Esquire Magazine: The Next Generation

Posted on August 08, 2012

More boys, girls!


Taylor Kitsch, Idris Elba, Garrett Hedlund, Aaron Paul, Aaron Johnson, and Armie Hammer cover the September 2012 issue of Esquire magazine photographed by Yu Tsai.

We always cringe just a little when Vanity Fair or some other magazine does a “NEXT GENERATION OF HOLLYWOOD STARS” piece, because when you get a chance to look back at them years later, you realize they’re always about 50/50 on picking the next success stories. Lots of Annie Leibovitz pictures of starlets you never heard of draped over couches next to others who went on to headline and award-winning status.

And while we’d never complain about having to look at pretty male stars modeling pretty suits, we think some of the choices here are a little odd. Idris Elba and Aaron Paul more than proved their bona fides years ago. It seems strange to see them listed as up-and-comers. Especially Paul, who won an Emmy two years ago. Then there’s the fact that some of the others have demonstrated a considerable lack of success in movies lately.

Still; like we said, cute guys in cute clothes. Armie’s suit looks a little big on him but the rest of them look pretty great. Idris needs an entire editorial to himself, fashion world. We want to see him brooding in a diner, staring out the windows of a Classic Modern Los Angeles home with Mid-Century Modern decor, and wearing cowboy boots outside an abandoned gas station in the desert. All the cute white boys get to do that in their editorials. Besides, the man looks delicious in a suit.

On Johnson: Two-button wool suit ($2,560), cotton shirt ($545), silk tie ($205), and leather shoes ($830) by Louis Vuitton. On Kitsch: Two-button wool suit ($2,175) and cotton shirt ($325) by Dolce&Gabbana; silk tie ($250) by Dunhill; leather monk-straps ($660) by Church’s. On Elba: Two-button wool suit ($2,850), cotton shirt ($520), and silk tie ($185) by Gucci; leather shoes ($745) by Santoni; leather belt ($128) by Coach.

On Hedlund: One-button wool suit ($1,295) cotton shirt ($225), and silk tie ($150) by Calvin Klein Collection; leather shoes ($1,600) by Salvatore Ferragamo. On Paul: Two-button wool suit ($1,920), cotton shirt ($490), silk tie ($220), and leather shoes ($695) by Prada. On Hammer: Two-button wool suit ($3,795), wool vest ($895), cotton shirt ($365), silk tie ($195), and leather shoes ($795) by Giorgio Armani.

Aaron Johnson
Two-button wool suit ($3,660), cotton shirt ($590), and silk tie ($245) by Tom Ford; leather monk-straps ($1,795) by John Lobb; socks ($28) by Bresciani.


Taylor Kistch
Two-button wool suit ($1,995) by Dunhill; cotton shirt ($195) by Burberry London; silk tie ($98) by Fahlgren; leather shoes ($650) by Church’s.


Idris Elba
Two-button wool suit ($2,700) and cotton shirt ($890) by Louis Vuitton; silk tie ($165) by Etro; leather wing tips ($495) by Church’s.


Garrett Hedlund
Two-button wool suit ($1,795), cotton shirt ($295), and silk tie ($125) by Boss Selection; leather shoes ($660) by Fratelli Rossetti; Socks ($28) by Pantherella.


Aaron Paul
Three-button wool suit ($1,695) by Polo Ralph Lauren; cotton shirt ($450) by Ralph Lauren Purple Label; silk tie ($145) by Ralph Lauren Black Label; leather shoes ($1,150) by Louis Vuitton; socks ($30) by Bresciani.


Armie Hammer
Two-button wool suit ($1,895) and cotton shirt ($325) by Ralph Lauren Black Label; cashmere-and-silk tie ($140) by Phineas Cole; leather shoes ($745) by Santoni.



[Photo Credit: Yu Tsai for for]

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  • FashionShowAtLunch

    Sooo much hotness.  So, so much.  Dear lord.  It’s almost too much on this sweltering day. 

    • Kathy Marlow

      A. MEN!!! 

  • Gabriella Soza

    I’ll take Idris, please. All day and all night.

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      he is one beautiful man, dipped in sexy.

    • Sobaika

      As long as you share.

    • Griffinqueen

       I just watched the Ab Fab wherein Edina decides she needs to get laid , so she and Patsy hire two gigolos for an orgy. Guess who Patsy’s man is?

