The 60 Sexiest Movies of All Time

Fifty Shades is one of the tamest movies on this list.

Sony Picture Classics
(Image credit: Warner Brothers / Sony Picture Classics)

The internet is full of sex. There are sexy pictures, sexy videos, and, of course, porn. But sometimes you want to watch something provocative without seeing straight-up porn.Lucky for you, the world has been producing sexy-but-not-sex-y entertainment for even longer than the internet has been in existence. When you want to watch something that's definitively NSFW, but not quite PornHub, when you're looking for steamy content, but not just intercourse, there are certain mainstream movies that land right in that sweet-spot.

For your sexy-but-not-porn viewing pleasure, we've collected some of the sexiest and most sensual movies that mainstream cinema has ever gifted to the world. From Stanley Kubrick's anonymous sex orgy party classic Eyes Wide Shut to the very different mainstream accounts of real-life BDSM kink in Fifty Shades of Grey and Secretary to scorching hot LGBTQ+ love stories like Blue Is the Warmest Color and Call Me By Your Name, these movies epitomize the best kinds of sexy Hollywood has ever been able to muster. Yes, they have nudity and sex (sometimes just implied, sometimes, um, let's just say very strongly implied), but they also have amazing stories and, in many cases, top notch writing, directing, and acting, too—all courtesy of true A-list talent, no less.

Bookmark this list for the next time your body is aching for a sexy story to satisfy your binging urge (and, you know, any other related urges you might have). Here are 60 incredibly racy movies to watch right now (or later, if you need some privacy for this particular streaming sesh).

'Eyes Wide Shut'

Released in: 1999

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Todd Field, and Marie Richardson

What makes it sexy: Stanley Kubrick's last completed film was this erotic drama, which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman back when they were still married IRL. It's also notable for making masked orgies look like the sexiest possible use of a weekend.

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'After'

Released in: 2019

Starring: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Selma Blair, Inanna Sarkis, Shane Paul McGhie, Pia Mia, Khadijha Red Thunder, Dylan Arnold, Samuel Larsen, Jennifer Beals, and Peter Gallagher

What makes it sexy: It's based on One Direction sex fan fiction, sooooooo.... 🔥.

WATCH IT

'Cruel Intentions'

Released in: 1999

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair

What makes it sexy: It's just your classic girl-bets-sex-with-step-brother-over-his-ability-to-seduce-another-girl-who-happens-to-be-a-virgin story. Okay, so that's not a great setup, but somehow Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon made it surprisingly sexy (so sexy that Reese and Ryan married the year it was released).

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'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Released in: 2015, 2017, and 2018.

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, and Marcia Gay Harden

What makes it sexy: Could we do a sexy movie list without including the Fifty Shades trilogy? Obviously no. Christian and Anastasia have been through a lot of sexy moments during the series, but that elevator kiss in the first flick? Still classic.

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'Secretary'

Released in: 2002

Starring: James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal

What makes it sexy: Before Fifty Shades hit the scene and got everyone all hot and bothered about mainstream S&M, there was Secretary, which gives a much more grounded look at a dom/sub relationship than Fifty Shades. The indie favorite was written by Erin Cressida Wilson (who would go on to pen the screenplays for The Girl on the Train and 2009's erotic thriller Chloe) and, fun fact, Spader's dom character is also named Mr. Grey.

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'Titanic'

Released in: 1997

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, and Bill Paxton

What makes it sexy: That steamy handprint that burned in our collective brains, for one.

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'Dirty Dancing'

Released in: 1987

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, and Cynthia Rhodes

What makes it sexy: The dancing, obviously.

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'In the Realm of the Senses'

Released in: 1976

Starring: Eiko Matsuda and Tatsuya Fuji

What makes it sexy: Graphic, unsimulated sex scenes and a story about a forbidden affair between a maid and a married man.

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'9½ Weeks'

Released in: 1986

Starring: Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger

What makes it sexy: This movie pushed the envelope when it came to sex in mainstream movies and the kinky romance between Rourke and Basinger led to some iconic movie moments, including one particularly memorable kitchen scene.

