The annual Guide to Iceland list of Iceland's sexiest men is here!
Choosing the sexiest men in Iceland is a task I normally dread - I can even lose sleep over it! Everyone always has an opinion on it - that they're not afraid to voice in the comment section, and you can never please everyone.
As I was going to sleep last night, thinking about all the sexy men in Iceland that I have to Google to find pictures and videos of (it really is such a tough job...), I realised which 10 guys should be here this year - and this year it was a very easy choice!
I even think all of you will agree with me! Well, at least about the top 3. There was supposed to be a healthy dose of some classic Icelandic nepotism in there as well as I was going to add my boyfriend, that has very recently moved to Iceland, but I changed my mind last minute and you'll have to wait another year to see him here.
So just to make sure, this is a list that I (Nanna) made, and is obviously very subjective. Although this year, we can almost all agree that it's totally NOT subjective because these guys are all so damn talented, clever, passionate, charming, funny and have tons of Sex appeal with a capital S!
So starting with number 10:
10. Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Image from CelebrityImages
This is the second time that Ólafur is on our list of the sexiest men of Iceland. First time was in Top 10 sexiest men of Iceland 2014, where he was in 6th place, but this year I feel he needs to have a comeback to the list. The ONLY reason that he's so far down on the list this year is because we wanted to give the other guys their chance to shine in the spotlight too. (Also because he has fierce competition this year!)
Ólafur Darri has now gained worldwide attention after portraying the likeable character of police chief Andri in the Icelandic series Trapped. Subsequently he's been on 'sexy' lists all over the place and the Guardian called him 'the hottest man in Iceland'.
He's big, he's hairy, he's like a dangerous bear, but at the same time he looks so friendly and honest and you just want to disappear into those big arms. He's renowned to be great to work with, very likeable and extremely professional. No wonder we all love him!
As a bonus point, he's got a great growly, sexy voice!
9. Bala Kamallakharan
Picture by Sjoerd Gerritsen
The grandson of the famous and respected Tamil actor M.K. Radha is Bala Kamallakharan, the founder of StartUp Iceland.
Bala has been living in Iceland for about 10 years with his Icelandic wife. Shortly after moving to Iceland the economy collapsed, and that's when he started working on the Icelandic startup scene, hoping to create a healthy startup scene in a nearly impossible situation.
Seeing as there's a lot of exciting startups happening in Iceland (Guide to Iceland being one of them!) then we think he's done a pretty good job!
Bala stole the show at the Nordic Startup Awards that were held in Reykjavík in late May with his engaging personality, charm and wit. So not only is he devilishly good looking, smart and innovative - but funny too!
8. Kári Viðarsson
Picture by Geo
Last year my friend Reynir Svavar asked if I could put him on the list. He even tried to bribe me. And as I'm easily bribed I was going to put him on here, but then remembered he's moved out of the country. Too bad for him.
However, his main concern was that there was no bald man on last year's list (as you can see on his comment in the comment section).
Apparently I seem to favour hairy men with beards - and looking over the list this year I haven't made much of an exception to that rule. But men are sexy in all shapes, sizes, ages, with or without hair and bald men are obviously just as sexy as hairy ones. A good example: Bruce Willis. Men in Iceland just tend to have a lot of beard and hair growth.
However the sexy bald man that made it to the list in Reynir's place is the incredibly funny and talented actor, director, producer and theatre owner Kári Viðarsson.
Kári is a local on Guide to Iceland and runs his own theatre / hostel / cultural centre on Snæfellsnes peninsula called The Freezer Hostel.
The Freezer Hostel is situated in the small town of Rif, and Kári has single-handedly brought a whole lot of arts and culture to the small neighbouring society. He started by turning an old freezer into a theatre, then later into a hostel and a cultural centre and there's always something going on there. I recommend checking it out if you are driving around Snæfellsnes peninsula, you might catch a play in English or some of Iceland's best bands performing.
You'll probably also run into Kári himself, that will easily charm you with his wit, zest for life, his performing talents and him being a genuinely really nice guy.
Kári also stole the show at the 2016 Gríma award ceremony (Icelandic theatre awards), with his hilarious, but controversial song. That took a lot of guts, and the bravery (along with the humour) gets him his spot here.
- Find Snæfellsnes tours here
7. René Boonekamp
Picture from Karolina Fund
René moved to Iceland from Holland just a year ago but is already contributing heavily to Iceland's art and culture scene. René is the founder of the Travelling Embassy of Rockall that will reside in the Grandi area in Reykjavík from July to September 2016.
The Travelling Embassy of Rockall is an imaginary embassy of a new society, that will facilitate weekly lectures (similar to Ted talks), performances, film screenings and workshops, as well as have a library and a café on site.
Anyone that is interested in how to make a new and better society (or improve the one we already have) is welcome to stop by, as all events are free of charge. The team greets you with open arms, and you'll quickly spot the charming René with his infectious smile. His passion and willingness to improve society (as well as that smile and piercing eyes!) earns him a spot on this year's list.
