13 Emo Heartthrobs of Music, Movies and TV Then and Now

Who was your crush?

Growing up, we fell in love with the actors and musicians we saw in music videos, television shows, movies and magazines. However, for me, instead of crushing on Justin Bieber or Channing Tatum, I fell for the guys (and girls) with black eyeliner, flat ironed hair and tattoos. And trust me, I know that I’m not alone. Take a look at 13 of our favorite emo heartthrobs throughout popular culture and let us know what you think of where they are now in the comments section on social media.


Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance

If you listened to emo music during the mid-2000s, odds are you had a poster of Gerard Way in your bedroom. Over a decade later, Way has reunited with My Chemical Romance for a 2021 reunion tour and is the mastermind behind the award winning comic book series, “The Umbrella Academy.”

Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco

Defying the odds of the genre, Brendon Urie has continued to thrive in music. In addition to staying relevant with Panic!, he’s appeared on songs with Taylor Swift, on Broadway’s “Kinky Boots” and recorded a cover of “Into the Unknown” on the “Frozen II” deluxe soundtrack.

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy

Although not a lead vocalist, Pete Wentz became the most recognizable member of Fall Out Boy and back in the day, shared a smooch with Kim Kardashian for a music video. Today, Wentz continues to play for Fall Out Boy, with the band releasing their seventh album “Mania” in 2018.

Oli Sykes of Bring Me to the Horizon

English vocalist Oli Sykes debuted with Bring Me to the Horizon in 2004 and throughout the mid-2000s, sent hearts racing with his shaggy hair and tattoos. Today, he continues to make music with the band and although he’s abandoned his long locks, he’s continued to embrace tattoo collecting.

Hayley Williams of Paramore

Hayley Williams with the female face of alt rock during the mid-2000s and inspired many crushes from all genders. In 2020, she released her debut solo album “Petals for Armor” and has branched out into designing hair dyes.


Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian in “Mean Girls”

Although Janis Ian likely wouldn’t refer to herself as emo, the look says it all. Today, actor Lizzy Caplan has departed from her teen comedy roots and has appeared in 2018’s “Extinction” and season 2 of “Castle Rock.”

Hayden Christensen as Sam Monroe in “Life as a House”

Before playing Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode III: Attack of the Clones,” actor Hayden Christensen played emo teen Sam Monroe in “Life as a House,” a role that earned him a Golden Globes nomination. Today, Christensen continues to act and his latest roles include voice cameos in the “Stars Wars” films/ TV shows.

Kyle Gallner as Colin Gray in “Jennifer’s Body”

Honestly, seeing Kyle Gallner play sensitive and shy Colin Gray in “Jennifer’s Body” was a real sexual awakening for me. In 2020 alone, Gallner has made a big impression on both the big and silver screens, appearing in “Dinner in America,” “Ghost of War” and CBS’s “Interrogation.”

Brandon Lee as Eric Draven in “The Crow”

Brandon Lee was the only son of martial arts actor Bruce Lee and followed in his father’s footsteps. Brandon Lee made his breakthrough in 1994’s “The Crow,” however he passed away during filming after being accidentally wounded during filming by a defective blank ammunition.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko in “Donnie Darko”

In 2001, audiences fell in love with sad boy Donnie Darko and the film made actor Jake Gyllenhaal an instant sensation. Today, Gyllenhaal has expanded his repertoire, starring in the Academy Award winning “Brokeback Mountain” and 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”


Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru in “Runaways”

In 2017, Hulu debuted “Runaways,” a Marvel Universe television show centering on six teenagers with superpowers. One of these characters is Nico Minoru, a dark witch who’s frequently shown with a fashionably gothic appearance. After “Runaways” ended in 2019, actor Lyrica Okano has had a number of small roles in television shows.

Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto in “NCIS”

Often seen as America’s Goth Sweetheart, Abby Sciuto enchanted audiences on “NCIS” for 15 seasons. In 2020, Perrette starred in the CBS series “Broke,” which was canceled after just one season.

Noel Fielding as Richmond Avenal in “The IT Crowd”

Okay, you had to know that not every entry on this list was serious. But hey, I’m sure plenty of people were crushing on Richmond Avenal of “The IT Crowd.” Noel Fielding has continued to act following “The IT Crowd,” appearing in 2019’s “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and HBO Max’s “Close Enough.”