THE top nude performance of the Millennium

The entire balloting process is complete. It happened in three parts.

Part 1 was to ask for nominations. Because we are not looking for a list of the better scenes, but the one very best one, I only want to include those scenes which people would vote for as their one and only choice. Therefore, I listed seven sure-fire nominees

Alexandria Daddario in True Detective
Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin
Eva Green in The Dreamers
Rosario Dawson in Trance
Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball
Heather Graham in Killing Me Softly
Gretchen Mol in The Notorious Bettie Page

I asked the blog readers to give me additional nominations for the very best scene of the millennium, understanding that we are looking only for one scene, so in order to be the best, it would have to beat those seven. About 20 people, either by blog comments or by e-mail, said “I would be willing to ignore those seven and choose _________ as my #1”


Part 2 was to take those original seven performances plus the additional nominees and rank them from top to bottom on a “Baseball MVP” or “College Football Ranking” ballot. The results of that ballot are here.

Of the 25 women on that ballot, four received NO first place votes (Wiig, Parker, Mortimer, Linney). Five others received only a single vote (Jolie, Gyllenhaal, Clarke, Hayek and Wilde). They were dropped from the final competition – leaving only the sweet 16, the women that got multiple first-place votes in the preliminary round.


Part 3 consisted of a “one-man-one-choice” ballot. The votes in the final run-off were closely clustered into four groups. There were vast gaps between the groups but not within them. The differences inside each group were so insignificant that, if the voting were repeated, any woman in the group might be the highest vote-getter in the group or the lowest, but would be unlikely to cross into a different group.

Group 1, Hall of Famers (130+ votes): Daddario and Green

Group 2, All-Stars (48-53 votes): Johansson, Holmes, Dawson

Group 3, Solid Contenders (19-28 votes): Berry, Robbie, Chastain, Graham, Silverman, Borth


Statistical anomalies:

1. Voters changed their minds about the Daddario/Green battle from the preliminary balloting to the finals. In the semi-finals, Daddario got 120 first-place votes, while Green got a mere 48. Because Daddario won the semis in a landslide, I did not expect the final balloting to be close, but it was, because Green’s gain from the semis to the finals was highly significant.

2. Margot Robbie and Michelle Borth also received improved second looks from voters in the finals. They barely qualified for the final round with a mere three and two first-place votes in the semis, but jumped all the way into the “solid contender” tier in the final voting. (Robbie soared all the way to seventh place!) Perhaps the visual aid, present in the finals but not in the semis, reminded people of what great scenes those were.

3. Of my original seven choices, five of them finished 1-2-3-4-6, prevented from a sweep of the top five spaces only because we all still love Katie Holmes after twenty years, which I did not foresee. On the other hand, Heather Graham’s scene was weaker than I anticipated (it finished in ninth place), and the voters did not at all share my enthusiasm for Gretchen Mol.

The actual numerical tallies follow:

What was the best nude performance of the millennium?
Alexandria Daddario in True Detective 158 ( 25.32 % )
Eva Green in The Dreamers 132 ( 21.15 % )
Rosario Dawson in Trance 53 ( 8.49 % )
Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin 52 ( 8.33 % )
Katie Holmes in The Gift 48 ( 7.69 % )
Halle Berry in Monster's Ball 28 ( 4.49 % )
Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street 26 ( 4.17 % )
Jessica Chastain in Salome 22 ( 3.53 % )
Heather Graham in Killing Me Softly 21 ( 3.37 % )
Sarah Silverman in Take This Waltz 20 ( 3.21 % )
Michelle Borth in Tell Me You Love Me 19 ( 3.04 % )
Kate Micucci in Easy 12 ( 1.92 % )
Gretchen Mol in The Notorious Bettie Page 11 ( 1.76 % )
Chloe Sevigny in The Brown Bunny 10 ( 1.6 % )
Kate Mara in My Days of Mercy 8 ( 1.28 % )
Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow 4 ( 0.64 % )

Overall champion: Alexandra Daddario

Category champions:

Best scene 2000-2009:
1. Eva Green
2. Katie Holmes
3. Halle Berry
4. Heather Graham

Best scene 2010-2019:
1. Alexandra Daddario
2. Rosario Dawson
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Margot Robbie

Best movie scene:
1. Eva Green
2. Rosario Dawson
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Katie Holmes

Best scene from a series:
1. Alexandra Daddario
2. Michelle Borth
3. Kate Micucci

23 thoughts on “THE top nude performance of the Millennium

  1. Not feeling this list of options after five or so. No Eva Amurri? No Jessica Biel? Amanda Seyfried?

    I’m somewhat surprised after the Top 5 or so. If you’re going to rank them as the Top 10 overall, I would have put those three alone in the Top 10.

