While these screen heroines are all among the most gorgeous to have ever appeared in movies, they bring more to the table than just their looks. And as it turns out, their smarts, wit and bravery only make them more attractive. It’s no wonder, then, that whole generations of people ended up falling for these famously beautiful characters.
60. Ramona Vega, Hustlers (2019)
Hustlers marked a comeback of sorts for Jennifer Lopez’s movie career. In the film, she plays Ramona Vega, a stunning pole dancer who turns to crime, and those moves you see on screen are all her own work. Yes, Lopez really did learn how to pole dance for the role. And it all paid off, as critics and audiences alike were wowed by her performance.
59. Loana, One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Raquel Welch really didn’t want to be in a silly film about dinosaurs or wear a furry bikini, but she ended up taking the role of Loana anyway. And thanks to her part in One Million Years B.C., the world gained a whole new sex symbol. The famous image of Welch in her bikini even appeared on one of Andy Dufresne’s cell posters in The Shawshank Redemption.
58. Vesper Lynd, Casino Royale (2006)
007 aficionados may tell you that Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd is one of the best Bond girls of all time. And she plays a crucial part in the franchise, too. Not only is Lynd the first love interest of Daniel Craig’s Bond, but – spoiler alert – her death also ends up changing him forever. Speaking to Today at around the time Casino Royale hit movie theaters, Green described her Bond character as “flawed, very vulnerable and sexy.”
57. Kelly Lanier Van Ryan, Wild Things (1998)
Denise Richards had to shoot some very steamy scenes for 1998 thriller Wild Things. And, to begin with, that apparently caused her some concern. In 2020 – and while starring on the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – Richards said about taking on the role of Kelly, “That was a tough decision for me because I was raised in a very conservative family and went to church every week.”
56. Linda Barrett, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
The scene of Phoebe Cates wearing – and eventually not wearing – a red bikini in Fast Times at Ridgemont High went down in movie history. And even though Cates essentially retired from Hollywood when she became a mom, the image of her in the skimpy two-piece has never gone away – fondly remembered still by movie-going audiences of a certain vintage.
55. O-Ren Ishii, Kill Bill (2003)
Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii may behead a man on screen, but that wasn’t enough to turn people off her. Yes, while the character is beautiful, she’s also incredibly badass – capable of both handling a sword and delivering the occasional terrifying speech to her underlings. And although – spoiler alert – she sadly dies before the end of the film, she puts up a good fight against The Bride.
54. Tina Carlyle, The Mask (1994)
Cameron Diaz was almost an unknown before she was cast as Tina Carlyle, –the love interest in The Mask. After wowing on screen, however, she was suddenly in demand. In 2019 her co-star Joely Fisher remembered to Variety magazine, “[Diaz] was just breathtaking in person. The character was so on the money for her to play.”
53. Princess Leia, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Every Star Wars fan worth their salt remembers the moment when they first saw Princess Leia on screen in that golden bikini. Carrie Fisher seemed to have mixed feelings about the ensemble, though. In 2015 she even had strong words for The Wall Street Journal, saying, “To the father who flipped out about it, [lamenting,] ‘What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?’ Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”
52. Naomi Lapaglia, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In her breakout movie The Wolf of Wall Street, Margot Robbie plays bombshell Naomi Lapaglia – a role that required some nudity. And while in 2014 Robbie confessed to Jimmy Kimmel that her appearing naked on screen had been “a small point of contention with [her] family,” it nevertheless worked wonders for her career.
51. Black Widow, Iron Man 2 (2010)
When Scarlett Johansson made her first appearance as Black Widow in 2010’s Iron Man 2, a million crushes were instantly born. And the actress herself appreciated the role, too. In 2020 she told Vanity Fair that playing the superhero had been “a gift” and credited the part with giving her a “life of physical acumen [she] would probably never have had otherwise.”
50. Elle Woods, Legally Blonde (2001)
Reese Witherspoon has charmed legions of audiences as Legally Blonde’s surprisingly savvy Elle Woods. Yet while it’s almost impossible now to imagine anyone else in the role, Witherspoon almost didn’t get the part. Christina Applegate was offered it, in fact, but turned it down – ironically because she thought that the character would be a dumb blonde.
