Celebrity

The Aussie stars taking over Who’s Sexiest People 2020 Issue

From Tanya Hennessy to Bachelorettes Elly and Becky.
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2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, but it hasn’t stopped us from celebrating our Who’s Sexiest People issue with some of the country’s most smoking celebrities.

WATCH BELOW: Behind the scenes at the Who Sexiest People 2020 photo shoot

From funny lady Tanya Hennessy to SAS Australia stars Firass Dirani and Jackson Warne, we’ve acknowledged that sexy isn’t just a one-size-fits-all aesthetic.

Sexy can be strength and confidence like our cover star Melissa Leong, it can be showing off your smarts and humour and it can even be showing your softer and vulnerable side like mums-to-be Fiona Falkiner and Hayley Willis.

So without further ado, meet some of your Aussie sexiest people of 2020.

TANYA HENNESSY

After starring on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! earlier this year, the comedian and author came to an important realisation.

“I noticed that almost all celebrities have been shoeless in a magazine photo shoot,” Hennessy, 34, says. “I was like, in this ridiculous year, my ridiculous goal is to be shoeless in a magazine.”

She adds, “And here I am in Who’s Sexiest issue. I’m proof that if you can dream it, you can be it.”

What does sexy mean to you?

Talent is sexy. Humour and intelligence are sexy as hell. I love it when someone can play an instrument. My boyfriend is a drummer and when he plays I’m like, “That’s hot!” Brad Pitt and Sarah Paulson are beautiful, but they’re sexy because they’re bad-ass actors.

Who do you think defines sexiness?

When I was a teenager, I loved [Home Improvement’s] Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I also liked cartoon characters, too. I was like, “God, Aladdin’s hot!” That’s not OK, is it? It was because he wore a fez and a vest like no-one else and, hello? He had a monkey friend. Yes please! Nowadays, Ricky Gervais is my hall pass. He’s funny, he’s a revolutionary and he loves his cat. How hot is that?

How would your younger self feel about being on TV or in magazines?

Growing up, I always searched for someone who looked like me in mags or on TV. I’m glad that someone who is a different shape and a different version of sexy is being represented here.

Tanya Hennessy
“Talent is sexy. Humour and intelligence are sexy as hell.” (Credit: Photographed for WHO by Phillip Castleton)

ELLY AND BECKY MILES

They looked for love together on The Bachelorette and sisters Elly, 25, and Becky, 30, are in step when they describe what sexy means to them. They both say that “confidence” is the sexiest trait.

When do you feel at your sexiest?

ELLY: I definitely feel sexiest when I’m at my most natural. I love to dress up, too, but I feel my best after I’ve been out in the sun at the beach, with salt in my hair and no makeup on.

What do you find sexy in a partner?

BECKY: Intelligence and confidence is so sexy in a partner – someone who can challenge me. A positive mindset and a warm smile is also very sexy.

Who’s your hall pass?

ELLY: I think Chris Hemsworth, preferably in his Thor outfit!

BECKY: I recently did an interview with Tristan MacManus from Studio 10. He’s a good-looking man, and you can’t go past an Irish accent.

When do you feel the most confident?

ELLY: When I’m living a healthy lifestyle.

BECKY: Now! I’m proud of the woman I’ve become.

Elly & Becky Miles
Both Bachelorettes Becky and Elly Miles say that “confidence” is the sexiest trait. (Credit: Photographed for WHO by PHILLIP CASTLETON)

ALEX CUBIS

As the breakout star of Channel Seven’s salacious drama Between Two Worlds, Alex Cubis is the sexiest up-and-coming Aussie talent this year.

But with his own law business and a passion for promoting men’s mental health issues, there is a lot more to the 29-year-old than his smouldering eyes and chiselled jawline.

What does sexy mean to you?

Mystery is a really alluring quality and for me, sexiness is about discovery, exploration and the process of peeling back someone’s layers.

When do you feel sexy?

During the pandemic I’ve been stuck at home in LA for months, so taking care of myself has become really important. I feel sexy after a good workout or when I put on cologne, even if I’m seeing no-one that day.

Alex Cubis
“Sexiness is about discovery, exploration and the process of peeling back someone’s layers.” (Credit: JP Velarde)

MIRANDA TAPSELL

While the pandemic has forced many people to slow down, that hasn’t been the case for Miranda Tapsell. This year, the 33-year-old took a step away from the camera and put herself in front of a microphone to record podcast Debutante with fellow Sexiest star Nakkiah Lui – which has just been nominated for a Walkley Award.

As an author, she also released her memoir, Top End Girl, and a children’s book, Aunty’s Wedding. No wonder the Aussie actress is surprised when WHO asks her if she’s always been confident. “Do you even need to ask that?” she laughs. “Confidence is key, sister!”

What does sexy mean to you?

You know what? If I overthink this, it’s suddenly unsexy. So that’s probably what sexy people do. Not overthink things.

When do you feel your sexiest?

Whenever a Beyoncé song comes on. That woman’s a sorceress.

What do you find sexy in a partner?

Fine, I’ll be sappy. I was drawn to mine because he’s funny. As cliché as that is, it’s what stopped us going bananas during this rough year.

