Yes! It had to happen! That crass, shameless, politically incorrect — but culturally imperative — list:
The Sexiest / Most Beautiful / Hottest Canadian Babes / Women / Actresses
Arrived at using the most rigorous of criterea and unimpeachable of scientific methods all according to…well, me!
You can find other such lists on the internet. Lists compiled by editorial committees that smack of, well, lists compiled by editorial committees. Or lists that one suspects were compiled by teens (a preponderance of actresses from horror movies with numbers at the end of the title — should we be concerned a whole generation may be arising who associate sexiness with gory death scenes?). And many show an egregious bias toward only Canadians with a Hollywood profile (presumably because that’s the only movies and TV shows the compilers watch).
So I wanted to do as it as a guy who has watched a lot — a lot — of Canadian movies and TV shows (as well as Hollywood things with Canadians in them).
Many actresses are inherently pretty — so I could’ve done 40, or 50, or what have you. (Sometimes all it takes is that one perfect role in that one perfect vehicle to change your perception of a performer). With that said, I looked over some similar lists, to twig my memory about faces I might’ve forgot…and I’m pretty happy with my selection.
There are pretty women, there are beautiful women…and then there are women who if they smile sweetly and ask you to help them dispose of a body, you’d respond: “Should I bring my own shovel?” (*) Those are the women on this list.
So here was my basic criterea:
This is contemporary. Geneviève Bujold will always be one of the most mesmerisingly beautiful Canadians ever — but at 70 or so I’m sure she won’t mind making way for a younger generation.
This is an actress list (though they might do singing or modelling as well). And this is a physical beauty list, yet contributing to that is talent and charm — whether you want to see them play a scene rather than just pose on a red carpet. So the list ranges from good actresses I’ve seen in good roles…to actresses I’m hoping to see get a chance to prove themselves, one way or the other. So this list will range from international stars to lesser known faces. (I didn’t exactly preclude French-Canadian actresses, but it’s fair to think of this as mainly an English-Canadian list simply because I’m not currently as up on Francophone film and TV as I should be. So the lack of French-Canadian actresses is more a reflection on me, rather than the Quebec gene pool — and maybe that Quebec cinema focuses more on talent than cheekbones).
All are actresses who, if I see their name in a film, or even just guest starring in an episode of a TV series, I’m more likely to watch it than if they weren’t in it (which makes it frustrating for me that some of them don’t get more work). So, producers and casting directors…get out your Rolodexes…
(And I’ll spread it out over the next three posts — though there’s no value judgement inherent in the order. And when you’re done here, I posted a 2014 follow-up Another Great Canadian Babes List here)
Rachel Blanchard – Blanchard blends a classical beauty…with a kind of girl next door demeanour. Go figure. She often exudes a certain sweetness, but also has shown she can tackle a few darker or edgier roles. A former child actress who got a big career boost taking on Alicia Silverstone’s role in the TV version of Clueless.
Jeananne Goossen – an actresses with “super model” looks…but often in roles that leave you wanting to see more of her, to see what she could do with a good part. She made a good impression in the (2nd) Riverworld mini-series, playing Tamoe Gozen, a kind of Joan of Arc figure out of Japanese history (a casting that, I assume, indicates her exotic beauty is thanks to an Eurasian ethnicity).
Laurie Holden – being a long time watcher of Canadian film and TV, when the cult hit American TV series, The Walking Dead, premiered, to me Holden was the most familiar face in the cast (well, her and veteran American character actor Jeffrey DeMunn…and I knew Sarah Wayne Callies from a short lived Tarzan series, but anyhoo…). Her Canadian roles included everything from girls next door to sex kittens, from gun totting cops to damsels in distress. A personable presence who, at 40-plus, is still easy on the eyes.