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'Body Heat' 

Released in: 1981

Starring: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Richard Crenna

What makes it sexy: It's inspired by Double Indemnity and tells the story of a seductive woman who uses sex to manipulate her lover into murdering her husband. AKA, sex-fueled intrigue all over.

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'Adore'

Released in: 2013

Starring: Naomi Watts and Robin Wright

What makes it sexy: This Australian-French drama is about not one, but two very taboo love affairs. When lifelong BFFs Roz and Lil (Watts and Wright) begin affairs with each other's teenage sons, things are drama-bound from minute one.

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'Moonlight'

Released in: 2016

Starring: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali

What makes it sexy: This coming-of-age drama may not seem super sexy at first glance, but it's full of tender, touching sex scenes that more than earn it a spot on this year.

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'The Handmaiden'

Released in: 2016

Starring: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, and Cho Jin-woong

What makes it sexy: It's basically the definition of "erotic" in every imaginable way.

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'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Released in: 2019

Starring: Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel

What makes it sexy: This French drama focuses on the forbidden love affair between two women—an aristocrat and the artist hired to paint her portrait—in 18th century France.

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'Atonement'

Released in: 2007

Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, and Vanessa Redgrave

What makes it sexy: The library scene. Also the sweeping, tragic romance. But mainly the library scene.

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'She's Gotta Have It'

Released in: 1986

Starring: Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee, and Raye Dowell

What makes it sexy: You know what's sexy? Female autonomy, that's what. And Spike Lee's 1986 classic She's Gotta Have It, which follows a woman who's dating three men, has that in spades. The movie is such a classic, it spawned a Netflix series of the same name.

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'Blue Valentine'

Released in: 2010

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

What makes it sexy: This movie is about the breakdown of a marriage, but the sexy moments that make up that breakdown are so hot the movie nearly ended up with an NC-17 rating.

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'Boogie Nights'

Released in: 1997

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and Philip Seymour Hoffman

What makes it sexy: It would be hard to make a movie about the Golden Age of Porn that wasn't sexy.

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'Bound'

Released in: 1996

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, and John Ryan

What makes it sexy: This movie marked the the Wachowskis' directorial debut and tells the story of a passionate love affair between two women—one of whom happens to be the girlfriend of a mobster.

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'Mulholland Drive'

Released in: 2001

Starring: Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Ann Miller, and Robert Forster

What makes it sexy: The film is famous for its same-sex love scene between Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring.

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'Stranger by the Lake'

Released in: 2013

Starring: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, and Patrick d'Assumçao

What makes it sexy: This modern iconic queer film is equal parts sex thrills and just plain thrilling thrills.

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'The Dreamers'

Released in: 2003

Starring: Michael Pitt, Eva Green, and Louis Garrel

What makes it sexy: The Dreamers is about a love triangle involving a brother, sister, and an American student in Paris. Eva Green stars and is supremely sensual. There are two versions of the movie out there—an NC-17 cut and an R-rated version that's roughly three minutes shorter. Clearly, those are three important minutes.

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'Jennifer's Body'

Released in: 2009

Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, J. K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, and Adam Brody

What makes it sexy: Megan Fox as a demonically possessed teen who kills and consumes her male classmates? It's a feminist horror masterpiece and sexy AF to boot.

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'Closer'

Released in: 2004

Starring: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen

What makes it sexy: Love. Sex. Betrayal. All with that cast.

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'Y Tu Mamá También'

Released in: 2001

Starring: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, and Diego Luna

What makes it sexy: This is, hands down, the sexiest road trip movie of all time and a must-see for fans of director Alfonso Cuarón, who would go on to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men and to become the first Mexican director to win the Best Director Academy Award, for Gravity.

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'The Graduate'

Released in: 1967

Starring: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, and Katharine Ross

What makes it sexy: The movie is basically a study in seduction.

