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Cinematic Tough Gals

Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Lopez
Geena Davis
Natasha Henstridge
Michelle Rodriguez
Sybil Danning
Daryl Hannah
Linda Hamilton
Hilary Swank
Pam Grier

Jennifer Garner:
After winning the 2002 Globe Globe Award for her portrayal of CIA Agent Sydney Bristo in the TV series “Alias”, Jennifer moved to the big screen to play high-kicking tough gal Elektra in the comic book flick “Daredevil” (2003) & later the spin-off movie “Elektra” (2005).

Jennifer Lopez:
Latin singing sensation J-Lo established herself as a big screen tough gal after playing policewomen in films such as “Money Train” , “Out Of Sight” & “Angel Eyes”. In 2002 she consolidated her tough gal image by playing an abused wife who decides to fight back in “Enough”.

Geena Davis:
This Boston University Drama major  was picked from the pages of a modeling catalogue to appear in “Tootsie”. Geena then went on to win an Oscar & play tough gal roles in big budget films such as “Thelma & Louise”, “Cutthroat Island” & “The Long Kiss Goodnight”.

Natasha Henstridge:
After making her film debut as the deadly part- woman, part-alien in “Species”, Canadian born Natasha eased into action flicks such as “Maximum Risk” with Van Damme, the tele-movie “Jason & The Argonauts” & John Carpenter’s sci-fi actioner  “Ghosts Of Mars”.

Michelle Rodriguez
After receiving critical acclaim for her gritty portrayal of an 18 year old female boxer in “Girlfight”, Michelle quickly established herself as a screen tough gal with performances in films such as “The Fast And The Furious”, “Resident Evil”, “Blue Crush” & the crime thriller “S.W.A.T.”.

Sybil Danning:
Austrian born blonde who spent a number of years appearing in low-budget Euro-films before starring in a series of action flicks (Hercules, 7 Magnificent Gladiators, Panther Squad, Jungle Warriors & Warrior Queen) which established her as the “B-Movie Action Queen of The 1980’s”. 

Daryl Hannah:
Blue eyed, blonde who got her breakthrough role as an acrobatic android in the hit sci-fi flick “Blade Runner”. A sprinkling of romantic leads followed (Summer Lovers, Splash, Reckless & Roxanne) amongst a string of tough gal roles (Clan Of The Cave Bear, Attack Of The 50ft Woman & Kill Bill).  

Linda Hamilton:
After numerous TV roles, Linda gained worldwide recognition when she was cast as Sarah Connor opposite tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator” (1984) . Other film roles followed including “Black Moon Rising”, “King Kong Lives”, & “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” (1991). 

Hilary Swank:
After a handful of TV roles during the 90’s, Hilary got her big break when she was cast in the title role of “The Next Karate Kid” (1994). She later went on to win 2 “Best Actress Oscars” both for tough gal performances in “Boy’s Don’t Cry” (99) & the Eastwood boxing flick “Million Dollar Baby” (05).

Pam Grier:
Female action star of 70’s Blaxploitation flicks such as “The Big Doll House” (71), “Coffy” (73), “The Arena”
(74),“Foxy Brown” (1974), “Friday Foster” (1975) & “Sheba, Baby” (1975). In
1997 Pam made a career comeback when Quentin Tarantino cast her in the title role of “Jackie Brown”.

Angelina Jolie
Sigourney Weaver
Cynthia Rothrock
Uma Thurman
Brigitte Nielsen
Lucy Liu
Eva Mendes
Sandahl Bergman
Kate Beckinsale

Angelina Jolie:                   Jon Voight’s daughter had already appeared in tough gal roles in films such as “Cyborg 2”, “The Bone Collector” & “Gone In Sixty Seconds” before taking on the task of playing video game adventurer Lara Croft in the action-packed blockbuster “Tomb Raider” & its sequel “Cradle Of Life”

Sigourney Weaver:                 Sigourney established herself as the tough gal of the galaxy by starring as Ripley in the 4 blockbuster action-packed, “Alien” flicks.  Sigourney even found time in the late 90’s to make fun of her tough gal image by starring  in the hilarious sci-fi spoof “Galaxy Quest”.

Cynthia Rothrock:                   This 5’ 3” Kung Fu dynamo was a middleweight kickboxing champion for 5 consecutive years. Cynthia has six black belts in Korean & Chinese Martial Arts & it was inevitable that this tough gal would become an international female kung fu, action star  in Asia & the USA.

Uma Thurman:                          Uma has established herself as a new-age tough gal after playing roles such as Poison Ivy in “Batman & Robin”, Emma Peel in the big screen remake of “The Avengers” & most recently a dangerous female assassin in the new Quentin Tarantino kung fu action flick “Kill Bill”.

Brigitte Nielsen                     This Denmark born model starred as a female version of “Conan” in “Red Sonja” , with big “Arnie” as her costar, before marrying hunk Sylvester Stallone & starring with him in action flicks such as “Rocky IV” & “Cobra” & later opposite Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop 2 “.

Lucy Liu:
New York born actress of Chinese immigrants who has successfully carved out a career playing tough gals in films such as “Payback” with Mel Gibson, “Shanghai Noon” with Jackie Chan, “Ballistic” with Antonio Banderas & the 2 “Charlie’s Angels”  flicks with Drew Barrymore & Cameron Diaz

Eva Mendes:
Cuban, American tough gal  who gained notice with her gritty performance in the police thriller  “Training Day”. Other notable films include, “Urban Legends: Final Cut”, ”Exit Wounds”, “All About The Benjamins”, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” & “Out Of Time” (2003). 

Sandahl Bergman:
After a number of small appearances as a dancer in films such as “All That Jazz” & “Xanadu”, Sandahl got her big break when she was cast as warrior woman Valeria, opposite big Arnie in “Conan The Barbarian”.  Starring roles soon followed for Sandahl in “She”, “The Retaliator” & “Raw Nerve”.

Kate Beckinsale:
English actress who spent a good part of the 1990’s in & out of romance flicks such as “Emma” (97), “Shooting Fish” (1997) & “The Last Days Of Disco” (98) before becoming a tough gal of the new millennium in action flicks such as “Underworld”  (03), “Van Helsing” (2004) & “Underworld 2” (2005).

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