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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Stacy Keibler is ‘Smokin’ Hot,’ Gabrielle Union Celebrates the Big 4-0: Beyond the Velvet Rope (PHOTOS)

Okay, we get it.

Stacy Keibler spun a wheel of chance this week in NYC and, in the process, only proved she’s hotter than the rest of us. That lucky Clooney.

Gabrielle Union, meanwhile, celebrated her 40th birthday in the Big Apple with a bash that may have required guests to be proofed — and that was just because of the appetizer and dessert. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Want more details on these celebrity sightings – and many more? Join us as we go beyond the velvet rope – and see all the action in our photo gallery!

THE WHO: Stacy Keibler

THE WHAT: Spinning the “Our Runway” wheel – and landing on “Smokin’ Hot,” of course

THE WHERE: The NYC launch of “Our Runway,” the first online social shopping platform that allows women to rent looks based on user-generated photos of other women with similar body types

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: The wheel doesn’t lie.


THE WHO: Gorgeous Gabrielle Union

THE WHAT: Celebrating the big 4-0 with a special dinner and Courvoisier Gold cocktails

THE WHERE: PH-D at Dream Downtown in NYC

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: The meal included a salad and devil’s food cake that were both made with Courvoisier Gold. And frankly, we’d pour it on our morning cereal if we could.


THE WHO: ‘80s idols Matt Dillon and Fisher Stevens

THE WHAT: Having a casual but intense catch-up session while snacking on pizza and Cacio e Pepe

THE WHERE: Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar at Mondrian Soho

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: An onlooker says they were “gracious to fans and overly thankful to the staff.” And it’s always nice to see celebrities who aren’t pulling a Naomi Campbell.


THE WHO: Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman

THE WHAT: Celebrating their Nylon October cover with Hello Kitty Forever


WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We aspire to have a Hello, Kitty room. Like Mariah Carey.




THE WHO: John Stamos

THE WHAT: Cheering on singer/songwriter Rachel Brown

THE WHERE: The Darby in NYC

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We’re still crushing on Uncle Jesse.


THE WHO: Reese Witherspoon

THE WHAT: Being a walking Gap billboard. She went Gap shopping with son Deacon on a Friday, then spent the weekend modeling her new fashions: the Eversoft Striped Circle Hem , the Crew Pullover, 1969 Sexy Boyfriend Cords, and the 1969 Chambray Shirtdress.


WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We’ve loved the Gap ever since Sharon Stone wore it to the Oscars.



THE WHO: Evan Rachel Wood

THE WHAT: Enjoying a casual meal

THE WHERE: Harry Morton’s Pink Taco on the Sunset Strip

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Chord Overstreet, Michael Vartan and Topher Grace were at a nearby table. Now that’s what we call dessert.


THE WHO: Hottest-guy-ever Chris Evans

THE WHAT: Having a drink – and drawing stares from the female clientele

THE WHERE: Scott Conant’s Scarpetta Beverly Hills

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: He’s our favorite Avenger.




THE WHO: Adam Sandler

THE WHAT: Downing a brew or two

THE WHERE: Rock-n-roll whiskey bar Rock & Reilly’s in West Hollywood

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: He’s a funny guy as it is – imagine him after a couple of beers.


THE WHO: Twilight star Nikki Reed and hubby Paul McDonald

THE WHAT: Looking sexy-chic in 7 For All Mankind

THE WHERE: Hosting – what else? — the 7 For All Mankind Dinner at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Total cute couple alert.



THE WHO: Helen Hunt

THE WHAT: Picking up some candy corn

THE WHERE: New Upper West Side eatery Sugar and Plumm in NYC

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We need to stock up for Halloween too, lest we have to hand out nickels again this year.


THE WHO: Beverly Hills 90210 star Tiffani Amber Thiessen, with hubby Brady and daughter Harper

THE WHAT: Shopping for Halloween treats – and a whole lotta PopChips

THE WHERE: in LA yesterday

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Cute family alert!


THE WHO: Former TV star/singer Thalia

THE WHAT: Launching Pampers’ “Mi Musica, Mi Herencia” initiative

THE WHERE: Miami Beach

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We watched a lot of telenovela.

