Fox’s Searchlight’s Miss March opens today, and in its honor, Screen Junkies decided to post a list of our favorite Playboy girls who’ve graced the silver screen – and many, many times more on home video. The rules were simple:
If you posed for Playboy first and then in a film, congrats. You’re SAG-eligible and now therefore eligible for our list. (Maybe SAG is the wrong acronym, here). On the flip side, if you were already an actress and then felt compelled to see yourself naked in print, then you’re also up for our top ten.
And if you’re Kim Kardashian, well, somehow, you ended up in a movie (albeit Disaster Movie). We’ll throw you a bone.
The 2007 Playmate of the Year is the first notable Playboy Playmate to grace the silver screen in 2009, stretching her acting chops as… herself… in Miss March. Actually, the role of "Herself" seems to be a popular one for the Playmates who’ve made it onto celluloid, so Sara’s simply carrying the torch. I hope she doesn’t drop it. Wait, yes I do. Underwood also made recent appearances in The House Bunny, and as a "pirate wench" in Epic Movie, the budget of which was likely on par with Pirates 2: Stagnetti’s Revenge. For those of you who don’t know, P2:SR is a porno with Jesse Jayne, who makes Playboy look like Highlights for Children. Because there’s no DVDA in Highlights.
Say what you will about Kim Kardashian (and then type it in the comments section below), but she’s managed to be cast in a major motion picture, which is more than about three million other girls living in LA can say. Granted, that film was Disaster Movie, but it had a script, was shot with real cameras, and had real human beings working on a set, even if everyone has relegated it to the deepest, darkest crevasse of their subconscious. The film received a whopping 2% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and at the end of December ’08 was rated the 2nd Worst Movie of All Time on IMDB.com. Still, it is a movie. And Kim did pose in Playboy. And she does have an ass that could turn Harvey Fierstein straight. So she makes it on the list.
The 1993 Playmate of the Year is probably best known for her dark addictions that led to an early death in February of 2007, but before all the craziness – at least, before the stuff caught on tape – Anna Nicole was a knockout. She wanted to be the modern Marylin Monroe and she came as close as can be. She also got to act in some pretty great movies, most notably as "other woman" Tanya Peters in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. She brought a certain ditziness to the femme fatale role, pitch-perfect for Zucker noir. "How could you?!" asks Priscilla Presley upon catching Smith in the heat of passion with Leslie Nielsen. Smith replies, "Well, you just shove your tongue as far down his throat as you can."
Ah… Jenny McCarthy. She was the 1994 Playmate of the Year and skyrocketed to sexy superstardom shortly thereafter. She was hot AND funny. And the combo landed her a role in BASEketball, where she showed us all how she polishes a knob with her mouth. Literally. (This is the Zuckers we’re talking about.) She took the toilet humor even further with 2003’s Dirty Love, in which she was depicted in a pool of her own menstrual blood. Still, we can look beyond the menstrual blood to see her true beauty. And if you’d like to borrow that line to coerce your girlfriend into having unprotected sex while she’s on her period, be my guest. Just don’t sue me when she gets pregnant because you have weird alien sperm that won’t die.
Karen made the list because she takes the cake for the most amount of blink-and-you-miss-her roles on film, even after being recognized as the 1998 Playmate of the Year. You have to admire her commitment to get work, and her refusal to deny herself a part, no matter how small. Such roles include "Taller Brunette Lifeguard" in Joe Dirt, "Woman at Las Vegas Convention" in The Girl Next Door, and "Playmate #1" in Grind. Next summer, she’ll be seen as "Tiny dot that resembles an attractive woman in a field of Orcs" in Guillermo Del Toro’s The Hobbit.
Eleniak is a perfect example of an actress who used Playboy to boost her profile. She started out with a few appearances in Charles in Charge, which required her to have sex with Scott Baio off-screen. But after deciding to pose in ’89, she quickly landed a role in Baywatch. Then in 1992, Eleniak was given the Playmate’s role of a lifetime: playing a Playboy Playmate not named "Herself. Instead, she used her imagination to play Playmate Jordan Tate, hired to do a striptease for the captain of a U.S. Navy ship, in Under Siege. Watching the film on video for the first time, the thought of our hard-earned tax dollars going to hire Playboy centerfolds as strippers took me out of the story. Then I realized I was in 5th grade, and rewound the booby scene ten times or so.
Unbelievably, Pam was never the Playmate of the Year. But she did pose for Playboy five times. Like Eleniak, it helped land her a role on Baywatch. But Pam was made of top-lining material (and a dash of silicon), and landed the lead role in the film adaptation of Dark Horse Comics’ Barb Wire, where she played a bar owner and part-time bounty hunter. Amazingly, having those two jobs seems completely credible. Looking like Pam and having those two jobs is not. The movie didn’t fare all that well, but Pam’s career did just fine, thanks to her second release that year, which was a video of her driving a boat with Tommy Lee’s penis.
The 1997 Playmate of the Year got to reprise the storied role of "Herself" in the 1999 Matt Stone and Trey Parker live action laugh-fest, BASEketball. I’m serious when I say it’s a laugh-fest, and challenge anyone to prove that this film was not funny. Many have tried. None have convinced me. Go back and watch it if you doubt. In any case, Victoria’s locker room scene in the film might go down in history as the most times a Playmate is referred to with the honorific of "Playboy Playmate" before her actual name is spoken. It etched Playboy Playmate of the Year Victoria Silvstedt into our memories, and her ample breasts gently pressed themselves onto our eyes, leaving an imprint long after we had left the darkened multiplex.
Brande had a bit of an unorthodox path to theatrical work. She started out in softcore pornography, starring in a handful of films before moving onto fully clothed softcore pornography with – wait for it – Baywatch. Afterward, she made some guest appearances on shows like 90210 and Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, and then eventually made it to the big screen with 2004’s Starsky & Hutch, where she and her massive, bare breasts shared a lengthy conversation with Ben Still and Owen Wilson.
The great – nay, the greatest – Dane is our throwback Playmate pick. She may seem effin’ nuts and on her last legs now, but in the mid-80s, she was a hot commodity. In her case, she made a name in movies first – playing Red Sonja, Mrs. Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, and the model known as "Ingrid" in Cobra. In the latter film, she is the only woman able to make badass L.A. cop Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) melt inside his hardened shell (she was married to Stallone). Shortly after making the film, Nielsen decided to bare all for Playboy. And things kinda went downhill from there. On the upside, we sure did have some great laughs with her and Flava Flav, didn’t we? And for all the right reasons, too.
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