This list is similar to the list I did a couple of days ago, but it’s all about the ladies. The actresses we loved to watch this year on the big screen – and small, follow on social media, and love their charity work. The women who make us proud to be women ourselves.
Time Magazine may have named them the people of the year, but to us they are so much more than that. We know that they aren’t all actresses, but some of them are. They are the women that inspire us to speak up, to be better, to make a better world for the generation of women to come.
The Silence Breakers have changed the game and we admire them all. It’s because of them that the system is starting to change and that takes courage.
Not going to lie – we’ve always love One Tree Hill and The Royals. We’ve always thought that Mark Schwann was talented, but it’s been the casts of those shows that have influenced us for a lot of our lives.
We’re thankful for them and the way that they banned together to speak up. They didn’t leave each other out to dry, they didn’t let themselves feel alone. They made sure that they were supported.
They taught us what it was like to ban together and have each others backs. We can’t imagine what they went through. But they are heroes to us, because they came forward, and they taught us that you don’t have to go through things. You can speak up. People will have your back.
These actresses, writers and crews showed us all that even in Hollywood, people have your back.
We love Melissa Benoist. She’s a real life Supergirl! She truly breathes her character on and off screen and proves to us that a woman can do anything a man can do. She’s a true feminist icon. We love watching Benoist on Supergirl week after week. She’s brought about some absolutely heartbreaking performances this season, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of season 3 has to offer for our feminist hero.
Seeing Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok has been one the highlights of our year. We just loved her in the role and we were thrilled that Marvel cast a woman of color in such an iconic role. It just worked seamlessly. We also love how outspoken Tessa has been about representation, about supporting other women, especially POC. We hope to see her once again in our screens very soon, and we hope she continues to be as loud as she’s being.
EMILY BETT RICKARDS
Week after week, we love tuning into Arrow to see Emily Bett Rickards bring Felicity Smoak to life. Since the 1st season, we have loved Felicity. She is the embodiment of an empowered woman. She’s literally a genius and she can easily hack anything for Team Arrow. We just love all the little things Emily brings to one of our favorite female characters in the Arrowverse. Emily’s portrayal of Felicity proves you don’t need superpowers to save the world, sometimes you just need your brain and knowing you can keep up in a very masculine world.
Gal Gadot was fantastic in Wonder Woman this past year. The embodiment of a feminist icon. Just the fact that she filmed part of the movie while pregnant makes us love her so much more. We just loved everything about her portrayal and loved her just as much in Justice League. We can’t wait to see what Gadot is up to next. We’ve heard Wonder Woman 2 is on it’s way!
This past year, we saw Emma Watson bring one of our favorite Disney princesses, Belle, to life in the live adaptation of Beauty and the Beast on the big screen. She did a phenomenal job. We may all remember her as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, but Watson is also a known feminist and encourages young girls to read as much as they can and to be who they are.
Beatriz had a chance to shine both on the small screen and the big screen this year, but it was her performance as Rosa Diaz, in particular, that has made her one of our favorites this year. Not to mention the fact that Beatriz, who is herself bisexual, has been open and proud about this fact, and recently got a chance to play her character coming out as bisexual. We can’t wait to see where Beatriz, and Rosa, are going next!
We all fell in love with Caity Lotz and her portrayal of Sara Lance on Arrow. We cried ugly tears when Sara died. Much to our relief, superheroes don’t stay dead for long and Sara was resurrected and she got her own spin off on Legends of Tomorrow. Lotz’ character is an LGBT icon. One of the things they make clear is that Sara is bisexual and it’s something that isn’t truly shown in TV or film these days, making us love her so much more. Lotz is a known feminist and has stuck up for the women she works around to help them get a safe environment to work in. We look forward to seeing Sara and the team in the rest of the 3rd season of Legends of Tomorrow.
