During a great movie we often find ourselves daydreaming about what it would be like to be the strong, independent, or inspiring female characters we see on the big screen. Whether they’re sticking up for what they believe in, destroying villains, protecting their loved ones, or inspiring the lives of others, there’s an aspect of greatness in these characters that women are able to resonate with. Strong female leads give girls and women extraordinary role models to look up to and relate to.
Rather than being depicted as the traditional damsel in distress, mistress, or homemaker, these characters are powerful both physically and mentally. Although incredibly beautiful, these women are much more than a pretty face. The characters featured do not need a man to save or provide for them. They can handle their own while becoming successful in their careers and some are the breadwinners in their relationships. These women represent fearless mothers, loyal best friends, loving sisters, and protective family members. These women are kicking ass and taking names. Here are the top 20 movie characters every woman wants to be.
20 Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen is a powerful and iron willed woman who sacrifices herself in order to save her sister’s life. Demonstrating how deep sibling love runs, Katniss doesn’t hesitate when it comes to taking her sister’s place in the Hunger Games. Played by the beautiful Jennifer Lawerance, Katniss is relentless when it comes to protecting herself and her ally to ensure they survive. Katniss is a threat with a bow and arrow in her hands and sticks to what she knows best in order to get her through the games. Her loyalty to her family, perseverance, and strength is something every woman can applaud.
19 Leigh Anne Tuohy - The Blind Side
Leigh Anne Tuohy has a heart of gold and a headstrong personality. Based on a true story, Leigh Anne and her husband adopt an at risk teen who was living on the streets. Played by the beautiful and talented Sandra Bullock, Leigh Anne is portrayed as a caring, loving, and influential mother. Having two children of their own, Michael was the introduced as the new big brother of the family. This protective momma cub and her family give Michael the resources he needs to succeed in football and in life. Her motivation to protect her children at all costs is something every mom can resonate with.
18 Catwoman - The Dark Knight Rises
Catwoman in the Dark Knight Rises is mysterious, sexy, and deceitful. Played by Anne Hathaway, Catwoman is a burglar in the film, she can be seen cracking codes to safes and taking irreplaceable jewelry for her to wear. Going from playing a sweet and innocent maid to a downright sassy and punishing woman, Catwoman shows no sign of remorse or regret for her actions. Handling her own and protecting herself from a mob of angry men, Catwoman shows off her agility and strength by teaming up with Batman, all while sporting a black leather jumpsuit and 5 inch heels.
17 Susan Storm- Fantastic 4
Storm is one of the superheroes featured in Fantastic 4. Played by the gorgeous Jessica Alba, Storm is a gifted woman who has the ability to become invisible and create power force fields. She is also able to deflect weapons or forces from villains. Storm ends up getting married in the Fantastic 4 sequel, however it isn’t without trials and tribulations. While trying to tie the knot, Sue and her soon to be husband are interrupted and they must drop everything to pursue the silver surfer. The two are eventually married and as you can imagine, Storm makes a stunning bride.
16 Pepper Potts- Iron Man
Pepper Potts encompasses power, beauty, and intelligence. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper in the Iron Man movies. Starting off as Tony Stark’s assistant, Pepper then becomes the CEO of Stark Industries, and finally Stark’s girlfriend in Iron Man 2. Pepper is the mastermind behind Iron Man. Pepper puts her career before her attraction to Stark and ensures he is safe at all times. Although the two constantly flirt and the sexual tension builds, neither Stark nor Pepper acts on it immediately. Tony grows to respect, adore, and truly love Pepper for her acceptance of him, his past, and all of his flaws.
15 Black Widow- The Avengers
Black Widow is a strong, tough, and beautiful woman who is played by Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers. Black Widow fights her way out of being held captive, and takes down three men in order to rescue herself. She’s the furthest thing away from a damsel in distress and plays her own hero, all while wearing heels. She doesn’t rely on anyone to save her, which makes her an inspiration to all women. She’s tough and truly someone you would always want on your side in any type of altercation.
14 Liz Gilbert - Eat, Pray, Love
Liz Gilbert is a brave, adventurous, and spiritual woman who embarks on a journey through Italy, India, and Bali to find herself and find peace. Liz had the life most women would swoon over. She had a husband and successful career, however it seemed as though something was missing and she would find herself drowning in tears each evening. Taking a risk most would never dream of, Liz mustered up the courage to file for divorce and travel to heal herself. Liz shows women everywhere that it’s never to late to find your happiness and sometimes a few seconds of great bravery is all you need to venture into the unknown.
13 Arwen - Lord of The Rings
Arwen is the breathtaking Elf Princess who falls in love with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. Arwen, played by Liv Tyler, shows signs of hope in the face of darkness and loves Aragorn unconditionally. Both Arwen and Aragorn are willing to sacrifice everything for their love, which leads them to be married. Arwen is a fearless leader who uses her power to protect those who need it. She is beautiful, brave, and confident in her beliefs. She remains uninfluenced by others, and stays faithful in the most difficult times of her life.
12 Yu Shu Lien- Crouching Tiger
Michelle Yeoh plays the fierce and lethal Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yu Shu Lien is a force to be reckoned with. Her technical skill during each fight demonstrates the power and knowledge this warrior has. Shu Lien is sure of herself and is extremely confident in every move she makes during a fight. Yu Shu Lien sends her enemy into an acrobatic spiral as she controls the outcome of each confrontation. Shu Lien shows traits every woman wants to have including loyalty, pride, and honour.