- Find Icelandic culture tours here
6. Guðmundur Ingi Þorvaldsson
Picture by Vísir
Although he looks serious on this photo, you'd normally catch Guðmundur (or Gummi) with a great, friendly smile around town.
Guðmundur was the head of the independent theatre Tjarnarbíó until earlier this year. He resigned following his nomination for the British National Film Awards as the best actor for his role in Chasing Robert Barker, that won the best action film. He was up against international stars such as Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, Colin Firth and more.
Gummi is an incredibly talented actor, that cares deeply about Iceland's independent theatre scene and is always willing to help out his fellow performers.
We'll definitely see more of him in the future.
5. Andri Snær Magnason
Picture by Andri Snær
Andri Snær was a presidential candidate in Iceland in 2016. Despite not winning the election, he was at least the coolest male candidate - as you can see from this video from his presidential campaign:
(That's him dancing on the stage with the band FM Belfast at the start).
Andri is a writer and environmentalist. His book LoveStar gained international fame for being an incredibly innovative science fiction book (written in 2002). Another one of his books, the Dreamland, was a non-fiction book, mostly dealing with environmental issues in Iceland - an issue Andri was focusing on during his presidential campaign.
Caring about the environment and the Icelandic language, while at the same time not taking yourself way too seriously during a presidential campaign, is totally sexy.
4. Baltasar Kormákur
Picture by We Got This Covered
Baltasar is one of the absolute coolest guys in Iceland.
Baltasar got a lot of attention in his younger years as an actor for his great acting skills, as well as for his good looks. He later started focusing on directing, and the film 101 Reykjavík put him on the map in the film industry. He is now a world-known director and producer, having directed many Hollywood films such as Everest and Contraband, but also producing the Icelandic TV crime drama Trapped.
There's not really anything sexier than going after what you want in life and passion for your work!
He's also outspoken about the importance of female filmmakers in the industry, and thinks that female filmmakers should be awarded more grants to help the increase in female directors and producers. Big bonus points there, and he would've topped the list, hadn't the 3 top places been inevitable this year.
- Find out more about movies filmed in Iceland here
3. Lars Lagerbäck
Picture by Reddit.
The Icelandic national team would be nothing without a great coach. They're lucky enough to have 2 great coaches, both Heimir Hallgrímsson and Lars Lagerbäck. However, things really started changing in the Icelandic world of football when Lars started coaching the team.
Since 2011, when Lars took over the team (and Heimir was assisting him) the Icelandic national football team has gone from strength to strength, and are currently playing at the European Championship, for the very first time ever in history.
Lars is originally Swedish, and coached the Swedish national team for a number of years, leading them to both the European Championship and the World Cup.
Lars' patience, enthusiasm, great strategy skills and great coaching skills have placed him high in the Icelandic nation's hearts, and every woman and man would love to be there on the pitch celebrating with him.
Lars will retire after the European Championship, leaving the team in the solid hands of Heimir Hallgrímsson.
And the coach of the national team brings us to second place:
2. The Icelandic national football team
Picture by The Straits Times
Hannes. Aron. Arnór Ingvi. Eiður Smári. Birkir (x2). Gylfi. And all the others (it's a long list of names, sorry guys if I haven't mentioned you - you're all in here equally!) It's impossible to decide between them.
The entirety of the Icelandic national football team that's currently competing at the European Championship 2016 is in second place.
Hannes' solid hands that seem to have a ball magnet in them, Birkir's golden locks of hair in slow motion, Aron's beard and the tattoo sleeve... and obviously all the hard work and talent that has gone into getting to the place they are at right now.
Photo by The Guardian of Birkir and Arnór Ingvi celebrating.
The world is cheering for the underdog Icelandic team at the European Championship 2016. Everywhere you look you see descriptions such as 'playing with their hearts', 'heroes', 'team spirit', 'sexy Vikings' (ok, maybe not the last one). But all of the guys in the national football team are hailed as heroes in Iceland, and they all deserve the second place together.
- Read about Iceland in the EURO 2016 here
Why not the first place? Well, that's because in the first place we have:
1. Guðmundur Benediktsson
Picture by Vísir
There's only one guy that could top the entirety of the Icelandic national team, and that's Guðmundur Benediktsson, or Gummi Ben.
This is just a fact.
This suited (and rather serious) man you can see on the picture above, is the same man as you can see in this video here below:
Who hasn't been entertained, and admired his passion, enthusiasm and sheer joy as he describes each game that Iceland plays?
The world has listened to the latest description (the game between Iceland and Austria) but Icelanders have been enjoying the vivid, entertaining, passionate and often funny descriptions for a whole lot longer.
Gummi Ben is a former footballer himself (retired in 2009) and his son (Albert Guðmundsson) currently plays for PSV Eindhoven. There is definitely an intense passion for football within his family!
I personally have to admit that I had no idea who Gummi Ben was until the European Championship started, but from the first Icelandic match (Iceland vs Portugal) I was hooked on his game descriptions!
Also, passion and humour are the sexiest traits I can think of, so Gummi Ben, you win this title easily.
p.s. I'm definitely not the only one that praises Gummi for his game descriptions, Stephen Colbert thinks CBS should hire him on the spot!