We’ve always said we are equal opportunity objectifiers here at Head Over Feels. The Men have had their turn and in a fight to the finish, John Cho was crowned The Most Handsome Young Man. Now we turn our eyes to the ladies. This poll took a hiatus last year (SORRY WE ARE THE WORST) so Alison Brie and Christina Hendricks have enjoyed a long reign at the top. You might notice that we changed the title from “Sexiest Woman Alive” to “Most Perfect Sunflower”, mainly in an homage to life hero Leslie Knope and her adoration of her best friend Ann Perkins. But “Most Perfect Sunflower” also perfectly encompasses how we feel about these women. Sure, they are all beautiful and sexy…but you won’t see any lingerie shoots in this post. (Hey, we avoided shirtlessness for most of the guys, Stephen Amell aside, and it’s hard to find a picture where Amell is NOT shirtless) We love these women for their looks AND their personalities. These are the women who delight us on a weekly basis and the women we most want to have a slumber party with. They are our (fantasy) friends and they are our role models and they are our beauty icons. Perfect sunflowers, all of them.
Be sure to vote in the poll at the end of this post. Voting will close December 14th (this coming Sunday) at 9 PM. Let your voice be heard.
What the hell kind of reverse-aging voodoo is going on here and how do I get in on it?
When I look at Gillian Anderson’s face, a neon-sign in my brain flashes the word “LUMINOUS.” Somebody left the light on inside her, and its our privilege to bask in it.
Obviously, Gillian could be considered a Head Over Feels poster girl solely for her near 15-year run as Special Agent Dana Scully, blessed be her name. But the actress is having a renaissance of sorts. She’s been steadily working since the show ended, obviously. But the world-at-large seems to be rediscovering the actress thanks to her consistency, interesting choices, and, of course, hotness.
Let’s start with Hannibal, in which Gillian plays the exquisitely named Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. She fits into that gorgeous, opulent world like a figure into a painting. Step back, Olivia Pope. I could watch this lady drink red wine in expensive blouses allll day long. Bedelia will be back this coming season, under some…different circumstances. (No spoilers here!) Gillian is a regular this go-round, which means that one of the most beautiful shows to look at just got more so.
Then there’s The Fall‘s Stella Gibson, the second best law enforcement professional Gillian’s ever played. For those of you who haven’t experienced this woman yet, DO. She oozes capability and sexual confidence, smashing the patriarchy to itty bitty pieces while she tracks an Irish serial killer. It’s required viewing for media-consuming feminists.
On stage, Gillian took on the legendary role of Blanche DuBois in the Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. We saw it when Fathom Events hosted showings of the production in movie theaters across the country and walked out asking ourselves how the hell she pulled that off eight shows a week. I was exhausted just sitting on my ass and watching her Southern Belle flame-out.
Beyond her range-y talent (did I mention she wrote a BOOK?) and ever-growing sexiness, what elevates Gillian Anderson to Perfect Sunflower level is her laugh. There are whole YouTube tributes dedicated to it. It’s totally un-self-conscious – when Gillian breaks, she breaks hard. And how can anyone on set be annoyed that the take is ruined when they’ve got this one giggling away in their presence? I’ve been a fan of this very singular laugh since The X-Files wrap party blooper reels started making their way onto the internet in the mid-’90’s. And I’m delighted that it and the cheeky sense of humor behind it haven’t diminished in the slightest. Gillian reminds me of a young Meryl in a lot of ways. She brings a profound sense of fun and play to even the most somber roles, and she never takes herself too seriously. No wonder David’s still sprung after all these years.
The men of Sleepy Hollow have dominated the contest for the Men with Tom Mison winning in 2013 and John Cho winning this year’s poll. Now we turn to Sleepy‘s pint-sized leading lady and SHAME ON US for waiting this long to celebrate the wonder that is Nicole Beharie. Nicole is a KNOCK-OUT, y’all. She’s got this beautiful (and glowing) skin, fantastic hair that looks amazing both in its natural and straightened state, Disney Princess eyes, fierce eyebrows (which I am beginning to think is a casting requirement on Sleepy Hollow), and lips to rival Angelina Jolie’s. Her smile is like sunshine. But what my favorite thing about Nikki is that her supermodel looks aren’t off-putting or intimidating. She is utterly approachable and warm and we may envy her beauty, but we never hate her for it. And unlike her counterparts on other procedural shows, you never look at Abigail Mills and don’t believe that she is a cop who could kick your ass (practical demon chasing footwear FTW!).
Don’t even get me started on how amazing Grace Abigail Mills is and how wonderfully Nikki brings her to life. Abbie’s brilliant, she’s determined, she’s tough…but she also feels things incredibly deeply and is fiercely devoted to the people she cares about. She’s been through a lot of shit in her life, so she’s emotionally guarded for very good reasons. That’s why it’s so amazing that she opened her heart (not even in the romantic sense) so quickly to Ichabod Crane. Ichabod, with all his freely expressed emotions, may be the heart of Sleepy Hollow, but Abbie is the SOUL. Sleepy Hollow works because of Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie’s performances (and I love that they are as wonderful together OFFSCREEN as they are ON). Their chemistry rivals David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s (hence the reason we often compare Ichabbie to Mulder and Scully). It’s lightning in a bottle and Nicole’s performance is so grounded and honest that you always believe her, whether she’s chasing down Wendigos or teaching Ichabod the ins and outs of baseball. We’ve been promised a big Abbie story for the back half of Season Two, and I for one, can’t wait to see what Nikki does with it. If it’s anything like her performance in “Mama”, we’re in for a real treat.
