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Joaquin Phoenix is one of summer 2002's hottest movie hunks

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ROLE Merrill Hess, Mel Gibson’s kid brother

WHAT’S HOT He’s loyal and sensitive but definitely has a healthy dose of kick-ass power as a former minor league baseball player turned brother’s keeper. In fact, he’s made good use of his charisma in many roles, from a wimpy emperor in ”Gladiator” to a lovesick murderer in ”To Die For.”

WHAT’S NOT His movies tend to be on the serious downer side. How about a romantic comedy?

WHAT’S NEXT Starring as an engineer with quirky colleagues in Robert Altman’s ”Voltage”

imageCredit = ‘Joaquin Phoenix: Frank Masi’;