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'Call Me By Your Name'

Released in: 2017

Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois

What makes it sexy: Call Me By Your Name's worthiness for this list can be summed up in two words: Timothée. Chalamet. On top of the je ne sais quoi of the young Franco-American actor, of course, the film is also a gripping portrait of a budding relationship. But let's not discount the Chalamet factor.

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'Intimacy'

Released in: 2001

Starring: Mark Rylance, Kerry Fox, Alastair Galbraith, Susannah Harker, and Timothy Spall

What makes it sexy: Well, the unsimulated fellatio doesn't hurt.

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'Blue Is the Warmest Colour'

Released in: 2013

Starring: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos

What makes it sexy: In 2013, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, shook audiences with its arousing look into the nuances of sexuality. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Blue Is The Warmest Colour follows the relationship of a French teen named Adèle and aspiring painter, Emma.

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'Sleeping Beauty'

Released in: 2011

Starring: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Peter Carroll, and Chris Haywood

What makes it sexy: This erotic indie drama, about a college student who works at a unique, high-end brothel to earn money, is no fairytale.

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'Before Sunrise'

Released in: 1995

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy

What makes it sexy: The movie, about two strangers who meet on train and spend a night walking around Vienna together, perfectly captures the excitement meeting someone you feel an instant spark and connection with. The hours-long romance culminates in a sexy night in the park and an open-ended question about the couple's future (which is answered in subsequent movies, for inquiring minds).

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'Malcolm & Marie' 

Released in: 2021

Starring: Zendaya and John David Washington

What makes it sexy: This romantic film plays out more or less in real time as a couple argues after an emotional night out and part of what makes the stripped-down drama work so well is the intense chemistry between Zendaya and Washington.

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'Unfaithful'

Released in: 2002

Starring: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, and Erik Per Sullivan

What makes it sexy: It's an erotic thriller about an married woman who embarks on a dangerous affair with a stranger. Classic sexy movie set up.

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'Magic Mike'

Released in: 2012

Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey

What makes it sexy: Magic Mike turns the tables on objectifcation and focuses on a group of male strippers.When Magic Mike came out, I'll admit, I was like "Huh? Why?" But then I saw Channing Tatum dance to "Pony" and I was like, "Oh. I get it."

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'Sex and Lucia'

Released in: 2001

Starring: Paz Vega, Tristán Ulloa, Najwa Nimri, Daniel Freire, and Elena Anaya

What makes it sexy: If we had to pick just one thing, probably the orgies

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'Henry & June'

Released in: 1990

Starring: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, and Maria de Medeiros.

What makes it sexy: Based on Anaïs Nin's 1986 book, the NC-17-rated drama tells the story Nin's relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June.

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'Shame'

Released in: 2011

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, and Nicole Beharie

What makes it sexy: Fassbender's, um, revealing performance.

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'Dangerous Liaisons'

Released in: 1988

Starring: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick, and Uma Thurman

What makes it sexy: It's based on the same classic sexed-up French novel that inspired Cruel Intentions, but this version has period costumes.

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'Lust, Caution'

Released in: 2007

Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Tang Wei, Anupam Kher, Joan Chen, and Wang Leehom

What makes it sexy: The NC-17-rated steamy love scenes between Wei Tang and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung.

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'Romance X'

Released in: 1999

Starring: Caroline Ducey, Sagamore Stévenin, François Berléand, and Rocco Siffredi

What makes it sexy: This French arthouse film features unsimulated sex and raw emotion in spades.

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'Ex Machina'

Released in: 2014

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac

What makes it sexy: Alicia Vikander plays a sexy android. It's romance. It's sci-fi. It's everything you need it to be and more.

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'Elles'

Released in: 2011

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Anaïs Demoustier, and Joanna Kulig

What makes it sexy: The story, which follows a journalist who interviews two young sex workers for an article and starts rediscovering her own sexuality in the process.

'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'

Released in: 1989

Starring: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, and Laura San Giacomo

What makes it sexy: Sex, Lies, and Videotape isn't just about characters having sex, it's also full of frank conversations about sex, which is fascinating and titillating in its own way too. This Steven Soderbergh-directed film also marks a second James Spader appearance on this list, FWIW.