49. Valkyrie, Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Valkyrie – Tessa Thompson’s character in Thor: Ragnarok – was meant to be bisexual, according to the actress who played her. But this wasn’t mentioned in the movie, as the only scene showing Valkyrie with a woman ended up on the cutting room floor. Fans and admirers are likely hoping that the footage will eventually see the light of day…
48. Cleopatra, Cleopatra (1963)
The 1963 epic Cleopatra went down in history for many reasons: its length, its massive costume budget and the fact that stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell on love on the set. And while that romance went on to become one of the most scandalous and headline-grabbing of the era, you can hardly blame Burton for being attracted to the stunning actress.
47. Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, Die Another Day (2002)
In 2002 Halle Berry became the first black woman to play a Bond movie heroine. And her character Jinx makes an impression right from the off – walking out of the sea clad in only an orange bikini. Berry can still pull off the look, too. Nearly two decades after Die Another Day’s release, she virtually recreated the iconic bikini scene in a snap posted to Instagram.
46. Nancy Callahan, Sin City (2005)
Posters of Jessica Alba’s cowgirl-themed stripper Nancy Callahan in Sin City definitely adorned more than a few dorm room walls back in the day. The actress even went to strip clubs herself to find inspiration for the role. But it appears that Alba has an interesting take on her character. In 2005 she told GQ that she considered Nancy to be “totally innocent” and “like an angel in a world of darkness – exactly like being in Hollywood.”
45. Padmé Amidala, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
The relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones may be slated by fans, but it’s pretty easy to see why the angsty young Jedi falls in love. Not only is Padmé pretty and with a wardrobe packed full of gorgeous dresses, but she’s also the leader of an entire planet.
44. Broomhilda von Shaft, Django Unchained (2012)
Kerry Washington memorably plays Broomhilda – the eponymous hero’s enslaved wife – in Tarantino epic Django Unchained. And while the character was written off by some as a damsel in distress type, Washington came to her defense in a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast. The actress said, “How often do you see black women rescued by the man they love on screen?… We all want to be that princess and know how that feels and want to believe it’s possible for anyone.”
43. Princess Jasmine, Aladdin (2019)
Kids who fell in love with the animated version of Princess Jasmine got to do it all over again when the live-action version of Aladdin was released in 2019. This Jasmine was played by actress Naomi Scott, and she had been updated to have more of a story arc. Her skimpier costumes had also been put aside – replaced by beautiful but more sensible ones.
42. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman (2017)
To portray the iconic comic book character Wonder Woman, a.k.a. Diana Prince, actress Gal Gadot had to strike the right balance between relatable and godlike. And she succeeded in spectacular fashion. At one point in the movie, a character says of Prince, “I’m both frightened and aroused” – and, frankly, he could have been speaking for the whole male audience.
41. Arwen Undómiel, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
It couldn’t have been easy to cast Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the books, she’s described as being very beautiful; on screen, however, she would also have to ride a horse and draw a sword. After seeing Liv Tyler as Arwen, though, hopefully any viewers’ doubts were put to rest.
40. Nefretiri, The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Ten Commandments was once billed as “the greatest event in motion picture history.” And perhaps that wasn’t too outlandish a claim, seeing as people are still talking about the film today. Anne Baxter made a particular mark as Nefretiri – appearing on screen as a sexy, sultry-voiced vision.
39. Lisa, Weird Science (1985)
Kelly LeBrock shot to sex-symbol status in the 1980s thanks to her role as Lisa – a person created by a computer to be the perfect woman – in the movie comedy Weird Science. Yet while her shower scene may have gotten teenage boys hearts’ racing like mad, LeBrock was actually at no point completely nude during the film.
38. Foxy Brown, Foxy Brown (1974)
Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown is called “a whole lot of woman” on screen, and it’s easy to see why. Grier broke boundaries, too, as the first black female action star, and to this day she’s still considered the queen of the Blaxploitation genre. Yet while the acting legend tends to deny in interviews that she was ever beautiful or sexy, a whole generation may tend to disagree with her.
37. Lara Croft, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
As fans will undoubtedly remember, the objectively gorgeous Angelina Jolie made her screen debut as Lara Croft in 2001. But, interestingly, it was a struggle getting the studio to cast the star. In 2018 director Simon West told Entertainment Weekly that execs were dubious because of Jolie’s “notorious reputation.” To many, though, that may have made Lara Croft even hotter.
