Right off the top, let us say this: we fully recognize that thinking a certain manner of acting, speaking, or moving is "like a dude" may sound close-minded and stereotypical. We get that, but we also realize that there are certain things that society as a whole associates more with one gender than the other. We may pretend like that isn’t the case but we’re guessing that when you read the title of this article certain actresses immediately jumped to mind. We would like to make it abundantly clear that we fully support everyone’s right to act in any way that they see fit no matter their gender, race, religion or age, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others.
At first blush, you may presume that we put together this list to point out how odd it is that these beautiful female actresses are regularly cast in roles that see them act in a more masculine way. The opposite is true, though we decided to look at fifteen famous female actors who’ve managed to break the mold and portray roles like that where they still remain as attractive as ever. We are here to celebrate the fact that modern actresses get to take on characters that would have traditionally been held by men and hope that continues for years to come. We love the idea that in years to come the young women from the current generation will likely have many more female role models in every genre of film when that wasn’t always the case.
In order to be considered for this list, an actress first off needs to be someone that the majority of people would consider to be hot. Then, they need to have been cast in roles that have seen them play characters that in years past would have much more likely gone to men. In order to ensure that was the case, we only considered films that came out after 1980, as we see that as the cut-off for a more modernized look at the acting world. Finally, they need to have performed the part in a way that has been accepted well by the masses because they were seen as believable.
15 Katee Sackhoff
Here’s the thing, if Katee (left) had managed to become a little bit more famous and earned a few more high profile roles because of it, she would have easily been in the running for the top slot on this list. Probably best known for her role on the series Battlestar Galactica as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, the role was originally meant to be male but fans of the show are likely extremely happy that didn’t happen. A buxom blonde with a body that won’t quit, she has taken part in a lot of sexy photoshoots over the years that more than prove how superb her body is. A little bit typecast, as far as the roles she is given, we can’t hate those casting agents as she is awesome in them especially considering they used to go to guys. Want proof? Look no further than her parts like those she played in Halloween: Resurrection, Riddick and even the unofficial short film Power/Rangers.
14 Charlize Theron
While the majority of Charlize Theron’s career saw her playing roles that are more traditional than those that we are focusing on here, the two biggest parts she is known for insured she was included here. If there was any question in your mind which films we were talking about, let us clear it up for you, they are Mad Max: Fury Road and Monster. In one film she played one of the hardest action stars we’ve seen in years, and we really hope she goes back to Furiosa soon, and in the other, she played a serial killer, something that is most associated with guys. In both cases, her commitment to the characters was absolutely beyond reproach and her performances were amazing, to say the least.
13 Gina Gershon
If you are attracted to women and you don’t know who Gina Gershon is, you have been missing out. An exquisite beauty whose ability to be alluring is undeniable, if you think that she isn’t hot there must be something wrong with your eyes or you could be thinking of the wrong person. A large part of the reason why she is such an attractive person has to do with the strength she brings to bear in every part she takes, which is why she owes her career to an expanded view of roles women can play. Movies like Red Heat, Showgirls, Bound, Face/Off, Palmetto, The Insider and Driven all feature her in roles that combine an old school kind of cool men dominated in the past and her good looks.
12 Anne Heche
Anne Heche’s path through fame is unlike any we have ever seen before. Probably still best known for her long-lasting lesbian relationship with Ellen DeGeneres today, she is seen by many as someone who is unbalanced due to that relationship’s end and her stories of hallucinations. Despite all that, she has still managed to be consistently employed as an actress for several years, including several roles that were more domineering in nature. In all reality, her roles in movies like Six Days, Seven Nights, Return to Paradise, Volcano and even Spread, were the type that men would have been more likely to play in the past.
11 Katherine Moennig
Probably the least famous person on this list, Katherine is best known for playing Shane McCutcheon on The L Word, a long-running series that aired on Showtime. Running for six seasons, the series was well received by a lot of people for showing a more rounded view of women in the lesbian community which was made possible due to the less stringent censorship on that station. Someone with an incredible body, as anyone who has seen her multiple nude scenes can attest to, she is a very hot woman. That said, she spent years on end playing a much more masculine character than any we can remember a woman playing on TV previously.
10 Glenn Close
Glenn Close’s career has to be the envy of anyone who has ever fancied themselves a talented actor. Earning consideration in an endless list of award categories, given roles that she could really sink her teeth into, making her mark on pop culture, she’s done everything an actor could wish to. One of the major reasons why she has managed to pull off so much is that she has shown her ability to bring to life virtually any role. Included in that list are performances like those in Hook, The Paper, Mars Attacks, Air Force One and Albert Noob, all of which show her ability to play parts men might have had in the past. While she may not be a traditional hottie, we totally think she belongs on a list of attractive Hollywood actresses. Don’t agree with us? Watch the movie Fatal Attraction and tell us she didn’t come off as sexy as hell prior to her character going crazy.
9 Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster is one of the best actresses to ever find her way onto celluloid. Her first film, Napoleon and Samantha, was released ten years after she was born and before too long she was one of the most sought after child stars. While she may not have appeared in many films of late, she definitely doesn’t need to since she has already made a huge impact on the film world. A beautiful woman who owes the majority of the fact that she is so attractive to the strength she oozes from every pore, the powers that be have taken advantage of those skills for years on end. For instance, since the 1990s alone, she has starred in Elysium, The Brave One, Inside Man, Panic Room, Contact and The Silence of the Lambs, all of which arguably would have gone to men previously.
