Growing up, these women probably all had different career goals, but still shared the same aspiration: to make it big in Hollywood.
As a wannabe actress, getting that first role in front of the camera is always special. That’s one goal achieved, something ticked off. Then you want to get more roles, try your hand at different stuff, grow as an actress, and then eventually make it to the big time, Hollywood. That’s not to say that British movies aren’t great. There have been some stellar movie releases originating from the UK, including the iconic and world-famous James Bond movies, the Harry Potter series, and many more epic blockbusters. Yet despite the success of British cinema, aspiring actresses still want to make it in Hollywood, and why wouldn’t they? It’s regarded to be the biggest – in terms of income – and best movie industry on the planet for a reason.
The fame, glitz, and glam of LA's movie scene, it’s something every actress wants to experience. And quite a few have done just that. Hollywood has welcomed these actresses with open arms, and it’s pretty obvious why. Not only can they act, but they’re brilliant in front of the cameras in other ways too. They deliver talent and a whole lot of beauty too – which means they have fit right into the Hollywood scene. Hollywood just can’t get enough of these British beauties. Here they are, 15 of the hottest British babes who have been killing it in Hollywood over the years.
15 Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt was born and raised in London, and got into acting from a young age. At school, she actually had an issue with stuttering, and it was a teacher who suggested she try acting to help her overcome that problem. She got involved and soon was hooked, and pursued it further. When she was studying performing arts at college, she was discovered by an agent, and thus a movie superstar was born. Audiences got to know her after appearing in the hit movie The Devil Wears Prada. In 2012, she achieved widespread recognition for her role in the comedy, The Five-Year Engagement, and Emily was propelled to the top in Hollywood. She suddenly became a star, began getting more and more gigs in Hollywood, and established herself as a household name. Her beauty has mesmerized, she’s captured the hearts of her co-actors and fans, and she’s achieved stellar success as she’s gone about conquering Hollywood. She’s still only in her mid-30s, so we can look forward to seeing her on the Hollywood scene, at her best, for many more years to come.
14 Lucy Griffiths
Lucy Griffiths has been around in the movie industry for around a decade, but she’s still, in many people’s eyes, regarded to be a relative rookie in Hollywood. She’s best known for starring in True Blood, and the series Preacher, and doesn’t have an extensive filmography, like others on this list, but due to her performances you can bet your bottom dollar that she’s caught the eye of a load of Hollywood casting directors. But her fans don’t care; at least they get to see her onscreen in some capacity.
Lucy was born in the seaside resort of Brighton. Before getting her big break in Hollywood, she appeared on British TV and on stage. Then, she landed a role that got her recognized, she played the feisty, sexy Marian, in the BBC series, Robin Hood. It was basically her playing herself – that roll suited her down to a tee, and because of it, her fan following increased ten-fold. She’s now reached a point in her career where she’s recognized throughout the world – deservedly so.
13 Cara Delevingne
From one of the oldest people on this list to one of the youngest. Take one look at Cara Delevingne, and what do you think? You think model, someone who’s no stranger to walking the catwalks and posing for sultry pics in magazines. If you thought that you’d be right, because that’s how Cara burst into the limelight. Model extraordinaire, Cara Delevingne kick started her career at the age of 10, and over the years went on to model and walk the catwalks for some of the world’s top fashion brands. This got her noticed, got her loved, got her a fan following, and got movie casting directors interested.
Her first movie role in 2012 was when she starred alongside another hot Brit, Keira Knightley, and her career has taken off from there. She’s now working in films, has tried her hand at a music career, is still into modeling, fashion, and design. She's clearly juggling plenty of ventures. Being 24 is the time to do it though, and Cara’s certainly making the most of her youth.
12 Emma Watson
Emma Watson is another young-ish actor, but someone who’s already world-famous, has made great strides in her movie career.
Born in France, Emma relocated to the UK with her family at the age of five, and it’s there, in Oxford, that she found her love for acting and performing. Pretty much as soon as she moved the UK, at the age of six, she wanted to be an actress. So, along with her education, she went to part-time theatre school, and this dedication and determination to succeed eventually paid off. Starring in the Harry Potter movies meant that Emma, at a very young age, achieved worldwide fame, and as she’s gotten older, it’s meant she’s been able to explore other avenues of work, in other countries. From the time we saw her as a young girl in the Harry Potter movies, she’s blossomed into a beautiful young woman, and someone who’s now frequently seen on the world stage in Hollywood movies.
