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25 Hottest Sex Symbols of 2014

From ‘Broad City’ babes and ‘Gone Girls’ to James Franco’s little bro and the man channeling Christian Grey, the year’s sexiest stars

Gigi Hadid and Theo James

Gigi Hadid and Theo James

Albert L. Ortega/Getty; Anita Bugge/Getty

In 2014, the Sex Symbol became an endangered species. Future Hall of Famers George Clooney and Brad Pitt took on challenges that will inevitably age them (marriage, starring opposite Shia LaBeouf), former Rated Rookies Elizabeth Olsen and Chris Pratt graduated beyond best-kept-secret status and the kottage industry known as Kim Kardashian somehow found a new way to define "overexposure."

In short, nature's seemingly endless supply of Sex Symbols has come to a crucial choke point, and we are in dire need of a new crop of good-looking folks to fill our rapidly thinning ranks. Luckily, 2014 provided us with plenty of potential recruits – actors, athletes, musicians and models (there's always models) that made an indelible mark on the year, and had us feeling, well, feelings. 

Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike

Vera Anderson/Getty

Rosamund Pike

More than a decade after she was a Bond girl, in 2014 Pike shocked audiences – and won raves – as David Fincher's Gone Girl. Sure, casting a relative unknown opposite Ben Affleck was a risk, but Pike relished the role, turning in a performance that was cool, coital and conniving. Gone Girl would become a worldwide smash, and Pike appears to be a lock for an Oscar nom. . .more proof that sometimes, it pays to take risks. And a testament to the power of the perfect "resting bitch face."

Eddie Redmayne

British actor Eddie Redmayne poses arriving at the UK premiere of the film 'The Theory of Everything' in London on December 9, 2014. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and stars Eddie Redmayne protraying the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Justin Tallis/Getty

Eddie Redmayne

If you haven't yet seen his remarkable turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, what are you waiting for? In the role of his young career, Redmayne – a former model – underwent a total transformation, wracking his body into the confines of Hawking's condition. Yet, his performance was more than mere misery; like the famed physicist, he maintained a mischievous grin throughout, hinting at the currents surging beneath the still waters. Sure to be a contender come awards season, Redmayne has remained cool throughout his rise – though, after a role so taxing, maybe he's just recuperating.

Gina Rodriguez

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actress Gina Rodriguez arrives at the 2014 NCLR ALMA Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 10, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

Gina Rodriguez

The former soap standout shattered the glass ceiling in 2014, becoming the first star of a CW show to score an acting nod at the Golden Globes for her starring role on Jane the Virgin. Like the show, Rodriguez has been a genuine joy to watch throughout her rise, and now that the rest of the world is catching on – welcome to the party, Lena Dunham! – it looks like the sky's the limit for this talented actress and dancer.

Tinashe

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - DECEMBER 06: Singer Tinashe performs at a holiday concer at 5 Towers Outdoor Concert Arena on December 6, 2014 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Michael Tullberg/Getty

Tinashe

As part of the ill-fated girl group the Stunners, she survived touring with Justin Bieber and the machinations of the music business, so when the 21-year-old singer had the opportunity to go solo, she ran with it. After dropping a trio of mixtapes, Tinashe punched the clock at the DJ Mustard hit factory and scored a crossover smash with "2 On," which led directly to her acclaimed debut album, Aquarius. Like fellow breakout star FKA Twigs, she's been tapped as the future of R&B, though she prefers to take inspiration from the genre's past – namely, its flirtation with dance music in the late Eighties and early Nineties. You know, before she was born.

FKA Twigs

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 25: FKA Twigs performs on stage at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on September 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images)

Burak Cingi/Getty

FKA Twigs

In her former life as Tahliah Barnett, background dancer, she logged time in videos for Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J. But after releasing a pair of EPs as Twigs – a nickname she earned from her fellow dancers because of the way her joints cracked – then adding the "FKA" (formerly known as) after another artist claimed the name, the 26-year-old Brit stepped directly beneath the spotlight. And, with her acclaimed debut LP1, she became 2014's brightest new star, working with collaborators like Arca, Dev Hynes and Paul Epworth to create a hushed, sensual sound all her own. Oh, and she also started dating some dude named Robert Pattinson, whoever he is.

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