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December
JAKE GYLLENHAAL

12.16.05
Brokeback Mountain opens wide, and Gyllenhaal gets more than a few appreciative "yee-haws!"—and a Best Supporting Actor nomination—for his steamy portrayal of cowboy Jack Twist.

• "In the end, it's about how hard it is to love somebody, to really be intimate, to really let go and be open to that, no matter what the context"

January
BRAD PITT

01.11.06
Pitt announces that he and partner Angelina Jolie are expecting their first biological child.

• "You can write a book, you can make a movie, you can paint a painting, but having kids is really the most extraordinary thing I've ever taken on"

February
ASHTON KUTCHER

02.17.06
He puts his teen-idol days behind him when he tapes the series finale of That '70s Show to concentrate on acting in big-screen dramas like The Guardian.

• "Kevin [Costner, his costar in The Guardian] taught me about quiet confidence. It's not necessarily the one making the most noise that is the most valuable"

March
HUGH JACKMAN

03.16.06
He's named male star of the year at the ShoWest Awards. And it's no wonder—with six movie releases in 2006, it's impossible to avoid the guy. Not that you would want to.

• "I hope people like me a lot, because there is a lot of me out there"

April
JAMIE FOXX

04.21.06
Serious Oscar buzz begins swirling around Dreamgirls and its star—eight months before the movie musical is released.

• "I look at it like this: Either the man makes a success or the success makes a man. If you're already a man, then success is just the cherry on top"

May
PATRICK DEMPSEY

05.14.06
As Dr. McDreamy (oh, that hair!), he helps attract 22 million fans to watch Grey's Anatomy's Season 2 cliff-hanger finale.

• "This is so funny. I'm a hunky guy now. How did that happen?"

June
MATT DAMON

06.11.06
He becomes a first-time dad to daughter Isabella with his wife of six months, Luciana, and begins doing philanthropic work.

• "The world I leave to my daughter is going to be affected by what I do or what I don't do"

July
JOHNNY DEPP

07.07.06
The second installment in his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is released. Its $421 million gross proves—once again—that he's bona fide box-office gold and allows him to sit back and enjoy life on an island he bought in (yup) the Caribbean.

• "The only thing money means to me is the freedom it buys me. Living in the islands is heaven. It'll be easier to give [my kids] a normal upbringing there"

August
OWEN WILSON

08.14.06
A month after You, Me and Dupree is released, Wilson's costar Kate Hudson bounces back onto the market. This year's sexiest comic actor helps her through.

• "People always say that they see me as the laid-back, surfer, stoner type.... I guess it's just being from Texas, and talking in a deliberate—I would say thoughtful—way, but other people would say it's slow.... Maybe I'm a victim of my hair color"

September
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

09.12.06
The former 'N Syncer releases his first solo album in four years—with a beyond-hot single. SexyBack? Oh yeah.

• "You see these shackles/Baby I'm your slave/I'll let you whip me if I misbehave"

October
LEONARDO DICAPRIO

10.06.06
After two years, he resurfaces for a bravura—and supersexy—performance in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, the first of five heavy-hitting new films.

• "I've gotten to this great place where I'm able to steer the course of my career. This is my opportunity to try to emulate the heroes that I had as a young actor—Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, people like that. That's why I'm in hard-core work mode now"

November
DANIEL CRAIG

11.17.06
The actor debuts as the new James Bond in Casino Royale. To prepare for the action—and the nude scenes—he worked out five days a week throughout filming.

• "It's one of the toughest jobs around as far as acting physically. I wanted to be involved with as many of the stunts as I possibly could"

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