Welcome to the 5th Annual Pajiba Ten: A list of the 10 Most Bangable Celebrities on the Planet as voted on by our readers. Thanks to new rules which elevate celebrities who have been on the list at list twice into the Pajiba 10 Hall of Fame, we actually have seven new entrants onto the 10 in our 5th year. That’s fresh blood, folks, for your drooling pleasure. It’s also the first year in which four women made this list, instead of the usual three.
If you’re curious, there are quite a few who just missed the cut this year, including Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Donald Glover, and — sadly — there is no “Doctor Who” representation this year as our worst fears were confirmed: David Tennant and Matt Smith split the vote, while Karen Gillan simply annoyed too many of you in her latest “Who” run to merit the votes necessary. That means, there are no natural gingers in this year’s 10. But it is a very International list, as a full 50 percent of this year’s 10 hail from outside of the United States.
I’ll step out of your way now, and let you get to the heady business of gawking. Enjoy!
10. Idris Elba: London-born Idrissa Akuna Elba percolated in the tiny crawlspaces of British television for years before he landed the role that would elevate his star: Stringer Bell, one of the greatest villains in television history, overshadowed only marginally by his co-star, Michael K. Williams. It looked for a while, however, that the show some argue is the greatest in all of television, would never launch the career of a feature film star. Elba, the show’s biggest hope, only managed to bounce around from B-movie to B-movie — The Unborn, Prom Night, This Christmas and Guy Ritchie’s well-thought of but little seen RocknRolla. The last year, however, has seen a slow but certain rise in Elba’s career, starting with the new generation’s Fatal Attraction, Obsessed, and as a member of an ensemble in two slightly slicker films, Takers and The Losers. But it was his role as Heimdall in Thor that finally shook Elba loose from the bowels of semi-stardom. In “Luther,” the now Emmy-nominated Elba reiterated what we already knew from “The Wire,” namely that can act, and his turn on “The C Word” demonstrated a softer, sexier side of Elba. The man can be intense and he can fuck your cancer away. Now, it’s finally time for the 38 year old to cash in with significant roles in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (boo!), Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (alongside Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron) and a lead role in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Elba did it right, folks: He paid his dues. And when a guy like that pays his dues, he can be forgiven for a lot of the shitty films he’s going to make in the future. Oh, the man also looks unreal in a suit. ( — Dustin Rowles)
9. Jon Hamm: Jon Hamm, the four-time Emmy nominee, has had his admirers since he broke through in 2008 with his role in “Mad Men.” But it was a detached admiration: He was more Don Draper than Hamm, the very picture of of a 60s suit-wearing, chain-smoking alcoholic with fidelity issues. This was a guy other men wanted to have a scotch with, maybe even get some shaving tips. And women? They wanted to fuck him and then slap him for smoking in bed. And then maybe fuck him again. But it was only in the last couple of years — starting with a magnificent turn on “30 Rock,” a comedic breakthrough as host on “SNL” and the year’s best extended cameo in Bridesmaids — that we collectively began to appreciate Jon Hamm instead of Don Draper. In the last six months or so, Hamm’s popularity — thanks to the GIFification of “Mad Men” and the sudden surge of Hamm memes on the Internet — has surged right along with his sex appeal. It’s almost as though he’s playing in to those memes, winking with every exaggerated face, “That’ll look great as a GIF on your little Tumblr account.” Now he’s kind of cuddly, like the human personification of a GAP ad for scarves. It hasn’t hurt his bangability factor — it’s just made him more more Hamm, less Draper. ( — Dustin Rowles)
8. Tom Hardy: Somebody, without really telling me anything about the movie, told me I should see Bronson. Dutifully, I sat down and watched it and was utterly mesmerized. Strange, disorienting and exciting, it was completely magnetizing, as as if The Pet Shop Boys had set about remaking A Clockwork Orange.The propulsive force behind this film was Tom Hardy, who simply played the shit out of the lead role. In possession of a face that’s smug, intelligent and unexpectedly perfect, he’s a prototypical bad boy. He has charming hooligan embedded in his DNA and you know, you just know, that he could spark into violence at a moments notice. In fact, this is what you love about him. He can make beauty repellent and the repulsive beautiful, and his ability to maintain these seemingly mutually exclusive qualities at the same time make him irresistible. Positively authentic and a little bit frightening, he seems to have access to darker, truer places then the rest of his peers. The rage, the seething rage, he’s able to summon and then channel into his work is actually intimidating and it’s no surprise to discover that he spent the first half of his 20’s addicted to crack and booze. But the guy—an incredibly physical actor who put on nearly 50 pounds of muscle for Bronson—proved stronger than that, too. The bastard, radiant with talent and charisma, drips sex appeal, the kind of guy for whom you would very happily do something fantastically stupid and dangerous. — Michael Murray
