founder, CEO and product architect for Tesla Motors, the electric car company which is on its way towards revolutionizing the auto industry. And in 2013, Tesla finally grew up, posting its first profitable quarter and proving to everyone that it was here to stay. It was a huge year in a life full of huge years for Elon Musk. The fact that he is a billionaire is almost incidental. It’s his innovation and intrepid spirit that we can’t help but admire. Oh, and the money would probably be pretty cool too.
29 Dan Bilzerian – Poker Player, Instagram Legend
To understand why Dan Bilzerian is on this list, one simply has to take a look at his Instagram page. That, uh, that pretty much speaks for itself, doesn’t it? It’s not just a few pictures either. No, the whole page basically goes hot women, guns, money, cars, tattoos, more hot women, jets, boats, more hot women, more cars, more guns, more hot women, an incredibly jacked Dan himself, more hot women… it just goes on and on and on like that. What a life.
28 Simon Rich – ‘Saturday Night Live’ Writer
Look, any time you have people writing articles about you subtitled “the funniest man in America?” you know you’ve had a good year. Rich is the youngest writer in Saturday Night Live’s long, legendary history, and now he’s conquering the literary world too. He’s also adapting one of his short stories with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (AKA the team behind Superbad and This is the End, amongst others) so he’s about to land big in Hollywood. He’s on the cusp of becoming one of the next big voices of American comedy – if he isn’t there already, and let’s face it, 2013 kinda says he is.
27 Adam Levine – Singer, Reality Show Judge, Lady Catnip
A year in the life of Adam Levine is always good, but 2013 was even better than normal. Forget about all The Voice nonsense, and just focus on the fact that he was named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. That’s always a fine ego boost. But even more than that, Adam Levine must be some sort of sorcerer, because he spent the first half of the year banging supermodel Nina Agdal before calling it off and almost immediately marrying supermodel Behati Prinsloo. Basically, this dude’s real life consists of just going through the Victoria’s Secret catalogue and saying “Her, her, and… I’ll take her too.” Now that’s a hell of a year.
26 Ryan Riess – Poker Wunderkind
Ryan Riess is only 23 years-old. He’s also $8.4 million richer after winning the 2013 World Series of Poker. I mean, come on, this is a little different than some dude who looks like he’s five years away from a widow maker heart attack winning it all. This guy has his entire life ahead of him, and in this life he’ll always be the 23 year-old who beat down a field full of veteran pros and lucky amateurs alike to be The Man in the poker world. It’s not like he had a bad life beforehand either. I mean, when you’re 23 years-old and your job consists of making money playing cards, you’ve figured out the game. Also, he’s the most successful person ever to win anything wearing a Lions jersey, and for that, we salute him.
25 Benedict Cumberbatch – Actor
It was a good year for old Ben, who became a household name (and what a name it is) after appearing as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, which of course was a huge hit, and then ended the year by starring as the voice of the titular Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And in between, he charmed the hell out of everyone, brought the debonair Englishman thing to ridiculously new levels, and even caused Harrison Ford to experience one moment of true, childlike joy and wonder. If you were buying stock in celebrity careers, you’d be on your phone furiously yelling at your broker to buy the hell out of some Cumberbatch, which isn’t as debauched as it sounds.
24 Rich Homie Quan – Rapper
2013 saw the meteoric rise of Rich Homie Quan, who started the year fairly anonymous and ended it on the verge of superstardom. There are a lot of people who had bigger, splashier years in 2013 than Rich Homie Quan, but there is something special about being on the cusp of that same stardom that you can never quite get back. Everything has to feel like a dream to him right now. He’s made it, and the promise of the future looks limitless. There are no failures holding him back, no baggage he’s got weighing him down, just a blank canvas to work with and the tools to make something amazing. This will be the most incredible time in his life, and you’d be crazy not to want to be him right now.
23 Bill Simmons – ‘Grantland’ Boss, ESPN Power Broker
It was a good year for Bill Simmons. It was the year that saw him break away from being “just an internet guy” to becoming arguably the man at ESPN. Grantland is more popular than ever, and his podcasts with Jalen Rose have become a big hit. But more than that, Simmons finally became a television personality after being added to NBA Countdown, and then used that to reportedly springboard into a position of huge influence at ESPN. This was the year when all of his success – building an ultra-successful internet brand, the launch and success of Grantland, his leading role in the 30 for 30 project – all finally coalesced into a massive chip that he appears to be playing. He’s become a major power player, and 2013 might just be the year he looks back on as the one that changed it all.
