“All the action adventure girls have red hair,” he said. “Whenever it is an independent girl, not a sidekick person, when she has her own mind or does as good as the guys, she has red hair.” ― Marion Roach, Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair
Ah… the elusive redhead. What started this love affair?
They draw me in like a moth to a flame. It’s not just me either. Do a quick online search and you’ll find loads of forums and articles discussing the appeal of these exotic beauties.
Perhaps it’s the fact that red hair, genuine red hair, is vary rare. In fact it only occurs in 1-2% of the world’s population (4% in Europe and 13% of the Scottish population, those lucky devils).
There’s also the common belief that redheads are fiery, exotic and passionate: a study was even done in the 19th century which concluded that red hair was linked to ‘crimes of lust’. And speaking of lust, onto my list of ladies I consider to be flying the flag for the flame-haired minority.
With this list, some are genuine redheads – god bless ’em – and others have adopted the look on pretty much a permanent basis; perhaps for a character which put them on the map or simply to further their careers.
I first saw this lady in Catch Me If You Can as nurse Brenda Strong, opposite DiCaprio’s Frank Abagnale Jr. Since that point her career has skyrocketed, with about 2-3 films a year for the last few years, including playing Lois Lane in Man Of Steel and, most recently, teasing and seducing Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper’s characters in American Hustle.
Take Shelter in 2011 launched Chastain’s career onto the A-list. That year she also turned up in The Help, The Tree Of Life and Coriolanus. Not bad. Then followed this in 2012 with the role she’s best known for, Maya, in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. This led film critic Richard Roeper to describe her as ‘one of the finest actors of her generation.’
We all know her as Joan Harris from Mad Men (2007-2014). She’d had a few years knocking around in TV until that point, but this put her emphatically on the map. If Jessica Rabbit were real, she’d be Joan. Each day thousands of men must curse and cheer the fact that Joan doesn’t stalk around their office. Let’s face it, you’d get no work done at all, would you?
Deborah Ann Woll
Sweet little Jessica Hamby. At least, she was when she started out in True Blood (2008-2014), then slowly became more vamp-y with each season, yet retained the best qualities from her human life: compassion, empathy, vulnerability, love. She just added seduction, sex appeal, lust and animalistic hunger to the mix. One of my favourite characters from the show.
Nominated for four academy awards and with an impressive filmography, Moore is the thinking man’s redhead. That’s not to say she’s not sexy as hell too (see Chloe). With a career that started in 1984 it’s fair to say she’s had ups and downs. The ups, though, have been worth it; Boogie Nights, The End Of The Affair, Magnolia, Far From Heaven, The Hours, Children Of Men, A Single Man, The Kids Are All Right, Crazy Stupid Love… and many more.