      • Valdri8

         That is one of my fav episode. He is hysterical in that. it was one of his first acting roles, and OMG he is so hat as Luther

    • MilaXX

       I’ll fight ya for him.

    • MinAgain

      I’ll arm-wrestle you for him.

  • ChiliP

    Seriously, some of these choices seem odd. If winning an Emmy for best supporting actor does not mean you’ve already “arrived” then what does? And Armie Hammer has been in some pretty high profile movies (Social Network, J. Edgar).

    Helloooooo, Mr. Elba. How is it that I know so little about you when you look like THAT in a suit?

    ETA: Oh, and that dog Garrett Hedlund is holding? I die. So freaking cute.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Watch The Wire. Idris Elba positively drips with sex appeal, even as an amoral drug kingpin.

      • ChiliP

        Excellent, The Wire was already next on my list of must-see shows. I’m a huge Breaking Bad fan, but I’ve heard some people argue that The Wire is even better. Mr. Elba here just gives me even more motivation to start watching.

        • bububear

           He is also in Luther, a BBC detective show available on Netflix.  Bonus – hearing his British accent, which you don’t get on the Wire. 

          • ChiliP

            AND he has a British accent?? It’s all too much.

          • MilaXX

             yes Luther is excellent. I believe BET or one of it’s sister station is also running it.

          • JackieOBlue

            I love Luther too, but it is so intense, I have to pace myself when I watch it.

          • MilaXX

             but he does a much better B’more accent than Dominc West

          • Eclectic Mayhem

            AGREED!  If I didn’t know Mr Elba was a Brit I wouldn’t have guessed – whereas I hear Dominic West’s accent slip ALL the time!  We’ve just finished Season 1 here – utterly gripping TV – amazing.

          • MilaXX

            season 2 does a bit of a change up, but is equally as good.

          • MinAgain

            “Luther” is a fabulous show.  I second the recommendation.

        • elleg929

          The Wire will change your life; it’s that awesome.

        • MilaXX

           As much as I love Breaking Bad, I would place The Wire slightly hire.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Idris is simply drop dead compelling in The Wire…it’s a tremendous series, and Idris just makes it that much better.

      • Griffinqueen

         My husband and I have dubbed him “Stringer F***in’ Bell”. Those were the only words we could blurt out when he was on screen. Yeah, my husband is straight, but seriously…when confronted with The Idris, who cares about labels?

      • MilaXX

        Stringer Bell had a LOT of us rooting for the bad guy.

    • MilaXX

      Even if you didn’t know Idris from various small roles on both sides of the pond (I saw an old Law & Order with him a few days ago), he got a lot of attention for The Wire and that show has been off the air for 5 years.

      • ChiliP

        Now that I’ve looked him up, I do recognize him from The Office. I’ve heard The Wire is excellent, but I was unaware that he is in it. It does seem strange that he would be on this list, considering he seems to have a very well-established resume.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          As terrific a series as The Wire was, the creators had to fight to get the fifth and final on HBO-it had a very, very devoted following, but not, alas the the kind of numbers that HBO wanted,so while Idris and a number of other excellent actors were noticed, they didn’t get the kind of notice that a big, splashy network success would have generated.

  • formerlyAnon

    Johnson & Elba, please.

    I shall consider pinch hitters if one of the above has a conflict.

    [Thank-you, esteemed hosts. Today has been fun.]

    • lovelyivy

       i already knew about the wonder that is Idris Elba, but this Johnson dude… yum. More yummy Brits FTW!

  • Ginger

    That photo of Garrett Hedlund with the dog is perfection. 

    • fashionlurker

       Did you notice its tongue looks just like a heart!

      • Ginger

        I DID! 

    • MilaXX

       I fear the dog steals the show in that pic. Too cute!

    • lovelyivy

       He’s so cute I can forgive him for Tron Legacy. Almost. It wasn’t really his fault, right?

  • mjude

    one of each please & thank you

  • Kimmu

    I will take Idris Elba and Garret Hedlund’s dog.

    • elirt

      Frenchies are the best! I can’t stop photographing ours – they make the greatest expressions.

      • Kimmu

        They are pretty damn cute! I had an English bulldog and absolutely adored her.

  • ringthing

    Taylor Kitsch looks so much better with a clean shave and longer hair.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Yes! Agreed.  I generally am not into long hair, at all, but damn if he doesn’t look best as Tim Riggins. 