22 LeBron James – NBA God
Another year, another MVP, and more importantly, another NBA championship. 2013 was the year that saw LeBron firm up his credentials as one of the all-time greats. That was never really in doubt, but there were always people wondering if he could truly be The Man, and win, like Michael Jordan. He seems well on his way, and with Dwyane Wade fading a bit, 2013 also resolved the question about who was truly Miami’s alpha dog – it’s LeBron. It’s his team, and it’s his league now. He’s also got the commercial success of Jordan going for him, and there can be no doubting that he is one of the biggest icons in the world – not just in the sports world, but all the world.
21 Pharrell Williams – The Guy Who Shows Up in All Your Favorite Songs
Pharrell Williams had a unique year. It was a ridiculously awesome year too. He didn’t put out a hit album, or do anything on his own, so why is he on here? Simple, he managed to show up in a big way on the two biggest singles of the year: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. He was all over the place last summer. Oh, and he also got to hang out with some naked models, including Emily Ratajkowski, in the video for “Blurred Lines.” Uh, that’s a pretty good year, you guys.
20 Ben Silbermann – Pinterest CEO
This was the year that saw Pinterest really take off. Its users almost tripled to over 50 million, and it was valued at $2.5 billion. Silbermann is sitting in the catbird’s seat right now, controlling one of the hottest properties not just on the Internet, but in the world. He’s expanded Pinterest’s reach in the same way that Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook, and it’s only a matter of time before he either cashes in or molds his own empire. He’s well on his way to either, and I guess he wouldn’t be a bad guy to want to be right now.
19 Daft Punk – Musicians, Possible Space Alien Robots
Daft Punk released Random Access Memories to huge fanfare in 2013, and with it, introduced a heavy dose of funk into their electric playbook. It was the album that truly cemented Daft Punk as one of the biggest acts in the world. This is the sound of the post-rock world, and this is the sort of thing that the new pop music will be – it’s vaguely androgynous, it defies genre, and it incorporates bits of everything. This isn’t electronica. This is pop music in 2013. And Daft Punk gets to enjoy all their success in relative anonymity, as their masked android personas allows them the ability to be rock stars on stage, and just two dudes who can get a cup of coffee in peace off of it. That sounds pretty damn good to me.
18 Satoshi Nakamoto – Bitcoin Creator
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Nobody really knows. He could be one guy, or he could be a whole group, operating pseudonymously. But what matters is that Nakamoto is credited with the creation of Bitcoin, and although nobody knows for sure how much of the Bitcoin market he has cornered, this year’s Bitcoin explosion has left people estimating that Nakamoto is worth anywhere from $100 million to $1 billion. There have been endless exposes attempting to uncover Nakamoto’s identity, and even more people have their own theories, but the only thing we know for sure is that there is at least one guy out there who is now obscenely wealthy.
17 Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey – Twitter Kings
2013 was the year when Twitter went public, and thanks to that, the guys who started it, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, suddenly found themselves very, very rich. Williams, the largest shareholder, is now a billionaire thanks to his company’s success, while Dorsey made somewhere around $400 million. But don’t cry for Dorsey, who was already a billionaire thanks to his company, Square. It was validation for the pair, who have guided Twitter to a legitimate spot at the social network big boys table, and cemented both them and their company as pillars of the Internet world.
16 Russell Wilson – The NFL’s Newest Superstar Quarterback
Russell Wilson had a great rookie year in 2012, but 2013 saw him elevated to MVP candidate, as he led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC, an almost unbeatable mystique at home, and recognition as one of the best players in the entire NFL. Which isn’t bad for a dude nobody ever expected to be here. Sure, he was considered a nice player in college, but he actually transferred his senior season to Wisconsin because North Carolina St. encouraged him to leave so they could go in another direction. And then when he was drafted, it wasn’t even with the intention of making him the starting quarterback. He was just another third round draft pick. But now, in 2013, he’s the guy in Seattle, and he’s poised to become the NFL’s newest megastar.
15 Andy Enfield – Basketball Coach
Andy Enfield became the star of the NCAA Tournament in 2013 when he guided Florida Gulf Coast all the way to the Elite Eight. It was the perfect story. It was a small school with a campus that looked more like a Spring Break hotel, with players who dunked all over everyone and played balls-out on their way to glory. And in the middle of it all was Enfield, the team’s coach, who quickly parlayed that success into becoming the head coach of USC only a few weeks later. Now in L.A., which is perfectly suited for his Showtime style, Enfield has a chance to steal the city away from UCLA, and, uh, have you seen his wife? This is a dude who won, and won hard, in 2013.
