The Boyfriend of the Week

December 16, 2004

above photos taken by Jeff Vespa and Fred Hayes (, found on the IMDB site

Okay, now that I've let the terrific new show "Lost" settle into itself a bit, it's time to get back to work on featuring every single character on that show who has a Y chromosome. And that includes passengers 20-46, who we haven't even seen from the front yet (46 survivors of the plane crash, and we only see the same 20 or so faces every week? Where are the rest of these minions? I will find out who they are and date them if it's the last thing I ever do!) Can I get an "amen!", sistah? I say, AMEN, SISTAH!

Now, I was actually toying with the idea of featuring a different cast member this week, but after the outpouring of emails post-Josh-Holloway-write-up, I knew I had better do Naveen Andrews first unless I wanted to spend the next 7-10 days telling another 47,000 readers that yes, I do know who he is and yes, I do think he's cute, and yes, I will be featuring him soon.

Not that it's any chore, mind you. I've been in love with Naveen for probably about the same amount of time you have -- ever since his part as Kip in "The English Patient." More specifically, ever since that scene in which he takes off his turban and washes his long, gorgeous hair. And, well, there are about four other scenes in the movie that totally made me swoon. Might as well spell them all out for you -- like you have anything better to do today?

1. First, of course, the aforementioned hair-washing scene. Even though I know he's been wearing that turban for six months in the hot Italian sun and so probably has hair that's really smelly and gross, I still think that scene is darn sexy. Of course, it helps he also removes his shirt. Humina humina humina.

2. Okay, now here is where I actually had to stop the write-up and go to the tape. The tape of "The English Patient," I mean. Here's the thing: I've seen "The English Patient" approximately 87 billion times (give or take a mil. or two). But it's a movie I have a really hard time retaining plot elements from, primarily, I think, because it's one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen, and I spend three-quarters of my viewing time looking at the teeny tiny little film-y things. Like that creeping shot of the bed sheets that look just like the dunes in the desert. Or the way Katherine's fingers look against the glass while the sand storm is raging outside. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of tiny beautiful moments in that movie, and I have yet, I think, to just sit back and take in only the STORY. Thus, recalling specific scenes becomes a bit of a challenge.

What's also amazing about this movie, incidentally, is that I have the same exact two responses to it every single time. First, without fail, my response when Willem Dafoe's character Caravaggio shows up for the first time is, "Now wait, HOW is it the Count's fault he lost his thumbs again?" Yes, 87 bazillion screenings later and I STILL cannot remember that one crucial plot point. Quite incredible, actually, is my brain (or lack thereof).

My second response, which usually emerges about thirty minutes in, is "Man, if you've never experienced love like that -- the kind of love that tortures and burns you, the kind of love that just totally sucks in how completely intense and amazing it is -- you just absolutely haven't lived." Followed by, "Thank god I've lived." Followed by, "WOW, have I ever lived." Followed by a state of semi-catatonia while I drift off into memoryland. Followed by me feeling really lucky that said state of torturous love only lasted for a short time and then evened out into something more sustainable and less agony-inducing. Followed by me being glad I had the sense not to kill the guy who so tortured me, and to marry him instead. Followed by more semi-catatonia and, okay I'll confess it, a little drooling. Followed by an abrupt snapping out of it when Ralph Fiennes does one of the five things in this movie that totally turn me off (a list for another write-up, but suffice it to say if a guy ever shoved his thumb into my mouth while we were making out, I would spit it out and say, "What the. . . ?! Were you raised by WOLVES?!")

I digress.

Anyway, Kip scene number 2 is the scene in which Hana is playing the piano and Kip comes storming in to stop her before she detonates a mine. What I love about this scene in particular is the completely blank face Kip makes when she pops the joke about Bach. For some reason his utterly puzzled, "Is something funny?" is my favorite line of his in the movie. Can't explain. No sense in even trying.

3. Of course, the number three scene is the one in which Kip sends Hana up on the pulley ropes with a flare to show her the frescos in the church. Even though you know 99% of his motivation is simply to get the chance to look up her dress, you can't help but be overwhelmed by the absolute creativity of that gesture. Oh, Kip. Be my Boyfriend, will you? My Boyfriend never sends me up on pulley ropes to view old Italian church frescos. Never!

4. Fourth is the scene after Kevin Whatley gets killed (note: another element of this movie I always forget is that Kevin Whatley is in it. This is weird primarily because I'm such a HUGE fan of his from the "Inspector Morse" mysteries and every time I see him in Morse, I think to myself, "Why haven't I ever seen Kevin in anything else? He's so GOOD at this acting thing!" Anyway, you'd think I'd remember how cute he is in this as well. But you'd be wrong, because I have a memory like . . .like. . . what was I just talking about?) Anyway, I love this scene, because it's the first time Kip really realizes the war is affecting him. That he's lost someone he cared about -- that he cared about someone to begin with. When Hana says, "You loved him," you see Kip's entire face change with the realization that she's right. To me, this is one of the scenes that really shows how amazingly talented an actor Naveen is. You learn ten times as much about his character from his silences than you do from his words. Ladies, you just don't see acting like that very often.

5. Finally, you gotta love the scene in which Kip lays out all the candles to lead Hana back to the barn thingy and seduce her. I mean, granted, this time it was just so he could actually get INTO her dress instead of just look up it. But again, you can't help but be overwhelmed by the absolute creativity of that gesture. I'm very impressed by romantic gestures, even when the motivations are soooo obviously teenaged-boy.