Like Gillian Anderson’s giggle, what elevates Nikki to Most Perfect Sunflower status is her DELIGHTFUL facial expressions. The woman has zero poker face in interviews. (NEVER FORGET her face as she watched Tom play Marry, Fuck, Kill at SDCC this year.) Her reactions are priceless and begging to be made into gifs. I just love that she has a great sense of humor and also wears her heart on her sleeve. Having interviewed her at NYCC 2013, I can say that she is a DELIGHT in person and I could make a flip book of all her facial expressions.
Y’all know we love a gal who can rock some polka dots. (Note from Sage: taking this picture was one of my proudest moments of NYCC)
The gauntlet has been thrown down, Sleepyheads? Don’t you think Nikki is worthy of Most Perfect Sunflower? Tom certainly seems to think so.
We have loved Kazza (yes, we only refer to her by the nickname given to her by Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill) since her days traveling in the TARDIS as Amelia Pond, The Girl Who Waited. But with this year’s Selfie and Guardians of the Galaxy, we have come to appreciate her in a whole new light. I was talking with a friend right after Selfie premiered and he had commented that he would have rather seen a Krysten Ritter type actress as Eliza and I VEHEMENTLY disagreed. Eliza has a lot of flaws. She’s selfish and self-obsessed and shallow. I LOVE me some Krysten Ritter (RIP Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23) but in her hands, Eliza would have been insufferable. Karen Gillan brings her own inherent warmth and goofiness to the role. She plays Eliza with such honesty and you can truly see that Eliza has a heart of gold underneath all the flaws.
Much of Selfie‘s charm rests in the relationship between Eliza and Henry and Kazza and John Cho have that in spades. If you didn’t flail off your couch when Henry grabbed Eliza by the hips and pulled her to him, something is wrong with you (though we suspect many of you DID, given that John won Most Handsome Young Man). And if your heart didn’t break in this week’s episode as Eliza sang “Chandelier” and then went on a self-destructive bender, you might want to check your soul. (Seriously…this week’s episode though.) It is the greatest tragedy of the television season that we won’t get more than 13 episodes with these two. C’mon, Hulu! Don’t you want to save Selfie?
We also love Kazza for her Scottishness and for the way America seems to completely confuse and delight her. Just watch any late night interview she’s ever done. She’s totally on our level when it comes to dating, telling the Telegraph “Americans seem to go about it in a different way where they date loads of people at the same time. It’s probably a healthier way of finding someone, because you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But I’m like, ‘Are you kissing all of them?’ I prefer the UK way, where we just drink near each other and no one knows if it’s a date or not.”
We prefer that way too, Kazza. Also any time you want to drink near us, we’ll be there.
In addition to her personality, Kazza has those looks. Legs for miles. Legs that Steven Moffat was often accused of exploiting on Doctor Who, as Amy was perpetually in mini-skirts. (If you’ve got it, flaunt it, we say. Also Kaz had a lot of say in her costumes, so she certainly knows her best assets.) Flawless porcelain skin. (“I don’t get to lounge about in the sun like everyone else. I go bright red. It’s a ginger thing.”) And oh, yes…THAT HAIR. Kazza’s red hair is the most glorious hair in the world. There was a mourning party on Twitter when it was revealed that she shaved her hair off for her role as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. Then we all threw temper tantrums because it just wasn’t fair how BEAUTIFUL bald Kaz was. Seriously, woman. You have to stop.
If Hulu doesn’t save Selfie, then I certainly hope Kazza finds another show worthy of her talents. Every week that she won’t be on my television scene will be a sad (and less ginger) one.
2014 isn’t over and we haven’t even decided who our pick will be for this year, but that hasn’t stopped Kim and I from making some projections about our 2015 Entertainer of the Year.*
*Title subject to be changed to be less directly lifted from EW. Love you, bitches!
Based on her impressive upcoming release slate and the fact that every single person on the planet seems to adore her, we’re putting early odds on Anna Kendrick.
Anna will be showcasing her impressive pipes in not one but three musicals in the next year. First up, she’s a conflicted Cinderella in Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Sondheim’s Into The Woods. It releases on Christmas Day, but Disney dropped Anna’s version of “Steps of the Palace” last week and it’s already blowing our musical-theater-loving minds. In February, she takes on another beloved stage property, Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. We have reservations about the casting of Jeremy Jordan as a self-involved writer Jamie, but the trailer reveals that Anna will slay once again, this time as aspiring actress Cathy. WE ARE VERY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS SHOW. Few are good enough to take on JRB’s complex score, but Anna tackled this AND a Sondheim masterpiece with aplomb. Pitch Perfect 2 must have been a piece of damn cake.
