As reality shows like America’s Next Top Model have made painfully clear, there are plenty of models who should be seen and not heard. Some freakishly tall young women may be genetically gifted at photographing well, but only a few leggy ones (Miss Tyra, Heidi Klum) are capable of advanced multitasking like walking and talking. Fewer still can actually act. Karolina Kurkova, who plays (surprise!) Cover Girl in 2009’s G.I. Joe, is the latest fashion plate to make a bid for screen stardom. Can she unseat one of the top ten beauties below?
10. Gisele Bundchen
It’s not surprising that Gisele appears in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. The Brazilian bombshell is the most famous supermodel working today, after all. What is unexpected about her role in the fashionista fairy tale is that Gisele doesn’t play a model. Instead she hides behind glasses and scraped-back hair as Serena, who trades snarky quips with her sharp-tongued fellow assistant, Emily. This casting against type gets Gisele tenth place.
9. Jaime King
When she was stomping down runways in haute couture, top model King went by the edgier “James.” The leggy blonde switched to her given name, Jaime, after her first few movie roles, which included Michael Bay’s melodrama Pearl Harbor. Since then, ninth-place King has held her own opposite everyone from Johnny Depp to Al Pacino. As Goldie, her death inspired Marv’s murderous mission in Sin City, and her starring role in My Bloody Valentine was a scream.
8. Jenny Shimizu
She may have only appeared in one movie of note, 1996’s girl-powered teen exploitation pic Foxfire,
but it’s what Jenny Shimizu got up to once the cameras stopped
rolling that lands her on this list. As everyone now knows, the
striking Japanese-American model claims to have had a torrid affair
with her bisexual co-star Angelina Jolie, and she’s also been linked
with Madonna and actress Ione Skye. Now a judge on Make Me a Supermodel, Shimizu still brings the drama — to eighth place.
The Mod model made her first big-screen appearance in the 1971 musical The Boy Friend.
But it is a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo that lands Twiggy in the seven
spot. Late in the action of the comedy The Blues Brothers,
Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) finds himself at a filling station when a
beautiful British bird pulls up in a Jaguar convertible. Twiggy’s not
much of an actress, but her flirty banter with Elwood is effortlessly
6. Cindy Crawford
Crawford was the ultimate ’80s supermodel. Perhaps her marriage to a
bona fide actor Richard Gere, persuaded her that she could act, too.
Otherwise it’s tough to explain just how the usually career-canny
Crawford ended up stuck with a lesser Baldwin brother (Billy) in the
spy caper clunker Fair Game. In fact, she has better chemistry
with the cola can in her famous Pepsi ad, but her on-screen sizzle is
enough to earn her sixth place.
5. Paulina Porizkova
This high-cheekboned Czech has always gone her own way. In addition to writing the well-received novel Model
and staying married to Cars frontman Ric Ocasek for decades (giving
hope to dorks everywhere in the process), Porizkova has carved out a
respectable movie career. Her most mainstream role was opposite Tom
Selleck in Her Alibi (1989), but Paulina cracks the top five for her work in acclaimed indies like Arizona Dream and Female Perversions.
4. Shalom Harlow
She played herself in her first movie appearance, whirling around in a pink dress in the 1995 Isaac Mizrahi documentary Unzipped. Ever since, Harlow has managed to pull together an acting
resume that frequently pokes sly fun at her day job, playing
smart-talking models in Head Over Heels, In & Out, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Her small roles in big movies have led to starring roles in indie flicks, a bit part in a Woody Allen movie (Melinda and Melinda), and fourth place.
3. Brooke Shields
Shields’ transition from underaged model to adult actress wasn’t
particularly smooth, but Brooke comes in third place for the trio of
soft-core flicks she starred in during her teens. The model’s fame went
supernova when she claimed nothing got between her and her Calvins, so
it’s not surprising that she’s went on to flash even more skin in her
roles as a child prostitute in Pretty Baby, a shipwrecked nymphette in The Blue Lagoon, and a lusty teen in Endless Love.
2. Christie Brinkley
In her heyday, the quintessential All-American blonde appeared on three consecutive Sports Illustrated
swimsuit issue covers and married Billy Joel. Brinkley’s only been in three
movies total, but she lands at number two for her iconic turn as
the “Girl in the Ferrari” who dominates Clark Griswold’s fantasies as
he drives his family west to Walley World in National Lampoon’s Vacation. (She reprised the role 14 years later as in 1997’s Vegas Vacation.)
1. Milla Jovovich
might be most associated with her badass roles in the Resident Evil
franchise, but this Ukrainian-born supermodel has also worked with
acclaimed directors Michael Winterbottom, Wim Wenders, Sir Richard
Attenborough, and Spike Lee. Still, the reason she scores first place on this list is her role as flame-haired perfect being Leeloo in 1997’s The Fifth Element, in which she goes toe-to-toe with Bruce Willis while wearing only an Ace bandage.