36. Mako Mori, Pacific Rim (2014)
Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori is arguably the most popular character in the robots-vs-monsters blockbuster movie Pacific Rim. She’s beautiful, smart and pilots a giant robot to boot – what’s not to like? So when – spoiler alert – she was suddenly killed off in the 2018 sequel, fans were livid. Even the film’s director later said that he later regretted the move.
35. May Day, A View to a Kill (1985)
A View to a Kill is typically considered one of the worst Bond movies, but Grace Jones’ odd but very sexy villainess May Day helps make the film more than just its script. And, delightfully, Jones got to design her own costumes for the character. She reportedly sought ideas from the very un-Bond-like Disney films of the time.
34. The Bride, Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2 (2003, 2004)
The Bride – a.k.a. Beatrix Kiddo – is the fearless protagonist of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films. And while she is undoubtedly beautiful, she’s also extremely deadly, racking up a colossal body count as she embarks on her quest for revenge. Yet despite all the murder, Uma Thurman’s performance ensures that The Bride always remains sympathetic.
33. Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man (2002)
In the comic books from which Spider-Man is adapted, Mary Jane Watson is a beautiful and bubbly red-headed girl. So, while actress Kirsten Dunst ticked most of those boxes, there was just one snag: she wasn’t red-haired. A quick dye-job later, though, and Dunst became the MJ of the comics – setting hearts racing with the famous upside-down kiss scene.
32. Mystique, X-Men (2000)
X-Men’s Mystique was made all the more alluring by the fact that Rebecca Romijn was naked underneath all that blue makeup. When a new round of X-Men films were made, however, Romijn was replaced with the younger Jennifer Lawrence, which seemed to disappoint her – and probably many fans, too.
31. Honey Ryder, Dr. No (1967)
Ursula Andress portrays the very first Bond girl, Honey Ryder, in Dr. No, and her good looks and her white bikini quickly made her a star. In 2018 she told The Sunday Post, “It’s a mystery. All I did was wear this bikini in Dr. No – not even a small one – and whoosh! Overnight, I made it.”
30. Rey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
You may now know that Daisy Ridley’s Rey turns out to be the heroine of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. And although the character was always intended to be a badass Jedi warrior whom kids could admire, there are also a lot of more mature fans out there who think that both Rey and Ridley are smokin’ hot.
29. Amy Dunne, Gone Girl (2014)
Rosamund Pike blew audiences away with her performance as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. Pike got so deeply into the role, in fact, that she even went to a butcher to practice her knife skills on dead pigs. It all led to an unpleasant headspace for the actress. And yet – despite the fact that Amy is a murderer – the character is still incredibly attractive. Scary, isn’t it?
28. Catwoman, Batman Returns (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer had to suffer for her art on the set of Batman Returns – all because of that famous skin-tight latex outfit. In 2017 she explained to The Hollywood Reporter, “It was the most uncomfortable costume I’ve ever been in. They had to powder me down, help me inside and then vacuum-pack the suit.” Still, the role made Pfeiffer a new icon of movie sexiness – so maybe it was worth the hassle?
27. Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad (2016)
In an interview with The New York Times ahead of 2016’s Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie mused on how she looked as comic book villain Harley Quinn. She explained that, when playing confident characters, “you need to act like you think you’re really gorgeous.” But for her, that can’t have required too much of a mental leap.
26. Furiosa, Mad Max: Fury Road (2014)
The famously beautiful Charlize Theron ultimately scooped the part of wasteland badass Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. And it seems that she devoted herself utterly to the role. Theron shaved her own head, for one, and crawled around in the dust before cameras started rolling to appear as dirty and unkempt as possible. Yet no matter what, she couldn’t hide her good looks.
25. Mikaela Banes, Transformers (2007)
When Megan Fox appeared on screen as Mikaela in Transformers, the camera didn’t shy away from highlighting her body. Somewhat inevitably, then, the movie made the star an international pin-up. But in recent years, people have objected to how the film and the media in general have portrayed Fox – especially when stories emerged about director Michael Bay’s alleged behavior towards her.
