The 2018 Pajiba 10 has arrived. The 12th 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, few will be unhappy with this year’s Pajiba 10. It’s a phenomenal list that includes two new Hall of Fame Inductees (#5 and #3) and six new entrants. However, only one Chris made it into the top ten, and for the next 12 months, Pajiba officially has a new Best Chris. We also have new Queen of the Pajiba 10.
10. Jameela Jamil
Here’s some things that you probably don’t know about Jameela Jamil: Before The Good Place, she was a British “presenter.” The Good Place is her first ever acting gig, and Manny Jacinto — who plays Jason — is the seventh person she has ever kissed in her life. She is also spectacularly funny, but in The Good Place when Mike Schur and his writing staff are giving her lines to deliver, and in interviews and podcasts, where she is not only incredibly humble but perhaps the show’s biggest cheerleader. And if you get the opportunity to read an interview with Jamil or listen to a podcast with her on it, take immediate advantage, because honest to God, in person, she’s one of the world’s most life-affirming people. — DR
I was struggling this morning with an older male coworker and instead of going in the bathroom to cry I read 3 interviews with @jameelajamil and did some deep breathing. Much less snot and cleaning up.— ©© (@cesanderson) July 30, 2018
Gah I live for this. Go on girl! To know I give even one woman the strength to remember her worth in this world, makes everything worth it. I love women. I’m sorry we have been trodden over for so long. I am excited to see the end of that in sight for us. Down with shame. ❤️ https://t.co/SR0Pa3eD8z— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) July 30, 2018
9. Riz Ahmed
I wrote recently about M.I.A. and her song “Paper Planes,” and the boldness of the legendary proclamation she made in that song: “No one on the corner has swagger like us.” Well, no one has swagger like Riz Ahmed, new member of the Pajiba 10, has swagger. We should start with that damn smirk, right? Let’s begin there.
HOT. DAMN. The confidence. The slyness. THE CHEEKBONES. Riz Ahmed has been putting in the work in every way possible, not only as a consistently talented actor — Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Nightcrawler, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the upcoming The Sisters Brothers and Venom, for which he is now a scummy blonde, MY LIONS ARE VERY HAPPY ABOUT THIS — but as a representative for the Middle East, for South Asia, for Muslim communities, for migrants. He seems like a Very Good Dude, and that is all fine, but also? There’s this hint of darkness, this thrillingly unknowable quality, that he uses to excellent effect, too.
He’s spawned The Riz Test, a group that is measuring the portrayal of Muslims in film and television; he showed his rhyming skills on the Hamilton mixtape; and he broke all of our hearts on The Night Of. And I mean, if we’re talking thirst? MOTHERFUCKER IS FINE AS HELL. He walks that delicious fine line between intimidating/dangerous and sensitive/friendly, with his hard stare and his perfect jawline and his gorgeous brown eyes and that lithe body, and excuse me, I need to be alone for a while.
Welcome to the Pajiba 10, Riz Ahmed. I am available for whatever you may need. —Roxana Hadadi
8. Cate Blanchett
Look, Kristy already basically covered all the reasons Cate Blanchett “is glamorous and cheeky, funny and ferocious, but always, always crush-worthy.” In the comments, some of you took issue with Blanchett’s less-than-ideal interview response about her prior work with Woody Allen, and I get it. I don’t disagree with some of the criticisms about what she said, criticisms which are not only valid, but are the kind of thing we talk about around here all the time. Nevertheless, y’all voted her into the Pajiba 10, and, well, I get that too.
Because for me, my love goes back to Hanna, where Blanchett was a ruthless, bad-ass. Of course, that’s the thing - Blanchett is always a bad-ass. That’s why she’s here. Whether she’s playing a glamorous modern woman pushing her way through the 1950s (with pretty great coats), a Viking god trying to bring on Ragnarok (with amazing horns) or an Oceans-caper thief (with the best bangs), Cate Blanchett is on-the-screen bad-ass personified. — Seth Freilich
7. Terry Crews
You guys, did you know that Terry Crews had a birthday just recently? He turned 50 on July 30th. And that you’ve given him a wonderful gift ofFINALLY ELECTING TERRY CREWS, TO THE PAJIBA 10!! And what a deserving nominee he is; a sensitive and intelligent man who strives to dismantle toxic masculinity, speaks his truth without shame, and pec pops better than The Rock. (Don’t tell The Rock I said that.) (But it’s true.) Not only is he an impeccable physical specimen, but he’s the kind of self-questioning and outspoken advocate we can all learn from. Plus, he’s funny. There’s really no downsides here, pat yourselves all on the back for a job well done. — Genevieve Burgess
6. Chris Hemsworth
If I’m being honest, I didn’t love (the new, 2018) Best Chris that much when he first came out. In part, it was because of the horrendous things they did to his face and hair for Thor, but mostly it was all the terrible things they did to him after Thor came out. Namely the whole, “Oh, he’s big and brawny and squints a lot. Put him on an old-timey ship!” Hemsworth isn’t really a leading man. He’s a goofy dad who sings with his kids to (Aunt) Miley songs, and cracks wise on fellow beefy dudes. But for some reason, only the Ghostbusters (those lady ones who keep ruining things) realized what we all finally learned in Thor: Ragnarok: Chris Hemsworth is funny as hell. Also important about the best Thor? Hemsworth got a goddamn haircut.
