“Sexy” pretty much by definition remains subjective, but that is what makes lists like this one subject to debate. Not that we’re minding that! In fact, we encourage it! Please feel free to offer your own notions!
To try and cover a broad range without using an untenable about a space, here are the rules for the following list. 1. Film and television vampires only. 2. Five of each gender only. 3. Only one of each gender from any specific source. 4. Based upon the vampires portrayed, not the actors themselves. Okay, ready? Here we go.
Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From the time he first showed up in the second season, he became the epitome of the Bad Boy who pressed buttons and stole hearts. Not just because of the Billy Idol looks and razor-sharp cheekbones. Here was a predator who reveled in evil, didn’t care about the rules, yet remained at heart a romantic. He adored his Drusilla (a blend of Ophelia and Hannibal Lecter) but then fell head over heels in love with Buffy, enough that he actually went and got back his soul, at the cost of his mind. All of which helped fascinate writers of episodes as well as fanfic for years and years.
Sir Christopher Lee as Dracula in all those Hammer films. The studios literally built their whole formula for a wildly successful series of movies on Lee’s onscreen presence. You the audience had to believe this man might touch a secret part of almost any woman who longed to be ravished. He had to be fierce, strong, yet strangely elegant. An erotic boogeyman. With Horror of Dracula in 1959 that is precisely the note he hit and it inspired more than a generation of fantasies.
Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga. Let the screams of protest (and agreement) commence! Given the incredible response this character generates and the way the actor playing him melded into so many fans’ expectation, keeping him off this list would be dishonest. Whether any one or one hundred or one thousand people disagree, thousands of others have voted with their reaction to Stephanie Meyer’s eternal teen in old-fashioned gallant love with his Bella. Anyone upset should recall that no one is likely to agree with every name on this list.
Eric on True Blood. When this HBO series began, much was made of Bill Compton who became the initial love interest of the main character Sookie Stackhouse. But soon after the thousand-year-old Viking made his appearance, and especially as the sexual tensions surrounding him grew, Eric became a major heartthrob. Which, given the show was on cable, soon enough translated into plenty of nude scenes–no doubt to the voyeuristic pleasure of his fans (who remain many).
Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows. Over the years a fair number of actors have played this part, from Ben Cross to (most recently) Johnny Depp. But the prize on this list goes to the actor who originated the role, the late Jonathan Frid. When hired to play an antagonist on the gothic soap opera in the 1960s, this classically trained actor (with the writers’ collusion) pretty much played him as Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Melancholy, angry, jealous, at times violent yet with a seething self-loathing, a fatalistic streak who nevertheless rarely gave up. The show ended in 1971 yet the character continues to enjoy a hardcore fandom who see the 200-year-old vampire as the gothic gentleman of their romantic dreams.
Top Five Most Sexy Female Vampires
Carmilla in The Vampire Lovers. Hammer Studios created a veritable harem of be-fanged lovelies, many of them remembered with fondness (and desire) to this day. But Ingrid Pitt’s portrayal of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s sapphic blood-sucker struck a special chord. Her beauty and elegance, voluptuous figure she proved quite willing to reveal all had something to do with it, but there was more. She did more than pose and do her job. The screenplay drew Carmilla as a reluctant monster, one sad and in the end genuinely in love with her victim. Even as she was staked, there was a look of almost anticipation as well as fear. It made for a powerful combination, a vivid impression and one that has lasted over four decades!
Vamp Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We only met her twice, but she proved unforgettable! When the show ended, props and costumes were auctioned off–and somebody paid thousands of dollars for her costume! (I like to think it was the actress Alyson Hannigan’s husband, but that is just me.) Willow, the Willow we know, was such a nice girl, so nerdy and innocent yet at the same time achingly cute. To see her as this sleek predator who really really liked to play with her food, and even found her human self awfully attractive became the stuff of fans’ dreams. Even now her little catch phrases (like “Bored now”) can still bring an appreciative smile (and a bit of a leer) to the many who remember her with a blend of desire and terror.
Jessica on True Blood. This proved a tough one, because in truth that show is chock full of sexy vampire women. I narrowed it down to Jessica because she seems to have a slight edge in popularity, which probably comes down to screen time. Her story from a fundamentalist girl chosen at random to be turned and then the vagaries of first love as well as just trying to find herself has led us to know her perhaps best of any female vampire on the show (with the possible exception of Tara, who’s only been undead for one season).
Selene in Underworld. Almost a no-brainer, really. For one thing, she’s too gorgeous for words. For another, she’s spent most of three films pretty much sheathed in skin-tight black and fired artillery. Selene is the role that made Kate Beckinsale into an action star, quite possibly to her surprise. And it bears pointing out that the looks, the gunfights and the amazing costume are not enough. Lots of suitably attractive actresses have worn similar outfits and performed in action scenes at least as impressive. But something about Beckinsale’s performance grabbed us. The way she ignored Kraven, and treated Viktor as a father, and noticed in the middle of a firefight this human man trying to save a bystander. It all made the character real, and that is what held our imagination. Not cookie-cutter pinup looks, but the character (with those pinup looks).
Lucy Westenra in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as portrayed by Sadie Frost. Arguably the single most memorable portrayal of this iconic vampiress from the novel. Certainly one of if not the sexiest, from her over-the-top flirtatiousness to the fact Dracula did far more than drink her blood. Many a version implied as much, but this one proved more explicit. In fact, no other film adaptation simply went for the sexual implications full bore! And Lucy remained an integral part of that. One understood all too clearly why three men fell so totally obsessed with this vivacious young woman.
So what do you think? Who belongs on your personal list of Most Sexy Vampires?