Peggy Sirota / GQ 1 / 3
Peggy Sirota / GQ 1 / 3

By Dana Flax

Olivia Wilde is one smart sex symbol. Besides cornering the *cough* male-pleasing *cough* market on TV bisexuals (via a lesbian love affair with Mischa Barton on "The O.C." and a generous amount of one-night stands with women on "House"), she had the sage foresight to change her surname from Cockburn to something a little more literary and a little less ... painful. Plus, in this month's interview with GQ, Wilde makes a bunch of heady references that put our own book-smart egos to shame. But don't fret, there are plenty of sexy photos to satiate most of mankind. Click through at left, then check out the choice excerpts below.

Video: Behind-the-scenes at Olivia's GQ photo shoot

That "sexy vixen" thing isn't typecasting. Trust her:

"I'm definitely at this point now where things are shifting, they're changing very fast. The only role I really don't understand is this recent sort of 'sexiest-vixen' thing. It doesn't feel like me, doesn't feel natural."

She may be the hottest of the hot according to hot-sperts Maxim (ranking first in its Hot 100, natch), but she's still sensitive:

"The day they announced it, I hid in my bathtub with a big glass of wine. Anytime anyone describes you with a superlative, people are going to disagree. And I didn't want to have to deal with those people."

The toils of being a sex symbol? I think Aesop wrote something about that:

"I did not envy [Robert Pattinson]. I think it's the frog-in-boiling-water concept [referring to the fable about the amphibian that is slowly cooked to death without realizing it]. Robert Pattinson jumped in boiling water and has stayed in it, and hopefully will survive. Whereas I entered the water when it was cold, and it's been slowly heating up — a slooooow boil. Maybe I won't realize when it's ... getting dangerous."

On her sex-symbol lessons from family friend Julie Christie:

"She said that none of this really matters. It's all temporary. She got certain opportunities because she was a beauty, a fashion icon, and she was very grateful for them. And that's the stance I've taken — I'm very grateful, very flattered, and if it gives me an opportunity to work, great. It's not something I denounce or resent. But it's certainly not something I expected."

More on Wonderwall:

Olivia Wilde and Maxim's Hot 100

What does Olivia smell like? This and more news in the Shortlist

See Olivia and more geek goddesses at Comic-Con

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