Colin Farrell: Fighting Irish
While he made his Hollywood breakthrough playing a tough Texan in Tigerland, this native Dubliner is as Irish as a pint of Guinness -- of which he consumes a great deal. Farrell's allure seems to lie somewhere between his swarthy style and his suave sex appeal -- all stubble, muscle and primordial zeal. His bad boy attitude and passion for partying also suggest he'd make an exhilarating escort.
Briefly married to actress Amelia Warner -- Farrell recently sired a son (James) with model Kim Bordenave -- the 27-year-old prankster has painted plenty towns with a gaggle of gals. He's now rumored to be wooing the Liberty X Irish pop singer Kelli Young.
Catch him in a cameo as "Tattooed Boy" in Veronica Guerin. Or soon as the center of a tricky love triangle in The Home at the End of the World (with Robin Wright-Penn and Dallas Robertson). Farrell is currently raising hell on the set of Alexander -- all blond and buff as the great Macedonian King (featuring some knightly knees in a fetching suit of armor), who conquered nearly the entire known world of his era (356-323 B.C.), including the heart of Hephaestion (played by Jared Leto... mmm); Angelina Jolie and Rosario Dawson also star.
Next: Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom: English Muffin
This toasty tot -- he was in his early 20s when he made his Hollywood debut as Legolas in the first installment of Lord of the Rings (2001) -- went on to heat up the screen in supporting roles in Black Hawk Down, Ned Kelly and Pirates of the Caribbean. The theater school brat (he attended the National Youth Theatre in London, the British American Drama Academy and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) appeared in the 2002 "Denim Invasion"-themed Gap clothing campaign, with British actress Kate Beckinsale, and was also named one of Teen People's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25."
The now 26-year-old actor is reportedly dating self-described "blue-blood" American actress Kate Bosworth. But Bloom is sure to set several hearts aflame in the final chapter of the Tolkien trilogy and in Troy, as Prince Paris, who sparked the 10-year war with the Mycenaeans that defined the heroics of Achilles, played by American icon Brad Pitt.
Next: Djimon Hounsou
Djimon Hounsou: African Adonis
Heroically handsome Hounsou blessed the billboards of Paris before gracing the Hollywood screen. Born in Benin, West Africa, he came to Paris as a teenager, where French fashionista Thierry Mugler's decision to don Djimon in designer duds led to an early career on the catwalk. Soon the African actor was bound for America where he was cast in several music videos, including Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," Madonna's "Express Yourself" and Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do Without You." He soon won bit parts on various TV series, but his breakout success came with his starring role in Stephen Spielberg's Amistad. Hounsou continues to land prime parts in major movies (including Gladiator, The Four Feathers, Biker Boyz, Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life) and In America -- for which he nabbed a best supporting actor Oscar nod.
The tall, dark and handsome actor's significant other is actress and screenwriter Victoria Mahoney, who most recently appeared as a reporter in Legally Blonde. Don't miss the Beninese model of masculine perfection in Constantine, based on the DC/Vertigo comic book "Hellblazer," costarring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz.
Next: Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler: Highland Heartthrob
His brawny brogue may be bewildering, but this hot Scot's physical splendor will leave you speechless anyway. Hand-picked by Angelina Jolie to play Lara's love interest in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, the eye-catching tartan, 39, has a jovial Glaswegian guffaw and undoubtedly fills out a kilt rather nicely. He's currently unattached, ladies, though it's said he broke the heart of U.K. model/actress Catalina Guirado, when he broke their engagement recently.
See Butler beef up the Michael Crichton-penned thriller Timeline; finesse a "football" in The Games of Their Lives, the true story of the 1950 U.S. soccer team who, against all odds, beat England; and in an exciting star turn as the shadowy musical genius in Joel Schumacher's cinematic version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera (also starring Minnie Driver, Simon Callow and Miranda Richardson).
Next: Jude Law
Jude Law may be a dropout (at 17 he fled London's National Youth Music Theatre to star in the daytime serial Families). But the eccentric Englishman -- who's lovelier to look at than many English women -- can be proud of the smart and unusual choices that have distinguished him among his peers. Law was nominated for both England's Olivier award and America's Tony for his performance in the play Indiscretions. And the actor's depiction of an alcoholic parapelegic in Gattaca (1997) led to other unconventional characters in films such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Enemy at the Gates, Artificial Intelligence and The Road to Perdition -- in which the 31-year-old Law stood out as a grimy crime photographer and assassin.
