Rankings: Top 10 Brunette Beauties

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” came out today and while I have no plans to run to and see it, especially with the buzzworthy and awesome-looking sci-fi flick “District 9” also opening, it doesn’t mean I’m any less hopelessly in love with star Rachel McAdams.  In other words, if you invite me, I will go see it with you, just for her.

This of course got me thinking about the innumerable number of brunettes I’d probably forego my hard-earned nine dollars just to see smile on screen even if the movie looked like absolute crap. With that thought, I decided to form a Top 10 gorgeous brunettes list. After some grueling decision making (there will definitely be some honorable mentions), the list is done, and the half hour or so that it took was probably the best part of my week other than starting this blog.

10. Kristen Stewart

If this were a hair contest, Kristen – the youngest on the list – would easily be top three. The “Twilight” star, just 19, is an incredible talent and mature beauty for her age, having been in films since landing the gig as Jodie Foster’s kid in 2002’s “Panic Room” at 11 years old. She’s convincing in every role she plays and is great as more of a rebel or as the girl with something to hide. She has the look that makes you want to pry her open (metaphorically but not strictly speaking) and see what’s deep inside her mind. As long as she doesn’t only swing the vampire way.

Best role: “Adventureland” (2009)


9. Alexa Davalos

The sexiest girl on this list that you’ve never heard of, the French-born 27-year-old first caught the eye of the sci-fi geeks when she starred opposite Vin Diesel in “The Chronicles of Riddick.” The curly-haired femme is of mixed ancestry (a Greek father and French mother), which accounts for her very European features, giving her the confident/sexy look that likely won her the role of the dangerous do-it-herselfer Kyra in “Riddick.” Alexa’s next big role which will really put her on the map is that of Andromeda in Louis Leterrier’s (“The Transporter, “The Incredible Hulk”) “Clash of the Titans” due out next year.

Best role: “Defiance” (2008)


8. Keri Russell

I didn’t watch the WB show “Felicity” at all (as one might guess), so imagine my surprise when I saw Keri Russell for the first time in “Waitress.” Russell, of the lighter and often highlighted brunette variety, has a lot of looks, but wholesome and sweet best describes her. Not even a lazy eye stops the 33-year-old Russell from looking gorgeous, though with her talent, one has to wonder why she hasn’t caught a bigger break and is stuck with roles like “August Rush” and Adam Sandler’s love interest in “Bedtime Stories.” Unfortunately, Russell is married to a contractor, so she’ll likely live happily ever after.

Best role: “Waitress” (2007)


7. Thandie Newton

Who would’ve thought that I’d pick two actresses from “The Chronicles of Riddick”? I guess mediocre movies can have great taste in casting. With excellent performances in “Crash” and “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Newton has quickly usurped Halle Berry’s spot as my favorite milky brown-skinned actress. Though incredibly thin, Newton pulls it off well with a tight round face and fantastic eye definition. She’s also really versatile, having done action, drama and romance and all with much success. At 37, she has the look of both young and mature, and she probably has a lot of success ahead of her.

Best role: Condaleeza Rice in “W.” (2008). (Note: not her hottest role, of course).


6. Michelle Monaghan

Chalk up two actresses on the list from “Mission Impossible III,” (Russell played a small role) where Michelle Monaghan hit the map as Tom Cruise’s kidnapped wife. Often confused with Liv Tyler, Monaghan has the sexy elf thing going on with the upturned nose, maybe the result of Irish ancestry, though she grew up in Iowa. A journalism major after my own heart from Columbia College in Chicago no less, if you want to see how attractive Monaghan is, watch “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” where she plays the wild love interest of Robert Downey Jr. Monaghan most recently scored top-billing with Shia LeBeouf in last year’s disappointing “Eagle Eye,” where she almost forwardly tells Shia he isn’t getting any at the end of the film, which was kind of hot.

Best role: “Gone Baby Gone” (2007).

5. Megan Fox

Those of you who sat through two plus hours of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” just for Megan Fox’s sweaty cleavage and a few slow-mo running explosion shots are probably outraged at the fact that she’s only number five on this list. You should be glad Fox is on my list at all, since she’s maybe this list’s least talented actress and almost certainly falls into the “unfairly hot it’s like she’s not even a real person” category. Fox has quickly become the fastest way to get adolescent boys into movie theaters, which makes her a hot commodity in every sense. There’s no doubt that upcoming b-movie-quality horror movie “Jennifer’s Body” is not going to sell tickets because “Juno” writer Diablo Cody’s name is on the poster. Wicked looks aren’t everything, even if they’re enough to get you to No. 5.