11 Natalie, Dylan, Alex - Charlie's Angels
Natalie, Dylan, and Alex are a team of detectives you don’t want to mess with. This power trio is smart, tough, and protective. Natalie, played by Cameron Diaz, has supermodel looks and a goofy personality. Dylan is a redheaded beauty with piercing green eyes. Played by Drew Barrymore, this tough girl is rowdy and hot tempered. She can protect herself and even battled her way out of a room full of men who wanted to hurt her, all while having her hands tied behind her back. Alex, played by Lucy Liu, is by far the brain of every operation. She takes her job the most seriously and looks flawless while doing it.
10 Elizabeth Swann- Pirates of the Caribbean
Elizabeth Swann is an adventurous woman who shows remarkable courage in the face of danger. Played by the gorgeous Keira Knightley, Elizabeth has a curious spirit. She is intense and a natural leader. She believes greatly in freedom and gives an inspiring speech to all the men on the ship encouraging them to never back down. She is so influential that she becomes Pirate King. She has the respect of every man on her ship and shows no doubt when venturing into hazardous and peril circumstances.
9 Hermione Granger- Harry Potter
Hermione Granger, played by the flawless Emma Watson, is an incredibly intelligent, adventurous, and brave woman. She is loyal to her closest friends, Harry and Ron, and constantly has their backs in whatever quarrel they land themselves in. Hermione is a know it all and constantly corrects or informs her friends on spells or schemes. She is portrayed as a bookworm and self indulged, however, her heroism is what makes her stand out as a strong female character. Her beauty and wisdom increases with age as we see a young girl blossom into a strong woman through the Harry Potter movie series.
8 Lara Croft- Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is stunning and smart. She is up against the bad guys to save ancient artifacts. Lara’s mother and father were the Count and Countess of Abbington. Following the death of her mother, Lara became an official Lady. Taking after her father, Lara became an archaeologist. She has a passion for saving divine and historical artifacts, which she donates back to museums for display. Lara will do whatever it takes to put artifacts in the hands of those who deserve to appreciate them. Lara has many admirable traits including great loyalty, tenacity, perseverance, and determination.
7 Storm- X-Men
Rocking a full leather jumpsuit Halle Berry looks fierce as Storm in X-Men. She has a power that every man and woman would love to have; she is able to control the weather. She can render anything from a thunderstorm to a tornado or avalanche. Storm had a difficult past and is severely afraid of small spaces as her parents were killed when her home collapsed on them. She was stuck amongst the rubble with her mother who died as a result of the collapse. Her disrupted past does not interfere with her ability to stay focused and clear-minded when it coms to beating the bad guys.
6 The Bride- Kill Bill
The Bride in Kill Bill is a highly skilled assassin. This dangerous woman can inflict deadly pain on her enemies without blinking an eye. The bride seeks revenge in the movie Kill Bill and searches for a special sword maker in order to make herself even more lethal in her plot for vengeance. Played by the blonde and beautiful Uma Thurman, the bride’s deadly looks coincide perfectly with her killer mentality. The bride is fearless, menacing, and strong willed. This is one woman you don’t ever want to cross.
5 Miranda Priesley – Devil Wears Prada
Miranda Priesley played by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada is tough as nails. Her rough outer shell comes from a sense of entitlement, as she is the editor in chief of a prestigious magazine. Many in the fashion industry around the world respect Miranda’s high status and famous reputation. She knows what she wants and she wanted it done yesterday. She is demanding, intimidating, and ruthless. She spares no ones feelings and if you can’t keep up with her pace, she will find someone else who can. She is piercingly beautiful which clashes with her stone cold heart.
4 Stella Bridger- The Italian Job
Stella Bridger is an incredibly intelligent and powerful woman played by Charlize Theron. She teams up with a group of men made up of hackers and heist experts to get back the gold that was stolen from her deceased father and his men. The job is done strictly for revenge as no member of the team cares about the gold; rather they collectively need to get payback for Stella’s father’s death. Stella is able to crack even the toughest safes and is a weapon behind the wheel. Her no guts no glory is evident throughout the entire movie.
3 Jane Foster- Thor
Jane is the feisty and sassy love interest of Thor. Played by the gorgeous Natalie Portman, Jane is deeply in love with Thor, however due to the complexities of his world their relationship is complicated. Jane is a respected scientist who found Thor after his powers had been taken away from him. Jane is only human and although she is a strong woman Thor manages to get her out of various dangerous situations. She is hopeful in love and remains faithful through thick and thin that Thor will be okay and return to her.
2 Princess Leia- Star Wars
Princess Leia is the only consistent female character in the Star Wars films. This empowering woman shows compassion, grace, and noteworthy power. She shows tremendous bravery and is tough as nails when it comes to battling her enemies. She’s smart, witty, and will show no mercy when it comes to fighting against evil. She’s always thinking one step ahead of everyone else, and therefore is a strategic leader and planner. She has a caring soul but will resort to using her blaster in the face of danger when the calm, cool, and collected methods have run dry.
1 Sandy- Grease
Sandy is the perfect example of a good girl gone bad in the movie Grease. Olivia Newton John plays the sweet and vulnerable Sandy, a blonde haired green-eyed bombshell who falls in love with a stereotypical bad boy, Danny. She can sing, she can dance, and she sticks to her beliefs. She catches the interest of the most handsome guy at her school and when he plays aloof to her feelings, she doesn’t wait around for him to change his mind. Sandy is a cheerleader for her school’s football team and looks adorable in her Rydell High uniform! Sandy shows Danny she can be edgy and at the end of the film reveals her sexier side.