If you’re over 12 years of age and you’re looking at this list in search of Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, shame on you. This is about real sex appeal, not just tits ‘n’ ass. Of course, tits ‘n’ ass do count, but we mean the kind of character who only subsequent to arguing the differing interpretations of Nietzsche would provide you with the night of your life. The thinking man/woman’s man/woman.
So let’s get down to business…
Leeloo: The Fifth Element (played by Milla Jovovich)
My oh my. I’m a straight woman, and I would.
Leeloo is the ultimate dream because she really has it all. Especially for us geeks. Played by the beautiful Mila Jovovich, Leeloo happens to be ‘the supreme being’. She’s the catalyst which ultimately saves the world from the ‘great evil’ that appears every five thousand years. She is The Fifth Element.
Leeloo can fight better than a martial arts master and is one of the most intelligent beings alive. She’s a sexy, smart, sweet, kick-ass, world-saving alien played by a super model. But, of course, underneath all this amazing hotness she needs love. Simple human love. Which Bruce Willis is only too happy to provide.
But this quality gives her a really feminine vulnerability, which only serves to make her even more attractive and appealing. As does her super-cute-I’ve-just-learnt-English alien voice. Leeloo says ‘multipass’ and an entire generation cream their pants. Good lord.
Han Solo: Star Wars (played by Harrison Ford)
Perhaps a bit cliché, but does it get sexier than Han Solo? Not really. Harrison Ford is a lovely looking chap. From sweaty Indiana Jones to buzz-cut Deckard in Blade Runner, Ford’s pretty damn fine. But there is something about the arrogant, brave, rogue Solo that makes him as tantalising as a cupcake to a dieter.
Even his name conjures images of a rugged loner scoundrel who’s alright with his overgrown humanoid pet, but really, deep down, craves the love of a good woman. A woman like me. Okay, sorry. Where were we? Ah yes, Han Solo.
It’s also a consonant away from a euphemism for masturbation and I wonder if that was an accident? He is, after all, the male love interest of the series. And I challenge you to find a red blooded woman who wasn’t screaming ‘WHAT?’ at the screen when, for a moment, it looked like his future wife, Princess Leia, might choose Luke instead.
Of course, Leia could also be on this list wearing the most famous bikini in sci-fi, but she was usurped by Solo, I’m afraid.
Alabama Whitman: True Romance (played by Patricia Arquette)
This entry is all about coolness. Her name is Alabama, her boyfriend is Christian Slater, her dress sense is uber-sexy-fun. The gal’s got guts and sass. Oh, and the movie contains one of the best scenes of all time, between gods of cool Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken.
At the end Arquette even hands Slater a note with “you’re so cool” written on it.
The whole point of this film is that they’re the gorgeous young couple you always wanted to be. Getting involved in dodgy dealings, driving their Chevrolet convertible across Americana, being the ultimate in True Romance by finally getting away with it and escaping off into the sunset together.
The Quentin Tarantino script is dripping with cool. And, of course, our protagonists are anti-heroes, Slater being an Elvis obsessed nerd and Arquette being a hooker.
Yet, love conquers all, and cool is cool. So, in the end Alabama is the woman every girl wants to be, and every guy wants to have on his arm.
Lee: Enter The Dragon (played by Bruce Lee)
So, this isn’t necessarily one movie character, although Lee in Enter The Dragon is the quintessential 70s aphrodisiac. It’s more the man himself and the essence he imbues all his characters with. Every single time it is beauty personified.
Obviously, Lee was fit in more ways than one, but it’s his entire ethos which was so attractive. He has a luminous presence on screen, bolstered by the fact that he is drop-dead-gorgeous, but not created by it.
Not only was he a masterful kung fu (more specifically, wing chun) artist, he was incredibly well read and intelligent. He studied philosophy and became a true martial artist because the nature of the art is to study an all-encompassing approach combining aspects of physical, mental and philosophical strength.
He also wrote, directed and produced many of the films which helped establish martial arts’ place in modern cinema.
In Chinese culture, Lee was born in the hour of the dragon in the year of the dragon. Symbolically, this is very auspicious and powerful. In everyone else’s culture Lee was simply an amazing all ’round inspiration, who happened to also be astonishingly handsome.
Coffy: Coffy (played by Pam Grier)
Made by schlock movie director Jack Hill, Coffy is a classic 70s blaxploitation flick starring Pam Grier as the eponymous heroine. And god is she good. She exemplifies the wholly perfect woman: gorgeous, courageous, smart. But also caring and kind-hearted enough to seek bloody revenge for her little sis.
