I am definitely not one for following celebrities lives or celebrity gossip or anything else of that nature. However, sometimes I get minorly obsessed with actors and actresses who are exceptional in their careers and stand up for their personal values in their real lives. Many of these actresses use their fame as a platform to start discussions about real issues that require attention, and I greatly admire their efforts in using their influence for good instead of simply wallowing in their good fortune.
So, for this week’s Badass Women, I decided to focus on some current actresses who have taken hold of the entertainment industry and have worked to change the world for the better.
1. Julia Roberts
I have always loved Julia Roberts, ever since I first saw her in Pretty Woman. She is a fantastic and versatile actress. In shifting roles in movies like Runaway Bride to the more intensive like Erin Brockovich, she has proven herself as a jane-of-all-trades (I’m changing jack to jane from now on because feminism). She reminds me of a modern-day version of Audrey Hepburn — one of my personal heroes — because she is so classy and graceful and gorgeous. She has also dedicated much of her time to working with UNICEF (like Hepburn), and has also worked to raise awareness about Rett syndrome and climate change.
My favorites: Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Mona Lisa Smile, Eat Pray Love, The Normal Heart.
2. Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell has recently taken over the media-stream basically because of her extreme amazingness. I knew I had seen her in some things before, but I hadn’t really taken notice until Frozen. Shameful, I know. Bell just exudes happiness and positivity, which we desperately need today, especially in the entertainment sphere. She has also been very open about some of the struggles she and her husband, Dax Shepherd, have faced over the years. Bell and Shepherd have started important conversations about addiction, couples therapy and depression. These are very serious topics that often get glazed over and ignored, which only serves to perpetuate the problems. I am so glad someone as amazing as Bell has chosen to be publicly open about her struggles, which makes her that much braver and stronger. And she is fucking hilarious to boot. The whole package.
My favorites: Frozen, Zootopia, Bad Moms, and probably The Good Place.
3. Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick is the cute, funny, super real and super honest best friend we all need. Kendrick is also one of those actresses that are very versatile. When you see her in Pitch Perfect and then see her again in Into the Woods, the characters are complete opposites but she fits them perfectly. I think the first thing I saw her in was Twilight, but to see her transformation from that through Up in the Air and 50/50 has been such a pleasure to watch. She has an amazing voice, she’s beautiful and she’s not afraid to be honest about loving sweatpants and pizza and being lazy. I think we all always assume that celebrities are perfect and put together and never hang out in bed eating half a pizza by themselves for an entire day. But Kendrick is so relatable that you just can’t help but lover her for it. And again, she’s fucking hilarious.
My favorites: 50/50, Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods
4. Jennifer Lawrence
Again, just like Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence is one of those extremely relatable actresses. Even when she’s comically self-depricating, she has this infectious confidence. She works so hard on each project she takes on without losing her sense of humor or sense of self. While many people tend to dismiss movie franchises, I thought she was absolutely perfect as Katniss Everdeen and I was so glad when she was chosen for the part. She definitely delivered. She is also one of the most versatile actresses — from playing Mystique to Katniss to Tiffany and Rosalyn — it is amazing to watch her change from character to character and play them with such ease. I think she definitely deserved every Oscar she received — and she should get another one for simply being able to take on such a variety of parts. And again, she’s one of those actresses that is honest about her simple lifestyle and general humanness that just doesn’t seem to exist with other actresses. I, like many others I’m sure, wish we could be best friends.
My favorites: The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle
5. Sandra Bullock
Again, one of my absolute favorite actresses of all time. Bullock, like Roberts, has perfected her acting skill and is versatile enough to play roles in the sappy romantic comedies as well as the badass women who can more than handle themselves. And she brings a certain flair of her unique humor to each role. Sometimes I am seriously amazed at how she embodies each character with such finesse. She is gorgeous and has built her career through hard work, and that in itself is inspiring. She has also donated millions to the American Red Cross in response to many of the recent devastating natural disasters.
My favorites: While You Were Sleeping, Practical Magic, 28 Days, Miss Congeniality, The Proposal, The Heat, Gravity
Who are your favorite badass women actresses? How can Hollywood increase the number of female protagonists in major motion pictures? Let’s talk.