Ten Hottest Aussie Actors/Actresses

Well, by now most of you have probably seen Avatar, and judging from the search terms people used to find my — and others’ — blog, one could deduce that Sam Worthington’s celebrity has pretty much ‘arrived.’ Ever since that flick came out, roughly 99% of the search terms listed on my blog dashboard is about the Aussie actor. It’s quite amusing that a lot of them revolves around his skinny paralyzed legs and whether that’s the actual condition the actor suffers. Seriously, Avatar is a movie where out-of-this world special effects abounds to create a make-believe world and all they’re curious about is an actor’s legs?? That’s got to be the easiest SFX to create out of the whole thing.

At any rate, what I’m getting at is that Worthington is now joining a slew of great Australian actors in Hollywood. From the moment he showed up on my radar in the from of a trailer — Terminator Salvation‘s to be exact — I immediately took notice and been championing for him ever since. I guess I always have a penchant for the Brits and Aussies for as long as I can remember. Anyway, as with any list, this is simply my pick of the ten hottest actors working today from the land down under.

  1. Russell Crowe
    He’s not just the best among fellow Aussie actors, but the whole lot of them in the movie biz today. Very few actors can really disappear into any role. Even when his personal shenanigans make him a tabloid fodder, once Crowe is on screen, we watch the character he’s portraying, not the actor. Gladiator remains one of my all-time faves mostly on account of Crowe’s brilliant performance.
    ……
  2. Cate Blanchett
    Crowe’s co-star in next year’s Robin Hood is pretty much his female counterpart when it comes to acting prowess. I’ve watched Cate in the tiniest indie flicks all the way to giant blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings and she always wows me. Whether playing a passionate journalist (Charlotte Grey), English queen (Elizabeth), or a Hollywood screen queen (as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator), she consistently delivers a believable performance. She will remain my favorite actress for years to come.
    ….
  3. Sam Worthington
    Though he’s considered a newbie to American moviegoers, the actor has made a name for himself back in his native land. Per IMDb, his film with Abbie Cornish, Somersault, won a record of 13 Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards, including Best Male Actor. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m sure that accolades will continue to pour in for him in the future.
    …..
  4. Hugh Jackman
    I’m in the camp that thinks Jackman is more than the Mr. Wolverine, as Elisabeth Rappe over at Cinematical pointed out just as I’m writing this. If anything, this guy is ever so versatile, being able to pull off such a macho, bad-ass role whilst singing and dancing away on Broadway AND host the Oscar. I agree though he hasn’t been in a decent flick of late, but I definitely won’t write off this talented actor quite yet. Not even close.
    ….
  5. Naomi Watts
    She might not be as well known as her BFF Nicole Kidman, but some might say she’s the better actress. Already rated as the ‘most bankable’ by Forbes magazine (for every $1 Watts was paid, her films earned an average of $44), she’s also earned a plethora of accolades, including a Best Actress Oscar nomination. She constantly impresses me in a variety of roles, most notably in 21 Grams, King Kong and The Painted Veil.
    …..
  6. Eric Bana
    The first time I laid eyes on Mr. Bana was in the Greek swords & sandal flick Troy. As the honorable Hector, he’s definitely the saving grace of that movie, in spite of the bronzed drag that was Brad Pitt’s Achilles. He’s also the best thing in Ang Lee’s Hulk and his soulful performance totally won me over in Spielberg’s Munich. It doesn’t hurt that this guy is sooo easy on the eye. At 6’3″ he’s the quintessential talk, dark and handsome image that could very well be the inspiration of those Harlequin romance book covers.
    …..
  7. Hugo Weaving
    Known for his trade-mark deep voice (“Hello, Mr. Anderson”), the 49-year-old actor has been in two massively successful trilogy: The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. The two movies couldn’t be more different from each other, but Weaving shone in both, a testament to his amazing versatility. Before the major Hollywood stuff, Weaving truly impressed me in this tiny indie Proof playing a blind photographer alongside a very young Russell Crowe. He also delivered an Oscar-worthy performance as a Cate Blanchett’s drug-addicted father in Little Fish.
    ……
  8. Toni Collette
    At first I thought Collette was English when I saw her in Emma (in which she practically outshone Gwyneth Paltrow), but then she managed to pull off a myriad of American roles (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine, among others). I guess the Sydney native has a knack for pulling off all kinds of accents. Not only that, she’s also quite the shape shifter by gaining 40 pounds for her role in Muriel’s Wedding and currently puts her chameleon-like performances to good use as a woman with multiple personalities in Showtimes’ The United States of Tara.
    …..
  9. Abbie Cornish
    The blond beauty proves to be more than a pretty face. Her performance in this year’s Bright Star is gaining rave reviews and she will be seen next in the fantasy action thriller Sucker Punch — billed as Alice in Wonderland with machine guns — by visionary director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen). Looks like she and former Somersault co-star Worthington are the hottest Aussie imports right now and perhaps for years to come.
    …..
  10. Guy Pearce
    I first saw Pearce in L.A. Confidential, going toe-to-toe against Russell Crowe. But it’s his performance in Christoper Nolan’s Memento that blew me away. The low-profile actor is also known for taking acting risk with his eccentric role as Andy Warhol in Factory Girl and the cannibalism-themed Ravenous.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Mel Gibson
  • Geoffrey Rush
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Simon Baker
  • Alex O’Loughlin

What do you think folks? Any one on this list that particularly stands out to you?

