There is no wrong time to acknowledge the importance of female leads. The lady characters can drive the story in a much more complex and captivating way than the guys – if executed well.
We’ve been looking back at the best female roles on TV and film. What we’ve found is that these women have changed the way the public looks at our gender. We have these independent, unique, and revolutionary ladies to thank for being an inspiration to all of us.
The following list encompasses both mainstream and obscure characters that made a difference, in our opinion.
1. Holly Golightly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
We’ll kick off with what’s become a cliché almost. Audrey Hepburn’s performance as Holly Golightly has gone down in history. The actress’s charm and beauty added up to the free-spirited Holly’s happy-go-lucky attitude. There have been speculations that Holly was shallow and narrow-minded due to her carefree approach to life. However, she is just a girl trying to figure out who she is in the best way she can. She’s exploring her desires and capabilities while having fun at the same time. It’s been almost 60 years since the film came out, and its protagonist is still one of the most influential fashion icons ever.
2. Elle Woods – Legally Blonde
If we had to choose a single character off this list, it would likely be Elle Woods. The blonde girl slammed all the stereotypes by proving that devotion can change the person to the core. Elle Woods is a strong-willed woman whose chauvinist ex-boyfriend looked down on her. It is in this heartbreak that Elle found the strength to create the best version of herself. She discovered her passion invested in education to become an even more capable professional than her ex. And while it’s not a competition, the example just proved that commitment and passion could drive us to the heights we never thought we could reach.
3. Molly Weasley – Harry Potter
Some might be surprised that we omitted Hermione Granger from this list, but hear us out. Molly Weasley is a strong motherly figure whose strength stems exactly from the love for her children. She is a mother of seven and a devoted wife to her husband, Arthur. She set the foundation for the unity of her family and kept it together in the darkest of times. Molly Weasley is memorable for her protectiveness of her children. We shall never forget the famous badass quote from Deathly Hallows 2, “Not my daughter, you bitch!”
4. Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier – Hannibal (NBC)
If Hannibal is the ego, Dr. Du Maurier is the superego that hovers over his shoulder. She is the nuance in his darkness, the light without which we could not see how dismal Hannibal is. But her role in the TV series does not stop there. Bedelia is an expert in her field – one of the best psychiatrists in the country. She was the only one to whom Mr. Lecter could confide in. She was also the sole person who was able to look into his darkness without getting gloomy herself. Besides, Dr. Du Maurier is tenacious and hardy – who else could stay with a psychopathic cannibal until the end without going mad?
5. Lagertha – Vikings
With the TV show coming to an end this year, we’re taking a moment to recollect our memories of now passed away Viking queen. Although her husband was the living legend of his time, Lagertha stood out as a unique individual without whom the show could never work the way it did. Even when she was dying, she did so stoically. Lagertha was not just Ragnar’s wife, Lagertha was the best shieldmaiden of all time, and mother to Bjorn Ironside. She made Bjorn who he came to be. The character of Lagertha was so potent that it inspired the creation of a Vikings video slot. Fans of the thriving series came flocking to their favorite online casinos. You can check out BestCasinos.com for a review of the Vikings slot from NetEnt, as well as several other great slot reviews.
6. Amy Dunne – Gone Girl
Every lady on this list is badass. No one could dispute that. However, if one of them had her way when all logic was against her, then it must be Amy Dunne. Amy represented all that every silly girl tries to do to please her boyfriend. She did everything as he liked it, changed her hair, so he thinks she’s “a cool girl”. Having gone so far as to pretend she liked football and leftover pizza, she was driven off the edge when she found out that the same man she’d been dying to please was cheating on her. Then the real, passionate, uncompromising, and self-reliant Amy emerged, realizing staying true to oneself is the key to real happiness and satisfaction.
7. Lisbeth Salander – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In the English-spoken version of the original Swedish film of the same title, Rooney Mara does a terrific job depicting a daredevil girl. In both her appearance and character traits, Lisbeth is the embodiment of originality. Life challenged her – she was raped, and when she fell, she stood up again, even stronger and ready to have her revenge. Lisbeth Salander is the devilish part that each girl shows when someone is meddling in her business. This girl is driven by vengeance and has a strong moral compass. And while she might be aggressive and assertive at times, she certainly knows what she wants and how to get it.
8. Morticia Addams – The Addams Family
Another legendary woman that we could never leave out is Mrs. Addams. Sure she took his husband’s name, but only for the sake of keeping the whole family united. Sharing a name in the story of the Addams is a matter of blood and principle. Morticia Addams is a prime example of a woman who keeps her identity regardless of her marital status. She is married, but also self-sufficient. She has kids but takes care of herself first. You never see Morticia underdressed or anything short of fabulous. She is slim and elegant, and she does it not to charm men, but to please herself. That’s self-love, our ladies.
9. Clarice Starling – The Silence of the Lambs
The very beginning of The Silence of the Lambs shows us that Clarice is set for big things. Determined to succeed in a typically men’s world, Clarice always has to put an extra effort to prove she is worthy. But eventually, it is only Clarice who’s able to get close enough to Hannibal Lecter and expose him. Although physically less capable, Clarice’s mind and steadfastness saved her and many people’s lives. Clarice Starling is a role model and an admirable person for every girl to look up to. She proved that ladies do it better – they only need to want it.
10. Offred – Handmaid’s Tale
Her name might not be telling the same story, but Offred (or in the Hulu TV show, Jane) is everything but a man’s possession. Offred found herself trapped in a world that does everything to chew her up and spit her out. However, this invincible woman knows what she’s fighting for. She refuses to give her life up and all of her wishes. Even in shackles, she rejects to keep her head low; she’s a fighter. And while the odds are we won’t ever find ourselves in an identical scenario, some life situations might test us as Gilead did to Offred.
What do you think about our picks? Would you have selected different women?