What makes Maggie Gyllenhaal in SECRETARY so damn sexy?

She is not a classic beauty, and yet she is beautiful; she does not convey raw sexuality, and yet she is sexy. And how. Watch SECRETARY tonight at 8P on Sundance Channel if you don’t believe us (and especially if you do).

Gyllenhaal’s Lee Holloway starts off mousy, even meek; and yet from the first, there is the spark of something defiant in her.

She seems to inhabit the dim, weirdly baroque law office like a burrow, both at home and terrified. She can’t articulate why she does the things she does — and yet she speaks volumes. (Of course, James Spader is also at his most as her boss, Mr. Grey. smarmy-appealing)

Her vulnerability and awkwardness only serve to make her eventual liberation at the hands of Mr. Grey all the more powerful.

The relationship is deviant, certainly, and Lee’s particular blend of emotional inaccessibility may feel foreign, but when she claims her strength, she’s transformed. She makes BDSM become a feminist statement, and a hot one at that.

Bonus: Check out her lingerie campaign for Agent Provocateur. Wowza.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is an Everygirl, and yet the hottest Everygirl ever. In each role, from DONNIE DARKO (alongside brother Jake) to the blockbuster THE DARK KNIGHT, her icicle-blue eyes draw you in, and her complex intelligence keeps you wondering till the end. And really, what could be hotter than that?

Tune in to SECRETARY tonight at 8P and all month long on Sundance Channel.