11 Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones is currently the hot property in Hollywood. She’s recently starred in a number of films, and has many projects on the horizon, so people have been and will be seeing a lot of Felicity, which can only be a good thing.
Born in the West Midlands, Felicity began acting at the age of 11, and that was it, she had the acting bug. But she wanted to get an education, so she studied English at the world-renowned Oxford University – clever girl! – where she continued honing her acting skills by appearing in student plays, before focusing on acting full-time. But all this experience held her in good stead, because when Hollywood started calling, they didn’t stop. She’s now flying the flag for British actresses in Hollywood, and is without doubt one of the top names in the industry. She’s got beauty as well as brains, which, combined with her acting prowess, means she really does possess the complete package.
10 Thandie Newton
44-year-old Thandie Newton has been killing it in Hollywood, throughout the world in fact, since the early 90s. She’s starred in many box office films, alongside many great actors, and is today certainly regarded to be one of those greats.
Since Thandie first started appearing in main roles, people have begun to see her as a sex symbol. Now in her mid-40s, Thandie’s still super hot, is still in terrific shape, but in her earlier days it didn’t take a lot for Thandie to get the pulse racing. She knew how to work it too, and has posed in a number of racy pics over the years, and isn’t shy about going nude either, much to her fans’ delight. I say, knew, referring to her earlier days, but it was only a matter of years ago that she posed in what’s regarded to be her raunchiest scene yet. In the TV series Rouge, Thandie sizzled onscreen in a steamy nude scene. She knows how to appeal to her fans and has evidently still got it, and is still one of the hottest British actresses in Hollywood. Age hasn’t slowed her down.
9 Rachel Weisz
Born in Westminster, London, Rachel’s another one who’s childhood was all about acting. She became known as a British rose, but amazingly, the most notable part of her early career was the fact that she turned down an opportunity to star alongside Richard Gere! She wanted to focus on her education, and did just that when she gained a degree from the prestigious Cambridge University. It was here she started to put more focus on her acting, and pursued an acting career after she graduated. Wise move, because if she’d taken a different direction, we’d never have gotten to see her in iconic films such as Chain Reaction – her first Hollywood film – and The Mummy.
8 Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones, the name itself sounds sexy, like it belongs to a Hollywood A-lister. That she certainly is, and she has been for quite some time.
Catherine was born and raised in Wales, before moving to England at a young age in order to study acting in London. It was a move that paid off, because as a child she achieved a tremendous amount of recognition for her work on stage in West End musicals. As she grew older, Catherine blossomed into a beautiful woman, and began to be known as a sex symbol. But she wasn’t happy about being typecast as the resident pretty woman, the eye candy in British movies, so she made the decision to relocate to L.A.
Her sex appeal didn’t die down, if anything it grew, after the movie Mask of Zorro propelled her into the limelight, onto the world stage. That was almost two decades ago, and she’s since been killing it in Hollywood, and has established herself as a firm fan favorite.
7 Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale honed her craft for around eight years in the UK before making the move the U.S. and going in search of Hollywood stardom. She started off with minor television roles, but quickly rose through the ranks, and achieved more major roles, but it was all just a stepping stone onto bigger and better things. Kate always wanted to be a major Hollywood star, but her foray into the industry was actually something of an accident, something that wasn’t planned at the time. Her boyfriend was in a play on Broadway, so she made the decision to relocate with him to New York. She started going to auditions and began getting roles, and thus a Hollywood starlet was born.
The brunette bombshell has made a name for herself as a bit of an action chick. She sizzles onscreen, wows people when strutting her stuff on the red carpet, and is just without a doubt one of Hollywood’s sexiest British actresses.
6 Elizabeth Hurley
Liz Hurley’s probably used to being in the limelight by now, used to having the paparazzi snapping at her heels, but she still stands out from the crowd and mesmerizes people with her beauty. Take one look at Liz, and you think model. That she is, in addition to being one hell of a great actress. But one thing you couldn’t fathom looking at Liz, is that she’s 52 years old. 52 – that’s just ridiculous! She truly is ageless and easily looks around two decades younger.