24. Jessica Rabbit, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
It got a little less weird to have a crush on a cartoon when Jessica Rabbit smoldered onto the big screen. Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s sexy chanteuse was an amalgamation of many different women, with Kathleen Turner providing her speaking voice and Amy Irving vocalizing her singing. Her look, meanwhile, was based on that of model and actress Vikki Dougan. And she wasn’t bad… she was just drawn that way.
23. Nakia, Black Panther (2018)
In 2014 actress Lupita Nyong’o was named the most beautiful person in the world by People magazine. And a few years later, she got to show off those looks in the smash hit Marvel film Black Panther. Everything from her hair to her costumes was both gorgeous and symbolic – making it easy to see how King T’Challa fell in love with her.
22. Catherine Tramell, Basic Instinct (1992)
Back in the days of VHS, one particular movie scene was apparently paused so much that it would wear out video tapes. We’re talking, of course, about the infamous no-underwear leg-crossing moment in Basic Instinct. Interestingly, though, Stone and director Paul Verhoeven have both told different stories about how that scene was created and how much the actress realized would be on show.
21. Lorelei Lee, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
You probably have Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on your radar even if you haven’t actually watched it, as it’s the movie where Marilyn Monroe sings “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” That stellar performance helped propel Monroe to international superstardom. And although the icon plays to type as a “dumb blonde” in the film classic, she’s virtually impossible not to like.
20. Gamora, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Zoe Saldana spent hours in the make-up chair to play the green-skimmed Gamora in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but it was all worth it. In fact, audiences adore her almost as much as Star-Lord does. And although – spoiler alert – Gamora was sadly killed in Avengers: Infinity War, the time-travel element of the movie means she’s still technically alive in the franchise. You can’t keep a good woman down!
19. Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman (1990)
Julia Roberts’ charming performance as Pretty Woman’s Vivian Ward helped make her one of the major superstars of the 1990s. And while there’s since been plenty of debate about the film’s message – not to mention its romanticized take on prostitution – there’s no denying that Vivian is an incredibly winning character.
18. Barbarella, Barbarella (1968)
Jane Fonda famously portrayed astronaut Barbarella in the 1968 film of the same name. And the movie – which, let’s face it, is ridiculously over the top – remains a cult classic to this day. Fonda gives Barbarella a sheen of innocence, too, even as she adventures her way through the most fantastical sexual scenarios. Quite some feat!
17. Cassandra, The Scorpion King (2002)
Critics slammed The Scorpion King, but that didn’t stop Kelly Hu from having a ball playing the beautiful sorceress Cassandra. She fought off stiff competition to get the part as well. In 2017 Hu reminisced in an interview with website Resonate, “Every girl in the world seemed to be going up for this role. There were girls who had never acted before, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and Victoria’s Secret models. The casting call was enormous!” Ultimately, though, the filmmakers chose well.
16. Adèle, Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
Adèle Exarchopoulos took on a character with the same name in lesbian romance Blue Is the Warmest Color. It’s a touching, raw film, and Exarchopoulos won over many with both her acting chops and her beauty. But, sadly, the actress and her co-star Léa Seydoux were allegedly suffering behind the scenes, and the pair accused director Abdellatif Kechiche of abusive on-set behavior after filming had wrapped.
15. Rose DeWitt Bukater, Titanic (1996)
Kate Winslet’s Rose is prime movie crush material. She’s beautiful, smart and more than willing to rebel against what is expected of her as an upper-class woman. And to this day, she’s still a figure of adoration – although plenty of Titanic fans think she did Jack dirty by not letting him onto that door…
14. Anne Wheeler, The Greatest Showman (2017)
Anne Wheeler’s aerial skills win over Zac Efron’s Phillip Carlyle in smash hit musical The Greatest Showman, but her good looks and lovely singing voice probably don’t hurt. And that really was actress Zendaya flying around in the air on a trapeze – 40 feet up, with no safety net. Yikes!
13. Gilda, Gilda (1946)
Rita Hayworth became a sex symbol after she played femme fatale Gilda in the movie of the same name. It probably didn’t hurt that her performance includes a striptease scene – one that inevitably went down in movie history. And posters for the classic flick weren’t lying when they announced, “There was never a woman like Gilda!” Even several decades later, that’s still true.
