There has never been a greater selection of actresses than in today’s Hollywood. Females are grabbing leads in major blockbusters more than ever before. Just like my best actors list, I will be focusing on the actresses that define our time today. These actresses are in the prime of their careers, they are bankable, and are very talented. If I were basing this list just on talent alone than actresses like Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, and Tilda Swinton would probably be on here. If I were basing this list just on popularity than actresses like Daisy Ridley, Shailene Woodley, Margot Robbie, and Melissa McCarthy would probably be on here. If I were to base this list on an entire career than actresses like Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Sandra Bullock would be on here. However, these ten actresses all have proven talent, are all well known, and are in the prime of their careers today. These are the best actresses working today.
Honorable Mentions: Anne Hathaway, Felicity Jones, Keira Knightley, Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, Rosamund Pike
10. Rooney Mara
Mara has this timid innocence to her. If you ever watch an interview with the actress then you know what I mean. This makes her performance in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo even more impressive. This actress is the complete opposite of the character she played in that film, which shows how lost she can get in the characters she plays. Very impressive stuff. This actress, most definitely, is one of the most talented out there. She’s also still young. At 31 years old, this actress will have many more opportunities to add on to her already two Academy Award nominations.
9. Emma Stone
It’s hard to believe that Emma Stone is only 27 years old. She has already done so much with her career. From starring in more comedic roles like Zombieland and Easy A to more dramatic roles like The Help and Birdman, she has proven she can perform eloquently in both comedy and drama. This range of acting she has proven to have will grant her great success for many more years to come. I’m really excited to see what her future holds. She has a couple roles coming up I’m excited to see. Her performance in Damien Chazelle’s new movie La La Land, coming out his year, will be worth looking in to. Also in 2017, she will be portraying Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes.
Jessica Chastain is a fantastic actress. She brings out emotion in her acting as well as anyone out there. You really feel what her characters are feeling. Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty is one of the best performances of this decade. She has serious range as an actress. She was very funny in The Help. But she is known for her great dramatic work. Chastain has a lot of work lined up in the future, and I would not be surprised if she ends up holding that gold trophy at some point in her career.
Alicia Vikander is a talented actress from Sweden, and that is where she starred in most of her movies before she got her big break in the US, in the film Ex Machina. I had the privilege of finally watching Ex Machina for the first time and I was blown away by Vikander’s performance. I truly believe that a star was born after watching that performance. She handled the role with such a stern demeanor, like a veteran actor. She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress this year. Vikander also has a lot of big movie roles lined up, including one in the new Jason Bourne movie, and she is also gonna be the new Lara Croft. Alicia Vikander is gonna be the next big thing, and has a bright future ahead of her.
6. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt has the proven acting talent as well as the popularity. She is most definitely in the prime of her career right now. In 2014, she starred in the movie Edge of Tomorrow, and gave a performance that rivaled Signorey Weaver in Aliens. She was a complete badass in that movie. Blunt continued her success in 2015 starring in the film Sicario. She has always been in some great films, but she is just now starring in them. Blunt has not been nominated yet for an Academy Award, but has been nominated five times for a Golden Globe. She has the talent to be nominated for an Academy Award at some point in her career, but she also has the bankability to become the next big movie star for years to come. I’m also looking forward to her next film The Girl on the Train coming out later this year.
5. Brie Larson
Brie Larson is just now starting to become the next big thing. She is very young at 26 years old, but this year she won the Best Actress award at the Academy Awards. She has mainly been the supporting character in popular films, mainly comedies. However, there are two performances of hers that I want to point out, because I think she is one of the best dramatic actresses out there. Her performance in, one of my all-time favorite independent films, Short Term 12, was incredible. Also her performance in the more mainstream, Room, was just as good and it put her on the map. Larson has a bright future ahead of her. She reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence, where in person she is very funny and down to earth, just like a normal person. But on screen she is so different and really gives amazing performances. Get ready to see Larson in a lot more lead roles and possibly with some more awards to add to her collection.
4. Amy Adams
It seems like every year, Amy Adams is nominated for something. In all, she has been nominated for 6 Golden Globes, and 5 Academy Awards. She must have the best agent in the world, because she is always in the big Academy Award nominated motion pictures. But she is well deserving to be in those films, because she is a talented actress. I recently saw Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Rick Bobby, which is a silly movie, but Adams has this one scene at a bar that was incredible. It was before she was famous, and her performance in that scene stole the whole second half of the movie. My point is that she has always had the acting talent, and she has since showcased her talent for years now. Today, she is in more blockbuster-type movies as Lois Lane in the recent Superman movies. Adams is one of the most popular, talented actresses today and is always a joy to watch on screen.
Scarlett Johansson has always been one of my favorite actresses, even before she became the big star that she is today. First of all, she starred in one of my all-time favorite films Lost in Translation with Bill Murray, and gave a fantastic performance. She has been nominated for four Golden Globes for her acting. But now she is one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood, and one of the best action stars as well. She is so good in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and really blends in well with male-centric cast. She was also very good in the movie Lucy. I’m looking forward to her next film Ghost in the Shell which could be similar to Lucy, but has potential to be a lot better. Lastly I want to mention her vocal performance in Her, which I think should have been nominated for an Academy Award, even thought we could only hear her voice throughout the film. It was truly amazing. Johansson is one of the most popular actresses out there and well deserves a spot on this list.
If I were to make a list of the most talented actresses in Hollywood working today, Charlize Theron would probably be on that list. Her performance in the film Monster proves that. One of the greatest acting performances ever. If I were to make a list of the most popular and bankable actresses, Charlize Theron still would probably be on that list. Theron is doing more blockbuster-type movies these days. For example, she was in the latest Mad Max film and gave an incredible performance. Her character in that film was very strong and self-sufficient and broke all the female clichés that you normally see in action films. Charlize Theron, in person, is very beautiful, but it’s her ability to completely transform during her performances that makes her stand out among all the rest.
I can argue and say that Jennifer Lawrence is the most popular actress today period. I think I would win most of those arguments, because it’s true. She is known for portraying Katniss Everdeen in the enormously popular Hunger Games series. This role has made her the highest grossing actress the past two years. Also, she is Mystique in the latest X-Men movies so that helps as well. So, yes she is obviously very popular and very bankable. Her next film Passengers, with Chris Pratt should do very well in the box office. It is coming out later this year and I’m really looking forward to it. However, there is one reason why she sits here at the top spot on my list. It is her talent! It just amazes me that in the same year, she plays this teenager in The Hunger Games, and also a widowed woman in her 20s in Silver Linings Playbook (which earned her Best Actress at the Academy Awards). These are two completely different roles, one that requires much more maturity, and she plays them both to perfection. She is a completely different person in her films. In real life she is very goofy and clumsy, but in her movies she can be very serious, and also very brave and courageous at times. She is only 25 years old!! So, obviously she has a BRIGHT future ahead of her. There is no question that she tops my list, and I would argue and say she is the best male or female. There is no person that is more popular, bankable, talented, and still so young like Jennifer Lawrence.