You’re dying to know who Jspace’s 5772 Woman of the Year is, aren’t you? Well, there were more than a few top contenders, but only one found her way to the top of our list.
But first comes first. All of this year’s candidates owe an enormous debt of gratitude for their own careers to the late, great Nora Ephron.
Ephron, one of Hollywood’s most gifted and acclaimed screenwriters and directors, passed away in June. Among her incredible works: “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” Ephron was wildly cherished in the movie world and whoever gets even a taste of Hollywood success would be well advised to pay their respects. A true star has left us.
5772 will also be remembered as the Year of the Israeli model. Gal Gadot turned heads – as well as the stomachs of some Israeli Knesset members — last fall. Her television ad for Castro, where she struts into an elevator in her birthday suit (where are these offices?), caught the attention of Israeli MK Uri Ariel, who wrote a protest letter to Channel 2, which aired the spot. Ariel’s letter, signed by eight other MKs, took offense to Gadot and the other models who were “naked like the day they were born, with only a slight blur obscuring their private parts.”
The only problem with their argument is that Gadot was wearing clothes… lingerie that Castro then blurred out in post-production. “There is no law preventing a company like ours from filming lingerie,” the company said.
The news didn’t end there for Gadot. Over the summer, she was in Budapest to shoot a commercial for Captain Morgan rum and then in July she was on the road again to reprise her role as Gisele Harabo for the new “Fast and the Furious” movie. But she didn’t go at it alone; her husband Yaron, eight-month old daughter Alma, and a nanny traveled with her to Los Angeles and London while she joined Dwayne Johnson on set.
But Gadot wasn’t the only Israeli supermodel making waves this year. Bar Refaeli was anything but a stranger to Jspace’s celebrity corner. Sure, she gave "Dancing With The Stars" the brush, but by the start of the summer, it was clear that there were plenty of other accolades coming down the pike. In May, Maxim readers voted her #1 on its Hot 100 list (a slightly dubious honor this year, considering Stephen Colbert checked in at #69… but we digress). That may or may not have garnered her some special attention at an airport in March when she got a good ‘ol fashioned American-style pat down at a US airport.
The 27-year-old even had some entrepreneurial business success in 5772. Her e-commerce lingerie company, originally named Undeez but now going by under.me, had already raked in $1 million in private investment by the time the site launched in November.
“I don’t have time to go buy underwear all the time,” she told Elle magazine. “So this website is great because after subscribing, you get these necessities sent directly to you each month."
Speaking of new underwear, another Woman of the Year candidate, Natalie Portman, spent a good part of this year shopping for new diapers… for her brand new baby boy. Portman gave birth to her son Alef in June. And she closed out her year of personal accomplishments by marrying Alef’s father, Benjamin Millepied, in a secret wedding in Big Sur, California.
Portman was also concerned about more than her own family. She joined a Facebook campaign to end the bloodshed in Syria, joined the cast of a documentary fighting for animal rights, and teamed up with Dior to help the Free the Children’s girls scholarship program in Kenya.
"As a mother and the organization's newest ambassador, I am grateful to Free the Children for giving me the opportunity to channel my passion and love of children into meaningful action that furthers the education and leadership of young women for years to come," she said.
Portman took it easy on the big screen this year (we refer you to the earlier “baby” paragraph for an explanation), but she did manage to make some news on the small screen. She signed on with ABC to executive produce the sexy and salacious “Scruples” and even teamed up with Johnny Depp to star in Paul McCartney's music video, "My Valentine.”
But it was Portman’s co-star in “Black Swan” who stole hearts and headlines in 5772. Jspace’s Jewish Celebrity Woman of the Year is…
Mila Kunis. The beautiful, talented, versatile, and seemingly normal Mila Kunis.
Where should we begin? How about the obvious: In November, GQ magazine named Kunis its Knockout of the Year and in January 2012, Men’s Health named her one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time." Did you read that, world? OF ALL TIME! In May, Maxim gave her the #3 spot on its Hot 100 list and FHM magazine ranked her number 9 on its 2012 Hot 100 list.
But here’s why we love Kunis; it’s a little thing called “perspective” on her Hollywood career. “I love what I do, but my theory is that it's people who doubt what they do and want to prove it to you, they're like 'it's art. I create art. It's art, art, art.' I'm like, holy sh*t, are you f**king kidding me? I run around and pretend I'm someone else for 12 hours; I record ‘Family Guy’ [she voices Meg]. Then I get to go home and watch ‘Jersey Shore.’”
Kunis was diversifying in ways no other Jewish woman managed this year. Dior signed Kunis to be the face of its spring fashion campaign. She also put on her menschy side on display; she attended a Marine Corps Ball in North Carolina after accepting a YouTube invitation from Sgt. Scott Moore.
And wait… isn’t Kunis also a movie star? Indeed she is. After co-starring in the hilarious “Ted,” the 29-year-old started working on a variety of other interesting projects: a film called “Jupiter Ascending” with Channing Tatum, the animated flick “Hell & Back,” “Oz: The Great and the Powerful,” “Blood Ties,” and “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.” Busy, much?
And what would a celebrity be without a little gossip? This year she got cozy on more than a few occasions with former “That 70s Show” co-star Ashton Kutcher.
So there you have it. Mazel tov, Mila, you are Jspace’s 5772 Celebrity Woman of the Year!
J-Connection: Nora Ephron, Gal Gadot, Bar Refaeli, Natalie Portman, and Mila Kunis are all Jewish.