Dax Shepard Dax Shepard

Find yourself secretly smitten by that dude who used to be on Punk'd? Well, you're not alone. Thanks to a plumb part as Crosby Braverman on NBC's Parenthood — and a starring role in the new indie flick The FreebieDax Shepard is suddenly proving he's smart, sexy, and, yes, totally crushworthy. Here are five legit reasons the former goofball, currently engaged to actress Kristen Bell, makes our hearts go pitter-patter.

1. He knows he's lucky.
"Parenthood is the job you daydream of having while you're at your real job, where they encourage you to be yourself and bring your own flavor to everything you do," says Shepard. "It's a miracle, and I'm half positive it's not real. The checks seem to be clearing, though."

2. He's done his book learnin'.
Shepard majored in anthropology at UCLA. "I was drawn to the required open-mindedness," he says. Top read of all time? "The Fountainhead [by Ayn Rand]. [Protagonist] Howard Roark makes integrity seem punk rock somehow."

3. He makes fun of himself.
"I'm a pretty impressive drummer, assuming, of course, that you are impressed by mediocre drumming," he jokes. Next project? He'll act in/write/direct Brother's Justice, an ultra-meta-sounding movie about, er, "Dax Shepard" leaving comedy to become a martial arts star. "It was quite a display of megalomania," he says.

4. He's got a need for speed.
"I'm interested in all things associated with horsepower: motorcycles, race cars, boats, dune buggies, riding lawn mowers. Riding a motorcycle on the race track requires 100 percent concentration. It is the ultimate lesson in staying present and in the 'now.'"

5. He is a TV junkie.
"My favorite shows are Frontline, 60 Minutes, Jersey Shore and Friday Night Lights. Just hearing the Frontline theme song sends me into a state of euphoria. They could do an hourlong show on fingernail clippers and it would be riveting."

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