Coffy is a nurse by day and a kick-ass vigilante by night. She is particularly pissed at the drug overlords who hospitalised her sister by giving her bad dope.
Although there are undoubtedly some dubious stereotypes at work here, this was a pretty cool lead role for a woman in its day. Grier brings the character to life with heaps of grit and brawn, wrapped in a feminine cloak of cool. She balances major attractiveness with huge vengeful rocks of steel.
So remember, a woman scorned is sometimes a hot, ball-breaking tonne of ferocious sexiness.
Wolverine: X-Men (played by Hugh Jackman)
You’ll probably say that this one is a bit obvious, and it is. But, come on. It’s obvious because it’s obvious.
I was a fan of the comics and the cartoon, so I have probably been in love with Wolverine for the best part of two decades. I feel I have some authority to say I think Hugh Jackman did a pretty sexy job in the films. He isn’t perfect, but he’s not bloody bad.
Wolverine/ Logan has always been the prototypical alpha-male with the heart of gold. Some of us girls just love a mutant, but especially when he’s a non-conformist, non-ageing, super-powered, anti-hero, rebel with a cause mutant. Who, of course, can also be smart and tender when he needs to be.
So, whatever you think about the film adaptations of these classic Marvel tales, Wolverine’s unmitigated sex appeal will rarely be surpassed or rivalled by any character ever, print or screen.
Pandy: Dead Leaves (voiced by Amanda Wynn Lee/ English & Takako Honda/Japanese)
There are plenty of sexy anime characters in film. But for this list, we’re going for someone beyond Jessica Rabbit or the usual rudimentary Manga schoolgirl. And so, we have Pandy.
Dead Leaves is, indeed, a Manga production, but in a more recent illustrative style than our old favourites like Akira or Ghost In The Shell.
Our mutant protagonists are a couple, Pandy and Retro, who can’t remember their past and are sent to a prison on the moon. Pandy gets pregnant by Retro and has a mutant baby who facilitates their escape, and then dies by consuming the aforementioned prison to save them both.
This is a crazy, over-stylized animation which roars across the screen. And in primary colours, with high-octane madness, Pandy is incandescently sensational.
Dan Dunne: Half Nelson (played by Ryan Gosling)
Hands up who finds drug-addict prostitute-users sexy?! No, seriously. Dan Dunne is for those of us who love the challenge of saving someone from the brink. Some poor screwed up soul who is actually all cuddly underneath that inner turmoil. Once we manage to dust off the baggage they will be the perfect partner and will worship us as their saviour. We’ve all had that kind of relationship, where we get to be mother and girlfriend/ father-figure and boyfriend. And don’t we just love it?
Especially when the pitiful mess of a thing is wrapped up in Ryan Gosling. Heck, you can stay on crack and use all the hookers you like, Ryan. You are just so hot. And the fact that his character is such a great, passionate, caring teacher. And the film is so poetically shot. Swoon.
Even the drug-induced bags under his eyes, dishevelled beard and messy hair look super fine.
Amélie Poulain: Amélie/ Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (played by Audrey Tautou)
Much like our friend Dan Dunne above, Amélie is a bit of a lost soul. With an over-active imagination and a huge heart, she is lonely and looking for meaning in her life. She also happens to be ridiculously beautiful.
This quirky and whimsical girl will turn every mundane thing in your life into the most wonderful and fantastical adventure. Together you will live in a world of bright colours, quaint landscapes and rapturous gorgeousness.
She is the ultimate caring figure who devotes herself to the happiness of others. So just imagine what she’d be like as your missus! She is so pretty, so kind, so cute, and so adorably Parisian.
You just can’t help but fall for her a little and want to share in her Fabulous Destiny.
Lisa Fremont: Rear Window (played by Grace Kelly)
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind about the iconic beauty of Grace Kelly. But there is something oh-so-special about her character Lisa Fremont in Rear Window, one of Hitchcock’s best. It’s the fact that she, in her pristine pretty 50s dress, and in a time when ladies were ladies, climbs up fire escapes and breaks and enters apartments for her incapacitated lover, Jeff Jefferies (James Stewart).
Perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of the reserved, sophisticated Kelly against the curious, giddy, brave Fremont which is absolutely captivating. And that’s not even mentioning the scene when she shows him her bag of lingerie and says ‘preview of coming attractions’. Or the first time we see her and she’s glowing like an angel. Or their kiss. Oh, their exquisite, perfect, soft-focus, 50s kiss!
Feel free to argue about these in the comments below – and please keep it clean!