As a kid in Hampshire, UK, Liz was all about dancing. This led to getting into fashion, along with some modeling, all of which she balanced with her acting. Seemingly, opportunities just fell into her lap, but she’s certainly made the most of them and has built upon them.
Despite having some work done – that’s just part of being a megastar actress – she looks naturally beautiful and just radiates beauty, has a tremendous amount of poise and elegance, and is just flawless in every which way.
5 Naomi Watts
English actress and film producer Naomi Watts has been in the industry since the mid-80s. She’s starred in a number of hit films over the years for which she’s gained international recognition. People take to her because she’s a brilliant actress, but also because she’s just unbelievably hot. When it comes to polls of the most beautiful people, not just in Hollywood, but in the world, Naomi Watts is right up there; People magazine, for example, have rated her among the 50 Most Beautiful People on the planet. If you’ve followed Naomi’s career and seen her body of work, it’d be hard to disagree. She’s a blonde bombshell if ever there was one, and as she’s approaching her half century, she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, much to her fans’ delight, we’ve been seeing more of Naomi onscreen in recent years than at any other stage of her career, and she has plenty of movies and TV roles on the horizon too. Hollywood wouldn’t be Hollywood without Naomi.
4 Christina Cole
You’d have to say that Christina Cole is probably one of the lesser known actresses on this list. There’s a perception about Christina that she quietly goes about her business, does her thing, and likes to stay out of the limelight as much as possible. But that shouldn’t be the case; she should bask in the limelight, not steer clear from it – I’m sure all of you who’ve seen her work, and seen her pics, would agree.
Born and bred in the British capital, Christina moved to Oxford to study acting, and actually got her first acting gig before she even graduated: What a Girl Wants, alongside Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, and Kelly Preston – not a bad acting roll to kickstart her career. From that moment on, it was onwards and upwards for Christina, and she’s now a regular face on U.S. TV and on the Hollywood movie seen. But Brits are still proud to be able to call Christina their own; she’s one of the nation’s best and hottest exports.
3 Kate Winslet
Do I really need to introduce Kate Winslet? Way back in 1997 – it’s amazing to think it was two decades ago – Kate was propelled onto the world stage, seemingly from nowhere, due to her epic performance in the hit movie, Titanic. She was taken into people’s hearts when they watched that movie; every guy wanted to romance her and imagined themselves in Leo’s position, and every woman wanted to be her and be involved in a heart-wrenching love story just like she was. Understandably, she gained a ton of accolades because of that performance, and although it came so early on in her career, she hasn’t been content to just sit back and coast through the rest of her career. She’s built upon that success, and is today, without a doubt, one of Hollywood’s – the movie industry as a whole for that matter – leading ladies. Wow, how the British rose from Reading, England, blossomed - it’s been an amazing journey.
2 Sienna Miller
Ok, I’m not stealing Sienna from The States, but she is British too. Sienna Miller was born in New York, to a banker turned Chinese art deal, and a mom who was a model – that’s where Sienna gets her stunning looks from! She moved to London along with her family when she was just a year old, and was brought up in the English capital, so she’s got a British passport. She learned her craft partly in the UK, before continuing her education in New York. She’s been constantly flitting between the two cities for most of her life, and so is certainly one actress that can be called British-American.
The British bombshell recently got back to work after spending some time out of the limelight, and boy are we glad that she’s back to doing what she does best. She’s a reputable actress, and is absolutely stunning; even today at the age of 35, she’s never looked so hot.
1 Keira Knightley
The UK has Keira Knightley and the U.S. has Natalie Portman. In some pics they look utterly identical, they’re both brilliant actresses and stunningly beautiful, but the UK is glad to be able to call Keira their own.
Keira has acting in her blood. She was born in London to parents who were both theatre actors. She grew up in that whole acting environment, and from a young age, it was inevitable that she was going to follow suit. As she grew up, she starred in a number of amateur productions, and then focused her mind on pursuing an acting career full-time. Her breakthrough came in the 2002 movie Bend It Like Beckham, for which she achieved worldwide attention. Over the next few years, she absolutely ruled the screen in Hollywood, although nowadays she’s more into independent cinema. At least we’re seeing Keira onscreen in some capacity – that’s all her fans want.