Teodora is a published author with a passion for literature and cinematography.
They may be shy, but that doesn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams. These seven male characters are heroes in their own way. They face their fears straight-on and actually prove that they're braver than all the others. They have extraordinary abilities and some of them even get the girl... eventually.
This is my top 7.
7. Newt (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Eddie Redmayne’s coy smile gets me every time. His character from the Fantastic Beasts series is adorably introverted yet surprisingly determined. Newt Scamander dances to his own tune, unbothered by rules and regulations. His head may be high up in the clouds (and so is his messy, ginger hair), but his hand firmly clutches the handle of his suitcase.
Newt has a hard time navigating the convoluted waters of social interactions. He is not exactly what you would call ‘a people person.’ In fact, this wizard feels much more comfortable caring for endangered species in his own secret paradise. Talking to animals is his second nature. In the eyes of his peers, Newt is a weirdo; he is annoying, clumsy and pretty useless. For his numerous creatures though, he is everything.
6. Todd (Dead Poets Society)
I feel you, Todd. I know how terrifying it is to be called on in class when you’re anxious. You constantly look at your watch while desperately trying to avoid eye-contact. You feel as uneasy as an atheist in church, but you try hard to hide it. Others can’t see your weakness.
Todd (young Ethan Hawk) is a good kid with a gift for poetry, which he keeps to himself. Luckily, his English teacher, Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) has an eye for ‘diamonds in the rough’.
One of the downfalls of being very shy is the inability to say no. Todd is put on the spot by Keating and persuaded (in a manner of speaking) to go to the Dead Poets Society meetings by his school mate Neil (Robert Sean Leonard). He eventually comes out of his shell, which is most obvious in the famous “Oh, Captain, my captain!” scene.
5. Charlie (Scent of a Woman)
With his reserved nature and impeccable moral conduct, prep school student Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) is the epitome of goodness. He doesn’t say much, but his actions speak for themselves. He unwillingly accompanies retired and blind Lt. Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino) to New York because he doesn’t have the courage to say no. Interestingly though, Charlie ends up having a life-changing effect on the colonel. He may be young and inexperienced in many ways, but he proves gutsier than anyone would have imagined.
By contrast, Lt. Frank Slade is antisocial and foul-mouthed. His flamboyant personality makes Charlie appear even more innocent and shy. Remember the scene where the two are on the plane and the colonel starts raving about what he likes in a woman in graphic detail? Look at Charlie’s face. He would rather be munching on a lemon than keep listening to the colonel.
4. Jeremy (Powder)
Jeremy (Sean Patrick Flanery) is one of my all-time favorite male characters. He is brilliant, vulnerable and highly misunderstood. Jeremy possesses tremendous supernatural abilities, which he only uses for noble purposes–such as bringing dead deer back to life–and sometimes accidentally.
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Powder prefers solitude to the hustle and bustle of the ‘civilized world’. His shoulders are usually stooped, as though they were carrying the weight of the world. And maybe they do.
The young man’s white complexion does not only attest to his otherworldly nature, but also to his purity. He’s got delicate gestures and a candid look in his eyes. Jeremy doesn’t boast about his wit. He actually finds it hard to talk to people because he can read minds, which can put a damper on communication.
3. Edward (Edward Scissorhands)
To say that Edward (Johnny Depp) is an unusual human being would be an understatement. He was born (or rather created) in a castle on top of a hill. His inventor died before he could finish Edward’s hands. Unfortunately, he is left with metal scissors for hands, which does not really help his social skills.
Edwards is a like a child cast into a grim, unwelcoming world. Given the dire circumstances of his life, his shyness and clumsiness are totally understandable. Others perceive him as a freak, which is both infuriating and sad. The poor guy cannot even hold a spoon. Good thing he’s gifted at cutting hair, which earns him a few bonus points from the locals.
2. Jean-René (Romantics Anonymous)
Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde) is the owner of a small chocolate factory. He is uptight and barely cracks a smile. His secretary describes him as ‘tough’. We don’t really know how Jean-René conducts his business, but we do know he has a dark secret: he is absolutely terrified of speaking to women.
His pathological shyness is really challenged when Angélique (Isabelle Carré) steps into his office hoping to be hired. Little does he know that the woman standing before him is just as bashful as he is. When the two finally go out on a date, the awkwardness goes through the roof. After giving himself a rather amusing pep talk, the chocolate factory owner greets Angélique. He fumbles for words and hardly makes any sense. Every five minutes or so he finds an excuse to go to the men’s room to change his sweaty shirt.
Moving on to number 1... And the winner is...
1. Pierre (I’m Shy, but I’ll Heal)
Meet Pierre (Pierre Richard), a cashier who day-dreams about being a passionate lover, but spends most of his time pursuing women in secret. After declaring his love to Huguette for ten years (via intercom only), he finally gets invited to her apartment. Unfortunately, upon seeing the woman, Pierre loses his nerve and bolts.
When he meets gorgeous Agnes (Mimi Coutelier), who is a guest at the hotel where he works, Pierre is instantly enamored. He decides to woo her. In reality, he follows her wherever she goes, from one hotel to the next. At one time he spies on her from a distance, dressed up as a scuba diver.
Inspired to embark on a journey of healing, Pierre calls on the services of a rather shady seller (Aldo Maccione). Aldo claims to be able to cure him of his shyness. Pierre pays a fortune on tapes, books and a totally useless punching bag. Under the not-so-wise guidance of Aldo, Pierre begins to conquer his fears by exposing himself to very challenging situations. For instance, he has to buy two pair of underwear. That doesn’t go very well.
Introverted male characters have a unique charm. They may not be attractive in the traditional sense, but their noble actions, extraordinary abilities and sweet candor more than make up for their innocent flaws.
So ladies, who is your favorite shy guy? Is it Newt Scamander with his adorable awkwardness and passion for saving endangered species? Or perhaps Powder with his brilliant mind and kind heart?