It’s no secret that being attractive is considered pretty essential to making it in Hollywood. Publications love to rank and list all the "most beautiful" actors and stars. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Chris Evans or an Emma Stone, it does get a little dull seeing the same faces over and over. Not to mention, there’s going to be an underlying racial component to who is going to be decided as the next hot thing.
Looks are not everything, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to stop obsessing over them any time soon. We might as well spread the love and take a look at the criminally underrated beauties of the silver screen. Just because they don’t get as much buzz, doesn’t mean they aren’t gracing us with their mere presence. Let’s spice up our top ten celebrity crushes this year. Here are the most beautiful actors and actresses that no one talks about.
She reminds us of the babe. Jennifer Connelly started out her career by working with the legendary David Bowie in Labyrinth, even getting to live out a teenage girl’s dream by sharing a ballroom dance with him. Since then, Connelly’s career has spanned over 30 years in the ruthless world of Hollywood. She’s starred in critical darlings like A Beautiful Mind and Creators (seemingly, there are a lot of roles to play a genius’ wife).
Obviously, not every project is going to be a success. Connelly played Betty Ross in the panned Hulk (2003), where this time her genius love interest literally just becomes a green monster. Despite the flop, Connelly remains ever poised. "It doesn’t diminish the experience for me. But I can’t say that I feel entirely neutral about it. Who wouldn’t want people to respond favourably to something that they make?" she told The Guardian. "I started working when I was so young and I wasn’t making my choices then. And the thing that I am really happy about is that, for better or worse, I make my own choices now." A teenage actress who has since come into her own, Connelly is an inspiration — and absolutely beautiful through and through.
You probably haven’t heard of Mustafa Shakir, but now that you have, you should pay attention. He’s built up his career since the early 2000s playing mostly small roles on television. Shakir is probably best known for his time on Netflix’s Luke Cage series as the second season antagonist Bushmaster. Now, he’s about to launch himself even further into the geek-sphere by starring in the Netflix produced, live-action version of Cowboy Bebop, a popular anime series, as Jet Black.
Shakir has tried to land other comic book roles, such as CW’s titular Black Lightning and M’baku in Black Panther. The fact that he didn’t land those roles set Shakir back a little. "It just crushed my little heart," he told Digital Spy. There’s not a lot of black superheroes in the comic book lexicon, so I felt like the doors were closing…." Hopefully, now there’s nothing but open doors ahead for this budding, beautiful actor.
Jameela Jamil may only have one major role under her belt, but she’s already made herself a prominent voice in the entertainment world. Jamil plays Tahani in the beloved NBC sitcom The Good Place. Outside of that, though, she is probably best known for her online advocation of body-positivity. She’s even gone against media titans like the Kardashians for their promotion of faulty and even dangerous products. These detox teas that the Kardashians advertise have been proven to not be of any benefit to a body’s health, and can even irritate the bowels.
Jamil is not afraid to call the Kardashians out. Her statement that they are "double-agents of the patriarchy" went viral on Twitter. It created so much of a buzz that the Kardashians were forced to, albeit poorly, respond to the criticism. Outside of the feuding, Jamil tries to radiate positivity. Her Twitter account is full of encouraging messages to fans. She also started an Instagram account that has grown into a movement called I Weigh, which she describes in the bio as a "movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are beyond the flesh on our bones." It’s significant that Jamil’s beauty and mainstream impact is not just skin-deep.
Harry Shum Jr.
Anyone who grew up in the mid-2000s should know Harry Shum Jr.’s face. Shum Jr. played Mike in the television phenomenon Glee as one of the series’ inaugural students. After his exit from the show, he went on to be a regular on another teen-focused show, Shadow Hunters: The Mortal Instruments. There, he provided us with hours of him glowering at the camera in humorously heavy eyeshadow. Audiences also got a sneak peek of him at the end of Crazy Rich Asians, where he debuted as Charlie Wu for the upcoming sequel.
