Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Cara Delevingne, it should be a given that they make it into this list, right? We love the clumsy antics and their relatable appeal, we love their strong witty sense of humour, right down to how they keep their brows groomed! However, this author brings you the Top (less predictable, less well-known, less appreciated) list of 5 #Amazing Actresses from #MarieClaireAmazing.
WHO? Introduced into the Hollywood scene for her role in the Harry Potter franchise since 2001, Emma Watson has followed Hermione’s arc and grown up with the Generation Y kids. After the last film in 2011, Watson has since moved on to do many other films, including The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012), The Bling Ring (2013), and the latest one that is keeping us Disney fans on our toes, the remake of Beauty and the Beast (2017)!
WHY SHE’S AMAZING: On September 2014, Emma Watson gave a powerful UN speech addressing equal rights and the bad connotations that relate to the word ‘feminism’. Being appointed as an ambassador for UN Women, Watson used her reach in mass media to introduce #HeForShe, and the concept was for the first time made readily known to youths and our generation.
WHO? Best known for her portrayal of a no-nonsense, Taiwanese-American mother constantly bewildered by white culture in ABC’s comedic series Fresh Off The Boat. Wu has also starred in TV series Eastsiders (2012), Parallels (2015), and Sound of My Voice (2011).
WHY SHE’S AMAZING: Wu doesn’t just play her character well, like all other great actors and actresses, she becomes her character and understands the casual racism behind Fresh Off The Boat. “I remember a lot of takes where I was actually crying,” Wu mused, “because it’s so hurtful to hear somebody say that [the professor won’t call on me in class because they can’t pronounce my name]. And it was a little too heavy for me to be that upset over it, so I tried to reel it back obviously with comedy.” TV Jessica Huang (based on a real life actual person named Jessica Huang) is the queen of one-liners delivered weekly with such an off-handed ignorance that reflects the white culture’s ignorance towards other ethnicities.
3. Viola Davis, 50
WHO? Known to the TV fanatics for her portrayal of Annalise Keating in How To Get Away With Murder, a TV series following the lives of a brilliant criminal defence lawyer and her interns as they get involved in multiple twisted murder plots. Also known for her roles in The Help (2011), Prisoners (2013), and Doubt (2008).
WHY SHE’S AMAZING: Besides being the first black actress to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for How To Get Away With Murder, her powerhouse role in Fences deserves another. Known for giving speeches that blow the roof off the house, she also bagged two SAG awards back-to-back in two years.
4. Lena Headey, 42
WHO? Her powerfully intimidating portrayal of Cersei Lannister in HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones is one that will always stick to Headey’s career as an actress, and we don’t mean that in a bad way. Only Headey can convey that amount of contempt and disgust for her enemies, yet at the same time maintain a fierce unequivocal love for her family, especially her children. Other than that, Headey also took on a variety of roles: as a queen in 300 (2006), a druglord named Ma-Ma in Dredd (2012), and a swash-buckling warrior aristocrat in Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies (2016).
WHY SHE’S AMAZING: Self proclaimed misfit lover and brave worshiper on her Twitter account, Headey has managed to stay grounded despite numerous MTV and Primetime Emmy nominations. She advocates for LGBT rights, posed for NOH8, a US campaign that promotes equal marriage, gender, and rights.
5. Lupita Nyong’o, 33
WHO? She impressed audiences in her film debut, 12 Years A Slave (2013) playing the role of Patsey. Ever since, she’s gone on to star in bigger franchises such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), and action thriller Non-Stop (2014). Nyong’o has since been nominated for numerous awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards.
WHY SHE’S AMAZING: Her role as Patsey, a tormented slave in 12 Years A Slave was ground-breaking, undoubtedly seen in her winning an Oscar in 2014 for Best Supporting Actress. Besides being the first black celebrity to represent French luxury cosmetic brand Lancôme in 2014, Nyong’o has recently taken to social media to express disappointment over the 2016 Academy Award’s lack of racial diversity inclusion. “It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture,” she wrote, “The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today.” It’s not that no one has taken a stand before this, but the more these issues are voiced, the more unconsciously prejudiced voters will start paying attention to them.