Random Thoughts: Sam Worthington’s Five Fave Flicks

My go-to review site RottenTomatoes.com has a regular feature where random movie actors/directors list their five favorite movies and why. Earlier this month, it featured AVATAR’s star Sam Worthington’s Five Favorite Films. Please note these are his favorites, not his ‘best films’ list:

  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989, 82% Tomatometer)
    Lethal Weapon 2
    — because that’s the movie where I thought, ‘If those guys are doing that and getting paid for it, I want in.’ [laughs]
  • Mad Max 2, aka The Road Warrior (1981, 100% Tomatometer)
    Mad Max 2
    , along with The Year of Living Dangerously. As far as I’m concerned that was a time of filmmaking in Australia when we were excelling. And I can watch Mad Max 2 over and over again.
  • The Year of Living Dangerously (1983, 96% Tomatometer)
    And The Year of Living Dangerously, I love it because it’s an Australian movie not set in Australia.
  • Beverly Hills Cop (1984, 83% Tomatometer)
    Beverly Hills Cop
    , ’cause I think it’s Eddie Murphy at his finest. You know, we think of Norbit and things like that nowadays… but go watch Beverly Hills Cop to see the man in top form.
  • Die Hard (1988, 94% Tomatometer)
    Die Hard
    is the best action movie ever. [laughs] Nailed them out, didn’t I?

He’s obviously got a thing for action flicks… and Mel Gibson! Granted it’s quite a personal list, with three out of five being Aussie-related, but I guess now we know why he can rock out those action-hero roles, as that’s what he seems to gravitate towards.

It’s cool that he mentioned The Year of Living Dangerously. The title is a quote which refers to a famous Italian phrase used by former Indonesian President Sukarno; vivere pericoloso, meaning “living dangerously” that he borrowed for the country’s Independence Day speech in 1964. I sheepishly admit I haven’t seen the entire movie, but having grown up in Jakarta during the Suharto era, this movie hits close to home for me. Per Wikipedia, the story is about a love affair set in Indonesia during the overthrow of President Sukarno in 1965. It follows a group of foreign correspondents (including Gibson’s character, Aussie journalist Guy Hamilton) in the nation’s capital Jakarta on the eve of an attempted coup by the so-called 30 September Movement by military-led vigilante groups that killed hundreds of thousands. It wasn’t shot on location however, as the Indonesian (read: dictatorial Suharto’s) government wouldn’t allow it, so filming took place in Manila, Philippines. Not surprisingly, the movie was banned in Indonesia until 1999, and at last screened in the country during the Jakarta International Film Festival in 2000. This Peter Weir’s movie featured young Mel Gibson at his best (not to mention hottest), and interestingly enough his love interest was Sigourney Weaver (as Jill Bryant, a British Embassy officer), who later became Worthington’s co-star in Avatar. Linda Hunt won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Billy Kwan, Gibson’s character’s best friend, becoming the first person to win an Oscar for playing a character of the opposite sex (according to Wikipedia).

Back to Worthington, well, based on this list, and the projects he’s got going so far, I’m hopeful this guy won’t do any insipid rom-com any time soon! It’d be cool to see him in an action comedy a la Beverly Hills Cop or the Lethal Weapon franchise. He looks like someone versatile enough to be both bad-ass AND funny, something even talented actor like Christian Bale couldn’t quite master. I mean, you could say American Psycho was a dark (VERY dark) satire and some scenes are quite funny (albeit in a deranged kind of way), but I’ve never seen Bale do a light-hearted comedy, action or otherwise. People have labeled Sam the next action star, but I’d say he could be more than that. Perhaps he’s looking to mimic his favorite actor’s career, as Mel Gibson can balance both intense thrillers/action-pack roles with dramatic and comedic ones, not to mention his achievements as a director.

Just an additional trivia: Worthington came thisclose to becoming James Bond as he was a runner-up for Daniel Craig. He revealed to CommanderBond.net that “[The Bond people] had seen my tapes and wanted to make Bond younger, like Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity.” I’d say he’d make a smashing Bond, but I’m glad he didn’t get the role as I’d rather not see him get typecast.

I have high hopes for this Aussie. Now that I think about it, lots of my fave actors are Aussies… hmmm, I feel a list of hottest Aussie actors coming on. Stay tuned for that, folks! 🙂