Beyond being one of the only Hollywood actresses we trust to touch Sir Stephen, Anna has truly earned a spot on this list by being so damned delightful. She’s like…the cool, arty girl in high school – the one who would never seek worship but got it anyway. And once she got it, she never acknowledged it or let it make her into an asshole. She shares scenes with George Clooney and smolders in GQ photoshoots, but somehow, we still believe Anna’s insistence that she’s just a giant nerd in a tiny, glamorous package. Why? Let’s start with her Twitter account.
“Why are ALL these bitches after Peter’s D? What’s so great about him? (Other than the boobs.) #PeterPanLive”
“Cooking for one sucks because no matter how I portion it I seem to end up wasting food. Also loneliness.”
“Sometimes when I say I’m busy, it’s more that I’m trying to make sense of the chaos and disarray of my day-to-day life. Also, Bones is on.”
“Burned my thumb on set today. iPhone fingerprint ID won’t work. Pretty sure I can get away with murder as long as I only use my thumb.”
Lest you think that some aspiring joke writer is writing these tweets, Anna proves to be just as entertaining in person. (Though I can’t be alone in hoping she will write a screenplay some day.) In a whirlwind segment on GMA this week, she was her usual charming self. When her interviewer launched into a speed round of questions, Anna commented “It’s like Frost/Nixon all of a sudden,” a reference that I guarantee at least 1/3 of that room did not get. But she won my admiration (and maybe my vote? Hmmmm…) for this final answer, which proves my thesis that we would get along fantastically.
“What’s your secret talent?”
“Oh my god, I don’t know. Uhh..uhhh…I’m really good at flip cup? Maybe that’s why the ‘Cups’ song came naturally.”
Challenge extended, Kendrick. Meet you at the table.
The SAG award nominations came out this morning and again, the transcendent ensemble of Parks and Recreation was roundly snubbed. Don’t worry, boos. We got you. Every day is a celebration of this cast here at Head Over Feels. And the launch of our 2014 lady poll is no different.
From the moment we met Donna Meagle, she’s been a bright light in our lives. As the series has progressed, Pawnee’s femme fatale has taken on more and more characteristics of her real-life counterpart Retta, which has only made her more fabulous.
Those traits include Retta’s propensity to “live-tweet this bitch,” putting her followers into hysterics with her real-time thoughts on Scandal, Arrow, Downton Abbey, True Blood, and more. Her hashtag game knows no equal. She is an internet darling and we aspire to one day have half the flair that she does for social media.
One thing we do share with Retta is her tendency to get far too (for normals) attached to our most beloved characters. What makes Retta’s feed so engaging is that her snark and humor come with the love of a sincere fan. And because she straddles the line between the admirer and the admired, she gets special treatment…like when Josh Charles called her personally to make sure she was okay about a little development on The Good Wife. What a life. In the event that Kim and I get famous, we have a list.
But let’s get shallow for a moment. Retta’s a stone-cold knock-out, which makes it a cinch to believe that Donna owns the Pawnee dating pool. And cheers to Retta for resisting the institutionalized effort to drape all bodies over a size 8 in shapeless sacks and dark colors. Before she steps onto any red carpet, we know that Retta will be looking bangin’ and body-positive in a bold color and chic silhouette. Would that this influence would trickle down the mass-produced fashion for plus-sized ladies.
But for now, let’s all look to Retta: comedienne, social guru, and style icon.
Emily Bett Rickards
Sage and I fell hard for Emily Bett Rickards and Felicity Smoak when we marathoned Arrow over the summer. How we could not? Felicity is the embodiment of geek girl chic with her glasses, her hot pink lipstick, and her killer wardrobe of boob-window dresses (THAT DRESS she wore when she went to see Barry though). She’s a brilliant bitch with wi-fi. She talks too much and she perpetually has her foot in her mouth (“I like having you inside me.”). She shamelessly ogles Oliver while he does the salmon ladderr. Basically, we are Felicity and Felicity is us.
Plus you KNOW we love any character who pulls a Donnatella Moss and goes from one-off character to Main Love Interest in the span of a season.
And what of the lady who portrays Felicity Smoak? Just look at her. With that mane of blonde hair and bright blue eyes, Emily Bett Rickards is the textbook definition of “California Girl”. Which is hilarious considering she’s from Canada.
But seriously, is it any wonder that every man in Starling City (and Central City too) is in love with her. Yes, even Diggle is a little bit in love with her, despite being the captain of the S.S. Olicity. We feel some strong Walter Skinner-Dana Scully vibes there.
What I love the most about Felicity is her strength and her goodness. Like all the other ladies on this list, she is fiercely devoted to the ones she loves. Her faith in Oliver in unshakable, even when their personal relationship is filled with angst. But what Felicity has discovered this season is her love for herself. She has realized that she deserves MORE than Oliver’s declarations of love if they don’t have follow through. Olicity shippers may be tortured right now, given the fact that Felicity followed through on the ultimatum she gave Oliver in the season premiere, but my respect for her has been strengthened BECAUSE she was able to walk away from the man she loved when he wasn’t able to give her everything she needed. Life hero in a fabulous dress, you guys.
And those are our nominees! Vote now!