Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

International Women’s Day shouldn’t be just one day a year. We should be celebrating women every day. As a massive film nerd, there’s a lot of fabulous actresses who I admire and inspire me every time I watch one of their films.

It wasn’t long ago, that women being the lead in films was very rare. Let face it, it was all about the men. When they say actor, they mean male actors but now it’s just as much about the women as it is about the men.

Now more than ever, female actresses are being recognized and rewarded for their acting achievements. They deserve the recognition for their contribution to the film industry just as much as men. With more woman (and men!) standing up for equal pay in the workplace and the Times Up campaign, we now have bigger voices in the film industry more than ever.

Here’s some of my top female bad asses who I absolutely love watching and inspire a lot of young woman around the world. If there’s no acceptance speech video now, there will be one in the future. Just wait and see. 


Helen Mirren

Before there was the Crown, their was the Queen. The fabulous Helen Mirren has been making films longer than I’ve been alive. Longer than my mother has been alive! She’s at the top of game and is an Oscar winner for her outstanding performance The Queen. Long live the Mirren. 


Angelina Jolie

Other than being ridiculously beautiful and a humanitarian, Jolie is also a bass ass in front of the camera and behind it. Jolie has taken a to Producing and Directing. She directed the stunning UnBroken. Like having her own Oscar for Girl Interrupted wasn’t enough, she’s proving to be a true girl boss. Team Angelina.


Jennifer Lawrence

I can’t do this list without my favourite actress right now and someday best friend, JLaw. To most, she’s Katniss, the MockingJay, the Girl on Fire. To the Academy she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook. To the press, she’s the girl who fell up the stairs to get her Oscar and was drunk for shots while making her speech to the press after getting her Oscar. But to me, she’s truly inspirational, the girl next door and completely down to earth. Future Bestie. 


Emily Blunt

Blunt is slowly becoming one of my favourite actresses. I loved her character in Devils Wears Prada and then she blew me away with her performance in The Girl on the Train. Now, she’s going to be starring in the highly anticipated Mary Poppins Returns. One word. Super….. no I can’t spell it. 


Hilary Swank

It’s the Million Dollar Baby herself. She’ll always be remembered for this starring role directed by Clint Eastwood and rightfully claiming her second Oscar for Best Actress. She also starred in one of the major tear jerkers of our generation P.S I love you. Showing she can nail roles on different ends of the scale. 


Judi Dench

It’s Judi! I love this woman. She’s outstanding on screen and just so lovely in interviews too. The UK has a special place in all our hearts for this fabulous woman. Our Dame Judi Dench has proved to be a true bad ass and top boss in the James Bond films. She was born to play the Queen and landed the role more than once. She even won an Oscar for playing her in Shakespeare in Love. Long may she rule. 


Julia Roberts

From one national treasure in one country to another. The woman with the incredible smile. Another Oscar winner for her role as Erin Brockovich but more known for being the 90s leading lady for ANY ROMCOM. She’s the queen of romcoms. Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Notting Hill. If you want a great romcom, go to Julia Roberts. 


Meryl Streep

I’ve seen other celebrities freak out when they see Meryl Steep. She’s fabulous, everyone knows it and everyone loves her. For me, the Devil Wears Prada is my favourite stand out film for her. She’s the ultimate girl boss. She’s also the most nominated actor (for men and woman) of all time for the Oscars! Winning 2 Oscars for leading roles in The Iron Lady and Sophie’s Choice


Natalie Portman

Black Swan was such a defining role for Portman. What a film! It even changed her life as she won her first Oscar but she also met her husband on set and had to accept her award heavily pregnant. She also manages to tame Thor, be nominated for playing the First Lady and plays a Princess in Star Wars. I think…she’s just getting started. We’ll make a Mirren out of you yet Portman. 


Kate Winslet

7 time nominee for the Oscars and winner for leading actress in The Reader. Let’s be honest. It’s Rose from Titanic. She survived a sinking ship. Outlived her male lead. It’s been 84 years and we can still smell the fresh paint. This movie will live on and on. OK. I’ll stop now. 


Nicole Kidman

Currently dominated the awards for her TV performance in Big Little Lies which I highly recommend watching ASAP by the way. Kidman is also well known for her outstanding and memorable performance in the fantastic musical Moulin Rouge. She was nominated for an Oscar for this film but it was her performance in The Hours which got her to take one home. 


Sandra Bullock

It’s Miss Congeniality and FBI agent, Sandra Bullock. She’s taken to more serious films now but will always be our Miss World. Gravity was just stunning and her performance was thrilling and gave me goosebumps. However, it was the Blind Side which got her an Oscar. Personally, I prefer Bullock in more intense roles. Speed was just a classic. 


Reese Witherspoon

Reese has started a production company for put woman in the forefront. Making films to inspire and showcase woman. She’s already brought some award winning shows and films to our screens already, such as Wild and Big Little Lies. She’s also got an Oscar under her belt for Walk the Line. She’s incredible and it’s great to see such an empowering woman using her status to help others. Elle Woods would be proud. 


Susan Sarandon

She’s been nominated for awards since the 80s and still going strong. She won an Oscar for Best Leading Actress for Dead Man Walking but my family love her for her performance in StepMom or the famous Thelma and Louise. She’s a legend. 


Sigourney Weaver

Now, when you think of bad asses then Ripley is the top of the list. Alien was Weavers defining role and still a cult classic. As a Sci-Fi fan, I love these films but only because of Ripley’s strong character which I believe was the start of a movement in strong female leading roles.  


Frances McDormand

Our current award winning bad ass award for 2018 goes to Frances McDormand. She’s won every award going this year. She’s our current leading lady and she deserves everything she can get her hands on. Three Billboards was an incredible film but lead by her performance. If you haven’t seen it then get to the cinema now. 


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Who’s your favourite leading actress and what film do you love them in? Let me know in the comments below.


Natasha Atlas
Natasha Atlas

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  1. 09/03/2018 / 12:15 pm

    I love Reese and all the things she does for women in film!!

    My ultimate fave leading actress is Julianne Moore!

    • Natasha Atlas
      09/03/2018 / 12:25 pm

      Moore! Good choice!

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