Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Craig, George Clooney: Hunks Who Got Their Start in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films (PHOTOS)

Of all the harsh realities made clear by the gender gap, perhaps the truest is that – as of this Friday – girlfriends everywhere will be dragged reluctantly to see The Hobbit. This time, however, Peter Jackson’s journey through Middle Earth has been stripped of its eye-candy, swapping Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen for a handful of dwarves, Dr. Watson and a geezer. While the movie will no doubt be epic, the real scenery will undoubtedly be just that: the actual scenery.

All of which made us consider just how many dramatic, respected and handsome leading men – prime examples of non-nerd masculinity – actually made some of their biggest breakthroughs in sci-fi, fantasy and all-around geek adventures. Read on to find out…

Click here to launch the gallery of gorgeous leading men who made their bones in genre movies.

Many of the actors on Celebuzz’ list certainly had credits prior to their turns in fantasy films – Mortensen worked steadily as a supporting player for more than a decade before striking paydirt with the Lord of the Rings series, for example.

And although many of them have gone on to even greater glories, they first became popular in the public consciousness because of these projects. On the other hand, some of them may never surpass the success they enjoyed with these films and film series. But as cinephiles and avid filmgoers, we’re only too happy to celebrate – and maybe in a few cases, reintroduce – the sci-fi-, horror and fantasy films that helped the world fall in love with them.

Which of these hunks is your favorite — or which appeared in your favorite fantasy film? Keep the discussion going in the comments section after watching the theatrical trailer for The Hobbit below!

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Daniel Craig’s ‘Casino Royale’ Swim Trunks Sell for $72,000 at James Bond Auction

A pair of trunks once worn by Daniel Craig in a James Bond film has sold for nearly $72,000 at an auction in London.

Craig, 44, wore the trunks on screen in his 2006 debut as the legendary spy in Casino Royale.

According to the BBC, proceeds from the trunks, along with other Bond memorabilia, went to charities including Unicef UK and Childline as part of an auction that marks the 50th anniversary of the film franchise. Dr. No, starring Sean Connery, opened in theaters on Oct. 5, 1962.

Dame Judi Dench, who appears alongside Craig once again in the upcoming installment, Skyfall, was on hand to introduce the trunks at Friday’s auction.

“All I’m going to tell you is that they’re unwashed,” the 77-year-old actress joked.

What other items previously worn by Craig were sold at the auction?

The BBC reports that a navy woolen suit Craig donned in the upcoming Skyfall auctioned off for an estimated $76,000, while a titanium Omega Seamaster watch went for $254,000.

Craig and the Bond franchise have been making headlines all week long, thanks to the release of the film’s first clip and Adele’s theme song for the movie, appropriately titled “Skyfall.

The British actor has already signed on for five more Bond film installments, with the next two due in 2014 and 2016.

Skyfall opens in theaters November 9.