Jonathan Harper was born in a manger in a secret corridor of a local Denny’s. An orphan at the age of three, Jonathan sustained himself on nuts and the complete Angela Carter collection. He was soon adopted by a benefactress named Judi Dench, and lived with her on a lush country estate with her adopted sister, Helen Mirren. The two esteemed actresses taught Jonathan the ways of the world, including how to sound “droll,” while their best friend Sigourney Weaver instructed him on how to decapitate monsters and mothballs.
With his good looks and dead baby jokes, Jonathan soon became a force to be reckoned with! Today, many admire his work as a writer, and long for a taste of his scrumptious Betty Ann pancake (that is not a euphemism).
In short, Jonathan is the bestest. So, I often wonder if actor Ray Stevenson deserves Jonathan’s love. Sure, Mr. Stevenson is of Irish descent, which means he is the perfect combination of sexy and molesty. Yes, he has received accolades for his work in television, film and stage. And true, his nipples are so hard they can probably cut glass…but I am just not convinced!
Therefore, Jonathan’s birthday gift this year will NOT be a Fraggle Rock t-shirt, a gift certificate to an independent bookstore, or Joan Osbourne locked away in his Emily Dickinson attic, forced to provide mood music while he creates tomes of greatness. No, indeed! Instead I will devote this column to scrutinizing Mr. Stevenson’s characters in his finest media appearances, to determine if he’s good enough for my Jonathan!
Return of the Native (1994)
Our first foray into Ray Stevenson fandom begins with this adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s sixth novel Return of the Native. Mr. Stevenson stars as Clym Yeobright, and if that name doesn’t turn you on, then there is something wrong with you!
Aside from having the SEXIEST name, Clym is a well-to-do dude who makes the mistake of falling in love with Eustacia Vye, who views Clym as her ticket out of their small, hay covered town. The adaptation is rather straightforward, with Clive Owen glaring it up as Damon Wildeve, and Mr. Stevenson being as sweet as saccharine. His scenes generally involve him smiling his beatific smile and running his well-formed hands through his glorious locks, as if he is auditioning for a Ye Olde Pantene Pro-V commercial. He’s kind, gentle, trustworthy, loyal and boring. He is the Millard Filmore of Thomas Hardy characters. No thank you! Jonathan needs a man with fire in his skillet.
Worthiness Rating (Victorian Style)
Impregnate him and then send him to a convent!
King Arthur (2004)
Mr. Stevenson preps for his future role in Rome in this loose as a hooker adaptation of King Arthur/Camelot. He also rejoins his Return of the Native co-star Clive Owen. Do you think Clive and Mr. Stevenson ever reminisced? “Remember when we starred in that Hallmark made-for-TV movie? Man, Catherine Zeta Jones was hot–who knew she’d be more into older guys who seem perfectly nice but also seem perfectly creepy. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched Wall Street on mute with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon playing.”
Anyways, the film has a lot of mist and stabbing and a little bit of Mr. Stevenson as Dagonet, who sits and glares manfully at injustice. Jonathan appreciates a man who has a sense of right or wrong, can ride it wet or dry (a horse, pervs) and knows how to throw an axe (that can be a hit at any party! GET IT?). One downside is that Dagonet LOVES kids. The only thing Jonathan dislikes more than kids is when people are talking about their Kindle/Nook/Michele Bachmann.
Worthiness Rating (Camelot Style)
Get him drunk on mead and get ‘er done!
There are two things Jonathan will not shut up about: Rome and how to build your own printing press. It’s always stuff like “I’d like to bend Ray Stevenson over this,” “printing presses are based on screw presses,” “ram him.” Sometimes I get so bored of these conversations, Jonathan!
Rome was a great show. It had mystery, intrigue, and naked people. It was like True Blood but it had a plot. Refreshing! It also had Mr. Stevenson as Titus Pullo, an adventurous bear of a man who enjoyed banging heads together and just plain ol’ banging. That’s right, Pullo is so masculine that when he orders a sandwich, he asks for extra “MAN-onnaise.”
Prone to fits of rage, but also moments of softness, he is certainly a Certifiable A+ Fantasy for Jonathan. But I don’t think he would respect Jonathan’s opinions on whether or not the spare bedroom should be painted in eggshell or cream. Also, he might get confused by what Jonathan would mean when he demands that Titus “mow my lawn.” Let us face it, Titus is not the sharpest whip in a dominatrix’s bag of tricks.
Worthiness Rating (Gladiator Style)
Thumbs Down (Don’t cry, Jonathan. I hate to see those beautiful eyelashes soaked in tears.)
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
Um, yes, this movie actually exists. And yes, Mr. Stevenson, as Frank Castle, busts into a dinner party, cuts off a guy’s head, breaks his wife’s neck and stabs a lot of people who happen to be attached to bags of red colored corn syrup. Check it:
Now, the following has occurred after darling Jonathan has watched this scene:
1) Jonathan’s heart totally fluttered at Mr. Stevenson’s badassery.
2) Jonathan also wished Mr. Stevenson would be polite enough to say his hellos, take off his boots and THEN begin the slaughter. It’s a dinner party after all! Manners!
Sure, Mr. Stevenson’s Frank Castle looks trim in black, and can kill a man as efficiently as I place my McDonald’s drive thru order (“Yes, I would like a basket of fries and five cups of ice. Stop asking me QUESTIONS!”). But a man so focused on revenging and avenging is not good enough! Jonathan needs a person who can have a deep conversation with him and not demand hand to hand combat when disagreeing over the power dynamics in a Mary Gaitskill short story.
Worthiness Rating (comic book style)
Eviscerate him with a blow torch, but he’ll probably be resurrected in another series and try to persuade Jonathan that he’s “changed.”
Mouth to Mouth (2001)
Yes, Ray, you put your mouth to my mouth!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JONATHAN!!!