What do you wish you could have told yourself when you were younger?

Kid, stop measuring your height. This is it. This is the height you’ll stay.

How would you sum up your year in three words?

It wasn’t sexy!

What’s next for you?

The film adaptation of Jane Harper’s The Dry.

Miranda Tapsell
Miranda Tapsella says she feels sexy when a Beyoncé song comes on…we feel you! (Credit: Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis)

ISAIAH FIREBRACE

He burst onto our screens on The X Factor in 2016 – and four years later, Isaiah Firebrace hasn’t slowed down.

“Absolutely f–king crazy,” the 20-year-old singer replies when Who asks him to sum up his year in three words. Here, he divulges what body part turns him on …

What does sexy mean to you?

Sexy to me means being confident in who you are and having that positive self-assured glow from the inside out … Sexy is an attitude not a look.

What do you find sexy in a partner?

Humour is a big one. A charismatic personality and a great smile. Also confidence and a great butt.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

It’s OK to be and feel different. Not everyone has had an easy life. Your story one day will be told. Remember to always trust and believe in yourself.

Isaiah Firebrace
Isaiah Firebrace says “sexy is an attitude not a look.” (Credit: @the.mgmt)

BRITTANY HOCKLEY

Having spent a good chunk of time in a bikini on Bachelor in Paradise, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Brittany Hockley was born with confidence. But the radiographer-turned-reality star, 32, insists it took “a long time to be confident in my skin”.

What does sexy mean to you?

I think being passionate, ambitious and driven is sexy, as well as chasing your dreams and not worrying about what anyone else thinks.

What do you find sexy?

Humour – make me laugh and we’re off to a flying start!

Who is your hall pass?

Am I allowed to have a few?

Brittany Hockley
“Make me laugh and we’re off to a flying start!” (Credit: @THE.MGMT)

FIRASS DIRANI

He recently got physically ripped to tough it out on SAS Australia – where he’s causing all kinds of chaos – but Sydney-based actor Firass Dirani says he was still surprised to get asked to appear in Who’s Sexiest issue for 2020.

“It’s been 10 years since I was last featured,” the 37-year-old, who found fame portraying Sydney’s nightclub king John Ibrahim in Underbelly: The Golden Mile, says.

“I was like, ‘Are you sure you’re calling the right person?’”

How do you define sexy?

Sexy is a harmonious gracefulness in what you permeate, you know? We, as human beings, can bring these constructs to ideas, like ideas of what’s sexy, but sometimes reality doesn’t need anything more.

What qualities, physical or otherwise, are sexy to you?

To me, sexy is unconscious goofiness splashed with unbridled laughter whilst listening to Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong as you fall over from dancing.

You’re rocking a very unique look today …

I love old Hollywood; I love Pharrell’s look – and I love to be myself. That’s sexy, right?

firass
“To me, sexy is unconscious goofiness splashed with unbridled laughter whilst listening to Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong as you fall over from dancing..” (Credit: Photographed for WHO by Phillip Castleton)

JACKSON WARNE

He’s certainly been pushed to his limits on SAS Australia, but Jackson Warne admits going on the show was the “best thing” he’s ever done.

“I learnt so much about myself and pushed through so many barriers and grew so much as a person,” he tells Who.

One thing that isn’t so challenging for the 21-year-old is looking good for the camera. Here, he opens up about building muscle and confidence all at the same time …

When do you feel your sexiest?

After a tough workout – that’s when I’m feeling my strongest and most confident.

What do you find sexy in a partner?

Someone who is driven, independent and trying to achieve their goals – no matter who they are.

You’re looking good! Does that make you feel more confident?

There are still things I’m self-conscious about. But my confidence is slowly getting better after trying new things and improving my health and fitness.

What do you wish you could have told your younger self?

Try more foods, and eat more fruit and vegetables.

jackson
“There are still things I’m self-conscious about.” (Credit: Rosanna Faraci)

NAKKIAH LUI

Author, playwright, actress, activist and smoking hot babe, Nakkiah Lui from Sydney ticks all the above boxes and more. But, she insists, she gets her abundant sex appeal from a powerful source.

“When I told my mum I was going to be in WHO’s Sexiest issue she wasn’t surprised,” says Lui, 30. “She’s always considered herself the sexiest in our family so she was like, ‘Of course you are. You get it from me!’”

What does sexy mean to you?

The qualities that define sexy to me is someone who’s kind and compassionate. They’re such hot traits. It’s also defined by someone who’s able to have a laugh. I cannot think of anyone with an ugly smile.

Who do you think is sexy?

I have two hall passes! I love me a Stanley Tucci. He’s funny, he can play any role and he can make the perfect Negroni cocktail. He seems like a very cosmopolitan man. I’ve also got a thing for the Obamas. They’re powerful, political and they’re beautiful human beings – totally sexy!

Have you always been body confident?

As a teenager I thought my curves were a curse, but now I feel like they’re a blessing and – along with my humour, kindness and smile – they’re
my best assets.

1
“The qualities that define sexy to me is someone who’s kind and compassionate.” (Credit: Supplied)

For more, pick up a copy of WHO’s Sexiest People issue. On sale now!

Who
(Credit: Who)

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