Another sexy actress that has received a good amount of attention for her acting assets is Portman’s co-star in The Other Boleyn Girl, a movie that’s nearly as enjoyable with the sound turned off. Johansson got her start in Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer in 1998. She later went on to play romantic leads with Bill Murray in the quirky, critically acclaimed Lost in Translation
In the past decade, Jolie has solidified a name for herself as both a mainstay on almost every “sexiest women in the world” list, as well as a legitimate actress. Oh, and also as a rather mild humanitarian. Overall, she has received three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Girl, Interrupted. She also became the object of every fan boy’s affection with her performance as Laura Croft in Tomb Raider, which grossed $275 million worldwide.
Lena Heady is just starting to create a name for herself in the U.S., but she has been active in Britain, mostly on TV, for nearly two decades. She started to receive international attention in the lesser known but critically acclaimed 1993 film, The Remains of the Day. She is probably best known stateside for her silver screen performance as Queen Gorgo in the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300. Shortly after this role, she earned the lead as Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
At 23, Knightley has already received Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for her roles in many successful films. She was also ranked by Forbes Magazine as the second highest paid actress in Hollywood in 2007. The spectrum of her short career spans from the period piece Pride and Prejudice to the commercial blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean. That said, I have a pristine copy of Vanity Fair with her and Scarlett Johansson baring all on the cover that I intend to save and give to my unborn son on his 16th birthday. If I end up having a girl, well then… there’s always eBay.
This native African actress is also a film producer and a former fashion model. I think the most impressive feat of her acting career was her performance in Monster, where she played Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who killed seven men in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I have to admit that seeing Theron make herself ugly on purpose for this role was almost as disturbing as the movie’s premise. But everything was made right again with when she decided to take the titular role in Aeon Flux.
Jennifer Connelly is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but she is an actress with a rather diverse track record. Her role as a heroin junkie in Requiem for a Dream was as convincing as her portrayal of the wife of Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash in A Beautiful Mind. For the latter, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001. She has won a number of other awards, as well as the rare distinction of being known as an actress with both indie and mainstream appeal.
Monica Bellucci exudes sex appeal. Her first role in an American film came as one of Dracula’s brides in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She then went on to make films such as Brotherhood of the Wolf and star in the second and third installments of The Matrix trilogy. Her portrayal of Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ was also widely lauded as one of her best performances. I would venture to say that she was even sexy in that film, though perhaps on accident. The ageless Italian beauty is either 42 or 44, depending on the source, but either way she definitely deserves to be on this list. (Sorry Demi Moore, there’s only room for one “over 40” this time.)
Most likely the reason that Cate Blanchett is so popular today is her portrayal of elf queen Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. People just seem to love fantasy movies, especially those about elves. But she also has garnered praise for her Academy Award winning portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in the 2004 film The Aviator. Blanchett’s sex appeal is perhaps more niche than others on this list, and could be likened to a learned appreciation for fine wines.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Sienna Miller is so popular because she gets naked in films so frequently, but perhaps she gets naked in films so frequently because she is so popular. Either way, Miller is hardly the blonde bombshell of the Pamela Anderson or Natasha Henstridge variety (ie, drop-dead gorgeous without any talent). Even though the media sometimes portrays her as a featherweight, her performances in Layer Cake, Alfie, and Factory Girl definitely speak to a substantial talent.