CW presented a virtual buffet of beefcake-y badassery Thursday, as network stars Kristoffer Polaha, Wilson Bethel, Jared Padalecki, Shane West, Ed Westwick and Joseph Morgan attempted to answer the age-old question, "What exactly constitutes a badass?"
During a panel dubbed "Bad-Ass Boys of the CW," the group fielded questions from the assembled journalists about the nature of badassery, their own badass deeds of the past, and who they look up to as real-life badass role models. They spoke at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Were one to make a drinking game out of downing a shot after every time the word "badass" was uttered, it would have quickly turned lethal. At one point, in fact, "Ringer" star Polaha offered $20 to whichever of his cohorts could use the word the most in a single statement; "Hart of Dixie" star Bethel took the prize.
Asked who he considered to be a real-life badass, Padalecki — who plays Sam Winchester on the network's "Supernatural" — offered "our soldiers keeping us safe around the world" and later, religious-minded Denver Broncos phenom Tim Tebow. ("I always think being a badass means doing the right thing," he explained.)
Morgan — aka, Klaus of "The Vampire Diaries" — offered an unconventional choice in the form of ill-tempered reality TV chef Gordon Ramsay, earning the derision of his cohorts.
"I'm English, and I don't agree," "Gossip Girl" star Westwick snorted.
"Paula Deen is more badass," Padalecki scoffed.
As for the assembled actors' not-so-badass proclivities? One reporter dredged up Bethel's former life as a man of letters, as the proprietor of an art and literary magazine. The reveal caught his panel-mates off-guard, but Bethel managed a suitably badass explanation.
"I only write poetry when I'm riding my motorcycle, with my shirt off, smoking weed and hunting rattlesnakes," Bethel offered.
During a second panel, the network offered a look at the upcoming reality series "Remodeled" — which features modeling agent Paul Fisher as he embarks on a mission to "empower" small-market modeling agencies and reform the modeling industry as a whole.
Fisher — who, despite his background, looks and sounds like an army drill sergeant (he addressed reporters as "sir" and "ma'am") — didn't shy away from discussing the dark side of the industry. He stressed the need to protect the young aspiring models who are entrusted to his care.
Lamenting the body-image issues that the modeling industry can create, Fisher expressed concern about kids "sticking their fingers down their throat" to match near-impossible industry standards.
"Whether you believe me or not, how much money I make off the kid is one thing — their soul is 10 times more valuable to me," Fisher asserted.
Fisher also expressed hope that, inch by inch, he can do his part to get the industry to accept models of different sizes.
"One of my dreams is to go to a Calvin Klein show and not see those size-zero models walking down the runway," Fisher said. "I can assure you it ain't gonna happen overnight, but it's a mission of ours. I'm probably going to die trying."
"Remodeled" will premiere on Jan. 17 at 9 p.m.