7. Alexander Skarsgard: Where would HBO be without a certain 6’ 4” godlike Nordic man who can look attractive even with prosthetic fangs in his mouth? Because when “True Blood” premiered in summer 2008, the network was in between hit series and renewed the campy show without great ratings to bank on. But viewers eventually tuned in, and an unscientific poll conducted by perusing Pajiba comments show it’s Alexander Skarsgard fans want to see. And preferably naked. The Swede hit most of our radars with HBO’s 2008 miniseries “Generation Kill,” although a look back at his turn as male model Meekus in 2001’s “Zoolander” is surreal. But as Eric, the 1,000-year-old vampire of “True Blood,” he’s gotten everyone hot and bothered. His looks are classical and not without flaws, but his charm, that accent and the easygoing way he carries his very tall self will have you crying “Perfection!” in a heartbeat. He can play mean and serious, but he also can be silly and sweet. You will want to be looked at the way he looks at — and growled at the way he growls at — Sookie. Preferably if you’re both naked. — Sarah Carlson
6. Mila Kunis: Female leads in male-centric comedies or sitcoms tend to be funny by association, the straight reactionary to her counterpart’s joke generator, with a smattering of funny moments here and there. Not our Kunis. You don’t cast Mila Kunis in a comedy and let her stand there as window dressing, though lovely drapery she does make. She gets in there and plays just as she should. She is the kind of fun and funny—and, by all accounts genuinely, so—that makes you forget—at least momentarily—how stupid hot she is. And that’s why we love her. Well, at least pre-Black Swan. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume Kunis’ long-worthied inaugural entry into the 10 has something to do with the lap-lapping heard ‘round the world, a scene so iconic that we at Pajiba attempted at great lengths to “make ‘fetch’ happen” with our own term of nether endearment, Kunislingus.Uber hot lady-love scene aside, Kunis showed some other skills in that flick—as well as others like Extract and the flick that brought her back into our hearts and loins, Forgetting Sarah Marshall—the likes we certainly didn’t imagine when she was harping at Ashton Kutcher, or when American Psycho 2 hit the direct-to-video shelves of our local Blockbuster. So, thank you, Jason Segel, for plucking our girl from indie and voiceover relegation, and putting her where she belongs—on top (of Natalie Portman’s silly parts). It’s always nice when someone we like becomes someone Hollywood like likes. — Courtney Enlow
5. Eva Green: Like most people, I was introduced to Eva Green five years ago, in Casino Royale (it would be a few more years before I would finally see her debut in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers). At the time, I remember hearing more than a few gripes about how “ridiculous” it was that Bond would fall head-over-heels in love with a woman. But I didn’t understand those complaints then, and I don’t understand them now. How could you not fall in love with Green’s Vesper Lynd? How can you not fall in love with just about any of Eva Green’s characters? It’s not just that Green is insanely beautiful (which she is, of course). And it’s not just that one can appreciate how often Green shows her body off (hint: a lot). Rather, it’s that she’s this almost incomprehensible riddle. Green has a cold visage that allows her to float through her roles, imbuing her characters with a nonchalance that falls just short of being completely off-putting. But whenever her character gets too close to that line, she’ll toss out this glimmer of sardonic wit to keep you on her side and then she ropes you in, opening up to show this humor and warmth that is wholly unexpected and almost completely at odds with the cold calm that came before. As sexy as Green may be when she physically bares herself, it’s those moments when she metaphorically bares herself that one can’t help but falling deeply in love. — Seth Freilich
