Sci-Fi's Top 10: Film and Television Actresses

March 9, 2016

#1 – Jennifer Lawrence

It should come as no surprise that J-Law holds the #1 spot on this list. She stole steal our hearts as Catniss Everdeen in the extremely profitable The Hunger Games films, sure, but before that she was kicking mutant-hating butt as Mystique in the two latest installments of the X-Men films – First Class and Days of Future Past. The third installment, X-Men: Apocalypse is currently in post-production and is scheduled to be released later this year. Also to be released later this year is Passengers where will star opposite Chris “Those Pecs Tho” Pratt. On a side note, she was the highest paid actress in 2015 (all genres, not just Sci-Fi), reportedly grossing $52 million.


#2: Natalie Portman
Ms. Portman
has been appearing in Sci-Fi films since 1996. She made her Sci-Fi debut as a support role in Mars Attacks! but quickly reached Sci-Fi stardom when she was announced to play Queen Amidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Since then, she appeared in Star Wars Episodes II and II, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. She stars is ONE OF MY FAVORITE Sci-Fi films of all time, V for Vendetta. That movie is SO GOOD. Most recently, she starred alongside one of the Hemsworths (I can never tell them apart), Thor and Thor: The Dark WorldDue out in 2017, she stars in another Sci-Fi film, Annihilation.


#3: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett made her Sci-Fi film debut in The Prestige in 2006. Afterwards, she appeared as Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 a character seen again in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Due out later this year, she appears in Captain America: Civil War, and I have a feeling this film won't be the last time we see good old Natasha. Getting cast as a Marvel comic book character = CASH COW. She also played the title character in the Sci-Fi Action Thriller, Lucy, but my favorite role of Scarlett’s was in Her. She played the voice of Samantha and starred opposite Hollywood Hipster, Joaquin Phoenix.


#4: Carrie Fisher

How can I mention the best Sci-Fi actresses of all time and disclude Carrie Fisher. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope revolutionized the Sci-Fi film genre in 1977, and her role as Princess Leia was instrumental to that revolution. Carrie changed the way female leads in Sci-Fi films were perceived - for the first time, we had a female lead that was tough, smart, and sexy. Of course, she continued on to star in both Star Wars: Episodes V and VI - The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In 1987 she appeared in Amazon Women on the Moon and The Time GuardianRecently, Princess Leia made a comeback in Episode VII – The Force Awakens. She is currently filming Episode VIII due out in 2017. 


#5: Carrie-Anne Moss

Best know for playing Trinity in the Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, Carrie-Anne’s first Sci-Fi appearance was in the 1993 film Doorways, crafted by my writing hero, George R.R. Martin. Since the Matrix Trilogy, (and all those HOT make-out sessions with Keanu, her Sci-Fi performances have been scarce…until recently.  She currently co-stars in one of my new favorite Sci-Fi TV shows, Jessica Joneswith sultry, spicy, up-and-comer, Krysten Ritter. Seriously, if you haven't already binge-watched this show, stop reading and do it NOW. The entire first season is available on Netflix.


#6: Gillian Anderson

With the recent rebirth of The X-Files, one of the most famous and monetarily successful Sci-Fi TV shows of all time, Gillian Anderson is suddenly, once again, fresh in our Sci-Fi minds.  I personally have been re-watching the original X-Files episodes from the early 90’s and man, they are gooooood. She also played the role of Dr. Dana Scully in The X-Files, the movieand The X Files: I Want to Believe. In 2013, she starred in the film, I’ll Follow You Down.


#7: Gina Torres

Ms. Torres has had an extensive TV career. Her most famous Sci-Fi role was playing Zoe Washburne in Firefly, but before that, she starred in Cleopatra 2525, and played Cas in The Matrix Reloaded. After Firefly, she revived her role as Cas in The Matrix Revolutions, and then starred in Serenity where she was reunited with Firefly co-star, sexy smart-mouth, Nathan Fillion. (These two seriously can’t stay away from each other. She also appeared on Mr. Fillion’s TV series, Castle).


#8: Marina Sirtis

This one is for all you Star Trek fans out there. If we’re talking about modern day Sci-Fi, Star Trek must be a part of the conversation. The brand has spanned the course of 5 decades with a new movie, Star Trek Beyonddue out this year! (Seriously, will this brand EVER DIE?) Getting cast in the TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, was Ms. Sirtis’s lucky break. She went on to appear in the series spin-off films, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. The series has made a few comebacks over the years, and Marina has revived her role as Counselor Deanna Troi in all - Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: Continues. Non-Star Trek credits include Paradise LostTerminal Error,  Spectress, and Inalienable, which were all pretty terrible.

5th Passenger, her latest Sci-Fi, film is due out this year.


#9: Mary McDonald

Since I mentioned Star Trek, I guess I can't ignore Battlestar GalacticaESPECIALLY because many consider it one of the best TV series ever made. Mary McDonald stars in the TV show as a newly inaugurated President of the US, overseeing the battle against the Cylons. For all you non-fans, you probably know Mary from her role in either Independence Day or Donnie Darko.


#10: Evangeline Lily

Sigh. I WAS going to focus on Yinjim Kim, a South Korean actress from Seoul because she played one of my favorite characters, Sun Kwon in LOSTbut considering Evangeline Lily’s recent work in Ant-Man AND the fact that her attachment to Ant-Man and the Wasp was recently announced, she should be the LOST actress that I include on my list. Yes, I know the last couple of seasons really sucked, but SEASONS 1-5 WERE AWESOME AND LOST IS STILL ONE OF MY FAVORITES AND NO ONE WILL EVER CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. She also starred in the Sci-Fi Action Drama, Real Steel.


NEW ADDITION - Sigourney Weaver!!


A good friend of mine and I were discussing women of Sci-Fi and she graciously pointed out that I had forgotten about Sigourney Weaver. SIGOURNEY FREAKING WEAVER! OF COURSE!! Alien was my very first Sci-Fi movie EVER and believe you me, it took A LOT for my father to convince my mother to let me watch it. I was 8, I think. Anyway, Sigourney is a Sci-Fi legend. She starred in Alien, like mentioned earlier, which debuted in 1979. she then went on to star in AliensAlien3, and Alien: Resurrection. She was also in Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, Galaxy Quest (RIP Alan Rickman) Avatar, Wall-E, and so many more I don't have room to mention. She re-making Ghostbusters, just announced a new Alien movie, and is in pre-production for Avatar 2, 3, and 4. WOW!


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writer | author | sci-fi storyteller
© 2016 by Lisa Caskey
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