Christine Horne – I first caught Horne in a CBC production of Othello. I can be mixed on Shakespeare but I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed this production (starring Carlo Rota as the title character) and Horne, to my mind, stole the show as an intelligent, determined Desdemona. She also co-starred in the movie The Stone Angel playing the younger version of Ellen Burstyn’s character, and she held her own in the comparison (and Burstyn was very good). I don’t know if it’s partly something unworldly about her eyes, but she definitely catches your attention.
Alana Husband – a fetching actress who I haven’t seen in that much — which is a shame since I’ve liked her and found her entrancing in what I have seen. When she enters a scene…I can lose track of the dialogue for a moment! Whether it be the stripper-with-a-heart in the TV series Intelligence, or appearing as a rock star’s frustrated wife in an episode of Endgame. (She’s also a photographer – FYI).
Kristin Kreuk – one of Kreuk’s very first roles was as the “fairest one of all” in a TV production of Snow White, and she has basically been a staple of these kind of “most beautiful” lists for the last decade. For a woman with an almost ethereal beauty, Kreuk often seems cast as girl next door types in things like Smallville. As if too many of us live next door to someone who looks like her! But she often comes alive more playing more intense or intelligent characters. We’ll see if playing a big city cop in Beauty and The Beast alters her public persona.
Mylène Dinh-Robic – I first took notice of her in Da Vinci’s City Hall and though I wasn’t a big fan of The Listener, Dinh Robic caught my eye in it, too. So, naturally, they decided to kill her off. Grrrr. Haven’t had a chance to catch her in too much else, but would like to.
Rachel McAdams – a genuine Hollywood star these days (and not just love interests, but the star) entering a surprisingly short list of Canadian actresses who can make that claim over the years (Geneviève Bujold and a very few others). McAdams is more versatile than just a beautiful woman with a dazzling smile (check out, say, The Family Stone). The first thing I saw her in — and sadly just about the last Canadian thing she was in — was the first season of the brilliant Slings & Arrows where she stole the show and one couldn’t help gawking and saying: “who…is…that?!?” The first season was the best…and I can’t help thinking McAdam’s presence had something to do with that.
Kandyse McClure – an actress whose beauty can almost overwhelm her roles…or lead casting directors to kind of use her in parts that aren’t necessarily that great on their own. I’m still waiting to see her in a truly good part in a truly good vehicle — but, hey, I’m willing to keep watching! Probably best known from the Battlestar Galactica revamp.
Kathleen Munroe – there are pretty women, there are beautiful women, and there are alluring women and Munroe seems to fall into the latter category. Maybe it’s the way she can project a kind of damaged vulnerability mixed with strength and determination in some of the roles I’ve seen her in, like the recovered addict lured to the wrong team in a recurring part in Alphas, or playing comedy as a woman attracted to definitely the wrong sort in Call Me Fitz. I keep meaning to watch Survival of the Dead but, gosh darn it, I don’t want to see her eaten by zombies!
Amy Price-Francis – Price-Francis has probably had more shots at TV vehicles than many in Canada, though she did work her way up (albeit quickly) from supporting role (in Little Men), romantic interest (in Tracker) and ensemble (Train 48) to star (in Snakes & Ladders, Rumours, and King) — most of which lasted barely a season or two. So the cynic might say, enough already, time to move on. But what can I say? She just keeps my eyes riveted when she’s on screen. The cop-drama King was, in my opinion, one of the best series on TV in the last couple of years, and Price-Francis was a big part of that.
Come back next time for Part 2!
* Addendum: I used the phrase “bring your own shovel” ’cause I thought it would be a funny, quirky phrase that I could “coin” for my list. A few weeks later I googled it — just to see if my blog came up — and apparently it’s a commonly used phrase given the number of sites that came up using it. Not sure in what context those other sites used it but, well, gosh…I guess I ain’t as original as I thought! I guess I need to google things to check their originality before I post ’em! (Even my using “33” as the list number may not be as unusual as I assumed, having figured most “top” lists were 20, 25, 50, etc.)