When most people think of Hollywood, they think of gorgeous American women. While some A-List stars are born and bred in Los Angeles and have Hollywood in their blood, countless stars come from small towns in the Midwest and up north, chasing their dream. However, if you look past all the American born actresses, there’s another huge group in Hollywood – Brits. That’s right, many British actresses get their start in their native UK and end up coming to Hollywood for the opportunities available. While the British are big on theatre and classical dramatic training, if you’re looking to star in feature films, Hollywood is the place to be.
So, thanks to the lure of Hollywood, North America has been blessed with an influx of drop dead gorgeous British women with killer accents. Some of them are only in sunny California for as long as they’re filming, others split their time between Los Angeles and London, others have totally moved their lives to America and simply go back periodically to visit family and friends back home. Regardless of what got them to Hollywood, there’s one thing that’s clear – Britain has birthed some absolutely stunning women over the years.
Here are 10 of the hottest female British celebrities.
10 Emily Blunt
Blunt got her start in the entertainment industry when she was spotted as a budding starlet in a British performing arts school, and first made the rounds in the British theatre. In fact, in her professional debut, she starred onstage alongside Judi Dench. After several roles in British theatre and television, she gained widespread notoriety thanks to her role in My Summer of Love. However, as critically acclaimed as the independent film was, she truly became a household name thanks to her role as the hilarious fashionista Emily Charlton in The Devil Wears Prada. Since she rocked the fictional offices of Runway magazine on the silver screen, Blunt has countless starring roles in everything from historical dramas to comedies.
9 Emma Watson
Emma Watson is a bit unusual – while many British superstars burst into the public eye in their late teens or early twenties, Watson basically grew up in front of the camera in her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise. She went from an adorable bushy-haired girl to a sleek, sophisticated fashion icon. Now that she’s wrapped up Hermione Granger’s story, she’s been taking on film roles that allow her to branch out a bit, and in addition to her superb acting talent, let’s just say it – Watson has passed the awkward teenage years and transformed into an absolutely gorgeous woman. Plus, she’s become known over the past few years for her strong voice when it comes to gender equality. Smart and sexy – that’s a killer combination.
8 Sienna Miller
Sienna Miller is known for her highly publicized romance with fellow British star Jude Law, and let’s be serious – how do you let someone this gorgeous go? Miller looks like the typical slim, gorgeous rom com star you might find in California, but she’s taken on several meatier roles in her career, including Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl, Tippi Hedren in The Girl, and Taya Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. There’s no limit to what kind of roles this woman can master, and whether she’s rocking 60s mod dresses or laced up period drama corsets, she always looks fantastic.
7 Alice Eve
London-born blonde bombshell Alice Eve did what the majority of British celebs did – she began her acting career in British television dramas before moving on to the silver screen to take on film roles. She snagged two comedic films in which she put on an American accent, but she really shot to the public’s attention when she played the unbelievably gorgeous female lead in rom com She’s Out of My League. Then, she thrilled sci fi lovers everywhere by taking on a role in Star Trek Into Darkness. Whether she’s rocking an American accent or her authentic British accent, she’ll definitely bring male audiences to theatres – regardless of what the film is.
6 Keira Knightley
While you may remember a young Keira Knightley as Sabé in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, or from her role in horror film The Hole, she really caught the public’s attention as the tomboy Jules in soccer smash hit Bend It Like Beckham. She took her Beckham fame and snagged a role in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and the rest is history. She’s gone on to star in films of all genres, including Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Love Actually, Never Let Me Go, and more. She can do light romance, period dramas, adaptations of serious novels… basically anything she wants. While her earlier red carpet appearances were fairly plain, over the years she’s gotten her public image down to an art, and always shows up looking absolutely stunning.
5 Kate Winslet
While many British superstars come from busy and bustling London, Winslet is from England’s sleepy Berkshire region, and her home base remains in West Sussex rather than London or Los Angeles. Though she’s now 40 and beginning to take on different types of roles, there’s no doubt that Winslet is every bit as sexy as when she first debuted. She got her start by flexing her serious dramatic skills in productions of Shakespeare and Jane Austen, but she became a household name thanks to snagging the lead female role in the smash hit Titanic. However, Winslet hasn’t been content to star solely in romantic comedies – while her rom com The Holiday was a huge commercial success, she’s also taken on roles in critically acclaimed films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road, The Reader, and miniseries Mildred Pierce. There’s no telling what she might do next, but without doubt she’ll look incredible doing it.
4 Kelly Brook
In North America, Kelly Brook may not be a household name, but in Britain? She’s one of the most beloved, curvaceous celebs – she’s basically the British version of the Kardashians, if there was only one of the infamous sisters. She began her entertainment industry career as a model and soon began capitalizing on her sex appeal, snagging spreads in men’s magazines such as GQ, FHM, and more. She’s been on countless ‘sexiest celeb’ lists, and has appeared in several commercials. Lately, she’s been trying to flex her acting chops, and was given a big role in One Big Happy, an American sitcom produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The show only lasted one season, but who knows where you’ll see Brook next – she’s definitely one to watch out for.
3 Kate Beckinsale
Beckinsale got her start on the other side of the pond, with small television roles and British period dramas. In the 1990s, she found herself in New York and began to audition for American films, and after a few small successes, she landed starring roles in Pearl Harbor and Serendipity – while a war film and rom com might not seem similar, they were key factors in launching Beckinsale’s international career. Since then, she’s played everything from Adam Sandler’s wife in Click to a super sexy and fierce vampire in the Underworld film series. She’s often captured by the paparazzi on her way from the gym or with a coffee in her hand, like a true Angeleno.
2 Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
In North America, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (formerly Cheryl Cole) may not be a household name, but in the UK? She’s basically Britain’s sweetheart. From her shiny locks to her enviable physique to those trademark dimples, she made the nation fall in love with her as a member of girls group Girls Aloud and has only continued to grow her fan base as a solo artist. Though her stint as a host on the American version of The X Factor was unsuccessful, she adds to her fame back home by acting as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor. While her new married name may be a bit of a mouthful, her PR team is likely not too concerned – she's famous enough at this point that she can be just Cheryl.
1 Emilia Clarke
Young British actress Emilia Clarke was doing what all aspiring actresses do in the UK – starring in countless theatrical productions and taking on small roles on British television shows. Then, she snagged the role of Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s hit Game of Thrones, and she was catapulted to superstardom. Everyone quickly became obsessed with Khaleesi, the ethereal blonde who packed a surprising amount of power and attitude into her small frame. Critics absolutely love her in the role as the powerful mother of dragons – she’s gotten nominations for Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, People’s Choice Awards and more – and men love tuning in to watch the British bombshell week after week.