Sexiest Stars of 2012... So Far

Kerry Washington, first African-American
female lead on a major network show in 38 years
If I really wanted to list the sexiest stars of 2012, I could just name the top porn stars of 2012. Those would be Riley Steele and Johnny Castle. Speaking of porn stars, porn star turned reality star Fredrik Eklund appeared on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing: New York, but my list isn't simply about sex or sex appeal. I'm focused on people in Hollywood, so having sex appeal is a given. It's a requirement for anyone who is put in a movie or on a TV show, but I'm more focused on the work itself, the movies and TV shows that are making people take notice.

Besides Bravo, I'm excluding other cable channels like HBO and STARZ, even though the hallmark of those channels is the sex and sex appeal that they purvey. Take Game of Thrones and Spartacus: Vengeance for examples. Summer TV is filled with a ton of guilty pleasures like True Blood, The Client List and Teen Wolf, and while those shows can be sexy fun, sometimes that's all they are. Those shows feature a lot of buff dudes and hot chicks, and summer movies are often selfsame with Magic Mike this year for example featuring some of the hottest actors in film playing male strippers.

My list is mostly of new names or names that are still up-and-coming and their work in this past or current year is what is elevating them into the upper echeleon. Some of the dozen faces here are ones who have been in the industry for a while, but only now are getting national or mainstream recognition. So, here it is. These are my sexy stars of 2012... so far!

12. KERRY WASHINGTON - She's been in several Oscar-winning films including Ray and The Last King of Scotland, but you probably wouldn't know her from her name alone. This spring changed things when she premiered as the lead in the ABC series Scandal, a show where she plays the love interest of the President of the United States. According to CNN, Washington, is the first African-American female lead on a major network show in 38 years.

11. TATE TAYLOR - He's known for writing and directing the Oscar-winning film The Help. He did a lot of press in 2011, but a lot of people, myself included, didn't notice him until he started winning awards in 2012, culminating in him walking the red carpet with former roommate Octavia Spencer for the Academy Awards. His speech at the WGA Awards is how he won me over though.

10. LYNN COLLINS - She played the princess in Disney's John Carter. The movie got bad reviews and failed horribly at the box office, but she was probably the best thing about the film.

9. MICHAEL B. JORDAN - The young actor with model good looks got his start on HBO's The Wire, a show that has introduced a lot of great talent. He went on to do a soap opera, the now defunct All My Children. Most who know him will know him from his stint on Friday Night Lights or more recently NBC's Parenthood. He will continue his television career, but the 25-year-old distinguished himself and showed potential by appearing in two different films this year, Red Tails and Chronicle.

8. GABRIELLE UNION - She was in Tyler Perry's Good Deeds and the hit film Think Like a Man. Both were relatively small roles. I'm just amazed at the fact that she's in her late 30s, but still looks like she could be 18. She's simply gorgeous.

7. JAMES WOLK - Two years ago, this guy was getting all this crazy buzz, all due to his TV series Lone Star. After that show was quickly cancelled, it was a wonder if he'd ever be seen again., but for some it was no wonder because he is such a great actor, charming and funny, and the first quarter of 2012 proved that by having him in not one but two TV shows, Happy Endings and Shameless, with a third coming out this summer, Political Animals.

6. CHARLIZE THERON - She's an exception that proves my rules. She's already a super star, but the work she has this year, Snow White and the Huntsman as well as Prometheus, cannot be denied. They're both interesting yet strikingly different. Some might argue, but it was funny because in the talk about Snow White. Kristen Stewart who plays Snow White is supposed to be the fairest one of them all, but most critics said that actually Theron had her handily beat.

5. CHRIS HEMSWORTH - He co-stars with Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Two years prior, he was a nobody but had a small role in JJ Abrams' Star Trek. The Australian added at least 20 pounds of muscle to become the titular character in last year's Thor. He continued that character in this year's biggest film The Avengers. I'm not so sure how those movies show off how great an actor he is, but of all the people on my list, he's the one with the most potential.

4. MEGAN HILTY - She's a Broadway star who is now the star of NBC's Smash where she plays a Broadway star jockeying for the role of Marilyn Monroe on stage. Of the three women who rotated in and out of that role within that series' first season, Hilty was the obvious, best choice. You only have to look at her to get that, but her singing and dancing is also fantastic.

3. TOM HARDY - Aside from his brief role in Christopher Nolan's Inception, Hardy was not well known. He had done a couple, British gangster movies like RocknRolla. He was also in a very compelling biopic called Bronson, but it wasn't until Nolan cast him in The Dark Knight Rises did his name recognition rise. He's headlining two other films this year, including This Means War, which makes good use of his looks. Lawless, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, makes better use of his acting.

2. KATHARINE MCPHEE - She was the runner-up on the 5th season of American Idol in 2006. She's since recorded several albums. She also appeared in a film or two and some TV shows, but if you want to talk about breakout stars, she's clearly the breakout star of NBC's Smash. Even though she was artificially positioned that way, she takes the role and runs with it.

1. MATTHIAS SCHOENAERTS - The Belgium-born actor was also in a film that premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Rust & Bone, and Kenneth Turan for The Los Angeles Times Blog wrote, "A Star is Born." Reuters has already dubbed him this year's international breakout star as well as this year's international crush, referring to the growing infatuation for him. The Hollywood Reporter even said that he was, "This year's Jean Dujardin" who was my male sexiest star of 2011, except Matthias speaks far better English.


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