Brace yourself for a lot of Law: He stars in Cold Mountain opposite Nicole Kidman; appears as Errol Flynn in the Martin Scorsese-directed Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator (starring Leonardo DiCaprio); costars with Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie in the sci-fi thriller The World of Tomorrow; and with Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen in Closer. He's currently filming a remake of Alfie (in the title role), plus he's on board to play the lead in Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Recently split from his actress-wife, Sadie Frost, 38, with whom he has three children -- Rafferty, Iris and Rudy -- tales of an on-set affair with Nicole Kidman during the filming of Cold Mountain were quickly dismissed by reps for both actors. However, People magazine recently reported the actor was "spending time" with Pirelli calendar girl Siena Miller, 20, whom he met on the New York set of Alfie. So?
Next: Olivier Martinez
Olivier Martinez: French Dressing
Ooh la la... unforgettable in Unfaithful, opposite the lucky Diane Lane, this son of a Spanish-Moroccan boxer and French secretary displays a voluminous virility that has the power to propel most female audiences from their seats for the next plane to Paris. The actor, 37, left school at an early age, holding various odd jobs before enrolling in the International Conservatory of Paris. After appearing on several French television shows, the magnificent-to-behold Martinez moved up a notch with 1998's La Femme de chambre du Titanic (The Chambermaid of the Titanic), and reached the international market with Le Hussard sur le toit (1995), a period romance with Juliette Binoche (with whom he had a real-life live-in love affair). American promos for the film hailed the ardentn and attractive actor as "the French Brad Pitt." Martinez kept busy with French films before becoming an object of intense desire among American women, appearing in Before Night Falls, which also starred Spanish stud Javier Bardem, and as Lane's lover in Unfaithful.
Martinez once dated American actress Mira Sorvino, but the French kisser now saves his smooches for Australian rocker Kylie Minogue, though there have been rumors that he and Angelina Jolie trysted during the shoot for Taking Lives, a crime thriller that stars Jolie, Martinez and the recently single Ethan Hawke.
Next: Monica Bellucci
Monica Bellucci: Perugian Pinup
While studying law, the Umbrian actress moonlighted as a model for a little extra lire, but once she made the scene in Milan, there was no turning back. In 1989, Bellucci was elite among the Elite Models, traveling to Paris and New York. Like other multitalented mannequins before her, she decided to take acting classes and went on to make 20 Italian films before her American debut in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992). The 5-foot-9 actress, with luxurious, long brown hair and kill-for curves, is known to bare her God-given gifts frequently in films (her resume includes Malena, Tears of the Sun, Under Suspicion, all of the Matrix titles). Bellucci has been married to eccentric French actor Vincent Cassel since 1999. And while she may be approaching her 40th birthday, this bombshell is certainly not past her prime.
Monica just wrapped Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre, based on the popular French cartoon strip; she plays the seductive Cleopatra. She's currently filming Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm with tender-aged thespians Matt Damon and Heath Ledger; and will appear in Spike Lee's latest project, She Hate Me. This winter, behold the Mediterranean Madonna as Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson's controversial The Passion of Christ -- you may not speak Latin, Aramaic or Hebrew, but Bellucci's beauty translates in any language.
Next: Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz: Spanish Siren
Born in Madrid, Penelope Cruz Sanchez studied classical ballet for nine years at Spain's National Conservatory. Her turning point came when she stole the show at a talent agency audition, which led to roles on Spanish TV shows and in music videos -- and eventually to an encore performance in 1992's Oscar-winning Belle Epoque, which also garnered several Goyas, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscar.
Cruz was soon a leading lady of Spanish cinema, but her ticket to international fame came with her role in renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's Carne Tremula (Live Flesh), in 1997. Soon the exotic beauty cropped up in various U.S. productions, including The Hi-Lo Country (she reportedly donated her salary to Mother Theresa's children's sanctuary in Calcutta, where she spent a week as a volunteer). Romantically linked to costar Matt Damon during filming of All the Pretty Horses (200), Cruz continued to be cast in American films -- Blow, Woman on Top, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Vanilla Sky -- during which she hooked up with proud paramour and costar Tom Cruise.
The captivating Cruz's glamorous glances will grace more than a few intriguing films in the future, including Gothika (with Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr.) and Head in the Clouds (with Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend). She's also signed on for Sahara, an African eco-adventure costarring Matthew McConnaghey, and Noel, which also stars Susan Sarandon.