    • imspinningaround

      PREACH.  There is no Taylor Kitsch, there is only Tim Riggins, now and at the hour of our death, amen.

      • FashionShowAtLunch

        Texas forever. 

  • Sara__B

    Guys in suits. Sigh.

  • H3ff

    My guess is that “Next Generation of Hollywood Stars” was the highest common factor between this random grouping of men. They really have very little in common in terms of career trajectory.

  • Jennifer Jacobsen-Wood

    Idris Alba and Aaron Paul, you can’t get much more on the opposites spectrum, yet, I find them both so hot.  On the other hand, my 1989 prom date had Aaron Johnson’s hair and it wasn’t a good look then, either. 

  • Judy_J

    I don’t know any of these guys.  They’re all pretty cute, especially that Armie Hammer.  Love that plaid suit he’s sporting in the group photo.

    • Rebecca Zmarzly

      I’ve seen him over and over the past few weeks as he played Prince Charming in Mirror, Mirror. I have a 5-year-old that has the DVD pretty much on repeat.

      He’s bare chested and in tight breeches in one scene. YUM!

  • crash1212

    Idris Elba = Mmmmmmmmm. And does not belong with this crew – Stringer Bell should get a spread of his own. Dammit.

    • MilaXX

       sho ’nuff

  • MajorBedhead

    Mmmmmmm, Idris Elba. Mmmmmmmmmmmm……

  • Kiltdntiltd

    I’ll take one full set please, wrapped as shown.

  • Cindi Williams

    Idris Elba makes me feel…funny… *harumph* *blush*

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Armie Hammer is a cutie.
    I hate that I don’t know any of these other guys, but I have to say, that pic of Garrett Hedlund and the doggie has already made me a fan. I love that they have the same expression on their faces.

  • Le_Sigh

    Oh my Idris Elba you delicious thing you.

    Have you seen his print ads for Tanqueray?  Yum.  He knows how to wear a suit.

  • Heather

    I think it’s just a shadow, but Aaron Paul’s feet look strangely loooong, as though he’s wearing Ronald McDonald shoes.

    • Amy Ennis

      You know what they say…

  • Rand Ortega

    Lawd, Lawd! I’m melting!! It’s 95 in LA today. This just took me from boiling to puddle.

  • Allyson Wells

    Is that dog’s perfectly heart-shaped tongue for real? And let me just say, I LOVE Aaron Paul. 

  • Rand Ortega

    PS: If Hollywood had half a brain, considering the current penchant for remakes & vampires–
    Idris Elba as Blackula.

    • Amy Ennis

      That would be epic. 

      • Rand Ortega


  • schadenfreudelicious

    There were others besides Idris in this editorial??…:)

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    How do I decide which one to make my desktop background? Idris or Armie? It’s like Sophie’s Choice. I can’t bare to choose.
    But I do agree that having Idris in this group is rather an odd choice. The Wire was years ago. Luther has had two seasons. What constitutes ‘up and comer’ here?  He’s already here Esquire and we’re all so very thankful. 

    • MilaXX

       I created a folder of pics of idris. Did you see the one he posted on facebook? Makes you have *really* naughty thoughts

      • schadenfreudelicious

        Idris is the king of tease on FB…no complaints whatsoever :)

  • elleg929

    Idris Elba is not the Next Generation.  HE IS STRINGER BELL and has already achieved his awesomeness status.

  • Kerry McCombs

    Gossipy Tidbit about Aaron Johnson: He just turned 22 and married the 45 year old artist/director Sam Taylor-Wood this summer. They met on the set of Nowhere Boy which she directed and he starred in as the young John Lennon. Although they just got married, they already have two small children. I love a story that filps the older man/younger woman stereotype on its head! You GO Sam Taylor-Wood!

    • MilaXX

       They’ve been together for a minute so I don’t mind it much.

  • MilaXX

    I completely agree the critiques of calling Aaron Paul & Idris Elba “Up & Coming”, but I’m just happy to see these two getting some well deserved attention.
    There’s a good reason why Idris is my screensaver. YUM!

  • random_poster

    It’s interesting to look at this editorial right after the one with Gwen Stefani.  The photography here is thousands of times better.  This is how you do bland background, Mr. Richardson.

  • Valdri8

    Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins was such a well-acted role. He was so adorable and so hot.

  • jilly_d

    Aaron Paul. That is all.

  • greymain

    LORDY….. Idris is simply amazing in that first shot. Stringer Bell take me away…..

