When it comes to Hollywood films, people often criticize the entertainment industry for not coming up with more roles for females. It seems that male actors have a plethora of roles to choose from that allow them to show off their acting skills and physical appearance all at once. Yet, female roles are often limited to being a supporting role in order to help prop up the male actor. From Bond girls to romance flicks, it’s true that actresses sometimes have sparse pickings when seeking out a true gem in character portrayals. Yet, once they finally do find the right role in a film, it can make their career in a way that solidifies their role as a leading lady for the rest of their time in Hollywood.
Being cast as a leading lady shows viewers that filmmakers think the actress has the stuff to carry a film. While it hasn’t turned out positively each time, there have been some films that have caused men to drool over the leading lady. From films filled with hot sex scenes to characters that helped to increase the public’s view of an actress, finding the right part can make or break an actress. Although not all films that have shockingly sexy scenes with hot actresses have made it to blockbuster gold, there are some that have managed to remain in the minds of male viewers ever since they were first viewed. Check out our list of the 15 films that made men drool over the leading lady and see whether or not these films have sparked a fantasy or two over the enticing actress.
15. There’s Something About Mary
Released in 1998, many say that There’s Something About Mary was the film that truly put Cameron Diaz in the forefront of people’s minds. While she had starred as a leading lady prior to this iconic film, the incredibly likable persona that was created in this role helped to propel her professional career. Being depicted as the unforgettable dream girl in the film, men were drooling over the character and Cameron Diaz herself. Perhaps the best part of the film came when Pat Healy, played by Matt Dillon, used binoculars to spy through Mary’s window. Audiences got a great view of the stunning Diaz during her heyday of beauty. Although the binoculars quickly shifted to her elderly neighbor with shriveled up breasts, fans got to see just enough through her barely-there top and lingerie ensemble. This film put Cameron Diaz on the map as a leading lady and put her in the minds of young men everywhere for at least a decade or so.
14. The Devil’s Advocate
Released in 1997, The Devil’s Advocate stars some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron are the predominant characters but surprisingly, it isn’t Theron that gives the most sex appeal in the film. Connie Nielsen, the actress that plays Christabella (the devil’s daughter), is the true star of the film. Charlize Theron may have had the role with all the grit but Nielsen had the best scenes for exuding sex appeal. When audiences took away the whole “daughter of the Devil” aspect, Nielsen was smokin’ hot throughout the film. This was her first real breakout role, despite it being a supporting character, and she definitely made sure she made a lasting impression. While the scenes where she portrayed her high-powered self were sexy enough, it was the nude scene in the devil’s office that truly won over fans.
When Titanic was released in 1997, critics had some pretty harsh words for the voluptuous Kate Winslet starring as Rose DeWitt Bukater. Although they were 21 and 22-years-old during the filming of Titanic, many people thought that Winslet looked too old to play opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the film. They also thought that she was far too large to be considered truly sexy. This is pretty ironic since the majority of women in America would have given their left leg if they could look as good as Winslet did in her epic nude scene. While she may have been larger than some of the other starlets in Hollywood, she still looked pretty amazing on screen. Men drooled over the scene where she bared it all except for the Heart of the Ocean blue diamond necklace. It seemed impossible that DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, was able to keep his composure enough to sketch Winslet in the buff. That is definitely more than half the audience could have managed.
12. Under The Skin
Scarlett Johansson has been the focus of men’s fantasies ever since she was first introduced to audiences. From her provocative role in the 2003 hit, Lost in Translation, to the threesome scenario in the 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, it seemed that the world couldn’t get enough of Scarlett Johansson. While there are a number of Johansson films to choose from, the one that had men truly drooling over her portrayal was the 2013 film, Under the Skin. Johansson played an alien that seduces men, picks them up in her van and takes them back to her lair. Although she is wearing a short black hairstyle, the changed look didn’t take away from her jaw-dropping beauty in the least. Plus, the film starts off with Johansson completely nude! Despite the horror aspect of the film, men sat in the theaters contemplating what it would be like to have Scarlett Johansson try and pick them up in her van. Interestingly, director Jonathan Glazer actually used real-life people in the film. Hidden cameras were installed in Johansson’s van and she truly did drive around in Scotland and picked up random men. After knowing this, there are undoubtedly men all over the world that wished they were living in Scotland at the time.
