The Sexiest Royalty In Film
You've seen the portraits in museums: Most royalty, while wielding the most power, were not the best-looking bunch (unless they just had really bitter and vindictive portrait artists).
But while it's easy to glamorize someone's life when their entire existence is predicated on living in opulent mansions and having every wish attended to, we've noticed that Hollywood and their European equivalents tend to take certain liberties with its treatment of royalty, sexing them up exponentially.
With the release of the Oscar favorite "The King's Speech," in which Colin Firth's King George VI tries to overcome a stammer, here are nine actors and actresses that will make you long for the days of feudal systems and cruel, unending subjugation.
The only film to list both Martin Scorsese and Sarah, Duchess of York as co-producers, "The Young Victoria" looks at the early life of Queen Victoria and her romance with Prince Albert in the early 19th century. With supporting roles in "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Dan in Real Life," Blunt had retained "up-and-coming" status for years until this 2009 film showed that she could carry a film herself, as the actress received a Golden Globe nomination for the role.
Sofia Coppola followed up her widely acclaimed sophomore feature "Lost in Translation" with this loosely based biopic of the snootiest of French consorts. The diverse cast included everyone from Asia Argento to Jason Schwartzman to Steve Coogan, but it was Dunst, who filmed "Marie Antoinette" between "Spider-Man" sequels, who was lauded for her whimsical portrayal of the Queen of France.
Before he took on the role of King George VI in "The King's Speech," the British actor had long been a sex symbol in the UK, with his portrayal of Lord Wessex in "Shakespeare in Love" solidifying his international appeal. With "The King's Speech" winning early rave reviews, 2011 may be the year that lisps finally become sexy. Stutterers everywhere rejoice.
No movie on this list propelled its star to stardom more than "Elizabeth" and Australian actress Cate Blanchett. Prior to "Elizabeth," Blanchett had seen minor success with "Oscar and Lucinda" and "Thank God He Met Lizzie." But her portrayal of the 16th century queen earned her an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe for Best Actress and near-universal acclaim. Blanchett would reprise the role nine years later in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."
5. Isabelle Adjani, 'Queen Margot' (1994)
French icon Isabelle Adjani had been starring in both mainstream and cult films for 25 years before her portrayal of Margaret of Valois, the 16th century French queen, appearing in Roman Polanski's cult horror film "The Tenant" and in the WTF 1981 film "Possession" with Sam Neill. As Queen Margot, Adjani picked up her fourth César (France's equivalent of the Oscar) and remains one of the country's most celebrated actresses.
Ostensibly a film about Henry VIII, his mistress Anne Boleyn and her sister Queen Anne, Justin Chadwick's film from the 2001 novel of the same name doubled as a who's who of hotness. Eric Bana takes on the role of Henry, with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson playing the two sisters. There were some complaints over the two female leads being American and playing British roles. It's Portman and ScarJo. Get over it.
While not as well received as her roles in "Atonement" or "Pride and Prejudice," Keira Knightley's portrayal of Georgiana Cavendish, aka The Duchess of Devonshire, still stands as one of her most ambitious roles. Ralph Fiennes could have also taken the spot as husband William, but it was Knightley whose performance earned the most notice.
Fresh off his kingmaking role in "Titanic," DiCaprio took on the dual role of Louis XIV and his identical twin brother Phillippe in Randall Wallace's successful, yet critically-bashed, tale of The Three Musketeers and their relationship to the hostile Sun King. Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne and Gérard Depardieu all ably play the musketeers, but DiCaprio excels in this underappreciated role.
1. Natalie Portman, 'The Other Boleyn Girl' (2008)
We endured sleepless nights and chair-throwing days over whether to put Portman or her co-star Johansson in the pole position, but our raven-haired crush edged out the "Lost in Translation" bombshell. To prepare for her role as Anne Boleyn, Portman took daily speech classes to learn to speak with an English accent. Just when we thought she couldn't get any hotter.
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