We began last month with 32 Anglophile fan favorites, but when the dust finally settled, we are left with a battle of former champions — our 2011 victor Alan Rickman vs. 2012′s conqueror Tom Hiddleston. The continued supremacy of these two versatile actors, best-known for playing villains and antiheroes, is a testament to fan loyalty in a short-attention-span world. Other British stars may be greater household names and cash larger paychecks. but Hiddleston and Rickman inspire passion and devotion.
Hiddleston is a strong contender to repeat, with his army of fans even more organized and active this year. While we won’t see him in the next Avengers film, he’ll reprise his role as Loki in November’s Thor sequel The Dark World, and PBS viewers will see him in The Hollow Crown, adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays, this September.
Rickman is not to be toyed with, however. The Rickmaniacs are fierce competitors, and it’s heartening to see this respected, Emmy-winning, twice Tony-nominated veteran, who was out in the quarterfinals last year, return to vie for the his second title. Still in demand after his decade-long run as Harry Potter‘s Severus Snape, he’s currently in cinemas worldwide as former President Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. And he has upcoming roles in Patrice Leconte‘s A Promise, opposite Rebecca Hall and Richard Madden, and as Hilly Kristal, founder of the New York punk-rock nightclub, in CBGB.
Cumberbatch, a finalist last year and presumptive favorite this year, lost to Rickman in the semis, but he still has a shot in our traditional battle for third place, which was won by David Tennant in 2011 and Martin Freeman in 2012. He’ll have to face departing Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who was taken out by Hiddleston in the last round.
Cast your ballots hourly to crown your Man of 2013. Hit the Tumblr campaign trail, bang the drums. But do make sure you VOTE! (Be nice in the comments below, however.) (Voting closes Thursday, August 29 at 11 am ET.)