14 Harry Styles – Boy Bander, Lothario
Harry Styles is living the dream. Sure, he has to do the whole boy-band thing to make it happen, and half the world hates him, but I’m guessing he doesn’t care what Joe Blow from New Jersey thinks about him when he’s carrying on like a young Hugh Hefner. He had already done work before 2013, but this past year saw him kick things up a notch, and by the end of the year there were reports that he was dating Kendall Jenner and Daisy Lowe at the same time while simultaneously sexting ex Taylor Swift. Goddamn! And the kid’s only 19. Look, it’s okay to hate this kid – we kind of hate him too – but make no mistake, you would absolutely give vital parts of your anatomy to trade places with him even for a day. Goodbye, Lefty, we hardly knew ye.
13 David Karp – Tumblr Founder and CEO
2013 was a good year for David Karp, as Tumblr solidified itself as the home of crazy fangirls everywhere and then parlayed that into cash money from Yahoo!, in the form of $1.4 billion. Karp himself is personally now several hundred million dollars richer, which isn’t bad for a high school dropout. Now all he has to worry about is being eviscerated in GIF form by unhinged Tumblr addicts who somehow feel betrayed by the sale, but he can always escape by diving into his money Scrooge McDuck style.
12 Henry Cavill – Actor, Superman
Henry Cavill had already built a decent following for himself, especially with his role in The Tudors, but in 2013 he blew up thanks to his turn as Superman in Man of Steel. He also dated Kaley Cuoco just long enough to presumably Cuoco the hell out of her, and he’s pretty much set himself up for a nice little life consisting of playing Superman in giant blockbusters and dating whoever he wants to. Look, we don’t want to get too weird here, but this is one ridiculously good looking guy, and hell, we’re even crushing on him a little. Plus, he’s got that whole charming English thing going on, and it’s just not fair, man. It’s just not fair.
11 Alfonso Cuaron – Director
Alfonso Cuaron has always been amongst the most respected directors in the world, especially to movie lovers, but he wasn’t exactly a household name. That all changed in 2013 as his movie Gravity was the Big Thing in Hollywood in 2013. Basically, he did for space what Steven Spielberg did for dinosaurs back in the day – he made it a terrifying, awe-inspiring cinematic spectacle. He’s always had the film-making cachet to let him tackle virtually any project he was interested in, but Gravity also gave him that blockbuster cachet, and now he’ll have financial and studio resources to work with that very, very few film-makers ever get. 2013 is the year that changed his life.
10 Bill de Blasio – New York City Mayor
Don’t know Bill de Blasio? You will. That’s because he was just elected as mayor of New York City. That’s a big deal. The mayor of New York City isn’t just another mayor. No, he’s the mayor of what is essentially the capital of the world. Just look at the last couple of mayors, guys by the name of Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani. It’s a job that matters, not just to the people of New York, but to people across the world. The decisions made there reverberate, and as the first Democrat to be elected mayor of New York City in 20 years, he has an immense amount of power to set the agenda for an already pretty liberal city for years to come. His election was seen as a rejection of the city’s long flirtation with moderate centrism by the people of New York, and there are very few people in the world who have the sort of power Bill de Blasio has right now – the power to shape the most important city in the world.
9 Liam Hemsworth – Actor, Miley Survivor
Liam Hemsworth had a huge 2013. He managed to sell of his shares of Miley Cyrus stock just before the market completely crashed, and then rebounded almost immediately with the smoking hot Eiza Gonzalez, who probably isn’t a twerk addict. He then was seen macking on Jennifer Lawrence in Catching Fire, and is poised to become a star on the same level of his brother, Chris Hemsworth, AKA Thor. That is a hell of a year for any guy, and the most amazing thing is that it’s probably only to get even better for him.
8 Bryan Cranston – Actor, Walter White
Before 2013, Bryan Cranston was both Breaking Bad’s Walter White and the dad from Malcolm and the Middle. After 2013 and Breaking Bad’s monster final season, he’s all Walter White. It was a legendary season that saw Cranston solidified as the new James Gandolfini. Just like Gandolfini became Tony Soprano to the rest of the world, Cranston became Walter White. That is how the world sees him, and it’s how the world will always see him. Some might worry about typecasting, but who cares? 2013 etched him in rock as a legend, as an iconic character who will never, ever be forgotten. He has left his mark on the world, and what a mark it is.
7 Robin Thicke – Singer, Miley Survivor
2013 was Robin Thicke’s year. “Blurred Lines” was the runaway top hit of the year, he got to dance with a naked Emily Ratajkowski, and then he got to go home to his ridiculously beautiful wife, actress Paula Patton. Sure, he had to survive a twerking Cyrus, but he should just be thankful that at least it wasn’t Billy Ray.