12. Trinity, The Matrix (1999)
In 2016 Carrie-Anne Moss told The Guardian, “Playing Trinity in The Matrix was a highlight of my life. In some ways, the conversation that surrounded it is even more relevant now.” And three years later, there was an announcement that delighted fans of the sexy hacker: Moss would be returning as Trinity for a fourth Matrix film, due for release at the end of 2021.
11. Roxie Hart, Chicago (2002)
Roxie Hart isn’t the sort of person you’d actually want to hang around with – she’s self-centered, mean and manipulative – but there’s no denying that the character is also incredibly sexy. That’s all down to Renée Zellweger’s smoldering turn as the murderess, and it was a performance that ultimately saw the star taking home an Academy Award.
10. Abby Gerhard, Carol (2015)
Sarah Paulson – who is part of the LGBT community herself – plays a beautiful lover of Cate Blanchett’s Carol in the 2015 film of the same name. And there’s good news! Apparently, the character may return to the big screen in the future – if Paulson has something to do with it, anyway. In 2020 the actress told Grazia that she wanted to make a prequel about Abby and her life together with Carol.
9. Bonnie Parker, Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
As legendary femme fatale Bonnie Parker in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, Faye Dunaway was impeccably cast. The movie’s gritty blend of sex and violence made it a trailblazer, too, even if contemporary critics decided to turn their noses up. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what’s going on when Bonnie clutches Clyde’s gun…
8. Astrid Leong-Teo, Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Interestingly, Gemma Chan was called in to audition as Rachel in Crazy Rich Asians. But the star chose to play Astrid instead, and that was a good move, as audiences couldn’t help but fall in love with the spirited socialite. Sadly, though, that may be the last we see of Chan in the role, since she’s reportedly too busy with Marvel’s The Eternals to film upcoming sequel China Rich Girlfriend.
7. Summer Finn, 500 Days of Summer (2009)
Zooey Deschanel’s Summer seems to be the perfect woman for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tom – right up until she breaks his heart, that is. But does that make her the villain of the story? Gordon-Levitt doesn’t think so. In 2012 he told Playboy that his character in 500 Days of Summer “develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies.” Perhaps, then, he doesn’t really know Summer at all.
6. Mia Wallace, Pulp Fiction (1994)
As the wife of a ruthless gangster, Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace isn’t someone you should be trying to romance. And Vincent Vega played with fire even during that legendary dance scene at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. But we can admire her from afar. The iconic poster of Mia gazing at the viewer while dangling a cigarette from her hand still adorns many a bedroom wall, and that only seems right.
5. Domino, Deadpool 2 (2018)
When Zazie Beetz was cast as Domino in Deadpool 2, she was worried about getting trolled by Marvel fans. The comic book character on which the part is based is white, after all. But Beetz actually won a lot of folks over. She’s considered to be pretty much one of the best things about the wacky superhero movie, in fact, and people badly want to see more of her.
4. Cecilia Tallis, Atonement (2007)
Keira Knightley has described her Atonement character in pretty unflinching terms. Speaking to Empire, she said of Cecilia Tallis, “She’s nothing like I’ve played before. She is brittle, and she is difficult.” Cecilia is also, of course, very beautiful, and Knightley’s performance as this complicated woman won her lots of acclaim.
3. Satine, Moulin Rouge! (2002)
Nicole Kidman had a lot of work to do in Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge!. Not only did she have to convincingly portray dying of a terminal illness, but she also had to negotiate an on-screen love triangle. And while the role was a risk for Kidman – who was considered an “ice queen” type back then – it paid off in spades.
2. Okoye, Black Panther (2018)
The 2018 Marvel hit Black Panther was highly praised for its host of convincing, heroic female characters. Among them is Danai Gurira’s Okoye – the incredibly badass leader of Wakanda’s fighting force of women. And she’s not there just to further the male title character’s storyline, either, which is still sadly all too rare in big blockbuster productions.
1. Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Teenage boys have plenty to love in Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann. She’s pretty, after all, but also rebellious and dreams of being a pirate. Unfortunately, though, if there’s ever another Pirates film, Knightley probably won’t be in it, as the actress has since suggested that she’s completely done with the franchise.
When you’re at the movies, though, you probably aren’t just crushing on the characters. You’re taken in by the plot, wowed by the action and, occasionally, left speechless by the outfits. Yes, some film costumes are definitely more outrageous, eye-catching or just plain weird than others… Here are 20 of the worst offenders in movie history – so far, anyway.