Now, of course, I love Naveen from "The English Patient" and I love him even more from his role as Sayid on "Lost." Those two things alone probably could've given me enough fodder for this write-up. And, in retrospect, it would've been wise to stop here, for reasons that will shortly become clear. But, I couldn't help it -- I was so intrigued by Naveen when I started researching him that I just had to try to track down a couple more of his films.

The first one was a Disney movie about a giant gorilla that made me bawl like a baby. It's called "Mighty Joe Young" and booooy is it ever hokey! I'm such a sap for hokey kid movies! It's really quite embarrassing. Anyway, it stars Charlize Theron as a girl who befriends a baby gorilla the night both their mothers are killed by poachers in the African jungle. The two grow up together, with the gorilla (Joe) growing up and up and UP until he's roughly the size of King Kong, give or take an Empire State Building.

When poachers start encroaching on their turf again, Charlize meets a very sexy Bill Paxton who convinces her to move Joe to a nature preserve in Los Angeles. She agrees, but things go bad when a poacher follows them there and tries to steal Joe so he can hack him up into delicious little gorilla snack bars. Nummy!

Anyway, not to give anything away, but Joe has a little accident in the end while trying to rescue a young boy from a burning ferris wheel (at a carnival where, apparently, the owners like to keep everything, including the dirt, saturated with gasoline so that it will explode into mighty blazes of armageddon whenever there's a minor electrical problem). From this accident, hence the sobbing. But don't give up hope! It's a Disney movie, after all, so even if the monkey buys the farm in the end, you know something happy has to come of it.

Oh, by the way, Naveen Andrews? You remember him -- he's this week's Boyfriend? He's in this movie too. For about seven minutes. As a bad guy in an ill-fitting track suit. Not pretty. Except, of course, Naveen looks pretty in everything (though he looks even better in nothing) (not that I speak from experience) (not that I even just said that out loud).

The other movie I saw with Naveen in it was one I caught purely through fate. I had seen it in his IMDB list and I had successfully talked myself out of renting it the moment I read the description. Why? Because it was described as a movie about the deadly sport of. . . competitive rollerblading.


However, though I was THIS CLOSE to not having to experience this movie, it was tossed into my path not once but twice by cable television, which chose to show it a couple of times in the last ten days. So, I took the cosmic hint, gave in to destiny, and tuned in to the movie.

Aaaaargh! It's horrible! Naveen -- what in the bloody blue blazes were you thinking?

In fact, it was almost as bad as the other Naveen Andrews movie I've seen, "Kama Sutra." This one I actually saw in the theater in 1996 (for free -- I had a boyfriend who was an usher and used to smuggle me in). I don't remember a single thing about it except that I found it absolutely HILARIOUS. And, folks? It is not a comedy.

'Nuff said, my man.

Anyway, so I'm only batting about .500 when it comes to Naveen movie hits and misses. But it's so hard to hold it against him when he's being all tough and tender on "Lost." Sayid is definitely one of my favorite characters on the show, and I feel like his character wouldn't have been as interesting had it not been for the fact Naveen is at its helm. He brings a complicated humanity to that part -- in ways I can't quite put into words. The other actors on that show are a little more transparently acting at times (though I love them all and think they are all fabulous). Sayid, though, he's different. And maybe it's because his backstory has so much more violence and sorrow in it. Who knows. All I care about is that he not be the next guy eaten by the unseen monster in the jungle! I'm still recovering from the devouring of future Boyfriend and "Alias" star Greg Grunberg in the pilot -- I can't handle another monster munching just yet.

Okay, quick bio time: Naveen was born Naveen William Sidney Andrews in London on January 17, 1969 (note: making him the same age as my husband). His life of drama began at an early age (16), when he caused quite a stir by moving in with his teacher, a woman named Geraldine Feakins, with whom he later had a son. Real-life drama turned into acting-type drama in the late 1980's, when he auditioned for and was accepted at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His studies paid off in 1991 when he won his first movie role in a film called "London Kills Me."

In 1993, Naveen was nominated by the Evening Standard Drama Awards as "Most Promising Newcomer" for his part in "Wild West." But it wasn't until "The English Patient" that he really got his big break. From there, he's gone on to be in over ten other films, including "Bombay Boys," "Drowning on Dry Land" (where he met and fell in love with his current girlfriend Barbara Hershey), and "Bride & Prejudice," a "Bollywood" take on the ol' Jane Austen story.

Up next for Naveen Andrews is more, more, more episodes of my absolute favorite new television show, "Lost." Up next for this web site? Eh, pretty much the same thing. Stay tuned for at least five more write-ups in the "Lost" Boyfriend series coming soon!

MacGyver Factor Score: 98.129%. Naveen gets total points from me for one major reason (I mean, beyond the gazillion major reasons I also just presented to you): of every man I have ever known, he is the ONLY one I've ever seen who could pull off that hair. On anybody else? Totally skanky. On Naveen Andrews? Mrrrrrow! I think that's really all that needs to be said on this topic. Now, get back to work making sure you and everybody you know is tuning into "Lost" every Wednesday night at 8pm on ABC! This show gets cancelled, you all burn in heck.

Boyfriend-Related Links

Naveen's IMDB Page
Incandescent: The N.A. Fan Listing
The Official ABC "Lost" site
The Best UNofficial "Lost" site (
An Interview with Naveen about "Lost"

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