After devoting substantial time to casting our perfect Christian Grey in the film version of E.L. James’ romantic trilogy 50 Shades of Grey, we now turn to the movie's leading lady; the virginal Anastasia Steele.
University Pictures has already won the rights to the Grey trilogy and casting talks are already buzzing throughout Hollywood.
The books describe Anastasia (Ana as she is known) as an innocent 21-year-old college student: “a pale, brown haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face.”
The trick to casting Ana is finding an actress with not only the right look but the innocence for the character, and the acting chops to keep up with our number one Christian Grey pick: Ryan Gosling.
Here we chose 21 potential Ana’s, listed from youngest to oldest.
Who is you Anastasia Steele pick?
1. Shailene Woodley, 20
Best known for her role as Amy Juergens on Secret Life of the American Teenage, Woodley has the youth and beauty needed to play Ana down pat. With her tour de force in her Golden Globe nominated role in The Descendents, Woodley proved she has the acting chops to take on any role.
2. Kristen Stewart, 22
50 Shades of Grey allegedly began as Twilight fan fiction with the characters of Anastasia and Christian based off of Twilight's Bella and Edward. With that in mind, Stewart, who plays Bella in the Twilight series, should be a relative shoe-in for the role of Ana. Too bad 50 Shades author E.L. James has already nixed this notion though reportedly saying of casting Stewart, “I think it would be too strange! It would just be … Uggh weird!”
3. Emma Watson, 22
50 Shades of Grey could be a savvy career move for Emma Watson who is still trying to break out of her child-star reputation after years of playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. If Watson can get her American accent just right, then her portrayal of Ana should be mighty fine.
4. Ashley Benson, 22
Yes a little change of hair color would have to take place, but the Pretty Little Liars star has already told Celebuzz, “I’ve read every book. I want to play Anastasia.” Sounds like she is ready to go.
5. Lucy Hale, 23
Lucy Hale is Ashley Benson’s co-star on Pretty Little Liars, and her porcelain doll beauty has made her a fan-favorite for the role. While she's been told she looks just the part she told the press, "[I could play] the little sister, which I think would make sense, which I think could make sense, because I look a little young for Ana, but God, what a big role to take on."
6. Nina Dobrev, 23
Best known for her role as Elena on Vampire Diaries, the Bulgarian beauty has innocent charm perfected to an art. She is also dating real-life Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder who is a Christian Grey front-runner. Built in chemistry.
7. Lily Collins, 23
Daughter of singer Phil Collins, Lily Collins burst onto the Hollywood scene with her role alongside Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. This year, Collins showed she can anchor a movie when she played Snow White in the film Mirror Mirror.
8. Elizabeth Olsen, 23
Younger sister to the worlds most famous twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Elizabeth Olsen proved that she can play an innocent girl corrupted by someone older and more experienced, when she did just that in her break-out film Martha Marcy May Marlene. She also walks that fine line of innocence and experience, and has girl-friendly appeal: a mega key to the film's success.
9. Sasha Grey, 24
By far the most risque choice for the role, former porn star Sasha Grey has been trying to make her mark on mainstream Hollywood. Grey starred along the boys of HBO's Entourage during their seventh season. Oh, and she already has the right last name.
10. Blake Lively, 24
She might not have the right look for Ana, but word is she has the perfect look for Ana’s blonde-bombshell friend Kate Kavanagh. That said, Lively is clearly trying to take her career in a more serious direction so the likelihood of her playing any role in 50 Shades of Grey is highly unlikely. That said, how could we keep America's current sweetheart off the list?
11. Ellen Page, 25
The breakout star in the off-beat comedy Juno, Page's name has been thrown around in casting discussions. I mean, how could she be ignored? Page was cast by Hollywood legend Woody Allen in his film To Rome With Love. She has the critic's cred, and playing Ana could give her a little street cred.
12. Emmy Rossum, 25
With her romance to Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz splashed all over the tabloids, Rossum has experience to draw from in terms of high-profile love affairs. Now with years of acting under her belt, including a starring role in Phantom of the Opera, Rossum is due for a break out role.
13. Amanda Seyfried, 26
Amanda Seyfried definitely has the eyes for this role, though a salon trip would be necessary to get Ana's brown tresses. As one of Hollywood's hottest young stars, Seyfried has the fan following and the experience to make Ana appealing to men and women alike.
14. Michelle Trachtenberg, 26
Aside from having the look, Trachtenberg has experience playing the insecure young woman ... even if her mean girl role as Georgina on Gossip Girl might suggest otherwise.
15. Leighton Meester, 26
Known for playing Blair Waldorf, alongside Blake Lively and Michelle Trachtenberg, in the hit show Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester is another of Hollywood's young ingenue's on the quest for her big break. With her sweet demeanour and mass appeal, Meester could be just the right fit for Christian's Ana.
16. Olivia Wilde, 28
Her look is a little more sultry and sophisticated, but Olivia Wilde is definitely moving on up in the film industry. After years on the hit show House Wilde proved her on-screen appeal now starring in mega-Blockbusters like Tron and Cowboys and Aliens. The question will be, can Wilde convey Ana's less wild side?
17. Mila Kunis, 28
With films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Ted, and being a cast member on television shows like like Family Guy and That 70's Show, Kunis shows she likes projects with a bit of an edge; that said, she might prefer a comedic edge to this more risque plot line.
18. Felicity Jones, 28
A blue-eyed girl next door, Jones is certainly less of a headline name than some of the other girls on the list. That said, with her success in the film Like Crazy, Jones proved she might be ready for a position on the Hollywood A-list.
19. Alexis Bledel, 30
Perpetually youthful the former Gilmore Girls star is 30 going on 21. Perfect blue eyes and that innocent face, not to mention a career currently on the upswing with her recurring role in Mad Men.
20. Jessica Paré, 30
Another Mad Men woman, Paré is a Canadian beauty currently turning heads as Mrs. Don Draper. With her most mainstream film being the indie Hot Tub Time Machine, it may be time for this brown-haired beauty to flex her Blockbuster chops.
21. Minka Kelly, 32
Minka Kelly is possibly the only woman in the world who can pose like this and it won't make women hate her. She is the girl every guy wants, and every girl wants to be. The all-American Kelly has gotten away with playing a high schooler on Friday Night Lights, so there's no reason the beautiful 32-year-old shouldn't now get away with 21.