Premiere October 2003-The 50 Most Stylish People, Places and Things in Hollywood.
written by actress Gina Gershon


Steve McQueen. Tough. Defiant. Dangerous. Sexy. Steve McQueen was a juvenile delinquent, a Marine, a movie star. He worked the oil fields. He raced cars with Mario Andretti. He rode motorcycles before it was hip. He demanded and got his price in Hollywood before it was status quo. Men wanted to hang out with him; women simply wanted him. It's no surprise that he stands out as one of the great movie stars of our time.

McQueen's personal style mirrored his acting style: understated simplicity. He would cut dialog from his characters' speeches in order to evoke the same feelings with a look or a movement. This stripped-down quality could also be found in the clothes he wore: T-shirts and jeans (Levis, to be exact). He knew who he was, he was comfortable in his own skin-his confidence was his style. "I believe in me," he said. "I'm a little screwed-up, but I'm beautiful." No wonder he scored the hottest chicks around-women are suckers for vulnerable, blue-eyed boys with a seductive, cock-sure swagger.

Sure, he appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar (in 1965), but his sexiness came from within. Take another look at The Getaway, Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Papillon-it was McQueen's raw self-reliance and genuine sense of danger, as well as his disdain for bullshit, that made him so compelling. People respond to those who walk their own path.

McQueen was an adman's wet dream. It's no accident that when he sported the Heuer Monaco wristwatch in LeMans, it became so popular that it was re-released in the '90s. Rolex named their Explorer watch after him. If he were alive today, there's no doubt in my mind that he'd be offered serious bread to have his image, dressed in jeans or khakis, splashed across the side of some building. And I'm just as certain that Hollywood's quintessential bad boy, the king of cool, would decline.

Gina Gershon