  • Myra C

    Is it sad that I think the puppy is cuter than Garrett Hedlund?

  • Susan Howard

    Love Idris. One of my fave exchanges from “The Wire:”

    Stringer: “I’m an XL.”
    Donette: “No doubt.”

    • barbiefish

      I would like this a 1000X if I could — and to be accompanied by the opening credits of the zipper descending on Stringer’s warmup suit!

  • ninjac

    The world can always use more Elba.

  • ScarlettHarlot


    That is all.

  • tereliz


  • MinAgain

    “Idris needs an entire editorial to himself, fashion world.”

    Damn straight.

  • Julie Chase

    Holy Idris. I love that man.

  • Shawn EH

    I love that unfocused look Armie can do.

  • SpcilK

    Johnson & Elba, all day long all day strong! Thank you very, very, much.

  • Allison Crowe

    I absolutely LOVE Daniel Craig, but Idris Elba for James Bond.

  • nannypoo

    I’ll take Idris Elba and the one with the dog.

  • Amy Ennis

    Magic Mike, Part Deaux? I’ll take one of each. 

  • janetjb

    They are so very attractive plus an adorable dog.

  • pookiesmom

    Idris, yum. The others? No idea who they are. But I also yum Armie. Including his fabulous name.

  • UglyCasanova

    This editorial should be called, “GUYS BEING GUYS, YEAH!” … who?

  • mkpatter

    I wish they were all posing with doggies

  • maggiemaybe

    Wow. Armie Hammer. Plaid suit. Golly gee damn.

  • quiltrx

    Where has Aaron Johnson’s hair been all my life?  And OMG he’s playing Vronsky.  He and Jude may be enough to cancel out my Keira hatred.

  • Pop Tarts Jen

    I second your assertion that Idris Elba needs his own editorial. He is a gorgeous, charismatic man and a wonderful actor. And he makes me swoon.

  • Bozhi

    That little dog is really cute.

  • Susan Crawford

    Idris Elba – YES! Manly, confident and gorgeous.

    Running a close second to the delightful Idris? That adorable little dog with the quizzical look,perky ears, broad smile and perfect little heart-shaped tongue. SOOOOOO sweet!

  • kim i

    somebody photoshopped that dog’s tongue into the shape of a heart.  that’s the kind of detailed subliminal messaging i can totally get behind.

  • julnyes

    One order of Elba and a side of that adorable dog – TO GO!

  • Joanie Hunt

    Elba = swooooooooooooooon!

  • RzYoung

    Er, haven’t all the female versions of these covers featured no clothes whatsoever?! I find these men slightly over dressed oui?

  • Janey

    Armie Hammer does so many things to me…in my head

  • Verascity

    This post needs more Aaron Paul love. Fuck yeah, Aaron Paul. Adore him.

    Idris is permanently werqing, though.

  • ccm800

    Aaron Johnson is a dish 

  • ccm800

    Taylor Kitsch is Seacrest now?  

  • sweetlilvoice

    Mmmmm.Taylor Kistch….reminds me I need to watch the last season of Friday Night Lights. Love Aaron Paul too.

  • Amanda in Austin

    Idris Elba is the only one I know. He is divine. I appreciate the eye candy! And all the extra lads in suits, too.

  • Susi R

    These pictures made me LOL, was that the intended effect?

  • Eliza Leoni

    I usually wince when anyone says “delicious” to describe anything that isn’t food but wow, what other word is there for Idris Elba?

  • Candigirl1968

    Perhaps when they say “next generation,” they mean more like, these are the ones who we’ll be going to see without even knowing what the movie is about, as opposed to showcasing a bunch of 20 year olds.  

    In any case, do you really need a “theme” to put good looking guys in great suits?!?    Ya just stick ’em in there and prepare to drool.

  • librarygrrl64

    I don’t know who Aaron Johnson is, but yes, please!!!

  • bluefish

    Memo to the increasingly insufferable VF overlords:  Idris doesn’t need to prove a damn thing to anyone anymore!  WTH?  What he needs is to be put to work in some decent movies — and to return to our screens as “Luther.”  I mean, look at that man pose!

  • Lilyana_F

    Idris has been on my list for quite a while now, such a gorgeous man. And “Luther” is a must-see, you’re welcome :)

  • bellafigura1

    Aaron Paul is phenomenal in Breaking Bad.  Skater-addict hot.  Cleans up good too.