20. Milla Jovovich’s bandages, The Fifth Element (1997)
The Fifth Element’s costumes were created by director Luc Besson and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, and they were specifically designed to look totally out of this world. For example, Milla Jovovich – who played Leeloo – was given a dress that looked as though it was made completely out of bandages. And it seems that she had mixed feelings about it, too.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 1997, Jovovich said that she had found the costume “a bit embarrassing,” adding, “In the fashion world, most of the guys are gay, and they have the etiquette not to notice. But those English guys working on the set were whistling and stuff.” She continued, “My character’s all about what’s inside. It’s not really about her clothes.”
19. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn hot pants, Suicide Squad (2016)
When she made her screen debut as a character in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn was seen in a jester suit. But such an ensemble was nowhere to be seen in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad. Instead, actress Margot Robbie was dressed up like a weird and wacky sex symbol – all tight clothes and hot pants.
In 2016 Robbie said to The New York Times, “As Margot, no, I don’t like wearing that. I’m eating burgers at lunchtime, and then you go do a scene where you’re hosed down and soaking wet in a white T-shirt. It’s so clingy, and you’re self-conscious about it.” Notably, for her second outing as Harley in Birds of Prey, that costume had changed.
18. January Jones’ Emma Frost underwear, X-Men: First Class (2011)
The folks behind X-Men: First Class may have dropped the ball somewhat when it came to designing a movie version of Emma Frost’s costume. In comics, the character wears sexy, skimpy outfits all the time; what January Jones ended up being given, however, was a bunch of what was essentially just white lingerie, coats and capes.
Fortunately, Jones actually liked her outlandish Emma Frost attire. In 2011 she told MTV, “I have a lot of very interesting costumes in that movie. There’s nothing like a cape that makes you feel really tough.” Movie critics, on the other hand, weren’t impressed by either the outfits in question or Jones’ performance.
17. Malin Akerman’s latex, Watchmen (2009)
Malin Akerman’s character in Watchmen may be named Silk Spectre, but she actually wears a bright yellow-and-black latex leotard. And it doesn’t look like the most comfy thing to walk in – let alone fight in. Akerman seemed to feel that way, too. In a 2009 interview with MTV, she said, “The costumes were definitely a big challenge.”
Akerman went on, “[My costume is] definitely not the most comfortable thing to wear for 18 hours straight. It’s very constricting, and then you add heels, the corset and a blonde wig to that. When they say, ‘Get up and fight,’ you go, ‘Excuse me, in this outfit?’ It also takes on the temperature of whatever the room is. If it’s really hot, you’re boiling. If it’s really cold, you’re freezing.”
16. The Amazon warrior armor, Justice League (2017)
The Amazon armor in Wonder Woman was refreshing, as it seemed like the kind of stuff a person could actually fight in. When images of the Amazons in Justice League were released, however, fans may have been dismayed to realize that their outfits were much skimpier by comparison.
Some even considered the armor change sexist. And Jessica Chastain appeared to agree, retweeting the pictures and writing, “Hey men, what would you wear to fight? Hint: don’t expose your vital organs. Ugh, I miss [Wonder Woman director] Patty Jenkins.” Still, the actresses portraying the Amazons actually revealed that they didn’t mind the new costumes.
15. Ryan Reynolds’ CGI suit, Green Lantern (2011)
Superhero flick Green Lantern was unfortunately a disaster in almost every respect. It probably didn’t help that Ryan Reynolds wasn’t wearing a traditional costume; instead, everything about his Green Lantern suit was computer generated. And, in fact, the leading man didn’t even know what he looked like in the movie until its first trailer was released – though perhaps he wished he’d never known the truth.
The Green Lantern costume was such a flop, moreover, that Reynolds ended up poking fun at it in the superhero comedy Deadpool. At one point, the eponymous character yells, “Please don’t make the super-suit green… or animated!” – a clear reference to the ensemble he was made to wear in the earlier movie.
14. Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman costume, Batman Returns (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman is generally considered to be one of the best-ever portrayals of the character. And the star still shone despite being in a tricky-to-wear suit. In 2017 Pfeiffer told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was the most uncomfortable costume I’ve ever been in. They had to powder me down, help me inside and then vacuum-pack the suit.”
