And now we return to that frivolous but oh-so culturally imperative theme — Hot Canadian Babes!
About two years ago I posted a list of 33 Hottest Canadian Babes (specifically actresses rather than models or other celebrities). Part of the impetus was my feeling (rightly or wrongly) that often such “Canadian” lists could seem a bit skewed only to actresses with a big Hollywood profile, presumably because those were the roles with which the judges were familiar. In other words, they often seemed like lists of the Most Beautiful Canadians…Who Work in Hollywood. Whereas I wanted to use a more level playing field as someone who watches both American productions and Canadian ones, giving just as much weight to an actress who’s rarely set foot out of Canada as to a Hollywood starlet. And really, my point is just to get people thinking (since any two people will come up with different lists and often all it might take is one good role to change your perception of a performer).
Anyway, so I thought maybe I’d return to the topic (not the least because according to my tracker, the old pages still get regular visitors). But two years isn’t necessarily a lot of time for the old list to become invalid or entirely new faces to emerge, so maybe think of this as an addendum to the old list (in other words, I’m deliberately not including people from the 2012 list — you can still check them out here).
So, the criteria: this is about physical attractiveness, but a factor in that is inevitably talent and/or that ineffable thing called charisma. As I said last time, it’s about whether you’d like to see ’em in a scene, and not just walking down a red carpet.
Oh, and just as a follow up to my previous list, and a few actresses who might have landed a few noteworthy roles since then: Kandyse McClure arguably had one of her best, more emotionally complex roles in the first season of Hemlock Grove — though it is a horror series, so be warned (she comes to a grisly end). I mentioned I hadn’t seen Jessica Parker Kennedy in too much, but since then I’ve seen her in a few things, and have been impressed with her range (light comedy to drama). She is a regular in the U.S. R-rated cable series, Black Sails — though her character was poorly treated for some of it (can’t say I liked those scenes much). Finally, I had included singer Fefe Dobson last time as a kind of wild card, before seeing her in the movie Home Again — well, she was perfectly good in that (even receiving an acting nomination I believe).
Now, on with the list (in no particular order) — drum roll, please…
Kristin Lehman – I remember first noticing Lehman in a short-lived U.S. series called Strange World and with her slightly exotic looks she always makes an impression. As the star of the current crime-drama Motive she also nicely shows she can hold centre stage.
Laurence Leboeuf – a leading actress for awhile, even as a teenager, Leboeuf has always been a classically pretty girl, but recently she seems to be putting enough years behind her that she’s seeming like a beautiful woman in series like 19-2.
Jessalyn Gilsig – It’s maybe easy to forget to think of Gilsig as beautiful because, y’know, a lot of her characters can be off-putting. Sure, she was a squeaky clean school teacher in Boston Public, but she was also a foul-mouthed woman-from-his-past in Nip/Tuck, the somewhat unstable Mrs. Shuster in Glee, and currently can be seen as a Viking maiden prepared to deal with whatever (figurative) Devil can advance her cause.
Genelle Williams – Williams is an example of how one role can re-position a performer in your eyes. After catching her as the willful janitress in the medical drama Remedy suddenly even in things where she has a relatively thankless, undeveloped role (such as Bitten) she holds my attention.
Cherie Maracle – an actress (and singer) who I remember first noticing in the sitcom Blackfly and recently re-caught my attention again on the opposite Thespianic extreme in the gritty soap/drama Blackstone, playing a character who is, as they say, a piece of work — but give Blackstone its due, characters are rarely one-dimensional. I tend to think of Maracle as having a bit of Carrie-Anne Moss thing going for her.
*Patricia McKenzie – McKenzie has an alluring presence but also a kind of innate likeability in a lot of her roles.
*Supinder Wraich – I haven’t seen Wraich in too much. She stars in the conspiracy-thriller webseries Guidestones and I’ll admit, I’m not really a fan of the series — but Wraich’s presence makes it a bit easier to sit through. But only time (and future roles) will tell how good she is.
*Evelyne Brochu – Brochu has being amassing a string of “serious” films on her CV such as Inch’Allah and Cafe Flore but
probably her most mainstream exposure (particularly for an Anglophone audience) is in the cult sci-fi series, Orphan Black, where she played the girlfriend of one of the clones (trust me, that sentence makes sense). (Post-Script: Brochu subsequently headlined the English-language CBC World War II suspense series, X Company.)
* Yanna McIntosh – More known as a well-regarded stage actress, McIntosh’s film and TV work too often tends to be in small and supporting parts, but can often leave you thinking you’d like to see what she’d do with something more substantial. (Post-Script: check-out the filmed-for-CBC TV Stratford production of Antony and Cleopatra starring McIntosh (and Geraint Wyn Davies) as the title characters — the two really make the production explode).
* Emilie Ullerup – Ullerup has played a variety of roles from butt-kickers to more demure characters, and often seems to shine as characters trying to keep on top of situations that are getting away from her — whether as a Swedish junior pilot not always sure what’s going on in Arctic Air or as a zombie hunter saddled with an unstable partner in A Little Bit Zombie.
*Francoise Yip – Yip also amassed some Hong Kong action film roles, as well as her North American roles, though to date has only had a few North American leading parts, such as the indie film Motherland.
*Jessica Lucas – another example of an actress who has been classically pretty for a while, but in a kind of teen sort of way. But while watching the recent movie, Pompeii, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking I might’ve enjoyed the movie more if Lucas had played the heroine, as opposed to the heroine’s hand-maiden — which has got to be a good sign.
Camille Sullivan – I sometimes think that part of Sullivan’s allure is that she often plays attractive women who aren’t trying to be attractive (if that makes sense).
*Jadyne Wong – a kind of impulsive addition to this list, as I haven’t seen Wong in much — but, hey, that can be the point, too. She seems to have slight bent toward comedy (in the sitcom Spun Out she actually got me to chuckle once or twice — and given I don’t much care for Spun Out, that’s saying something). She has a husky voice that sounds like she should be dubbing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — and I mean that as a compliment! Giving a quirky individualism to a pretty face.