After weeks of anticipation and what I can only assume is our readers frantically refreshing their browsers every five seconds, the 2017 Pajiba 10 has arrived. The 11th Annual list of the brainiest, geekiest, loveliest, most thoughtful and lustful celebs is here. As always, the Pajiba 10 is comprised entirely of YOUR votes, so if you’re unhappy, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Fortunately, I think, few will be unhappy with this year’s Pajiba 10. It’s a phenomenal list assembled with more votes than ever. The list this year includes seven first-times, one second-timer, and two new Hall of Fame members (numbers 9 and 10 on the list).
This year, we also asked our readers to identity the Best Chris, and to be honest, it wasn’t even close. Evans was a distant second, and the other two (Pratt and Hemsworth) weren’t even competitive. So, let’s begin with Officially, Once and For All: The Best Chris:
Best Chris — It had been a long-fought battle but finally, the majority has spoken. We, the people, have chosen Chris Pine as our favourite Chris. No longer will our non-Marvel dark horse languish in the background, unappreciated behind the iron abs of the Avengers (and the other one). Pine: Captain Kirk, Steve Trevor, singing prince, Streisand approved, soon-to-be sexiest scientist dad ever in A Wrinkle in Time … He claims the crown. And who could blame you all for falling for such majesty? The arguments may wage on but for once, democracy actually worked. All hail The Best Chris. — Kayleigh Donaldson
And now, on to the results:
10. Oscar Isaac — What can be said about new Hall of Fame inductee Oscar Isaac that hasn’t been mumbled breathlessly before? To every movie he gifts with his presence, Isaac brings leading man smolder and dashing good looks coupled with a character actor’s range. He can pull off the struggling musician, trying to get his big break while being his own worst enemy. He was the best part of the woefully unfeminist Sucker Punch, making a creepy rapist ooze charm and disgust in equal measure. You’ve got reclusive genius; building female robots and tricking young Brits. A mysterious government killer hunting Jason Bourne. He’s Poe Dameron, X-Wing pilot and trusted fighter in the Rebel Alliance. The list goes on, believe me. Only a man who can accomplish all of these varied characters in the span of five years is worthy of making Pajiba lions moist from the hallowed Hall of Fame. — Jodi Smith
9. Gillian Anderson — It was Friday night, April 29, 1994. I was 12 years old and 64-days new to this country. Besides my little three-person family, I knew no one here. I didn’t know the language. I felt lost and bewildered and overwhelmed. So that Friday night, I was sitting at home, browsing through what seemed like endless channels on the TV (back in the Motherland, we only had two) and I landed on something that immediately grabbed my attention. It was the first season of The X-Files, an episode titled “Born Again.” And besides the spooky and paranormal, which I always gravitated toward, the female lead is what caught my eye. Special Agent Dana Scully was the sort of role model a young, confused, and powerless girl needed to see: intelligent, persistent, and unwilling to accept the injustices around her. Gillian Anderson was cast in that role at the astounding age of 24, and despite having to share the screen with a domineering David Duchvony, she nevertheless persisted to convert the show to a Scully-centric feminist tour de force. Since that pivotal role, she’s given brilliant performances in Bleak House, Hannibal, The Fall, and American Gods, among others. She is a goddamn force of nature, and it’s about time that Pajiba honors her with a permanent spot in the Pajiba Freebies Hall of Fame. — Ursula Scully
8. Janelle Monáe — I thought about just dropping a .GIF of the wondrous Ms. Monáe from her ‘Yoga’ music video and just dusting my hands off and walking away. But then I realized that she deserves more than that. She deserves the world. Monáe is one of those almost preternaturally lovely women, and she’s been enchanting people with her rhythm, movement, and voice since her first full-length album, The ArchAndroid, blew up in 2010. She’s an immense talent with a unique vision, a lyricist and writer as well as an artist and a fashion icon who doesn’t give a shit about gender norms. But recent years have shown that she’s also a remarkably talented actress, and between her turns in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, she’s become even more of a force to be reckoned with. So there you have it: a proud, gorgeous, intelligent woman who can sing, dance, and act her ass off. Thank you, Ms. Monáe, for giving us everything. — TK
7. Mahershala Ali — Mahershala Ali—aka if a fine, well-aged scotch were a real human person and could walk and talk and invent the color yellow—has been steaming up your TVs now for the better part of 15 years. Always steadily working, he’s had recurring roles on Crossing Jordan, The 4400, Alphas, Treme, House of Cards… whatever the hell Threat Matrix is. (Personally, it’s what I call the mental calculations I perform when I look at a given month’s movie slate and try to figure out what TK’s going to punish me with. Really looking forward to The Emoji Movie, y’all.) But it wasn’t until this year that most of our collective lions stood up and took notice of the hotness and talent that Ali was laying down. 2016 was Ali’s year, and he was everywhere, whether joining the ranks of Marvel villainhood in Luke Cage, proving the standout of indie movie Kicks, or getting his respectful romantic lead on opposite Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures. I didn’t think “steadfast military man I met at a church potluck respectfully asks for my hand in marriage over a home cooked meal, after which he promises to look after my elderly mother and three young children” was a particular sexual fantasy of mine—not least because I have no intention of having kids, haven’t been to church in over a decade, and spend too much time speculating robot fucking to be all that vanilla—but God damn, here we are! Mahershala Ali sweats charisma, and he’s handsome as hell to boot. Never has that been more in evidence than in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, a role that netted Ali a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar win. And not for nothing, but the man can wear the hell out of a suit. —Rebecca Pahle
