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The 2003 IT List, Entertainment Weekly (US), June 27/July 4, 2003

Dear Publicists,
Thank you for your many, many helpful suggestions for the 2003 edition of our It List. To answer your oft-repeated question of what constitutes the criteria for the list, rest assured, there is a highly scientific formula. The list it no - as some of you have insisted - "totally unfair" or "a travesty of justice on par with the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti." The selection process comes down to this: Theses are people whose work thrills us. They are people whose careers we follow avidly and whose choices surprise us. They are also, in certain cases, simply people with whom we would very much like to slow-dance. If your clients failed to make the list, it was because they didn't meet these conditions. Face it: Your clients can't make us belly-laugh the way Jennifer Coolidge does. They haven't broken ground the way George Lopez has. They can't make us dance like Angie Stone does or bring us to our feet like Kathy Bates can. Your clients are not the Thunderbirds, and they never will be.

You may say, "your list includes a horse, for chrissakes." To which we reply, Yes, it does. And that horse gives a better performance than your client in her last six movies. And has better legs."

The Editors

IT Elf - Orlando Bloom

Age 26

Why Him? As flowy-haired archer elf Legolas in ''The Lord of the Rings,'' he managed to spear the hearts of thousands of teenage maidens around the world...even though he was sharing most of his scenes with babe magnet Viggo Mortensen. And although his breakthrough role came just two years ago, he's already had the opportunity to work with such heavyweights as Peter O'Toole, Julie Christie, and Geoffrey Rush. (Did we mention that FABULOUS hair?)

Influences Paul Newman, Daniel Day-Lewis, and his ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' costar Johnny Depp. ''They raise the bar, do you know what I mean?'' says Bloom. ''I admire how they've developed their careers.''

If He Weren't Acting, He'd Be... Sculpting. SCULPTING? ''I did better in sculpture exams for A-levels than I did in theater studies,'' he says. ''My mum is always going, 'Just keep up the sculpture, darling' -- she's convinced she's gonna have a little shop somewhere and sell my sculptures someday.''

And When He Isn't Sculpting or Acting, He's... Indulging his inner news junkie. ''You go into a bit of a cocoon when you work and you kind of forget about the world outside.''

Worst Job ''I was a clay [pigeon] trapper,'' he says. ''You know when you go shooting and the ceramic disks fly out and you shoot them? I was the guy who pulled the trap and let it go...I always wanted to be the shooter.''

Next This summer Bloom is featured in ''Pirates of the Caribbean''; next year he'll work opposite Heath Ledger and Rush in the Australian crime drama ''Ned Kelly'' and with Brad Pitt in Wolfgang Petersen's ''Troy.''

IT Thousand-Ship Launcher - Diane Kruger

Age 25

Why her? When the producers of next summer's epic Troy were looking for someone to play Helen of Troy, they chose this multilingual farm girl-turned-dancer-turned-model-turned-actress.

Psychic Friend Connection Her name is pronounced Dionne.

Worst Job "Germany, when somebody dies, you have two children holding candles in front of the passed person," she says of her stint in a church when she was a child. "I would have to do that twice a week, [watching] people cry. It was pretty horrible."

Testing Her Diplomacy Skills She's the love interest for Josh Hartnett in the upcoming Obsessed, and for Orlando Bloom in Troy. So, Diane: Josh or Orlando? "Oh, that's a tie!" she laugh. "I rub it in to all my girlfriends: I'm like, 'Oh yeah, I got to kiss him today again.'" Next Finishing up Troy. (Reenacting the Trojan War takes time.)

IT 'Pirates' Beauty - Keira Knightley

Age 18

Why Her? After taking headers in the sleeper hit ''Bend It Like Beckham,'' the English actress traded in her soccer shorts for something more, uh, constricting -- that corset she keeps griping about in the trailer for July's ''Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.''

Crimes of Fashion While she had to don ridiculous headgear to play Queen Amidala's doppelgänger in ''The Phantom Menace,'' Knightley says the tummy tightener she tied on in ''Pirates'' was particularly obnoxious. ''I nearly passed out,'' she says. ''There was one scene I had to walk down some stairs and Gore [Verbinski], the director, started seeing my eyes rolling back in my head. He told me to go outside and take the corset off and get some air.''

Who Should Play Her in ''The Keira Knightley Story''? ''Jim Carrey,'' she deadpans. ''He'd look great as me in drag. I mean, he can play everything so well...and he has great legs.''

Favorite Act of Civil Disobedience ''I paint boots,'' she says. Seriously. ''I think my brother's not very happy with me at the moment because he stupidly left a pair lying about, and I've painted sunflowers all over them.''

Next A supporting role in November's Hugh Grant romantic comedy ''Love Actually''; sharpening her sword-fighting skills to play Guinevere in the upcoming ''King Arthur.''

IT Everywhere - Kate Bosworth

Age 20

Why Her? She may look like Malibu Barbie (which served her well when she starred in last summer's ''Blue Crush''), but don't be fooled by the surfer-girl facade. This chick has the range to pull off playing a porn star's teenage girlfriend (opposite Val Kilmer in this summer's ''Wonderland''), a horny coed in last fall's ''The Rules of Attraction''...and will likely play squeaky-clean Sandra Dee to Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin in ''Beyond the Sea.''

If She Weren't Acting, She'd Be... A teacher. ''Making an impact on someone's life so young is so important,'' she says. Just don't ask her for help with algebra. ''I was really horrible at math.''

Best Party Trick ''I have this habit of rubbing my ears when I'm really tired or I'm thinking,'' she explains. ''So all the cartilage is sort of broken up in the top of my ear. It's really soft, so I can put my entire ear inside of my ear and it'll stay there for a minute and I can flick it out with my head.'' We're sure elfin beau Orlando Bloom appreciates that.

Next Shooting the romantic comedy ''Win a Date With Tad Hamilton.''