Like a really good haircut.
So now we’ve got the muscles and the squinty eyes thing, but with that, a kick-ass sense of humor and what I cannot stress enough is an awesome haircut. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, New Best Chris. — Emily Chambers
5. John Cho
It is a privilege to be part of a website that consistently understands how wonderful John Cho is — this is his third appearance on the Pajiba 10, and he, therefore, enters the Hall of Fame. Alas, the rest of the world is not as perceptive as we are, because if there was any justice in the world, Cho would be the biggest star on the planet. What’s not to love about his endless charisma and ability to hop between romantic hero and stoic dramatics with ease? He is ageless and beyond handsome. Time makes fools of us all, but John Cho’s refusal to age makes Paul Rudd look like a crumbling breadstick. From Selfie to Sulu and everything in-between, we’ll simply never have enough John Cho. Now, how do I get his name on the casting list as Spike for the inevitable Cowboy Bebop movie? — Kayleigh Donaldson
4. Taika Waititi
Waititi has given us so much that it is only just that he placed so high on our list. Not many men can pull off a pineapple romper, but Waititi did and should be praised and adored for having such a gift. His talent for writing, directing, and acting in movies is fairly majestic, too; filled with off-kilter New Zealand wit and his singular outlook on the world. What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Thor Ragnarok all have the same insane sense of humor anchored by misfit characters that struggle to create, protect, and save those they’ve chosen as family. Waititi is also a force of nature on Twitter and in interviews, puffing out his chest by virtue of hilariously self-centered answers to questions while always maintaining his charm and distance from toxic masculinity. He’s perfect, basically. So here’s to you, Taika. Never leave us and please keep giving us more of ALL OF THE THINGS for the foreseeable future. — Jodi Smith
3. Michael B. Jordan
Who else on this list is so hot that a girl watching Black Panther literally snapped her retainer in half from clenching her teeth too hard whenever he was onscreen? WHO? I feel like I could rest my case here, but after all the thirst that Michael B. Jordan has inspired, he deserves more than that.
While many of us had our eyes open to THE TRUTH after Jordan burned up the screen as Killmonger, Marvel’s best villain, he’s been putting in quality work for a long time. Starting out in beloved television shows like The Wire and Friday Night Lights before segueing into a creative partnership with Ryan Coogler that showed us what Jordan could really do in films like Fruitvale Station, Creed, and now Black Panther. Jordan has the uncanny ability to make us cry and thirst at the same time, and I cannot wait to see how he brings it in the future.
Whether he’s getting nerdy about Marvel lore or putting his money where his mouth is regarding diversity, Michael B(ae) Jordan is a crush that you can feel good about. Is this your king? Yes. Yes, he is. — Alyssa Fikse
2. Janelle Monáe
Look, obviously we should acknowledge the blissful perfection of Pajiba 10’s top 2 pairing this year. But Janelle Monáe earned her spot on this list, regardless of who’s standing at her side (TESSA!). The woman is simply incredible. She’s so versatile that she went from her successful music career to starring in two films that were nominated for Best Picture in the same year (Hidden Figures and Moonlight, the latter of which famously won the Oscar despite that La La Land flub), and then triumphantly returned to music with this year’s epic Dirty Computer. This was her first solo album in 5 years, and not only was it a technical marvel (skipping through genres like a true master) but it was also her most personal album. She set aside her “Cindi Mayweather” persona and wrote songs that revealed more of herself — and then she took it a step further, clarifying her own bisexuality. I could go on about her fashion, or her work as an advocate, but whether it’s as an artist or an ally or a “free-ass motherfucker”: Janelle, we salute you. — Tori Preston
1. Tessa Thompson
All hail our new queen! Thompson’s been on our radar since her breakout role in 2014’s sharp satire Dear White People. But this past year, she’s been slaying us on the regular, delivering wit, sass, and sex appeal along with some of the most radical cinema around.
In Thor: Ragnarok, she rocked our worlds as the hard-drinking, hard-hitting superheroine Valkyrie. With Annihilation, she broke our hearts with a tender flowering. Then came Sorry to Bother You, where she made activism stylish and sexy as hell as the fearless and flawless Detroit. Thompson doubled down on the film’s progressive message, taking her activism off-screen through Twitter. There, she also had fun, gleefully embracing the meme that lovingly compared her to goats.
All of this had us crushing hard and should have been enough to make her Pajiba 10 material, especially when accompanied by that crooked smile that promises hell-raising and a hangover to follow. But then came her creative and personal relationship with Janelle Monáe, which blew our minds and drove our lions wild. Thompson would rather we not put labels on their relationship. Fine by us. However these out and proud ladies hang is their business. Nonetheless, the fiercely feminist, queer and glamorous spectacle they brought to Monáe’s “Dirty Computer” videos had us jaw-dropped and thought-provoked, and left us damn thirsty. —Kristy Puchko