Shum Jr. at 36 may still be quite young as an actor, but he’s had quite the interesting career thus far. As a dancer, Shum Jr. danced in films like You Got Served and Step It Up 2. He even performed as a back-up dancer for Beyonce’s first tour as a solo artist, "Ladies First," and Shum Jr. has nothing but good words about the legendary star. He told CNBC, "She made you feel like part of the whole performance and you yourself are a performer with her. And she set this standard of excellence that we had to hold on to."
No one can say that Sarah Paulson is untalented. The actress has played a lesbian undercover journalist, a pair of conjoined twin sisters, and a heroin junkie just in her tenure on American Horror Story alone. She was also part of the fun, female-driven Ocean’s 8 in summer 2018, with hopes to also be in a possible sequel. Not to mention, she’s able to do this all while looking incredibly fabulous. She was ranked as one of the best dressed women in 2018 by the site Net-a-Porter.
Perhaps the best thing about Paulson, though, is her confidence. The public became fascinated with Paulson’s relationship with Holland Taylor, a fellow actress 32 years older than her. Paulson remains steadfast against would-be naysayers, though. She told Elle, "For a person who might find themselves in a situation that they fear will be misperceived or judged, maybe they could see me living my life in a way that is authentic to me — just trying to be as real as possible. If that inspires anybody else, that can’t be a bad thing."
Justin Baldoni is another up-and-coming actor with a bright future. Baldoni graced audience’s screens as Rafael on Jane the Virgin and has remained a major part of the cast up to its final season. The series is set to end in 2019, but Baldoni is excited for the future. "I’m nervous. I’m excited," Baldoni told Entertainment Tonight, "I’m grateful because if it weren’t for Jane the Virgin, I would have never had the opportunity to make this film." The film in question is Baldoni’s directorial debut, Five Feet Apart.
The film is a personal story, inspired Baldoni’s real life friend Claire Wineland. Baldoni is already planning his next film project, Clouds, based on another terminally ill friend, Zach Sobiech. The actor and director clearly does not shy away from dark subjects. As he told Hollywood Reporter, "Our industry has been afraid of what used to be called earnest content. And I’ve always been really drawn to earnest content, but there’s a new way to make it. We [Wayfarer Entertainment] are really excited to explore all the different ways that we can make content that helps us remember that we’re alive and life’s worth celebrating."
Amandla Stenberg did not deserve to be a lightning rod for controversy, but that’s what she was before she even hit her teen years. At the young age of 12, Stenberg played Rue in The Hunger Games and became the center of a hate-filled social media tirade by racists. Perhaps most heart-breaking was when Stenberg told Buzzfeed News, "While it was hurtful when I was 12, it wasn’t shocking." There is no excuse for the ignorant behavior, but the incident did help push Stenberg to realize her potential as a public figure. "I realized that I had a platform that could be impactful if I harnessed it," she said.
Stenberg starred in The Hate U Give in fall 2018, a film deeply rooted in the Black Lives Matter movement. She was able to embody a lot of what she saw growing up as a black student in a mostly white school and give the role authenticity. In her personal life, Stenberg has recently come out as a lesbian. Nothing can stop this strong, queer, black woman from rising to the top.
Who knew that the dorky little boy from 3rd Rock From the Sun would turn out to be so friggen cute? While many child actors peter out or move on to other things, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had a consistent career since the early 90s. The man has a deep love of film, as evidenced by his habit of carrying a video camera wherever he goes. Plus, he runs the ambitious HitRecord project.
HitRecord is an online platform that is used to collaborate with artists from around the world and produce films, books, digital art, and more. Rapper Logic used HitRecord to create his song "Do What You Love" with 21 different artists. While some have become critical of HitRecord’s payment of artists, Gordon-Levitt continues to support it. The actor told BBC Radio 1, "In the 20th century, media was something that was very much one-sided. A small clique of an industry made everything. …Now with the internet people can participate and raise their own voice and be a part of it. It’s becomes more conversational and communal and that’s great."
Sonequa Martin-Green landed the role of a lifetime as the first black, female protagonist of a Star Trek show, and she absolutely earned it. She plays Commander Michael Burnham in the web-series addition to the legendary series, Star Trek: Discovery, and appears to be loving every second of it. "I saw this vision to humanize Star Trek in a way we hadn’t seen before. That’s the kind of stuff I love. That’s so challenging and fulfilling as an actor," Martin-Green told Essence. Prior to Star Trek, Martin-Green was in The Walking Dead as Sasha Williams.
