This isn’t just a salute to Stanley Tucci. It’s a toast.
When I found out the actor was trending on Twitter the other day, I assumed the worst. Then I discovered he had posted an Instagram video — doing nothing more than walk through the basics of making a Negroni — that had gone viral. I watched it, and even before it finished I understood.
Most of the reaction and commentary I’ve read on this video so far has been gushing, fawning and in some cases almost frenzied in its lust for Tucci, who until now would hardly have been considered heart throb material.
Perhaps the most in-depth take came from Max Benwell in The Guardian, who attributes the clip’s popularity to a number of physical and societal factors. Tucci’s arms look buff for his age, for example. He speaks in dulcet tones that suggest a relaxed intimacy.
Stanley Tucci has done more than make a great cocktail. He is literally showing all of us, particularly men, how to make the best of a bad situation.
And of course, the ongoing lockdown has made almost any distraction, particularly an alcohol-related one, welcome.
Look at the video a second time, however, and you begin to realize Stanley Tucci has done more than make a great cocktail. He is literally showing all of us, particularly men, how to make the best of a bad situation.
Tucci’s style has always been one based on minimalistic elegance — he has spoken of his fondness for white dress shirts and basic black — but his consistency feels reassuring in a world where so much else is uncertain.
Where most of us have been hiding under bulky layers, his close, crisp fit shows an effort, while simultaneously seeming more comfortable than the softest sweats.
This Was The ‘When Men Were Men’ Throwback We Needed
Listen: In the background there’s some kind of jazz playing. It appears to be evening and he’s setting a mood. He seems to be done for the day, but ready to entertain the woman he loves, not simply collapse on a couch next to her.
There’s such a throwback nature to the whole scene that could be straight out of an episode of Mad Men, if Don Draper hadn’t turned out to be a philandering husband. Frank Sinatra’s ghost could walk into the shot and it would seem like the most natural thing in the world.
At no point — as we look at him from the perspective of his wife — does it seem like we’re expected to be taking notes on how to make a Negroni. Nor does he seem to care if we’re going to remember anything but the taste of the drink afterwards.
What he does is take a simple, everyday task and invite us to notice it in such a way that the pandemic and all its worries are momentarily forgotten.
Instead pouring yet another glass of red wine to wash out the exhaustion of quarantine, the care and attention to detail in Tucci’s mixology moment reminds us why happy hour was intended to be an exercise in pleasure.
We’re probably all going to be asked to stay home a lot longer than we’d like. You can seethe, complain and get drunk. Or you could try, even in isolation, to be great company.
Here’s to you, Stanley Tucci. I think we’d all like another.