We love Zendaya! This past year, she co-starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming with Tom Holland and Robert Downey, Jr and we loved her in it just as much as we’ve loved to see her pushing back against the negative comments she got for her role. We personally think she’s the perfect MJ. She also appears in the Golden Globe nominated The Greatest Showman. We look forward to seeing where things take her.
We love Chyler Leigh! Known to us as Kara’s big sister Alex on Supergirl, her character had one of the most resonating coming out stories we’ve ever seen. For the first time Alex is now dealing with a broken heart, but it makes her stronger. Leigh’s performance over the past year has been amazing, and everyone is applauding her for her hard work. Alex is now an LGBT icon and we can’t wait to see where her story goes.
This past year, we loved watching Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the kick ass Gamora. We are highly anticipating the next time Saldana shows up on the big screen, Avengers: Infinity War. Can’t you tell we are ready to see it?
This past year, Jennifer Morrison wowed us as Emma Swan on Once Upon A Time. She left the show in May, and made a brief return in October to wrap up Emma’s storyline, but she will forever be missed by us. For 6 seasons, Morrison brought Emma to life week after week and we just couldn’t get enough. Morrison is now testing the waters as director, and we couldn’t be prouder of her!
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi now out, we can’t get enough of Daisy Ridley as Rey. We’ve been excited for this movie for two years, and to see where Rey’s adventures lead her. We definitely can’t wait to see more of her in the next installment of this iconic franchise, and we’re thrilled that there are young girls everywhere who will be able to grow up with Rey as their icon.
We know Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen on The Flash. We love her as Iris and this past year we’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff from her – both on the show and out, as the actress is always outspoken and real. What’s going to happen for her in the back half of season 4? We’re itching to find out.
When news broke that Carrie Fisher had passed away, our hearts broke. However, her legacy will always be cherished and honored by us. With the release of The Last Jedi, the last movie Fisher made, we get to see her one last time in her iconic role as Leia Organa. RIP Carrie. You are missed by all. You changed us all. We love you.
Every week on This Is Us, Chrissy Metz brings Kate Pearson to life. Her emotional performances make us cry week after week, and she has been instrumental in changing the ideals of beauty in Hollywood. Because she’s a gorgeous woman inside and out, and we got to see that every week on screen. We can’t wait for the show to return!
Isabella is very young, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a place in our list. Her turn as Elena in One Day at a Time and the way the actress has gone out of her way to be an example, not just to the latinx community, but to the LGBT community, make her one of our favorites. Now we just want her to get more roles!
This past year we’ve seen Jessica Chastain in films like The Zookeeper’s Wife and Molly’s Game, and we loved her in both. She just recently was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Molly’s Game. Chastain has also been one of the most outspoken actresses in recent months, challenging the status quo in Hollywood, and we need more like her. We’re excited to see what’s next for her!
We love watching Danielle Panabaker kill it as Caitlin Snow (and her more evil side Killer Frost – she just calls her Frost) on The Flash each week. There are not enough strong female characters on TV, and honestly, we just want more of her. What’s in store for Caitlin in the rest of the season? We’re excited to see!
This past year, Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Mother! was riveting. We love her in anything, and we always look forward to her next time on the big screen.
For the record, she’ll always be Katniss to us, but we love her don’t give a fuck, tell it like it is attitude. Jennifer is amazing, an inspiration, and we’ll be fans for life.
KELLY MARIE TRAN
We fell in love with Kelly Marie Tran before we fell in love with Rose Tico, but we’re not 100% in love with both. With Kelly for her enthusiasm, her tremendous joy and with what it means to have a Vietnamese actress on Star Wars. And with Rose, well, without spoiling anything, because she’s a bad-ass and the kind of character we can all look up to.
We love tuning into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD every week and seeing Elizabeth Henstridge’s amazing performance as Jemma Simmons. So far, she’s been spectacular in season 5 and we can’t wait to see more and see what happens.
These are just a few of the actresses that have captured our hearts this year – on the big screen and the small. Someone we missed? Let us know!