While many little girls may look up to Disney princesses like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty at role models, some of the better feminine roles belong to the most badass female characters in film and television. Though most action scenes require roughhousing and ass-kicking to be handled by a male lead, a few movies and television shows depict tough women shooting fighting and maiming their opponents in a way that would put some men to shame. Whether saving their sons from futuristic killing machines or brutally destroying aliens in the coldness of space, these characters prove that women can be as fiercely independent and badass as their male counterparts.
Ellen Ripley of “Alien” One of the first badass female characters, Sigourney Weaver was almost left out of this famous role. The cast was originally all-male before the producers decided to use a strong female lead. The last minute change proved to be crucial. Lieutenant Ripley does not hesitate to massacre alien creatures in this sci-fi classic, solidifying her as one of the greatest characters in movie history.
Sarah Connor of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” Although Sarah Connor is first introduced in the original “Terminator,” she doesn’t take on the role of badass until the second installment. Played by Linda Hamilton, Sarah Connor is a tough mother, fighting to protect her son from cyborgs sent from the future to kill him. Violent and determined, Connor is the epitome of strength, toughness and resilience, never hesitating to destroy anyone that stands between her and her son’s survival.
Alice of “Resident Evil” The “Resident Evil” franchise, loosely based on the video game of the same name, introduces us to Alice, played by Milla Jovovich. Alice, a security guard for a genetics corporation, seeks to reveal the dangerous practices used by her employers. In the first movie, she suffers from amnesia, but by the second installment, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” Alice is able to use her extensive training to become at unstoppable killing machine.
Selene of “Underworld” Kate Beckinsale portrays Selene, a vampire who believes a race of werewolves killed her family. She sets out for retribution, using weapons and superhuman strength to eviscerate her enemies, all the while seeking to uncover the tangled plot behind her family’s murder and the destruction of the Vampire Elders.
Xena of “Xena: Warrior Princess” Set in ancient Greece, “Xena: Warrior Princess” follows badass warrior Xena, played by Lucy Lawless, as she seeks to atone for a past life as a ruthless warlord by helping people in need. In each episode, Xena embarks on a mission to fight for the “greater good.” To aid in her deadly fighting skills, Xena uses a sword and a chakram, an ancient throwin weapon from India.
Buffy Summers of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Sarah Michelle Geller plays Buffy, an ass-kicking “slayer” who takes on vampires, demons and other forces of evil in this Joss Whedon television series. When describing the show, Whedon stated he was trying to challenge the idea of the helpless blonde girl that meets her demise in the dark alleys of horror movies. "The very first mission statement of the show was the joy of female power: having it, using it, sharing it.”
Max Guevara of “Dark Angel” A breakout role for Jessica Alba, Max is a genetically enhanced human who is created in a government facility in 2009. When she escapes, government agents search for her and her genetically altered “brothers” and “sisters.” Designed with special DNA and given years of training, Max uses her badass fighting skills to defeat her enemies and elude capture, while reuniting with the other subjects of the testing facility.
Tracy Strauss of “Heroes” Ali Larter plays not one, but two badass female characters in the NBC series about everyday people who find themselves gifted with superhuman powers. Nikki and Tracy Sanders are twins, one good, one evil. Nikki exhibits superhuman strength, while Tracy has the ability to freeze her opponents, allowing her to escape from capture or kill at will. Larter portrays each twin with deadly realism, making you forget she once played the airheaded cheerleader wearing a whipped cream “bikini” in “Varsity Blues.”