Next: Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek: Mexicali Rose
At 5-foot-2, the petite actress has extra-large ambitions, and has translated her talents -- as an actress, producer and director -- into a formidable film career north of the border. Hayek lathered up audiences in Mexican soap operas and films before her countryman, director Robert Rodriguez, put her on the American map with Desperado (1995).
Hayek was educated for a career in international affairs, but her passion for film and theater led to numerous stateside acting credits (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frida, Traffic, The Wild Wild West, Fools Rush In, Dogma, The Faculty, From Dusk Till Dawn). She executive-produced and starred in Frida, about the colorful and calamitous life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, for which she was also nominated for an Oscar. She also recently made her directing debut with a Showtime feature called The Maldonado Miracle.
The shapely senorita's Latin loveliness has been appreciated by suitor/actors Richard Crenna (an acting school chum); Edward Norton, longtime love and Frida collaborator; and current beau, Josh Lucas (Wonderland, A Beautiful Mind, Sweet Home Alabama, The Deep End). And while the actress did not take home an Oscar for Frida, this hot tamale is still aglow. See her shine in the adventure comedy After the Sunset, with Pierce Bronson, Woody Harrelson and Don Cheadle.
Next: Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley: British Style
The precocious daughter of television actor Will Knightley and playwright Sharman MacDonald, the sprightly Knightley apparently requested an agent to pursue an acting career of her own at the wee age of three. Knightley's first high-profile role came in 1999, as Sabe, decoy queen to Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I (1999). The 5-foot-7 natural brunette, 19, has since showcased her talents in a bawdy bodice (Pirates of the Caribbean) and a spunky sports bra (in Bend It Like Beckham).
Among the killer cast of Love Actually (including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Emma Thompson), a likely lovely romantic comedy from the creators of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Knightley just ended a two-yeat relationship with 25-year-old British actor Del Synnott, whom she met on the set of TV movie Princess of Thieves; her new man is Ulster-born model Jamie Dorman. Knightley keeps her long limbs lithe (to accommodate the costume challenges of many of her film roles) by working with a personal trainer, boxing and swimming.
The actress will be reprising her role in the sequel to Pirates, plus she plays none other than Guinnevere in the upcoming King Arthur (starring handsome Clive Owen as the sacred sovereign). She has also signed on for Tulip Fever, a romantic drama with Jude Law, and The Jacket, a time-travel adventure costarring Adrien Brody.
Next: Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts: Outback Eye-Opener
Born in England and raised in Australia, Naomi Watts, 37, toiled in Hollywood for 15 years in supporting parts before registering with audiences in the dual role of Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn in David Lynch's Mullholland Dr. (2001). In spite of a long friendship with her countrywoman Nicole Kidman -- they met as girls in acting class -- full-wattage success eluded the actress until The Ring scored at the box office.
Watts went on to raise eyebrows in the period drama Le Divorce (costarring Kate Hudson) and Ned Kelly (with Heath Ledger, the considerably younger Aussie actor, with whom she was romantically involved; the two recently endured a brief split but are reportedly back together).
Her next appearance should turn some more heads: In 21 Grams, a highly touted Oscar contender, she shares the screen with Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro. Also on deck, We Don't Live Here Anymore, with Laura Dern and Mark Ruffalo; I Heart Huckabees, with Jude Law, Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin. And next year, Watts will reteam with Penn in The Assasination of Richard Nixon and star opposite Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling in Stay. And if you were thrilled by The Ring, wait for Watts in the sequel (2005).
Next: Bai Ling
Bai Ling: China Doll
Born in the Szechwan province of China in 1970, Bai Ling enlisted in the Chinese People's Liberation Army at age 14 and spent three years in a performance troupe entertaining soldiers stationed in Tibet. After her service, Bai became a performer in a local theater in Beijing, where she eventually became involved in the pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
As a result of her involvement, Bai emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and soon found work in Hollywood with her first English-language role as a villain in The Crow. Steady parts soon followed, from a role as the villainous Miss East in Wild, Wild West to a Chinese interpreter in Oliver Stone's Nixon to a concubine in Anna and the King, in which she was forced to cut off her lovely long hair. Bai's appearance in the controversial Red Corner as a pragmatic lawyer continues to be a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, often making it an ordeal for her to travel between China and the States.
Currently dating comedian crooner Chris Isaak, Bai will next be seen in The World of Tomorrow, with Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, and Star Wars: Episode III. And the Asian beauty is currently filming Spike Lee's latest project, She Hate Me, with Whoopie Goldberg, Monica Bellucci and Woody Harrellson.