Best role: “Transformers” (2007).

4. Jessica Biel

Does the list of reasons for why I should be Justin Timberlake need to grow any longer? Jessica Biel is another hottie on the list who grew into her own on the WB. She hasn’t scored a whole lot of big parts, but she can credit her unbelievable parts for getting her cast in “Summer Catch,” “Blade: Trinity” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” You can bet the same applies to her latest contract to star in Marvel’s “Thor” movie scheduled for 2011. The gorgeous Ms. Biel easily has the best body of anyone on this list.

Best role: “The Illusionist” (2006)

3. Evangeline Lilly

When an actress doesn’t change clothes for basically three straight seasons on a television show, getting dirtier and dirtier yet still looking just as amazing, you know you have a real beauty on your hands. “LOST” star Evangeline Lilly is one of those, and though I didn’t think she’d end up at No. 3, it’s certainly warranted. Barely a film actress (which should change considering how good she is on “LOST”), Lilly combines the best of the post-Feminism strong chiseled look with classic beauty. Lilly just turned 30, which surprisingly puts her as one of the younger actresses on the list. Signs point to a great career if she can land herself a big role before “LOST” finishes its final season next year.

Best role: You should check out the quiet summer hit “The Hurt Locker” (2008). Lilly plays a small role.

2. Rachel McAdams

The only thing keeping Rachel from the top spot is the fact that she toyed around with being a blonde early in her career despite her natural brown locks. Otherwise, McAdams is one of the most recognizably beautiful actresses working today and she sells it with incredible acting that makes even the cheesiest or least serious of films like “Wedding Crashers” look legitimate. After taking a bit of a hiatus from 2006-2008, McAdams found no trouble landing excellent parts the second she starting looking around again, allowing for her to have an excellent comeback year in 2009 with “State of Play,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and this winter’s surefire hit “Sherlock Holmes.” McAdams has a classic, natural look but she can bend it to fit roles such as the crazy bitch Regina in “Mean Girls” or even a tougher role like a solider, which she did in 2008’s Iraq War film “The Lucky Ones.” Most notably, she makes “The Notebook” tolerable and maybe even good for boyfriends all over the world.

Best role: I’ll never forget her in “Wedding Crashers” (2005).

1. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman’s smarts and fearlessness are what makes her so sexy. How many beautiful stars can shave their head and get away with it? Demi Moore sure didn’t. Portman’s done it all, starting at a very young age in “Heat” and “The Professional” which I feel like a pedophile when watching, and breaking out as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels (which as a teenager, being hot and doing “Star Wars” is the ultimate). Roles in indie hit “Garden State” and Oscar-contender “Closer” legitimized her career and now she can do whatever she wants, even producing her own stuff – all while still pursuing a psychology degree at Harvard. I want to marry this girl and have Jedi children that will save the universe. Portman’s beauty comes from her Israeli father and American mother, which manifested itself in giving her a facial structure incredibly similar to beauty icon Audrey Hepburn’s. Though she hasn’t made many good films in the last three years, 2009 looks to put Nat where she belongs. Her next big film will be the awkwardly similar to “Pearl Harbor” film “Brothers,” directed by notable Irishman Jim Sheridan. But seriously, she’s gorgeous, edgy and brilliant. You can’t ask for better.

Best role: “Closer” (2004) if you ask the critics, “V for Vendetta” (2005) if you want my personal opinion.

 Honorable Mentions: Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale, Olivia Thirlby, Eva Mendes, Rachel Weisz, Jenna Fisher

1 Comment

  1. Jo-Anne Chow says:

    Here’s my list of Top 10 Brunette Beauties (confirmed by my husband):

    1. Catherine Zeta-Jones
    2. Elizabeth Hurley
    3. Vanessa Williams
    4. Megan Fox
    5. Elizabeth Taylor
    6. Raquel Welch
    7. Jessica Alba
    8. Eva Longoria
    9. Penelope Cruz
    10. Halle Berry

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