Chris Evans is PEOPLE‘s “Sexiest Man Alive” 2022! The exciting news was announced on Monday night, Nov. 7 by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. “This whole thing is tough to be interviewed about,” the Lightyear star, 41, told PEOPLE in an interview published just after the announcement. “It feels like a weird form of humble bragging.” Chris joked that the honor was something he’d probably be more likely to be ribbed about, that celebrated. “Really this will just be a point of bullying. It’s ripe for harassment.” The actor’s mother Lisa Evans was thrilled, according to the magazine. “I am not surprised at all. Our family will be beside themselves.”
Last year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” was revealed by the late-night talk show host, 58, as Paul Rudd, who made his acting debut in 1991 and is known for playing heartthrob Josh in 1995’s Clueless, portraying Phoebe’s on-again, off-again love interest in Friends from 2002 to 2004, and playing Bobby Newport in Parks and Recreation between 2012 and 2015. He is also known for his role of Ant-Man in Avengers and 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“I’m going to lean into it hard, I’m going to own this,” Paul, 53, gushed to PEOPLE during his photo shoot for the honor. “I mean I’m going to lean into it hard. I’m going to own this. I’m not going to try to be like ‘Oh, I’m so modest.’ I’m getting business cards made. But all of my friends will destroy me and I expect them to. And that’s why they’re my friends.”
He also joked that his wife of 19 years, Julie Yaeger, was “stupefied” that he was named the “Sexiest Man Alive”. He recalled, “She was very sweet about it, after some giggling and some shock she said, ‘Aww they got it right.’ She was probably not telling the truth but what was she going to say!’”
Michael B. Jordan was given the honor in 2020. “It’s a cool feeling,” he told PEOPLE upon learning of his new title. “You know, everybody always made that joke, like, ‘Mike, this is the one thing you’re probably not going to get.’ But it’s a good club to be a part of.”
The first year the “Sexiest Man Alive” award was handed out was in 1985, with Mel Gibson earning the honor. After him, Mark Harmon, Harry Hamlin, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. took the title. John F. Kennedy Jr. grabbed the honor at 27 years old in 1988 and is the youngest star to land the title. Sean Connery, who nabbed the title in 1989 at age 59, is the oldest in history to do so. Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, and Richard Gere have all been named the “Sexiest Man Alive” twice.
There are 37 winners in total. Winners in recent years include musician John Legend in 2019, actor Idris Elba in 2018, Blake Shelton in 2017, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2016, and David Beckham in 2015.