Pfeiffer went on, “I had those claws, and I was always catching them in things. The face mask was smashing my face and choking me.” Then, when Good Morning America asked the actress if she had any advice for the latest Catwoman, Zöe Kravitz, she said, “Make sure, whilst designing the costume, they consider how you’re going to go to the bathroom.”
13. Raquel Welch’s fur bikini, One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Raquel Welch’s fluffy bikini in the movie One Million Years B.C. made her an instant sex symbol. And this was despite the fact that she didn’t exactly have much to do on screen besides, well, be pretty. In its contemporary review of the movie, Variety noted, “Miss Welch gets little opportunity to prove herself an actress, but she is certainly there in the looks department.”
Welch never really wanted to wear the bikini, however, or even do the movie in the first place. In fact, she assumed that hardly anyone would even see the film. Still, it appears that the star isn’t ruling out a return to the two-piece. In 2020 she told the Sunday Post, “I’m not sure if I will ever wear [the bikini] again, but you never know. Perhaps one day the script will drop through the door for Two Million Years B.C.”
12. Jennifer Garner’s red corset, Elektra (2005)
Elektra saw Jennifer Garner reprising her role as the titular superhero – despite apparently dying in previous movie Daredevil. But while the makers of the follow-up promised that Elektra would have a more comics-accurate costume the second time around, that wasn’t actually the case.
In a 2005 interview with the BBC, Garner discussed Elektra’s outfit and said, “I knew the comic book fans weren’t happy with her wearing black in Daredevil. So, it was important for her to be in red.” Those involved in making the attire perhaps should have been less focused on the color, however, and more alert to it looking like cheap underwear.
11. Bryce Dallas Howard’s heels, Jurassic World (2015)
After the long-awaited Jurassic World came out, fans were left with a question – and it wasn’t dinosaur- or even science-related. Instead, viewers pondered why Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire never took off her very impractical heels throughout the duration of the movie. And even while running from danger, she never twists her ankle or injures her feet in any way.
Howard herself didn’t agree with the criticism, though. In 2015 she told Yahoo!, “From a logical standpoint, I don’t think [Claire] would take off her heels… I’m better equipped to run when I have shoes on my feet. So, that’s my perspective on it. I don’t think she would carry around flats with her. I think she’s somebody who could sprint a marathon in heels.”
10. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow suit, The Avengers (2012)
Spare a thought for the stars playing female superheroes, as they don’t always have it easy. During the press tour for The Avengers, Scarlett Johansson told Collider of her super-tight screen outfit, “It’s like 800 degrees in my costume… and it’s a unitard, and I have nothing underneath it!”
It seems, too, that Johansson was terrified of her Black Widow garb from the start. Speaking on Inside the Actors Studio in 2017, she said of the costume, “I mean, who wants to get into something like that? You just think, ‘Oh God, really? Couldn’t it have, like, I don’t know, some sort of a peplum skirt or something?’”
9. Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
The whole Star Wars franchise is packed with amazing costumes, but perhaps none is more famous than the gold bikini Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia sports in Return of the Jedi. Fisher admitted to some trepidation about the outfit, though, saying on a 2016 episode of Fresh Air that when George Lucas showed her the item, “[she] thought he was kidding, and it made [her] very nervous.”
Still, there was an upside. Fisher continued, “What redeems [that scene] is I get to kill [Jabba the Hutt], which was so enjoyable. I sawed his neck off with that chain that I killed him with. I really relished that, because I hated wearing that outfit and sitting there rigid straight, and I couldn’t wait to kill him.”
8. Olivia Munn’s purple latex, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Olivia Munn had been a big admirer of her X-Men character Psylocke before she was cast in the movie franchise. And the actress tried to make the superhero more than a costume. In 2016 she explained to Collider, “Just because [Psylocke’s] dressed like that, she’s not this promiscuous, slutty girl.”
Before getting into the outfit, though, Munn had to rub lubricant all over herself; even so, she still broke the latex. Then, once the movie was released, the look was panned – despite it adhering more or less to the comic books. In a movie that contained some pretty serious scenes, the ensemble was judged as looking both silly and far too sexy.