Oftentimes, when an actress is trying to get audiences to see her as “all grown up,” they can tend to go towards the extremes to achieve this new public persona. Whether it’s a child actress or just a young wannabe starlet like Saved by the Bell’s Elizabeth Berkley, the typical route always seems to entail taking a provocative role. Yet, this route doesn’t always work out. When Showgirls was released in 1995, it was slammed by critics for the raunchy scenes, absurd plotline and horrible acting skills by the cast. However, most male moviegoers could look beyond these minor details in order to get a full view of Berkley working the pole. Fans looking for nude scenes were pleasantly surprised by Showgirls since it seemed like the entire film was just one big peep show. Although it didn’t exactly prove that Berkley was ready to star as a leading lady in film, it did give men a chance to see Jessie Spano “all grown up.”
10. Boogie Nights
Telling the story of the Golden Age of the adult entertainment industry in the 1970s, talk about the 1997 film, Boogie Nights, seemed to revolve around the role played by Mark Wahlberg even before the film was even released. The film was based on the story of Dirk Diggler, a character known for having an unusually large penis. Obviously, a storyline like this would garner some interest but it wasn’t just the women that had a treat for the eyes during the film. A movie about the behind-the-scenes action of the adult film world was bound to have some nude scenes involving women but it was interesting to see how fans reacted to the character played by Heather Graham. Portraying the role of “Rollergirl” (Brandy), Graham actually had a pretty sad existence towards the end of the film. Yet, the moments during the heyday of her career had some pretty drool-worthy scenes that fans seemed to eat up.
Although Angelina Jolie had starred in a number of films in the ‘90s, it was the biographical film, Gia, that truly made fans sit up and take notice. Portraying the true-life supermodel, Gia Marie, the role had a real storyline that provided Jolie with a mode to truly prove to audiences that she was a serious actress. She didn’t falter in her portrayal of this beautiful but troubled model and even won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Made for Television. While the actual storyline of the film was filled with heartbreaking moments and some serious issues with drugs, fans couldn’t help but notice how stunningly beautiful Jolie was during all of those nude scenes. Even if it was just traipsing down a hallway to talk to her lover, that was enough for moviegoers.
8. The Other Woman
In a world filled with size zero models and celebrities making the front pages of every magazine, Kate Upton was a refreshing take on what it is to be considered beautiful. Known for her stunning photos for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Upton also was able to win fans over with her bubbly personality depicted through viral videos. While models don’t often make the best actresses, that didn’t seem to matter when she was cast in the 2014 film, The Other Woman. Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann are also in the film but it was obvious who the true sex symbol was. Upton was definitely considered the hot ticket item at the time and the scene that involved her running down the beach had men drooling into their popcorn tubs at the movie theater. It may have been in the category of a chick flick but men didn’t seem to mind taking their dates once they got a look at Upton in her white bikini.
Demi Moore isn’t new to starring in films with a provocative role. After all, she was rolling around in a pile of money in Indecent Proposal and got a little dirty with some clay and Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Yet, just when fans thought that they had seen all that Demi Moore had to offer, she portrayed a stripper in the 1996 film, Striptease. While fans were used to seeing her with a shortened hairstyle, the long ebony locks with her stripper look was a happy change. Critics didn’t react too kindly to the storyline since the whole “single mother trying to strip her way through” wasn’t exactly a new concept. Yet, what the film lacked in storyline, it made up for in spades with Demi Moore stripping a sexy dance routine on stage. Who knew a g-string could look that good, and who knew she had those kinds of moves?
6. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
When Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore teamed up for the remake of Charlie’s Angels, people didn’t know whether or not it would be a success. The cheesy stances from the ‘70s TV series to the Charlie character that is somehow never seen, it was difficult for fans to know if it would be able to translate to modern audiences. Yet, all of those fears were quickly put aside when the first Charlie’s Angels film hit theaters in 2000. Just when it seemed that it wouldn’t get any better than these three hot leading ladies dressing up in scantily clad costumes and kicking some serious tail, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle hit theaters in 2003. The film seriously amped up the sex factor for this sequel. Depending on what your cup of tea is in a woman, there were a variety of different scenes that had men’s tongues wagging. However, it was the scene that involved all three in Swedish-style dress that really created a stir with male viewers.