    1. There aren’t many who love Biel more than me and even i was very disappointed with Powder Blue. The lighting was terrible. The direction was sloppy. The acting was wooden. It just wasn’t sexy. I enjoyed her gear Magazine spread and even rules of attraction so much more.

    2. Once again, it’s a vote for the BEST scene, so the only ones that should be on the list are scenes for which someone is willing to step forward to say “I would vote for that over Daddario, Johansson, Mol, Green, Berry, Graham and Dawson.”

      If it were up to me, without consulting y’all, I would have made it just those seven scenes.

      When I asked that question, some people were willing to say they would vote for Holmes, Gyllenhaal, Sevigny, Silverman, Jolie, Micucci, Wiig, Parker, etc even if they only had one vote. Nobody came forward to say they would vote for Eva Amurri, Michelle Williams, Biel, Seyfried, Lindhome, etc as their #1 and only choice.

      Anyway, this vote is a preliminary vote to see which scenes should be on the final ballot. It will not determine the final selection. Like the Democratic debates, I will set a much narrower screening process for the final round, winnowing it down to only those with serious support in the prelims.

  2. I had to go with Black Widow. She does a long full frontal scene AFTER she becomes known for The Avengers.

  3. Sarah Silverman over Michelle Williams in Take This Waltz? Sarah Silverman is hardly a real actress. 🙂

    1. That Silverman appearance was the top nude scene of 2012, even though Michelle did additional nudity beyond just the shower scene, and looked better naked. What can I tell ya? It doesn’t really matter. Neither one will make the top five for the decade, or even the final run-off.

      1. Ah, thanks for the explanation. I wonder how they’d do if they were both listed in the scene.

    1. I took the list from the submissions made in a previous post. The requirement was “Classics only. Top scene of the century only. Don’t list any scene unless you are willing to vote for it as the very best scene, above Daddario, Dawson, Johansson, Green, Graham, Mol and Berry.” Nobody thought the Lindhome scene met that criterion. Somebody did think Micucci did, so I included to allow him to cast a vote for #1, although I would personally not place that in the top 50.

      True to his word, he did list Micucci as his #1 choice. (Well, the ballots are not attached to voter names, but I assume that was the same guy.)

  4. I probably would’ve included Hayek’s “Ask the Dust” performance rather than “Frida,” personally.

    1. I thought it was kind of a coin flip. Could have been either one. I went with Frida because (1) you can see the nudity without Photoshopping the hell out of the lighting; (2) bonus lesbian scene.

  5. These lists are, obviously, going to be assembled through personal preference and not fully representative, of course… But is it a little odd to have Kate Micucci for Easy but *not* Riki Lindhome for Hell Baby? (I’d personally add Alexis Dziena for Broken Flowers, but that’s a silly outlier since she’s essentially vanished and few remember the scene in comparison to starrier names- I get that 😉

    1. Micucci is in only because one guy said he would rank it #1. (And, in fact, one of the ballots lists it in first place.) I would not have considered it a classic.

  6. How are you able to tell the fakes (unless explaining that would help them, of course….)

    1. I think the results page also lets you download every single response in .csv format. (Does everyone get the download icon, or just me?)

  7. I’m pretty sure that you didn’t need to include anything beyond the top five: Daddario, Green, Halle, Scarlett, and Graham (maybe Rosario, but I’ve never found her Trance stuff all that interesting – I think her Alexander appearance was much better).

    It will be interesting to see how those five get sorted, but the winner will almost certainly be either Daddario or Green.

    1. I guess, but Rosario certainly has fans, as does Gretchen Mol. I think you can make pretty good arguments for Jolie, Gyllenhaal or Sevigny as well. And, who knows, maybe Katie Holmes – if anyone remembers the excitement that generated back in the day.

      As of now, very early in the voting, here are the votes for first place only:

      Green 5
      Daddario 5
      Dawson 3
      Berry 1
      Gyllenhaal 1
      Micucci 1

      Although there were no first place votes for Sevigny or Katie Holmes, each of them had a second place vote.

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