6 Evan Spiegel – Snapchat CEO
Snapchat absolutely exploded in 2013, as people flocked to the app that would let them take pictures of their junk without having to worry about it getting leaked all over the internet. It was a dizzying rise that saw Spiegel approached by Mark Zuckerberg carrying one of his enormous bags of cash – $3 billion worth. Amazingly, Spiegel turned him down, which sounds crazy until you consider that last year, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion, and today Instagram is valued at as much as $15 billion. It’s a calculated gamble by Spiegel, and if history plays out in much the same way, he is sitting on an absolute goldmine. And at the very least, it must be a nice feeling to know that he can cash out and become an instant billionaire pretty much any time he wants.
5 Vince Gilligan – ‘Breaking Bad’ Showrunner
2013 was a ridiculous year for Vince Gilligan, as his baby, Breaking Bad, went from being recognized as one of the best shows on TV to one of the best shows ever. Like Brian Cranston, this seemingly subtle yet monumental shift has made Gilligan in the same way that The Sopranos made James Gandolfini and David Chase. And Gilligan saw almost immediate results, as he quickly inked an eight figure development deal with Sony. He can pretty much call all his own shots from now on, which is a place that everyone in the entertainment industry wants to be. He’s already conquered television, and has millions and millions of dollars to show for it, and he can do that for the rest of his life and be The Man. Or he can do that and start tackling movies too. The point is, is that the world is in front of Vince Gilligan now, and he can do whatever he wants with it. Thanks, 2013.
4 Jamie Dornan – Actor, Model, Christian Grey
Jamie Dornan hit the jackpot in 2013, as the Irish actor/model was chosen to be Christian Grey in the much anticipated film adaptation of the novel 50 Shades of Grey. This means that he is on the verge of being worshipped like a god by every woman in the world. Look, say what you will about 50 Shades of Grey, but you can’t deny that landing this role pretty much made not only his year, but his entire life. He is about to go from a successful actor to a more grown up version of Robert Pattinson. Scoff all you want, but that is something each and every one of you would kill to be.
3 Edward Snowden – NSA Whistleblower
To be honest, it was not exactly a sunshine and roses kind of year for Edward Snowden. After all, living in an airport isn’t an ideal situation outside of a Tom Hanks movie. But there are just some things a man’s gotta do, and Edward Snowden did it. And he did it because he believed it was the right thing to do. He didn’t do it for himself – he pretty much ruined his life – but for everyone, for a society he believes can and should do better. That is the definition of altruism, and whether you agree with the results or not, what you can’t deny is that Edward Snowden did what he did because he was trying to make the world a better place, a more dignified and honest place, where we can all live without fear of being watched by Big Brother. That’s a scary, scary thing to take on, and while some people love him and some people hate him, we only wish that we could all have his balls.
2 Tom Hiddleston – Actor, Your Girlfriend’s Obsession
Type in the name Tom Hiddleston in any social media milieu and prepare to be blown away by the sheer amount of ridiculous love the man gets from women everywhere. 2013 saw that love amped up to insane new levels as Hiddleston resurrected the tragic villain Loki for Thor: The Dark World, and went on an epic press charmathon that saw him reduce entire audiences to quivering, screaming teenage girls. And I’m not just talking about the ladies. He just seems like such an amazingly good guy that it’s hard not to love him. He’s got that quiet, vaguely dignified English air about him, and he combines that with a sort of impish wit and a self-deprecating humility that gives him mass appeal. He’s also a hell of an actor, and yes, we know this sounds sort of like a love letter, but we don’t care. This is the sort of dude every guy should want to be.
1 Pope Francis
There are very, very few people in this world with the sort of power to change the world simply through proclamations and speeches. The Pope is one of those people, and after his election in 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is one of those people. And after taking the name of Pope Francis, he shocked everybody by actually using that power for good, defying the conservative Catholic orthodoxy to insist that it change its doctrinal attitudes towards the poor and other marginalized people. It was refreshing to see a man of such power take on attitudes of greed and hatred simply because it was the right thing to do. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that he now gets to call home a sophisticated and wealthy city-state stocked with all the Jesus Blood Wine a man could possibly drink. But really, what it comes down to is this: any one of us would do just about anything to get the kind of power and wealth and comfort given to the Pope, but there are very, very few of us who would then rock the boat and take on the very forces that keep him in all that wealth and comfort. Pope Francis appears to be one of those few, and it is impossible not to admire that, or wish that we could all be at least a little more like him.
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