From the Beautiful People Archives: Regina King, Matthew Gray Gubler and John Cho


For the past 14 years, we here at PAPER have put out an annual Beautiful People issue highlighting up-and-coming actors, musicians, artists, writers, designers, etc. who we feel particularly inspired by, and believe may go on to do great things. To celebrate the April release of our 2011 BP issue, throughout the month we'll be poring through the archives and featuring a few of our favorite Beautiful People of years past. Below, we include the original text and photos from our 2005 BP issue, which included Regina King, Matthew Gray Gubler, John Cho, Tinsley Mortimer and Jesse Metcalfe.

Regina King

After studying acting under Betty Bridges (Todd Bridges's mom) out in Hollywood as a child, Regina King landed the role of sweet-natured Brenda on the '80s sitcom 227. Six years later she made the transition to playing ghetto firebrand Shalika in Boyz n the Hood, brandishing the versatility that has become her trademark. "I went in, read three lines, and the casting director was like, 'OK, you can be street,'" she says. "Boyz opened up the world for me." The world should send thanks. Though Jamie Foxx's mimicry garners much of the praise in Ray, it is King's raw performance as a scorned mistress that grounds the film, helping it steer clear of an overly reverential depiction of The Genius at work. "Margie Charles was one of the few women of that time who was outspoken," says King. "And she was the only woman who could go toe-to-toe with Ray."

Given her twisty career path, with its genre-defying stops at everything from cult comedy (Friday) to the annual Will Smith-helmed action blockbuster (Enemy of the State), it's not surprising that King, 34, was once best known as Cuba Gooding Jr.'s supportive, pants-wearing wife in Jerry Maguire. Whether spouse or mistress, she says, "I try to zero in on one point that brings realness to a character, something familiar." Which brings us to King's immediate future, in which she will run the gamut from Sandra Bullock's gruff crime-fighting partner in Miss Congeniality 2 to the voice of a potty-mouthed eight-year-old boy in the Cartoon Network's new animated series Boondocks. If Calvin Dobbs could see her now. -- Josh Aiello
2011 Update: After an acclaimed run on Fox's exceedingly popular 24, King now stars as detective Lydia Adams on the sleeper hit Southland on TNT. 

John Cho

Sometimes fame comes in funny packages. John Cho doesn't exactly love being known as one of the MILF-obsessed characters from the American Pie movies, but he's not complaining. Well, maybe a little. "I've experienced some measure of fatigue from it," the actor says, weighing his words carefully lest he seem ungrateful for the opportunities that have come his way since he landed what's arguably the most memorable bit part in Hollywood history. Cho followed up that one-hot-second splash with a turn as a stereotypical Asian number-cruncher who gets the munchies in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, the soon-to-be-classic stoner flick. Though the 32-year-old Angeleno is serious now about his craft, falling into acting was a happy accident. He has an English degree from Berkeley and contemplated teaching before delving into Hollywood. He also sings in a rock band called Left of Zed. "This is much, much further than I thought I'd ever be," Cho says. "I didn't come here to be a star. I mean, partially because I just didn't think it was possible." But with a television pilot for NBC already in the can and several movie projects on the horizon, the weary actor is gearing up to go all the way. -- Carol Lee

2011 Update: Indeed, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle went on to become a cult favorite stoner flick, spawning Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay -- which Time described as the "first feel-good torture film" -- as well as the upcoming A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, all starring Cho and co-star Kal Penn. Cho is also reprising his role as Hikaru Sulu in the upcoming sequel to 2009's hugely grossing adaptation of Star Trek.

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler is a promising young filmmaker with macabre taste. His horror-western short The Cactus That Looked Just Like a Man concerns a man named Rancher Croon who eats saltwater taffy and murders female hitchhikers. For those unfamiliar with the world of NYU Film (from which Gubler graduated in 2002, and for which he directed The Cactus), the director's lanky frame and manic screen presence will be recognizable from his appearance in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which he plays the loyal but beleaguered Intern #1. His performance is convincing in part because during his senior year at school, Gubler won a real-life internship with Anderson. "Wes hired me against his better judgment," the Las Vegas native jokes. "It was after The Royal Tenenbaums, so there wasn't much to do except watch him write."

Since completion of The Life Aquatic, Gubler's been living in a Los Angeles building that's rumored to be haunted and looks like the hotel in the Coen brothers' Kafka paean Barton Fink. (His interest in the occult extends to sleight of hand: Gubler studied magic as a kid, performing at Bar Mitzvahs, but gave it up when he hit puberty and "went through this really awkward phase." He continues, "I looked like a girl. I had to stop for the sake of my own development. Girls in the late '80s weren't into magic.") The 24-year-old has also returned to filmmaking, though his latest is less depraved -- Gubler's documentary about the making of The Life Aquatic was bought by Criterion and will be issued as an extra with the DVD release of the movie. -- Jonathan Durbin
2011 Update: Gubler can now be found in the role of Dr. Spencer Reid on CBS crime procedural Criminal Minds and is the voice of Simon in all of the secretly enjoyable Alvin and the Chipmunks films. He also co-stars in Jaffe Zinn's Magic Valley, which just debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tinsley Mortimer

Tinsley Mortimer is one of the few Oscar de la Renta customers we know who could be described as a sex bomb. Mortimer is a classic hybrid, seen at hip clubs like Bungalow 8 but also working hard at charity events for the likes of New Yorkers For Children and Young Fellows of the Frick Collection. Although she does go out frequently, she actually prefers sitting at home, watching TV with her Chihuahuas. She's originally from Virginia, but there's an only-in-NYC quality about her. "I love the energy and the excitement," she says. "I feel like I'm in the greatest city in the world." -- Mickey Boardman

2011 Update: Though Mortimer is still an ambassador for Dior, she's slipped a bit form her perch as the queen of Park Avenue. New York society was slightly baffled when Mortimer began starring on her own CW reality show, High Society, which chronicled her separation from her husband Topper. It was not picked up for a second season.

Jesse Metcalfe
TV hunk Jesse Metcalfe is staring up at the Hollywood sign from the porch of his house in the Hollywood Hills. Just recently, he spotted a pesky paparazzo focusing a bazooka-size lens down at him. Metcalfe gave chase, but the snapper got away. That's typical for Metcalfe lately -- ever since the campy, soapy ABC series Desperate Housewives became a monster hit, the 27-year-old's life has been far from normal. On the show, he plays an oft-shirtless 17-year-old whose after-school gardening gig blossoms into a full-blown sex-fest with married Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria). These days Metcalfe can barely buy groceries without being drooled on by fans.

After an idyllic childhood in Connecticut and time spent studying film at NYU, Metcalfe acted in the daytime soap opera Passions for four years before leaving to do Desperate Housewives. An avid rock-music fan, Metcalfe also plays guitar and sings, and he and some friends just started a band called RPM. "Music plays a big part in my life," he says. "I was raised on classic rock." Not that he's making backup plans -- Desperate Housewives's popularity has firmly entrenched it in ABC's prime-time lineup. Still, plot twists are guarded like gold bricks on the Desperate set, so Metcalfe has no clue what will happen to his character in the future. For now, he's just enjoying the ride. Speaking of which, Metcalfe burns around town in a 1967 Camaro. "It's pretty cherry," he beams with a toothy grin. Not a bad way to escape from the pesky paparazzi. -- Peter Davis
2011 Update: Metcalfe ended his role on Desperate Housewives in 2009 and will star in an upcoming made-for-TV sequel film to Dallas, co starring Jordana Brewster, Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman.

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