Usually when the words “model” and “acting” come together, they’re followed by eyerolls, snide “dumb blonde” comments, and a few exaggerated yawns. Just because you’re beautiful and can pull off a leather catsuit does not an Oscar-moment make. However, Milla Jovovich’s character in Dazed and Confused made a totally believable stoner in bell-bottoms, and when Gisele strutted around Runway in Devil Wears Prada we couldn’t help but grin (even as she struggled through her few lines.) With both Agyness Deyn and Irina Lazareanu set to appear in flicks within the next year, perhaps our leggy starlets are here to stay. So here are our top 10 fave models-slash-actor moments (however brief or random)…keep in mind we’re fashion people, guys, not members of the Academy.
1) Milla Jovovich (above)– From the hardass assassin in the Resident Evil series, to flower-child with a joint in her hand in Dazed and Confused, Jovovich has more than proved her acting chops as both an action hero and welcome competition to Confused‘s Matthew McConaughey.
2) Gemma Ward– The alien-angel-faced stunner tried on her acting hat for two obscure films in the past year, which is admirable. First The Black Balloon, a drama where she played an Aussie with an autistic brother, and The Strangers, a thriller where she was appropriately name Dollface and scared Liv Tyler in an isolated vacation home.
3) Cindy Crawford– Okay, we’re totally not serious about this one…but she’s Cindy Crawford. The Simian Line was about a palm reader who told Crawford and Harry Connick, Jr. that their relationship would end within the year. Her big hair and pushed-up sunglasses made us root for the two lovebirds for a full two hours.
4) Gisele Bundchen– “I svear to Gawd…she peeked up an eyelash curla and she sed…”Vat eez zis?” Bundschen’s snooty-in-six-inch-heels Runway employee in Devil Wears Prada gave us a much-needed sigh of relief from Miranda Priestley’s scorn and Emily Blunt’s glare.
5) Amber Valletta– As the responsible sister alongside Kate Hudson in Raising Helen, and with roles in Hitch and Transporter 2, Valletta is just the go-to hot girl when you need a lithe blond.
6) Tyra Banks- Banks wore taffeta like no other in Life-Size, the Disney-made-for-TV movie about the Barbie who comes to life to help Lindsay Lohan grieve the death of her mom while simultaneously setting up her single dad. Yep, we had to go there.
7) Claudia Schiffer– As brief as the cameo was, when Schiffer melted Liam Neeson’s heart at the end of Love Actually, kid in tow at Christmas, our reaction was mixture of “aww, remember Claudia Schiffer?” and “Yay! The one line they gave her didn’t suck!”
8) Derek Zoolander– Satirizing the fashion world, the role Derek Zoolander played in Zoolander made him “bleed his own blood” metaphorically, as he showcased his acting talent as a model forced to overcome the harsh reality of the modeling industry. Wait, what? Zoolander’s not real? Didn’t he walk at Prada?
9) Shalom Harlow– The Queen of random cameo appearances in romantic comedies, Harlow was totally memorable and hilarious as the cutthroat Diamond Girl in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, as well as supermodel Jade in the Freddie Prinze, Jr. cheesefest Head Over Heels.
10) Brooke Shields– As probably the youngest chick to ever get deflowered on a deserted island in The Blue Lagoon, (and most recently, as, ahem…Hannah Montana’s mom, and her role in Lipstick Jungle), Shields has had her share of both TV and film roles. Expressive eyebrows yields quality acting.