5. Bad Teacher
Oftentimes, people are critical about Hollywood for the way that it treats its female starlets once they reach a particular age. While male stars only get more and more attractive as the salt and pepper hair starts creeping in, women are pushed out to pasture as soon as the first onset of wrinkles. Whether it was an effort to prove to the world that she still had it or just a result of the limited opportunities offered to her, Cameron Diaz starred in the lead role in the 2011 film, Bad Teacher. The film definitely didn’t portray her as the same likable female character as when she acted in There’s Something About Mary but that didn’t mean she didn’t have major sex appeal. The scene that involved Diaz writhing around while washing a car was something out of every man’s fantasy and will long surpass any film scene she will partake in for the rest of her life. Not only did she prove that she still had the ability to make men drool but she showed that she could probably teach a few things to the young starlets of Hollywood.
4. The Dreamers
Starring Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel and Eva Green, The Dreamers is a film that has reached a far larger audience than most would have expected. Having a NC-17 rating, the excessive nudity and incestuous theme should have been enough to scare off viewers. Yet, the stellar performance by Eva Green made audiences curious enough to seek it out. Green initially had issues with the graphic full frontal nudity scenes but it obviously warmed her up for her future roles. Nowadays, she’s probably best known for her role as Vanessa Ives in the hit TV series, Penny Dreadful, where she had a myriad of sexy nude scenes throughout the series. From having sex with a spirit to the super hot scene involving her and Josh Hartnett, Green seemed to forego any hesitations she might have had early on in her career. Yet, long before Green was starring as a Bond girl or portraying a magical character in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, she was dropping jaws in the 2003 erotic film, The Dreamers.
3. Eyes Wide Shut
When Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise acted together in Far and Away, audiences fell in love with their romance both on film and on the red carpet. It seemed that this was a Hollywood couple that would stand the test of time and audiences were itching to see them collaborate again in another film. The couple reunited for the 1999 erotic film, Eyes Wide Shut, and garnered a huge amount of attention. As the last work of film created by Stanley Kubrick before he died, there was increased interest in seeing this movie. While the cinematography and theme had critics talking in depth, it was the sex scene involving Kidman and Cruise that was the true showstopper. Since the couple never released a sex tape, this was the closest fans were ever going to get to see this A-list duo go at it. It definitely didn’t disappoint since Kidman traipsed around in a see-through ensemble and had some incredibly erotic moments staring at herself in the mirror.
2. Monster’s Ball
Audiences had already seen Halle Berry go topless in the film, Swordfish, and they probably thought that this was their only chance at seeing this Hollywood A-lister in the buff. Yet, all of that changed when she was cast in the 2001 drama, Monster’s Ball. Although the character she portrayed called for her to tamper down her signature glamorous look, audiences couldn’t help but know that it was still Halle Berry showing off her ultra hot body. The sex scene involving her and Billy Bob Thornton was more than just a romantic love scene typically seen on screen. This was an ultra gritty throwdown of a sex scene that hands men drooling over this little sex machine on the big screen. Fans completely believed her performances and so did the academy. She received her first and only Academy Award for her portrayal as Leticia Musgrove and anyone who has seen the film knows that she definitely deserved her Oscar win.
1. Basic Instinct
Sometimes, there are films that absolutely define an actress, whether it’s because of the storyline or through a particular scene. This was never made clearer than in Sharon Stone’s portrayal as Catherine Tramell in the 1992 iconic film, Basic Instinct. The storyline to the film is actually quite well-written and both male and female fans can get caught up in the mystery and thrill. Yet, the scene involving Stone being interrogated by the police is the true star of the film. When the film was first released, this was an ultra shocking moment that dropped jaws in the theaters. Now that the film has reached full-on iconic status, people wait and anticipate the uncrossing of the legs scene each time the film is viewed. It wasn’t just the peek-a-boo aspect of the scene that made male viewers drool over Sharon Stone, it was the entire persona in general. While she may have been murderous and conniving, there is something truly hot about a confident woman that knows how to work it.