Acting is pretty much the joy of my existence, and I spend a big chunk of my time observing other people acting- whether in movies or in plays.
Even with all the movies and plays I’ve seen and all the actresses therein, there’s only a handful of actresses I actually like. I think maybe it’s because I’m a girl too, so I have about four million times as much judgmental attitude towards them (as opposed to actors, who I normally love). So my favorite actresses are a very elite group.
- The inimitable, the beautiful, the irreplaceable Scarlett Johansson. Surprisingly, I use to not like Scarlett, but I’ve grown to love her. I still don’t love her acting in Iron Man 2 (don’t hate me, Melissa), but I understand that since it was her first time in the MCU, of course her character is less developed. Notable roles: Annie in The Nanny Diaries, Natasha Romanoff in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Renee Elise Goldsberry. So technically I haven’t seen her in anything, since I have yet to actually see Hamilton: An American Musical, but I’ve listened to her in the soundtrack four billion times and watched her Tony acceptance speech almost as many. (By the way, if you haven’t seen her speech, watch it here. Get the kleenex’s ready.) Notable roles: Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton: An American Musical.
- Although she’s been all sorts of colors, I still love Zoe Saldana best in her own skin. One of my favorite things about her acting is that she’s able to reach a depth of emotion in each performance that breathes life into the story. Annnd her characters are also always super boss. Notable roles: Nyota Uhura in Star Trek.
- The classy Gwyneth Paltrow is definitely one of my favorite actresses. There’s a certain poise and elegance she always has (even when she played Catherine in Proof) that shines through all her acting. Notable roles: Emma in Emma, Pepper Potts in Iron Man 1-3.
- Elizabeth Olsen. She had so much going against her when I first saw her acting, and yet I fell in love with her anyway. First of all, she’s an Olsen. So I was immediately inclined to dislike her. Second, she was playing a character named ‘Scarlet Witch’, which I thought would be super weird. Turns out she one of the best actresses I’ve ever seen. My first impressions, in this case, were wrong. Notable roles: Wanda Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
- Star Wars had one chance of getting it right with their new leading lady, and… they got it right. Daisy Ridley played her character perfectly, striking a balance between feminine and warrior, powerful and petite. It seems like most of the time girls are either portrayed as just one or the other, not both, and it was refreshing to see those characteristics intertwined together. Notable roles: Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- This list would not be complete without Megan Follows, the first actress I ever really cared enough about to learn the name of. She inspired me to pursue acting further, to not be afraid of putting yourself out there and to not hold back. Notable roles: Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables.
Other Actresses That Almost Made it to the List:
Jessica Chastian (The Martian, The Help), Evangeline Lilly (Real Steel, Ant-Man), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods, The Giver, Julie & Julia), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help), Idina Menzel (Wicked).
Who are your favorite actresses?