4. Timothy Olyphant: When Timothy Olyphant stepped out of the shadows, sporting a Stetson and speaking Elmore Leonard in that soft, southern drawl, those of us smart enough to catch the “Justified’ premiere were richly rewarded. Not since Clint Eastwood have we seen such a quietly, powerful lawman who takes our collective breath away. Olyphant honed his Marshaling skills while playing Sheriff Seth Bullock on “Deadwood,” he’s taken on on bad guy roles in Hitman, Live Free or Die Hard and skillfully mastered the subtlety of characters in-between on “Damages” and in A Perfect Getaway But it’s his wry and sensual take on Marshal Raylan Givens that has us all aflutter. Olyphant’s timing, comedic and otherwise, makes it seem as if Leonard’s words were written just for him and every time Raylan Givens whispers into a paramour’s ear, panties around the world simultaneously drop. — Cindy Davis
3. Emma Stone: You know what I like about Emma Stone? I mean, other than the fact that she’s got the whole cute/sexy thing down to a fucking science that’s well beyond her contemporaries, that she’s got a body that’s rockin’ without being cartoonish, and a voice that travels down to the base of the spine and makes you want to fall to your knees? She’s smart. She’s working hard these days to pick solid, intelligent roles, even when it’s in a lighthearted, breezy picture. Easy A is hardly Citizen Kane, but Olive is a smart, sassy, and interesting character. She’s a hardassed, shotgun wielding beauty in Zombieland and the kind of girl you wanted to meet in high school in Superbad. Her career hasn’t been all home runs (*cough*Marmaduke*cough*), but she’s on the road these days to making herself into a bona fide star, with roles in Spider-Man and Crazy Stupid Love being the most intriguing ones (I’m giving her an early Mulligan on The Help). Emma Stone is the hotness, with a killer smile and a sweetness that seems genuine, and she manages to maintain a healthy sexiness that never descends into skankiness, a fresh-faced allure and a sense of sophistication. I want to hang out with her on a Friday night because I think she’d be fun to hang out with. Also, because I find her brain-boilingly attractive, but that’s only a part of it. In short, Emma, call me. We’ll drink iced coffees and play with dogs and make harmless jokes about passers-by. Just please, please stick with the red hair. OK? Bitchin’. — TK
2. Alison Brie: Classic hips, pouty lips, hard and soft in symmetric smolder. Some girls, your mother hates, this is the one she whispers is too good for you. She’s the princess in the castle, the vision for which we forge ourselves into knights. She could probably drink you under the table, but she’s usually got something better to do. Angel in public, she’s the devil who can break you in half in private. But it’s not a facade, it’s two sides of an exquisite coin. Sometimes, innocence is a choice, neither a lie nor something waiting to be lost. Naked or clothed, after the first lust drunk night or after five decades of marriage, for all her beauty, it’s the dangerous depth in those eyes that makes your soul lurch. And when it does, when you fall on one knee, cover her in kisses, serenade her with bad poetry, there’s just that half smile and quizzical look, the confusion that all that fuss could possibly be over her. — Steven Lloyd Wilson
1. Michael Fassbender: Last year, around this time, I was still holding out the delusional hope that Michael Fassbender might be my little secret. Oh, sure, you admired his abs and delts and lats and other obscenely bulgy (and possibly groinal) muscles in the Banana Hammockfest that was 300. And maybe while watching Inglorious Basterds you found him and his fluent Katzenjammer German strangely alluring, you know, for a pseudo-Nazi. I was willing to wager, however, that you wouldn’t watch the smaller UK films like Hunger or Fish Tank and so he might stay mine…just for a little while longer. But then came the frostbitten action of Centurion, the “dear God give me something to look at other than the void that is Megan Fox” of Jonah Hex, the brutish and broody Mr. Hotchester of Jane Eyre and, most devastating of all, The James McAvoy/Michael Fassbender Homoerotic Goodwill Tour of 2011 aka X-Men: First Class. I knew the minute I saw him saunter across that screen, working a turtleneck in ways it had never been worked, that I had lost him. I knew once you heard him speak flawless French, German and Spanish, you’d want him too. He walked away with both that film and your hearts tucked into the back pocket of his impossibly tight pants. And he did it all with a toothsome, cheeky grin. Fassbender, with his delicate Irish skin, lantern jaw and long, lean body, somehow looks debonair even with a week’s worth of stubble on his face. Like our number three, Emma Stone, he’s a ginger (my favorite spice) and, best of all, his name is a symphony of sounds that range from an open throated shout of ecstasy to a sibilant hiss of satisfaction to a guttural growl for more. Say it with me, “FAAAAAAASSSSBENDERRRR.” Ahhhh. Feels good, don’t it? — Joanna Robinson