How the Sexy Grinch Spiced Up Christmas

“It doesn’t matter where Mr. Grinch slept,” the father, played by Mikey Day, tells his children when they ask why the Grinch stayed over on Christmas Eve. “What matters is that yesterday, his heart grew three sizes.” In response, Kristen Wiig, who plays the mother, deadpans: “Not the only thing that grew three sizes.”

For those who think of the Grinch as an unattractive character with a bad attitude, his turn as an object of desire may be unexpected. But for fans, the appeal is obvious.

“He’s like an anarchist, jaded sad boy,” said Meggie Gates, 27, a freelance writer and comedian in Chicago, who explored the Grinch’s sex appeal in detail in a Cosmopolitan article earlier this month. “He’s the guy who’s wearing Doc Martens, a leather jacket and a beanie at a bar.” The Grinch is a mess, Mx. Gates added, but that is part of the appeal: “There’s an innate urge to be like, ‘I can fix this man.’”

Jacob Baeza, 43, an actor in Orange County, Calif., has performed as the Grinch at private events. “He’s a bad boy,” said Mr. Baeza, who added that he plays up the Grinch’s sass during his performances and even flirts with his audience. “These guys were having a ball with me at the last one,” Mr. Baeza said. “They were saying, ‘Where’s the party?’ ‘Join us tonight.’”

Part of the Grinch’s appeal is his lack of it. “There’s something taboo about thinking he’s sexy,” said Keaghlan Ashley, 32, a prosthetic makeup artist in Anaheim, Calif., who worked with Mr. Drastal on his Grinch photo shoot. “I personally don’t find him attractive, but I’m also a queer woman. I don’t know if I would feel the same way if it was a femme Grinch.”