It looks like Martin-Green has solid future in nerd culture, as she’s set to play LeBron James’ wife in the upcoming Space Jam 2. However, she still remembers to do some good in between her work and family. Martin-Green has been an ambassador for the Stand Up to Cancer charity, due to her mother’s trials with the disease.
There’s nothing wrong with a little high school sweetheart charm. Joe Keery is, of course, best known for melting audience’s hearts as Steve Harrington on Stranger Things, where he turned the jerky-jock boyfriend trope on its head. Keery told Esquire, "Personally, I think it’s my job to make sure people can relate to everything this character is doing and saying…." He’s set to return in Season 3, and fans are already very protective of his character.
It seems that Keery is a bit camera-shy compared to his co-stars. In an interview with Bustle, Keery reveals he’s much more down to earth. "I would much rather sit down and like talk to someone and be like, ‘No, I don’t really want to take a photo because I just got off a plane,’" he said. "I would much rather say, ‘What’s your name? And where [are] you from?’ and talk to somebody." So if you happen to catch Keery in public, consider putting the phone away and shaking his hand instead.
It turns out, Gemma Chan seems to be just as unattainably amazing as her character in Crazy Rich Asians, Astrid Young-Teo. Chan studied politics at Oxford University, then saved up tuition for the prestigious acting school the Drama Centre for London by working as a model. As accomplished as she is, being an Asian woman in a white world still affected her work. "When I left drama school, I was told by the voice teacher, ‘Be prepared that you are going to really struggle; most of the output from the UK is period drama and you won’t get a look-in,’" she told Vogue. "And for the first few years that really was the case"
Now, though, Chan has broken through that barrier with her role as Elizabeth Hardwick in Mary Queen of Scots. She’s also set to star again in the upcoming sequel to Crazy Rich Asians alongside fellow beautiful person Harry Shum Jr. We can only hope that we’ll be seeing both of their faces more often in the future.
Jim from The Office ruined men for an entire generation of women; he was funny, sweet, and had the adorable charm of John Krasinski behind him. Krasinski not only starred in the show, but directed several episodes — his directorial debut. After the series ended, he would continue to work in front of and behind the camera in films like Promised Land and The Hollars. The big splash, though, came in 2018 with A Quiet Place.
A Quiet Place received critical acclaim, and praised Krasinski as its director, writer, and producer. The film has done so well that Krasinski is slated to direct the sequel, with a spring 2020 release schedule. Krasinski continues to melt our hearts, dedicating his success to his wife, Emily Blunt. "I honestly feel I wouldn’t have this career if I hadn’t met her, because she’s taught me so much about how to go about the business," he told Independant. "She’s been my secret ingredient."
Diane Guerrero is probably best known for playing Maritza Ramos on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black, but there’s so much more to her. Guerrero was born in the United States, but her parents and brother were immigrants from Columbia. At the young age of 14, she was separated from her immediate family as they were all deported. "It’s terrifying. I relied on friends and the kindness of strangers. I can only imagine how much harder it would be for children to have to rely on [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents and prison guards for comfort," she told The Washington Post.
Guerrero has since dedicated herself to advocating for immigration reform. In 2018, President Obama named her one of the Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization. She’s published a memoir of her personal past with immigration titled In the Country We Love: My Family Divided. The book is described as "a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over."
Grey’s Anatomy has a long, proud tradition of casting gorgeous people, and the character Jackson Avery is no exception. Jesse Williams’ beautiful visage has earned him the title of one of the hottest doctors on television. Gamers might recognize Williams from the video game Detroit: Become Human, where he provided his voice and motion capture to the character Markus. However, he’s not just a pretty face.
Williams has used his platform to speak about black activism. His emotional speech at the 2016 BET Awards was so politically charged that fans of Grey’s Anatomy called for his removal. Thankfully, Williams has stayed put. "We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment…," Williams declared. "Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real." For anyone out there who’s into beautiful, passionate men (and is bold enough to pursue a celebrity), Williams is one of the few people on this list who is currently single.