I wasn’t sure what to blog about today. I’m still in a post-Christmas stupor of wine, candy, piles of new books (yay!), whipping the WIP into shape to be sent in, playing with the dogs with their new toys, etc. I’ve also been wasting lots of time reading other blogs–beauty product blogs, opera blogs, movie blogs, whatever looks interesting. On some of my favorite movie blogs, they have had a meme going around listing 20 favorite actresses, which I have really enjoyed following. On these blogs, “favorite” can mean anything–most beautiful, most interesting, actresses you will watch in any movie no matter how bad. So I decided to do something like that.

These are 20 favorites. 10 actresses and 10 actors, which I find to be especially useful when needing some inspiration for characters. They’re not necessarily the best actors (though some definitely are), but they are interesting in many ways. (And, btw, if you need a pick-me-up kind of movie this dismal time of year, run out and see Happy-Go-Lucky. It’s fabulous, definitely my favorite of the movies I’ve seen this year, and I hope to see Sally Hawkins in the Oscar line-up next month. I didn’t much like her as Anne Elliott, but she is perfect in this movie).

Ten Actresses:

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Audrey Tautou (I do like French movies…)

Penelope Cruz

Cate Blanchett

Keira Knightley

Emily Mortimer

Nicole Kidman

Natalie Portman

Rachel Weisz

Kate Winslet

And Ten Actors:

Orlando (of course!)

Matthew McFadyen

James McAvoy

James Franco (I love how he can be both intense and hilarious!)

Hugh Jackman

Rufus Sewell (btw, does anyone know what this movie is???)

David Tennant

Christian Bale

Gerard Butler (Happy Holidays, Diane!)

Clive Owen (And Happy Holidays to Megan, too!)

Who are some of your favorite “inspirations”? Seen any good movies this holiday season, or found any good bargains in the post-Christmas sales?

See you in 2009! (And be sure and join me next weekend as I “launch” my January book, High Seas Stowaway. There will be giveaways and fun pirate stuff, though sadly no warm sandy beaches…)