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‘Avengers’ Star Chris Evans, Chanel Iman Get Their Game On: Beyond the Velvet Rope (PHOTOS)

Ever wanted to get up close and personal with Avengers hottie Chris Evans or supermodel Chanel Iman? You can — and the two teamed up in Hollywood this week to explain how.

That got your attention, didn’t it?

Meanwhile, a slew of stars sampled the offerings at the New York City Wine & Food Festival.

Want more details on these celebrity sightings – and many more? Join us as we go beyond the velvet rope – and see all the action in our photo gallery!


THE WHO: Chris Evans and Chanel Iman

THE WHAT: Getting their game on

THE WHERE: The Hollywood launch of Discovered Inspired by Intel, an interactive gaming experience that lets you co-star in an action film with Chris and work the red carpet with Chanel

WHY WE WISH WE WHERE THERE: It’s the closest we’ll ever come to co-starring in an action film with Chris and working the red carpet with Chanel?


THE WHO: Guiliana Rancic’s better half, Bill

THE WHAT: Shouting “Fore!”

THE WHERE: The Hilton HHonors Charitable Golf Series, benefiting City of Hope

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We love men in plaid shorts.




THE WHO: Rachael Ray and Kathy Griffin

THE WHAT: Enjoying a little S. Pellegrino and really sharing a hamburger

THE WHERE: The Burger Bash during the 2012 New York City Wine & Food Festival

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: The words “burger bash” are irresistible.


THE WHO: Bethenny Frankel

THE WHAT: Sipping – what else? — a SkinnyGirl cocktail

THE WHERE: Her very own KitchenAid demonstration at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: She makes the best margaritas.




THE WHO: Bobby Flay

THE WHAT: Posing with fellow chef Giada de Laurentiis

THE WHERE: The Borgata Lounge at Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival, presented by Food & Wine

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: If they were exchanging recipes, we’re in.


THE WHO: Anna Kendrick and Jaime King

THE WHAT: Looking like BFFs

THE WHERE: The launch party for Rachel Zoe’s ‘Major Must Haves’ line from Jockey, in West Hollywood

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Maybe they were giving out free underwear?


THE WHO: Whoopi Goldberg

THE WHAT: Taste-testing chicken

THE WHERE: The Whole Foods Presents Shake & Bake event at the 2012 New York City Wine & Food Festival

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Sounds finger-lickin’ good.


THE WHO: Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland, Shake It Up!’s Bella Thorne and American Idol’s Pia Toscano

THE WHAT: Cuddling up to Hello Kitty

THE WHERE: A bash celebrating NYLON Magazine’s October IT Issue – and the launch of the Hello Kitty Forever collection in LA

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: We jump at any chance to add to our Hello Kitty collection. What, you have something to say about it?



THE WHO: Emmanuelle Chriqui

THE WHAT: Looking hot in an A|X Armani Exchangeleather mini dresswhile celebrating the 100th episode of The Mentalist


WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: That’s, like, one of our favorite shows!


THE WHO: Cyndi Lauper

THE WHAT: Celebrating the Chicago opening of her Broadway-bound show, “Kinky Boots the Musical”

THE WHERE: A bash hosted by Kinky Liqueur

WHY WE WISH WE WERE THERE: Girls just wanna have fun. And so do we.

Minka Kelly and Chris Evans Back On? Duo Share Dinner Date in West Hollywood (PHOTOS)

They dated briefly back in 2007, and now Minka Kelly and Chris Evans are once again stepping out together.

The duo hit the town for a dinner date at Craig’s restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif. on Monday night, sparking rumors that they’ve reignited their romance.

But the 32-year-old actress isn’t quite ready to go public with the Avengers star, 31 — she hid her face as she left the eatery out the back exit.

This isn’t the first time they’ve been spotted together recently.

The pair enjoyed each other’s company back in August, when they were seen in and around Evan’s hometown of Boston before heading to New York to catch The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Kelly dated Yankee’s star Derek Jeter for three years before they split in August 2011; she was then reported to be dating That 70′s Show’s Wilmer Valderrama.

Evans, 31, has had his fair share of Hollywood romances too — he’s been linked to the likes of Kate Bosworth, Jessica Biel, Gisele Bundchen and Stacy Keibler.