Carla Gugino heats up the screen in new roles

Some female actors are almost too sexy. I mean if you cast one of them as the Virgin Mary, you’d totally have to change the plot. Which brings me to Carla Gugino.

Gugino shows up on screen from time to time — most recently in the HBO series Entourage and the film Watchmen — but never gets the kind of recognition she deserves, as far as I’m concerned. And her starring turns in Threshold and Karen Sisco, which both were pretty good shows, just didn’t draw enough viewers to continue.

But two new roles for Gugino — one film and one TV — may give her a chance to prove that she not only is hot, but she’s a damn fine actress.

In Elektra Luxx, which premiered at this years SXSW, Gugino plays a pregnant porn star who teaches sex ed to housewives.

(Oddly enough, the Virgin Mary shows up in the film, but Gugino does not play her; Julianne Moore does. Yes, really.) Electra Luxx is the second in a film trilogy about the main character and was praised by critics at its debut; in fact, it was so compelling that the audience stuck around despite a projector breakdown in the middle of the movie.

Gugino reportedly gives a breakthrough performance that, despite the premise of the movie, is more about Luxx’s strength than her hotness. Not that you can really have one without the other.

Gugino also is on board for the new season of Showtime’s Californication. Admittedly, I have sort of a love/hate relationship with the show, but it’s weird and witty enough that I keep watching. So, apparently, do a lot of other people, since this season with be No. 4.

If you saw Season 3, you know that Hank (David Duchovny) was hauled off to jail at the end of the season. Gugino plays Abby, the high-powered attorney who will help him with his legal troubles — and probably bed him in the process.

Of course, what I’d really like to see is Abby bedding Hank’s ex Karen (Natascha McElhone). Hey, on Californication, it actually could happen.

What do you think of Gugino’s new roles? Is she ready for her close-up?