40. Amanda Bynes
Is Amanda Bynes cuter than she is pretty? Or is she prettier than she is hot? Or is she hotter than she is sexy? Philosophers can debate the correct terminology for girls like Bynes in the wee hours of the morning (and then the philosophers will become drunk and start using words like “bangin'” and “fly,” which are unbecoming of philosophers yet still technically accurate.)
Bynes, as a veteran of multiple Nickelodeon sketch comedy shows, also continues to fuel the debate over whether Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel is a better incubator for scorching starlets. We’ll be running a statistical analysis throughout our list here – half-points for guest starring or being in movies, full points for recurring roles.
Fun Amanda Bynes fact: Amanda’s dad Rick had a dual career as a dentist and a stand-up comic. We’d love to see the psychological profile of that twisted monster.
39. Tina Majorino
Part of the danger that one accepts when taking on a difficult project like making a list of 50 really hot young chicks is that your research is certain to lead you to some shocking revelations. Like, you likely already knew that Tina Majorino had a role as the painfully adorable computer geek Mac on Veronica Mars, and you probably saw her turn in Napoleon Dynamite, but did you know that back when was she was 10 years old she also played that dirty, tattered child that Kevin Costner rescues in Waterworld? That’s just a little unsettling and weird.
We celebrate and support Tina’s move from Orphan of the Apocalypse genre, and look forward to her expanding her operations in the growing and lucrative Hot Dork field.
38. Katie Leung
The lovely Miss Leung, like most of the Harry Potter series cast, had no significant acting experience before showing up on the big screen as Cho Chang, Harry’s first love interest. (A lesser freelance writer might take this opportunity to make a cheap joke about Harry Potter’s wand here, but you’re in the hands of a master, so no such joke will be employed in a sober discussion of Katie Leung’s remarkable physical attributes.)
While Katie isn’t a traditional hottie in the bleached-blond sense, that’s exactly the kind of thing that gets her one of the coveted spaces on this highly influential list – her adorable shyness in interviews (it really is a nice change of pace from the forced gregariousness of most Hollywood interviews) and her peculiar combination of Chinese looks with Scottish accent that make her one of the few starlets you can’t possible mistake for somebody similar. And let’s not beat around the bush – the Hogwarts uniform doesn’t hurt, either.
37. Jennifer Freeman
We have had a thing for the sumptuous Jennifer Freeman ever since her breakout role in You Got Served, partially from her body-rocking dance moves and partially because we still, years and years after the phrase died, find it a terribly amusing insult (and still hold out hope that there will be a second sequel where World of Warcraft fanatics will challenge each other to dance-offs: You Got Pwned.)
But before her turn as the dancing queen Lila, it turns out that she appeared on – you guessed it – had not one but TWO roles on Disney Channel shows – Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens. Her characters were only one-shot deals, though, so we can only give Disney half-credit for this one, bringing the running total to Nick 1, Disney 0.5.
36. Tania Raymonde
In these days of DVD box sets and digital downloads, it’s tough to determine what qualifies as a TV spoiler these days, so we’ll tread carefully: it appears unlikely that Tania Raymonde’s character is going to be seen again on Lost, and that is an awfully big shame, as this ravishing beauty of French descent managed to stand out in a show that has a whole hell of a lot more happening in it than just a series of hot chicks. We have a lot of respect for the Lost writers, but we’re not sure even they can write her out of that corner.
Fear not, though, as she’s apparently headed to a bigger screen to star along with Kristin Cavallari
35. Maggie Grace
Giving Hilary Duff and Michelle Trachtenberg a serious run for their money in the Hottest Girl Playing the Most Insufferable Character sweepstakes is Maggie Grace, better known as Shannon Rutherford on Lost. One of the most central mysteries of Lost, as far as we’re concerned, is whether Ana Lucia “accidentally” shot Shannon because she was unbearable to deal with or because Ana was totally jealous of Shannon’s hotness (and when you’re Michelle Rodriguez, somebody else has got to be pretty damned hot to make you jealous.)
Miss Grace also had a starring role in The Jane Austen Book Club, a 2007 drama about a Jane Austen book club that holds the distinction of being the only movie never to be seen by a single heterosexual male.
34. Chelsea Straub
It’s often been said that playing a villain is a much better role for an actor than playing a protagonist, as it’s easier to give a bad guy layers (as opposed to the good guys, who can only show so many flaws before the audience stops rooting for them.) So it’s quite shocking that Chelsea Straub hasn’t already become a household name – what possible part could be richer in emotional complexity, more explorative of the depths of the human psyche, than antagonist Meredith Baxter Dimly in Bratz: The Movie?
Perhaps frustrated with the world’s inability to acknowledge that tour de force, Straub next went to the only other stage great enough to hold her talents – a Disney Channel original movie called Minutemen – and yet still her name fails to command the respect it has earned, although Disney gets another half-point in the competition with Nickelodeon, tying it up at 1. Honestly, we don’t know how Chelsea Straub can keep her radiant smile, surrounded as she is by a nation that cannot recognize her brilliance.
33. Aimee Teegarden
Okay, so now we know where all the vowels in Lyndsy Fonseca’s first name went: Aimee Teegarden swiped them.
Teegarden plays the daughter of the football coach on Friday Night Lights, and therefore was thematically obligated to have a romance storyline with the quarterback; however, the writers wised up and gave her some more interesting things (and characters, ahem) to do. We’ve always been impressed that Aimee manages to give this potentially one-note rebellious-daughter character some depth, and we’re also quite happy that the rebellious daughter keeps ending up in situations that require her to be seductive on screen.
And for those still keeping score at home: Nickelodeon and Disney both get a half-point for this one, as Aimee appeared on Nick’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and on Disney’s Hannah Montana. Disney 1.5, Nick 1.5 – it’s a barnburner!
32. Evanna Lynch
The supercute Evanna Lynch, who was added to the Harry Potter cast as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has a pretty special look to her. In fact, we can quantify exactly how special that look is – she beat out 15,000 other potential Lovegoods in the casting call. It’s not particularly surprising, either, as there’s just something immediately charming about Lynch’s style – of course, it probably helps that we Americans are predisposed to find anybody with a Irish accent to be immediately charming, it’s just the way we’re programmed. She’ll be back in 2008 for the next installment of the Potter juggernaut, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and we are greatly looking forward to seeing her pupate from the cute stage to the hot stage. (Ok, so ‘pupate’ isn’t a very sexy word. Sue us.)
Also, it bears noting that Evanna Lynch currently attends an all-girls Catholic school in Ireland. We’re just sayin’.
31. Lyndsy Fonseca
Lyndsy, we love you and we respect your desire to display your individuality, but seriously, are vowels THAT bad? Crimes against grammar aside, we certainly did enjoy watching Lyndsy’s Dylan Mayfair on the last season of Desperate Housewives, although she’s out for the next year as a casualty of the series jumping forward in time at the end of the season (who ever knew that Desperate Housewives writers were watching Battlestar Galatica for plot ideas?)
Also, we were really crushed when Lyndsy ended up not reprising her role on Heroes, which was allegedly supposed to be a recurring role as a lesbian cheerleader. We were awfully curious to see how that storyline was going to develop, cause lesbians are a lot like like guns when it comes to the rules of drama: you can’t introduce one in the first act and not have it go off during the third.