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My apologies to Ansel Elgort, Fiona Apple, and Chrissy Teigen. The accolade of Perfect Quarantine Celebrity has been claimed by another member of A-list society. He would never brag about this triumph, which is part of why he deserves it, and also why I must do so on his behalf. Stanley Tucci, will you please stand up and take a bow?
Some might say it became clear Tucci deserved the win early last week, when he stopped the internet in its tracks with a video for how to make a Negroni (or, as he put it, “the ubiquitous Milanese cocktail”). Clad in a skin-tight black polo shirt stretched over well-defined biceps, the bespectacled messiah proceeds to talk us through concocting the beverage. Listening to it is like drinking an entire bottle of CBD. When he assures us that “if you don’t like gin, you can use vodka,” I’ve never felt more understood. When he recommends using a coupe glass, objectively the worst kind of glass given its propensity for spillage, I wasn’t even mad. Such is the power of the Tucci Effect. In lieu of Negronis, that is what social media decided to get drunk on:
not to be horny on main but stanley tucci doing a cocktail masterclass on igtv is the most erotic thing in the world pic.twitter.com/LphyhHHKS8
— lucy ford⁷ (@lucyj_ford) April 20, 2020
An Ode to Stanley Tucci's Forearms
When Stanley's cooking dinner
his sleeves get in the way.
But when he rolls them up
it makes us feel some kind of way.
It's not just that they're hairy,
or muscular, or tan.
It's all these things and more
that give us no choice but to stan. pic.twitter.com/tm0uIDx1aF
— Philip Ellis (@Philip_Ellis) April 21, 2020
POV: Stanley Tucci makes you a negroni because you are the love of his life pic.twitter.com/syTP9iDHvN
— Larry (@lrutschm) April 21, 2020
So yes, I can understand why that might have been perceived as the moment his Perfect Quarantine Celebrity victory was clinched, but I am inclined to trace it back to an earlier date: November 11, 1960. The day Stanley Tucci was born. You see, as is the case in many of humanity’s most epic narratives, the true purpose of Tucci’s presence on earth was hinted at–but not fully revealed–for decades. The Negroni video was simply the final clue as to why such an innately soothing creature originally came to exist. He’s here to make this period of unprecedented isolation and uncertainty a little more bearable. The evidence is overwhelming:
+ Tucci is the consummate Sauce Man, a.k.a. a person of any gender who gives off the aura of feeding you marinara on a wooden spoon, gently blowing on the sauce to make sure it is not too hot, seeking both your approval and admiration of their slow, simmering labor. A mix of sensuality and support, a Sauce Man seeks simple pleasures and delights in sharing them with you (and what is more emotionally urgent right now than that?).
+His voice sounds like it was designed in a lab by the nation’s foremost scientists for the express intention of making anyone who hears it feel as though their mind has been submerged in a warm bath.
+He is eternally content to not only play the supporting role, but to play it so well that he makes the act of “supporting” look like Oscar-worthy heroism instead of an afterthought.
+While everyone on the planet is trying to cook delicious things at home these days, Tucci has been doing so generously and enthusiastically for years. In addition to authoring two cookbooks (The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table), he is also reportedly the proud owner of a large roasting box called a Caja China that can cook up to 100 pounds of meat. I am fairly positive that as soon as social-distancing protocols are eased, he’s going to fire up that bad boy and make dinner for every friend who needs a protein-filled hug. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear about it through select back channels, and thusly be hugged by the transitive property.
+He is the perfect dad (see: Easy A), the perfect husband (see: Julie & Julia), and the perfect work wife (see: Devil Wears Prada). In other words, he is the human embodiment of flying buttress, bending over backwards so that those closest to him might stand a little taller.
Stanley Tucci, if you’re reading this, I’d like to express my utmost thanks–to you, yes, but mainly to your parents, Joan Tropiano and Stanley Tucci Sr., for blessing the world with such a necessary confluence of DNA.
Images via Everett Collection.