7. George Clooney’s Batsuit, Batman and Robin (1997)
Everything about Batman & Robin was a hilarious catastrophe. But if the script and comedic scenes were bad, the Batsuit was arguably even worse. For a start, George Clooney couldn’t get it off easily and thus had to pee in it. Also, it featured something not usually seen on superhero outfits: nipples.
And years later, the Bat-nipples are still mocked. Yet director Joel Schumacher has stood by his decision. For the 2005 documentary Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight, he said, “The bodies for the suits — the inspiration for them are Greek statues that have perfect bodies. It never occurred to me not to put nipples on the men’s suits because I didn’t know the male nipple was a controversial body part.”
6. Emma Watson’s pink dress, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Emma Watson’s Hermione wore a pink dress during the Yule Ball scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But while this was a perfectly appropriate outfit, fans of the franchise weren’t happy. You see, in the source material, Hermione’s Yule Ball gown is periwinkle blue. Some even considered a pink version out of character.
The costume designer for the films thought differently, though. In 2017 Jany Temime told Cosmopolitan, “[Hermione] was a tough girl. She was a girl [who only hung out] with boys. And now she appears at the Yule Ball and she’s in pink. People look at her as being a girl – and a very pretty one, which was not established before.”
5. David Bowie’s pants, Labyrinth (1986)
For many adults who saw Labyrinth when it first came out, there was one pressing question: was David Bowie wearing a codpiece in the movie or not? But after one blogger scrutinized the issue in detail, apparently it seems likely that the star didn’t need any help in that department.
Yet while Labyrinth’s creators got into hot water for making Bowie’s bulge so obvious, they seem to have no regrets. In a 2016 interview with Empire, designer Brian Froud referred to the musical icon’s attire as “perv pants,” adding, “Every so often you go, ‘Oh, my God! How did we get away with that?!’”
4. Halle Berry’s Catwoman costume, Catwoman (2004)
Critics not only hated the 2004 Catwoman movie, but they also seemed to dislike Halle Berry’s weird strappy catsuit. IGN said, for instance, “The costume alone cannot make a bad movie, though this one sure gives it the old college try.” Reno News & Review went even further, suggesting that Berry should “burn that damn costume for all to see.”
And while Berry didn’t quite go that far, she too hates the poorly judged flick. In 2005 she actually showed up in person to collect a Razzie award for her “Worst Actress” performance in the film and announced, “First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a piece of s**t, god-awful movie!” Me-ow.
3. Sacha Baron Cohen’s mankini, Borat (2006)
Not every movie costume is a literal crime in some places, but the infamous “mankini” from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat could be. You see, in 2017 six Czech men were arrested for “minor hooliganism” after posing in the dubious swimwear in Kazakhstan’s capital. Kazakhstan is, of course, the very real place from which the fictional Borat hails.
Sacha Baron Cohen actually offered to assist the men, writing on Facebook, “To my Czech mates who were arrested: send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine.” Still, as the people of Kazakhstan have mixed feelings on Cohen, you should probably avoid ever wearing a mankini for laughs in the country.
2. Karen Gillan’s skimpy costume, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
When the first pictures of the Jumanji sequel emerged in 2016, some weren’t impressed. While all of the male stars – Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black – were seen wearing sensible clothes in the photos, Karen Gillan was sporting an outfit that looked, at best, much too small for her. Gillan noted what was going on, though, and promised that there would be a payoff.
It turned out, you see, that the characters seen in the pictures were the video game personas that the main characters of the movie take on. In 2017 Gillan told the Evening Standard, “It looks absurd that the woman is dressed like that and then the men are covered — but that is exactly the trope that we were highlighting in 1990s video games. She’s meant to be like Lara Croft. That’s the reference – this ridiculous male fantasy.”
1. Sean Connery’s barely-there costume, Zardoz (1974)
Once he had hung up James Bond’s stylish tuxedo for good, Sean Connery decided to try something different – very different. Specifically, he took on the role of Zed in the bizarre sci-fi movie Zardoz, and Zed’s costume was little more than some bright red material to cover his modesty and boots that went up to his thighs.
Surprisingly, Connery apparently didn’t mind the outfit. When Vulture asked director John Boorman about the ensemble in 2014, he said that he had simply told the famously bad-tempered actor, “This is what you’ve got. This is what you’re going to wear.” And, supposedly, there was “never any argument” about it, either.