1. Maggie Gyllenhaal
Sister to the equally daring Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Brothers, Donnie Darko), Maggie is one of the few inherently hippie-to-the-bone actresses in Hollywood, breaking through to big blockbusters with films such as The Dark Knight, and bringing a fresh bout of flawed humanity to the screen. This doesn't sound to complimentary but it's meant as such. She looks beautiful in the Christopher Nolan Batman sequel, but somehow more bare or less restrained than many Hollywood counterparts whose visual perfection can lend a remote, alienating quality to them. With films like Away We Go, Paris J'taime, Adaptation and Sherrybaby under her belt, she never veers too far from her Indie base. All I really need to say are two words, The Secretary. Yeah, you know.
2. Aubrey Plaza
Best known for her role in Parks and Recreation as the sullen college student April, Aubrey is expanding into films with recent festival favourite Safety Not Guaranteed placing her in a lead role. Anyone who can pull this face over a few seasons worth of TV is a lady worth noticing in our books.
3. Ellen Page
She's not afraid of taking on a kick-ass role-Hard Candy- and ruffled up the judgemental/ stale image of unplanned teen pregnancy with her role as the intelligent motor-mouth Juno, and can even hold her own working with Leonardo DiCaprio, Woody Allen and Susan Sarandon. She can even pull off a shaved head (see Mouth to Mouth). Never opting for the easy claim-to-fame, the petite actress has been outspoken about her feminist views and sexism in the industry, saying it shouldn't be considered a dirty word and complaining that 'Only 23% of speaking roles in films today are for women'. At least she is a woman you can count on to speak her mind.
4. Greta Gerwig
If you are a Woody Allen fan you may have seen Gerwig in To Rome with Love, or in another recognisable/reasonably-mainstream-for-her movie Greenberg alongside Ben Stiller. She is a big advocate of mumblecore (dialogue tha promotes realism through improvisation). Her most recent collaberation with Noah Baumbach came out this summer, and if the film has anything, it has her.
5. Mae Whitman
Mae is used to playing the dorky gals, and you gotta love her for that. Real life sexy and movie sexy don't always correspond, and Mae affirms that. In Scott Pilgrim vs the World she is in the League of Evil Exes, and in The Perks of Being a Wallflower she is cast as the painfull third wheel and scorned ex in a teen love affair.
6. Zoe Kazan
Her other half is Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine), and in their choice of indie films and their striking physical features, she really deserves some brownie points for being part of a couple you want to befriend.The twenty-nine year old's striking pixie face will make many a man crush hard on her.
7. Isabella Rossellini
She's an old-school indie veteran favourite who in her heyday was a stunner with an admirable, and enviable, CV. Breeze through her giant filmograpy including Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her and The Imposters.
8. Juno Temple
The English actress has a wildchild look, a famous director dad (Julian Temple) whose iconoclast 'cool' factor contests against hers, so good things should come. She has starred in The Dark Knight, Notes on a Scandal, Atonement, Greenberg, the upcoming Lovelace and Little Birds.
9. Rooney Mara
Everyone knows Rooney Mara as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a character she has more in common than a first glance would suggest as both embody an atypical type of sexuality. Her roles in The Social Network, Side Effects and Dream Boy mark her out as one to watch, as does her upcoming appearance in Her; a film about a man who falls in love with a computer system...Prime example of her picking the unexpected there.
10. Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall is sometimes overlooked despite her choice of quality roles over , including Starter for Ten, Frost/Nixon, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town and Everything Must Go. Even just visually, there's something about her that screams brainy. Also, just look at her...natural hottie.