8 Grace Jones
Grace Jones is the type of person that is impossible to forget but whose name a lot of us can’t quite remember. A singer, songwriter, supermodel, record producer and actress, she has a striking presence and while she didn’t start out as an actress she was able to make an impact on Hollywood nonetheless. Appearing in movies like Conan The Destroyer, A View to Kill, Vamp, and others, she was seen as credible enough that she could stand against her male co-stars. The very fact that she held her own against Arnold Schwarzenegger alone should be enough to include her on a list like this in our opinions and since we get to decide, here she is.
7 Hilary Swank
An actress that seems to have all but disappeared of late, it is a real shame that we haven’t got to see more of her doing her thing, as there is little question that Hilary is very talented. A two-time Academy Award winner, she, unlike a lot of the people on this list, has never been most associated with the action genre. That said, she has made a career for herself out of taking on roles that would have been likely played by guys in the past. She took over the Karate Kid series from Ralph Macchio which was her first starring role. She played a woman that fights hard to convince an old male boxing trainer to take on a woman. She even played a woman that spent her days pretending to be a man. Need we say more?
6 Tilda Swinton
Okay, we feel like we can read a lot of people’s minds, who are likely questioning our decision to include Tilda Swinton on a list of hot actresses. We’re going to completely skip by any need to explain when she acted like a guy used to, as a cursory look at her filmography will answer that question handily, instead we’ll be focusing on what makes her attractive. First off, anyone who has seen The Beach will be able to tell you right off the hop that she is fully capable of bringing to life a character that is sexually desirable. If you then look at any photo of her, it is obvious that she is very comfortable with herself which makes it hard to argue that she is not an attractive woman.
5 Lucy Liu
Look at her. There is no argument that we would ever buy that Lucy isn’t stunning enough to play roles that may have gone to former beauty queens in the past. While it is true that in years past her ethnicity may have held her back, just as much as her gender could have, from getting roles in the types of films that are her bread and butter, we’re happy to see that she has broken barriers. For instance, one of her most lauded performances, that of O-Ren Ishii in the Kill Bill series, was highly influenced by past martial arts movies, most of which starred men in every role but the romantic interest. On top of that movies like Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Lucky Number Slevin, and most of all the Charlie’s Angels series depended on her blend of badass and beauty to work.
4 Sigourney Weaver
Brought to the world’s attention after her third film role, that of Ellen Ripley in Alien and its sequels, the character was originally envisioned as a man before the filmmakers came across Sigourney. For fans of strong female characters, it was mana from the gods when they decided to rework the character, as the result has to be one of the first pretty but tough female characters Hollywood created. Continuing to take on roles that in years past were much more likely to have gone to men, she also starred in movies like Copycat, The TV Set, Avatar and The Cabin in the Woods. While her roles fluctuate greatly between those that totally fit the point of this list and those that are far more traditional, there is little doubt she belongs here. After all, it is hard to imagine many of the stars that came after her getting the opportunities they did without her impactful performances.
3 Linda Hamilton
An actress who is almost entirely known for her involvement in a classic sci-fi franchise of films that James Cameron brought to life, the two Terminator films epitomize the idea behind this list. The character Sarah Conner, which Linda brought to life, started out the first film as a waitress that was concerned with going out with her friends and spent a lot of time dolling herself up. By the end of that film, she had given up all interest in creating a façade for herself, instead, she worried about the practicality of kicking a*s, and staying alive for herself and her hypothetical son. By the start of the second film, Sarah had been stripped of all pretense in a psychiatric hospital where her every moment was spent turning herself into a killing machine. Attractive in both for very different reasons, she went from a more typical character movies had created for years on end to one that was hot in the second one for her sculpted look.
2 Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez is a truly beautiful woman. Possessing a body that looks incredibly fit, unlike a lot of famous actors, she doesn’t seem in desperate need of a meal but she is also someone that looks fantastic in virtually everything she wears. In one of her best-known roles, that of Letty in the Fast & Furious series, she regularly wears clothes that are skin tight and show off her great body while pulling off stunts few could convincingly. Additionally, she may be one of the few women that a lot of men could understandably admit to feeling somewhat intimidated by considering the take-no-prisoners-attitude her characters all seem to have. Girlfight, Resident Evil, SWAT, Avatar, Machete, and so many other projects she has played a part in may have folded had she not been so good at being tough and hot in equal measure.
1 Angelina Jolie
We’re just going to come out and say it, we fully expected Angelina Jolie’s face to leap into the minds of our readers when they saw the focus of this list. An actress that is without a doubt one of the most sexualized people who is also famous around the world for her acting, it is pretty difficult to argue against the idea that she is a beautiful woman. Often cited as the crush of people of both genders, she has been in a bevy of films that showed her in all of her glory which is something virtually everyone enjoys seeing.
Looking at her filmography is also an exercise in appreciating roles that totally fit the mold of the ones we were looking for in order for someone to qualify for inclusion in this list. Hackers, Gone in 60 Seconds, Taking Lives, Alexander, Beowulf, Wanted, Salt, and The Tourist are but a sampling of films that relied on her looks as well as her more masculine persona. Quite possibly the most famous female action star the world has ever seen, she has made a career for herself out of taking on and redefining roles that would have previously gone to men. We love her for it and completely applaud the way she has changed the industry she called home for so many years.