Listworthy: Sullivan Stapleton


name: Sullivan Stapleton
DOB: 14 June 1977
height: 6’1”
degree of separation: 1 (Ryan Gosling => me!)
my list or yours: mine

First sighting: Strike Back but very oddly enough my trigger moment was Gangster Squad.

Oh Sully. I’m not going to lie, it took awhile for him to get under my skin. When we started watching Strike Back, Philip Winchester was the draw for me (if I had to pick a person of focus on the show). I liked Michael “By-the-Book” Stonebridge more than I liked Damien “fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants” Scott. But it didn’t take long for me to like Damien Scott. He turned on all the right triggers for me. I really do love the Damien character but I wasn’t sure for the longest time if that affection extended to his portrayer.

as Damien Scott in Strike Back

When I saw Sully was going to be in Gangster Squad, I was glad because I knew I would see that movie on the big screen (Ryan Gosling!) but when the movie finally came out, I totally forgot that Sully was in it until the Jack Whelan character appeared. Sully! I will say that I was DELIGHTED to see him in a different role, looking all clean cut and super dapper. He was sporting the American accent alá Damien Scott and it didn’t feel quite right until one of his last lines. Then he reminded me of Damien and I couldn’t help the snicker.

Jack Whalen in Gangster Squad

After seeing that movie and going back to Strike Back, my appreciation for Sully increased tenfold. Somewhere along the way he filmed 300 Rise of an Empire and I knew I’d have to see it on the big screen. I was disappointed when the movie’s release got pushed back but I had Strike Back to keep me occupied for a bit of time. When we finally saw 300 Rise of an Empire, I enjoyed it mostly because of him (of course) and Eva Green. Soon after I decided to delve more fully into Sully’s work and I have come away from it all duly impressed.

Themosticles in 300: Rise of an Empire

But Damien Scott definitely has a hold over me. I like how he cusses, hooks up on cue, and kicks ass when the time’s right. Sully plays him with just the right amount of sass and sweetness and smarts to make this fangirl heart melt. His easy going Damien is the perfect foil to the rigid by the books soldier Michael Stonebridge played by Philip Winchester. And it’s really no wonder that Sully has landed a spot on my List.

(And seriously, just as I’m writing this, Michael J. Bassett of Strike Back posts a picture of himself, Philip Winchester, Robson Green, and Sullivan Stapleton. WTH!)


Right now, at this moment, I’m pretty hot for Sullivan Stapleton. Like crazy, stupid, not sure why HOT for him. Is it his cheeky smile? Or the twinkle in his pretty green eyes? Or, and this is so very likely, his Aussie accent? (I love accents, especially the Kiwi, Aussie, Brit variety!) Sully is a good-looking man but nothing too extraordinary (alá Henry Cavill) and yet he’s got me enough to have him play the main male character in my next November novel. So for a whole month I’ll get to think about Sully playing the fella in my story. Oh, did I mention it’s a romance story? Go figure.

Strike Back

Let’s see how he does with the criteria… focus on four (don’t know much about his education, so…)

Make me laugh. Check. Make me cry. Check. Make me want. Check. If you just watch Sully on Strike Back, you get a pretty good overview of his range as an actor. But definitely check out his other work, especially Animal Kingdom. I also really enjoyed him overall in 300 Rise of an Empire as well as Gangster Squad. In fact, I only stop on Gangster Squad in the hopes of catching his scenes. Sully has that wonderful talent of adding complexity to characters who might otherwise be one dimensional.

The best thing in the whole celebrity world is when there isn’t any information or “news” on your favorites. Other than his recent knock to the head, not much is really written about Sully outside of him promoting his work. I haven’t personally read anything disparaging about him, which is nice. In his interviews and such, he seems a bit soft spoken though with definite humor in those eyes of his. As curious as I might be about his life, I like that I don’t really know much about him except what HE chooses to share.

Not sure if he plays any sports but he apparently follows Australian football? I just started watching this past season and as chaotic as it is, it was still fun to watch. I think I’d have fun kicking it with Sully, having a beer, talking sports. Would I annoy him with my Kiwi love of rugby? I don’t care, I’d still have fun with him.

Superficial me noticed Philip Winchester first on Strike Back. Well, I noticed him first because we’d seen him in other shows. I am always aware of my boycrazy tendencies so I tried not to look at Sully “that way.” It didn’t take too long for me to appreciate the pleasing look of him. He’s not drop dead gorgeous but he’s good looking in that mostly fit way. He also makes me appreciate facial scruff on a whole different level. I think I like that he’s handsome but normal. He was probably at his physical peak for 300 Rise of an Empire but his Strike Back look is nice too. For me, it comes down to his eyes and his smile. I’m pretty much weak for green eyes or anything close to it and when he smiles, his eyes just twinkle. Can’t look away for the life of me.

the closing babble…


I really thought that my regard for Sully was one of those fires that burns hot then out. I didn’t see myself liking him beyond Strike Back and Damien Scott. But as I slowly go through his previous work, I am continually impressed by his range as an actor. Sully is a joy to watch whatever his role. Yes, I’ll always have a soft spot for Damien but I’ve seen enough of Sully’s work to know that he can play whatever he likes and I will believe it while I’m watching it.

Strike Back

And if I were ever to meet Sully? I told one of my friends that I’d probably be more nervous meeting him as opposed to Henry Cavill (who is number one on my List). Why, you wonder? Well, with someone like Henry, I’d unleash whatever courage I have and approach him with as much normality as possible but I’d know he’d smile and take me as I am and then it would be done. With Sully I’d be quite nervous about being a total nutter! I’d probably actually be shy with him. Silly, right? Well, at least if I ever meet Sully, I can say that I met Ryan Gosling before he did and ask him if he’s still as nice as I remember him. Eventually I’d remember my objectives and tell him that I enjoy his work and could I have a picture, then if I’m feeling utterly brave, I’d give him a friendly kiss on the cheek.


I know that my nearly overwhelming regard for Sullivan Stapleton has been wrought by the fact that he’s playing the main fella in my National Novel Writing Month novel. He is worthy enough to warrant 50,000 plus words of fiction from me. This after he also played a character in a short story I wrote. This is how I know he’s in my head.


So Sully, if you (or someone you know) ever reads this, please know that I simply love your work and look forward to much more from you in the future. If we do ever meet and you actually like me, I think that could seriously take you to the number one spot. 😉 Until that time, you will be part of my List for the long haul. This much I know…


[photos found on Google | screencaps by me]