6. Taika Waititi — New Zealand’s sexiest director earns his spot on the coveted Pajiba 10 with a mix of wit, whimsy, and face face face. Whether he’s playing geeky sidekick to Ryan Reynolds, dandying it up as a flustered vampire, promoting his critically heralded coming-of-age comedy Hunt For The Wilderpeople, or playing the fool for a good cause, Waititi wins our hearts and riles our lions with his penetrating brown eyes, goofy grin, sexy silver locks, and swoon-worthy sense of humor. And if that weren’t enough, he pulled together an all-star team of hotness, including Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson and Jeff Goldblum, for what’s sure to be Marvel’s hottest movie, Thor: Ragnarok. And bonus, he introduced us to doofy surfer bro Thor, and his beleaguered roommate, Darryl. Not only is this New Zealander one of the funniest and sexiest humans on the planet, but also he’s mad generous, giving us more laughs and opportunities to ogle than any other on this list! — Kristy Puchko
5. John Cho — He can get to White Castle. He can fly the Enterprise. He can make us watch a show called Selfie — and god help me, I watched EVERY. FREAKING. EPISODE. There’s a reason John Cho has become the literal poster boy for diversity in Hollywood casting, and it’s because he’s the complete package. Sweet smile, kind eyes, the way he fills out a suit. He’s the very personification of charm. He also can act most other leading men under the table — action, drama, comedy, you name it. He’s a man, he’s a movement, he’s a two-time Pajiba 10 certified hottie. Our fantasies are already #StarringJohnCho, so yes Hollywood, cast him in everything. We’ll be there with cash in our hands, hearts in our eyes and… well, you can imagine what’s going on in our pants. — Tori Preston
4. Ruth Negga — Did y’all know that Ruth Negga is
British half-Irish? I only ask because in preparation for this post, I watched some of her late-night interviews, and was surprised not to hear Tulip’s expletive-filled, Southern drawl. And here’s the thing: I first discovered her in Misfits, where she and everyone else used their regular British accents, meaning I definitely should have remembered that she’s British not American. But so is the power of Ms. Negga. She can disappear into a role so thoroughly you don’t recognize her. Which is all the more remarkable given her face. The woman is startlingly beautiful. Like all time, classically, but still perfectly-imperfect and interesting to look at beautiful. But also I’m certain she could kick my ass. And I’m kind of into that? And her back-up career is to be a librarian? I don’t know what more to say, people. The woman was made for us. — Emily Chambers
3. Kate McKinnon — When tasked with the glorious assignment of writing about why Kate McKinnon is so Pajiba 10 electable and delectable, I decided to go back to last year’s list and see what we said about her then. Except…she wasn’t on it. And I realized that, this time last year, WE JUST DIDN’T KNOW. We knew she was funny. We knew she was beautiful. But we didn’t know about this.
We didn’t know about this.
And we definitely didn’t know about this.
How foolish we were then. How young and naive. How tragic our lives were to have not yet sexualized Kate McKinnon. How. Fucking. Dare we. She’s hot. She’s hilarious. That second one makes that first one way more so. She’s also about to debut as Mrs. Frizzle in the new Magic Schoolbus, tickling a very specific fetish for some of us, I assume. I want to curl up inside her dimples and live there. I want to lounge for days on her upper lip as it stretches into her smile. I want to hear what her voice sounds like when she stops trying to make you laugh and starts trying to make you do something else. Welcome to the Pajiba 10, Kate. We’re sorry we took so long. — Courtney Enlow
2. Jason Momoa — How do you like your hunks? I’m going for beefcake, rare, with a side of quizzical eyebrow. Jason Momoa has the physique of a gladiator and a naughty, smouldering glimmer in his eyes that seems to whisper, ‘hey you, wanna walk on the wild side?’ This Hawaiian Adonis is best known for his burly guy-liner work as Khal Drogo (Shekh ma shieraki anni - my sun and stars), though he’s been making hearts flutter for years in Baywatch, Stargate and Conan. Hey, he’s only been glimpsed in the DCU so far, and he’s already made Aquaman a star. Momoa looks like a guy who’d take you on an epic adventure, punch a shark, read you a poem, rescue a kitten, drink you under the table, then carry you home without breaking a sweat. You would believe literally anything about Momoa. How many guitar-playing, extreme sports Buddhists do you know? For a guy whose last name means ‘dry’ in Polynesian (fact fans), this is one Aquaman who definitely brings the sploosh. — Hannah Sole
1. Gal Gadot — Yes, Gal Gadot is beautiful. And yes, Gal Gadot is a bad-ass (Israeli army, combat training, etc. etc.). And yes, my god, Gal Gadot is beautiful. But that’s not why she stole the Pajiba 10 this year. There are lots of pretty people on the list, lots of bad-asses. There always are. Rather, Gadot stole the Pajiba 10 for the same reason she stole both last year’s miserable Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Marthas and a good chunk of this summer’s box office - because her Wonder Woman is IT. Gadot absolutely shines as the Amazon warrior and has shown Hollywood that of course women can be bad-asses on screen, and of course women can be superheroes, and of course women can lead big franchise blockbusters (we see you too, Patty Jenkins).
Through Wonder Woman, Gadot is a symbol for what women actually are, not what pop-culture so stereotypically wants to limit them to:
When people argue that Wonder Woman should “cover up,” I don’t quite get it. They say, “If she’s smart and strong, she can’t also be sexy.” That’s not fair. Why can’t she be all of the above? (EW)In The Dark Knight. Commissioner Gordon famously notes that Batman is the hero Gotham deserves, but not the hero that is needed at that moment. Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the reverse - she is absolutely the hero we need right now, even though I’m not sure we deserve her. But my god are we lucky to have her. Plus, look at how she looks at the best Chris (Pine). Gal Gadot just gets it. — Seth Freilich