WATCH IT

'The Hunger'

Released in: 1983

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon

What makes it sexy: This horror movie is about a hungry vampire, but director Tony Scott made the onscreen flesh-eating very sensual. Plus, the movie's topless woman-on-woman scene caused a stir back in the day and put the movie (and Susan Sarandon) on the map.

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'Black Swan'

Released in: 2010

Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder

What makes it sexy: Ballet—and hellish nightmares—have never been sexier than in this mind-trip of a movie from director Darren Aronofsky.

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'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'

Released in: 2005

Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody, and Kerry Washington

What makes it sexy: Known forever as the movie that brought Brangelina together, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is also the film that captures their early chemistry for the world to see. The scene where they literally bring down a house will make you understand why they had to be together IRL too.

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'A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy'

Released in: 2008

Starring: Nana Kagga

What makes it sexy: Umm, Nana Kagga, clearly.

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'Wild Things'

Released in: 1998

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Theresa Russell, Denise Richards, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robert Wagner, and Bill Murray

What makes it sexy: The threesome scene between Denise Richards, Neve Campbell, and Matt Dillon definitely doesn't hurt.

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'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' 

Released in: 2008

Starrring: Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Rebecca Hall, and Chris Messina.

What makes it sexy: Um, the cast. Clearly.

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'Belle de Jour'

Released in: 1967

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, and Michel Piccoli.

What makes it sexy: This might be the quintessential sexy mainstream movie. In it, Catherine Deneuve plays a housewife who decides to try her hand at prostitution, but the dreamy production makes it hard to know for sure if what happens is real or a dream.

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'The Talented Mr. Ripley'

Released in: 1999

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn, Sergio Rubini, and Philip Baker Hall

What makes it sexy: The palpable chemistry between Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law. Mmm.

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'9 Songs'

Released in: 2004

Starring: Kieran O'Brien and Margo Stilley

What makes it sexy: This modern love story features unsimulated sex and centers on two people who's main interests in life are going to concerts and banging each other. How could it not be sexy?

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'Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)'

Released in: 2015

Starring; Finnegan Oldfield, Marilyn Lima, Daisy Broom, Fred Hotier and Lorenzo Lefebvre

What makes it sexy: A French movie about hormonal teens playing Truth or Dare? Sex, sex, sex.

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'Chloe'

Released in: 2010

Starring: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Max Thieriot, R. H. Thomson, Nina Dobrev, and Meghan Heffern

What makes it sexy: When a wife (Julianne Moore) thinks her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating, she hires a call girl (Amanda Seyfried at her absolute sexiest) to try to tempt him. The plan doesn't go perfectly though, considering said call girl ends up seducing the wife, too.

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'Love & Basketball'

Released in: 2000

Starring: Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Alfre Woodard, and Dennis Haysbert

What makes it sexy: The movie follows a couple's journey from childhood sweethearts into adulthood, but the sexiest scene involves a steamy game of strip basketball.

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'Brokeback Mountain'

Released in: 2005

Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams.

What makes it sexy: Its earnestness and honesty, hands down.

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'Disobedience'

Released in: 2017

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola

What makes it sexy: Forbidden love. Sexy leads. Nothing not to like.

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'Love'

Released in: 2015

Starring: Aomi Muyock, Karl Glusman, and Klara Kristin

What makes it sexy: This 2015 French erotic art film by Gaspar Noé features unsimulated sex scenes and was released in 3D.

'Elisa & Marcela'

Released in: 2019

Starring: Natalia de Molina and Greta Fernández

What makes it sexy: This biopic about the first recorded same-sex marriage in Spain is sexy enough on its own, but the fact that it's based on a true story makes it achingly beautiful.

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'In the Mood for Love'

Released in: 2000

Starring: Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

What makes it sexy: The anticipation. The movie is all about two neighbors whose spouses are having an affair—and about the aching (but unrealized) yearning they have for each other.

WATCH IT

Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.