By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 18, 2010 at 7:29AM
This magazine cover stopped me cold in the check-out line in the supermarket. I have always liked Ryan Phillippe as an actor, but he has never really broken out. He's a little too young and pretty. Many actors need to grow into their manhood, add a few face lines and gravitas before they're taken seriously. (Leonardo DiCaprio has finally grown out of his baby fat.)
As Phillippe was promoting the Universal action comedy MacGruber, he clearly felt the need to show he has the right stuff for action films. That Men's Health cover sends a message straight to Hollywood execs, producers and casting directors: "I can play macho." (In fact Phillippe played a cop in Paul Haggis's Crash and soldiers in Kimberly Peirce's Stop-Loss and Clint Eastwood's war film Flags of Our Fathers.)
But it was the women at the supermarket who were gasping. UPDATE: Carrie Rickey asks: Are Abs the New Man-Boobs?
Phillippe just did Saturday Night Live, impersonating Rob Pattinson in a rather lame sketch, below: