What do Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattinson, Adele and Kate Winslet all have in common? It's not just spectacular looks and incredible talent — they're also some of today's hottest British celebrities.
"British celebrities just appear more authentic and honest than North American celebrities," says Toronto celeb watcher and blogger William Wong, known in the blogosphere as Mr. Will-W. (www.mrwillw.com) "There's an air of sophistication too."
From looks to talent to those oh-so-sexy accents, here's a look at some of today's hottest British celebrities we just can't get enough of.
The women take it all
Fresh off her triumphant comeback from throat surgery and multiple Grammy wins, almost no British celebrity is hotter than Adele right now. Part of the reason we love Adele so much is because she's refreshingly honest, says Wong. "Adele is very honest. There's no gimmick. If you listen to Adele, it feels genuine, authentic and real. You connect with her."
The lovely Kate Winslet has been at the top of her game for at least the past 15 years, when Titanic became a, well, titanic hit. Since then, she's taken a lot of risks in her career, and every one of them has paid off. "She's beautiful to look at, she's incredibly talented and she's just really smart with her choices," Wong says. "She's not afraid to slip up and I think that's why we're so fascinated with her."
Of course, a perennial favourite is the great Dame Helen Mirren. Mirren, long a celebrity in Britain known for her work on Prime Suspect, really came onto the Hollywood radar in 1994 with her role as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George. Since then, Mirren has become one of the most lauded actors in both Britain and North America. But she's also very down-to-earth, says Wong, which is a huge part of her appeal. "You can approach her on the street, ask her for a photo and she'll do it," he says. "If you saw Meryl Streep on the street, I don't think you'd be able to get that close to her."
Finally, we can't forget the princess of our hearts, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. From the moment the palace announced her engagement to Prince William through the stunning royal wedding and a triumphant tour of Canada last summer, we've had a love affair with all things Kate. Whether it's her great sense of style — particularly when she's rocking a Canadian Smythe jacket — or her good deeds, we Canadians love the Duchess.
Let's hear it for the boys
When he's busy stealing our hearts as the romantic vampire Edward Cullen, it's easy to forget that Robert Pattinson is actually a Brit. "But how could we forget him?" says Wong. "He's the biggest star in the world right now." Part of Pattinson's appeal, of course, is his drool-worthy turn as Edward in the Twilight movies, but there's more to him than that.
"He makes the effort to connect with his fans," says Wong. "When he's up close and knows it's his fans and not the paparazzi watching, he makes the effort to connect. His girlfriend, Kristen Stewart, is much more private."
Pattinson's not the only Brit to steal our hearts by playing a character from a beloved book. Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, is another British celeb Wong says is worthy of our affections. "He's incredibly gracious," says Wong. "I mean, he's the most profitable actor in the world according to Forbes magazine, but he always stops to talk to fans and takes time out to greet people."
One up-and-coming Brit to watch is Tom Hardy. Hardy, currently starring in This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine, is set to star as super-villain Bane in the upcoming blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises.
"That's going to put him on the map," says Wong. "From what I've heard of him, he's incredibly approachable. He was filming This Means War with Reese in Vancouver last year, and I heard through the grapevine he's really sweet. Even in paparazzi photos, he's always smiling for the camera."
But whether it's their accents, sophistication or simply that they're so down-to-earth, we can't help but fall in love with British celebrities, Wong adds. "It's refreshing, because they are more candid. They're more authentic and honest. There's just something that appeals to us."
By Alison Dunn