Kate Beckinsale is riding the crest of a wave at the minute thanks to a career-best performance in indie comedy Love & Friendship.
She’s also proving to be dynamite off-screen thanks to a series of hilarious chatshow appearances, a takedown of her Pearl Harbour director Michael Bay and Twitter hijinks involving dressing up a giant penis.
Is this enough to elevate her to national treasure status? We say absolutely. And if you’re not convinced, just remember that Kate is a sizzling screen presence who’s responsible for some stone-cold movie classics. Her are five of her steamiest…
Laurel Canyon (2002)
Beckinsale starred with a pre-Batman Christian Bale in this American indie drama about a clash of outlooks between an uptight couple and a mother with a more fluid worldview. As well as tangling with the Dark Knight, Beckinsale, Alessandro Nivola and Frances McDormand set pulses racing thanks to some swimming pool action that gave Showgirls a run for its money.
In a world where female-led blockbusters are an endangered species, you have to give Beckinsale credit for keeping the Underworld franchise up and running for 13 years. Thanks to werewolves, vampires and a leading lady wielding firearms and skin-tight leather, it’s succeeded where so many others have failed.
Van Helsing (2004)
For a long time Universal have been attempting to relaunch their monster franchises; in 2004 they tried to do it with Dracula, Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde in one fell swoop via Hugh Jackman vehicle Van Helsing. It didn’t work, but the film at least produced another fine turn from Beckinsale, which included a masquerade ball encounter with the Prince of Darkness.
Based on a comic book from Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber, Whiteout saw Beckinsale play a US Marshal tracking a killer as the sun gets ready to set for six months in Antarctica. This won’t go down as a classic, but Beckinsale is on top form as Carrie Stetko and a headline-hitting shower scene meant the pre-release hype went through the roof.
Total Recall (2012)
It takes something special to match Sharon Stone, but Beckinsale managed just that as
Lori Quaid in the Total Recall remake. One particular high-octane action sequence proved to be too much for leading man Colin Farrell. “There was a vagina-slam to the face. Let’s just say what it is,” Beckinsale recalled. “I had to slide towards him in a mean Dirty Dancing way and chin him in the face with my area… he was knocked out afterwards.”