2001: A Sex Odyssey

A portfolio of actors who will be bringing their erotic voltage to big screens in the coming year.


Julianne MOORE

All those who fell for the red-haired beauty in The End of the Affair will be champing at the bit to see how Moore will amp up the sexual undercurrent of Hannibal the Cannibal's beloved, Clarice Starling, in Hannibal.


How long before we're going to have to start calling him Joshua? The boy whose teenage sexual swagger stole the show in The Virgin Suicides and Here on Earth is rumored to have given a very grown-up performance in Michael Bays World War II romantic epic, Pearl Harbor. As Ben Affleck's fellow fighter pilot and romantic rival, Hartnett, also cast in Ridley Scott's next movie, stands to become the big screen's newest major heartthrob.


Yes, the next Star Wars prequel is coming up, and hopefully there will be more Ewan than there was in the first. But for connoisseurs of the sexier Ewan, there will more importantly be Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, in which McGregor plays a Parisian poet in the decadent end-of-the- 19th-century demimonde who falls for the cancan-dancing star of the Moulin Rouge, Satin (Nicole Kidman).

Heather GRAHAM

After years of using her blue-eyed sexual charge in indies (Drugstore Cowboy, Swingers) and farces (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Bowfinger), Graham will be seriously sexed up in a string of upcoming films. In Chen Kaige's English-language debut, Killing Me Softly, she plays a London research scientist who gets impulsively involved in sexual obsession with a "mysterious mountaineer" played by Joseph Fiennes. The movie with the most heat, though, is From Hell, in which Johnny Depp is a Victorian London detective on the trail of Jack the Ripper, and Graham is a tart Jack is eager to rip.


It will be awhile before the sexy star of The Matrix will grace our senses with The Matrix 2 and then 3. In the meantime, he'll be reteaming with his The Devil's Advocate costar Charlize Theron for the bittersweet romance Sweet November. Reeves managed to be sexy as a serial murderer in The Watcher and as a redneck wife-beater in The Gift, so he should be devastating as the guy comforted by the mysteriously noncommittal Theron in this weepy remake.

Kirsten DUNST

After all the teen flicks in which this truly good actress was underestimated, along came The Virgin Suicides to show everyone that a grown-up lived inside the girl-next-door. Then the other shoe dropped--_Bring It On_, which was Dunst's breakthrough performance and big box-office hit. Get ready for hotter stuff when Dunst plays a rich girl who goes off the romantic deep end with a poor Latino boy in At Seventeen.


Anyone who thought of Aaliyah as just a beautiful singer who looked great in her own music videos found out the girl could act when they saw Romeo Must Die. But get ready for her larger-than-life seductiveness to get unearthed for real when she plays the forever-young ancient vampiress who takes on Lestat (no, not Tom Cruise, but newcomer Stuart Townsend) in the upcoming film adaptation of Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned.


The great romantic performance Crudup fans have been patiently awaiting for years is likely to get delivered in next fall's Charlotte Gray. In director Gillian Armstrong's adaptation of novelist Sebastian Faulks's tale of desperate wartime love, Crudup plays an emotionally hollowed-out RAF pilot who's the perfect match for Gate Blanchett's emotionally damaged Scottish girl, who goes underground to help the French resistance and to find him when he's shot down.


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