Kate Beckinsale Named Esquire's 2009 Sexiest Woman Alive

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    Actress Kate Beckinsale studied French and Russian at Oxford and won the W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition twice - once for her short stories and once for her poems. She's also tri-lingual, speaking German, Russian and French fluently.

    The new Sexiest Woman Alive is an action hero.

    "I do think I could kick your ass," Kate Beckinsale, 36, said in the November issue of Esquire, which has given the "Whiteout" star its yearly title – an honor she said won't come without punishment.

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    "This whole notion of being named 'Sexiest Woman Alive' is going to earn me quite a beating," Kate told the mag. "You can't have that title with four brothers. I'll get wedgies. Headlocks. Noogies."

    Still, she's happy to have the title – and said she'll work to hang onto it.

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    "I like the idea of it, too," she said. "I do. I'm feeling that I must earn this. I need to go out and become much better at pole dancing or something."

    While the beauty has been admired for her looks, like 2008's Sexiest Woman, "X-Men" star Halle Berry, she's shown off her tougher side in films such as the "Underworld" franchise.

    "What's dangerous about doing action movies is that I'm used to men on wires. I punch a guy and he flies over a wall," she explained. "So I tend to feel like that's me that did that."

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