12 Actresses Who Should Be In Every Movie Source:

They hit with the thunderstick each and every time they grace the screen. These are the actresses that directors love working with—the actresses that producers know will lure return on investment. And for many on this list, actresses who own the little golden trophies known as Oscars and Golden Globes. It doesn’t hurt that they’re quite easy on the eyes, regardless of age. So you certainly wouldn’t hear us complaining if these women were cast in every film that hits the silver screen.

12. Kerry Washington

So many props to a few of the ladies on this list. They did it the hard way. When wild success didn’t come early, they kept hustling, and stating, “I’m a leading lady. I’m A-list talent.” Kerry Washington has been a working actress since her high school days. Well, she scored her first major credit at 17, and has been grinding for 20-plus years. That’s hard to believe when considering how Kerry has maintained her youthful appearance. You can’t say enough for clean-living. As it stands, Kerry is making big waves in the ABC series Scandal, but we’ll rewind a few years to Django Unchained. How perfect was Kerry as Broomhilda von Shaft? Kerry has proven her worth on the small and big screen. Now, it’d be nice to see her lead something big. Like…blockbuster big! Source:

11. Meryl Streep

When you state the obvious, you can’t really do it with great fanfare…So, Meryl is at #11. For any aspiring actor—male or female—Meryl is a master. She is the definitive example of efficiency. She decides upon a character, and then breathes incredible life into it, whether born of an original story or the character is a global icon, such as Julia Child or Margaret Thatcher. When Meryl’s name is associated with a film, there’s a good chance the film will be considered a success. No one expected The Devil Wears Prada to be as dynamic or successful as it was. And how about the film adaptation of Mamma Mia!? Her career hasn’t been too shabby—especially for a gal who was once told she wasn’t pretty enough to appear on screen. With 19 Oscar nominations and three awards, she’s enjoying the last laugh. Source:

10. Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones doesn’t do enough. We’d have no issue if she appeared in everything ever made, even for a brief cross in the background. She is inherently funny, yet she possesses an incredible depth with everything she does. Maybe it’s her eyes, which are some of the most soulful in the business. Or, maybe it’s her infectious smile? Regardless, she’s a goldmine of talent. Rashida has built a reputation on understated comedy, but it’s easy to believe she could do just about anything on screen. There is little doubt that she has had more than a few offers to mix it up in other genres, but she’s got her wheelhouse and must take immense joy in those projects. She has her father’s (Quincy Jones) business sense and a lifelong understanding of the industry, coupled with her mother’s (Peggy Lipton) on camera appeal. We’ll watch her in anything and everything. Source:

9. Penelope Cruz

What can be said about Penelope Cruz that hasn’t already been stated? Generally, when a foreign film is remade for an American audience, they recast the entire thing and put American stars into the roles in order to maximize box office return. Penelope had such a charm, and presented such a desirable quality in the Spanish film Abre Los Ojos, Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe had to have her in the mix of Vanilla Sky, the American remake. Penelope is underrated as an actress due to her aesthetic beauty, and a bit of a conspiracy theorist (not a bit, like a big time conspiracy theorist), but her talent is undeniable. For those who look at her and think, “I don’t see it.” Five minutes in a room with her, and you’d be a convert. She’s that magnetic, that charming and that memorable. Source:

8. Frances McDormand

When it comes to character chops for women in film, they don’t get much better than Frances McDormand. Frances is the atypical Hollywood leading lady, but thinking back to everything she has done in film…? She’s a golden variable. Simply put, when she is part of a project, there’s a very good chance critics will love it, it will find a niche, or it will make some bank at the box office and be nominated for a slew of awards. Frances is married to Joel Coen, and the two have collaborated on more than a few films. She, Joel and brother/brother-in-law, Ethan, are quite a combination in the realm of executing a story. Outside of the Coen brothers realm, Frances puts a pin in every role she captures. And she’s unafraid to mix it up in any genre. Frances in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous…? Perfection. Source:

7. Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is another who can take anything and make something of it. She climbed the ladder to this “put her in everything” category with a slow and steady approach, working with, and for, some pretty incredible talents along the way. Roles in films such as The Big Lebowski and Boogie Nights planted a flag of arrival, and painted Julianne as one of the Hollywood’s most versatile leading ladies. Following those roles with appearances in Magnolia and Far From Heaven, it was obvious filmmakers had another virtuoso performer to choose from. One thing that is so easy to admire about Julianne: her desire to grow old gracefully. Julianne has no desire to compete with 20-year-old women for roles, and has avoided going under the knife to slow the aging process throughout her career. What’s next for the Oscar winner? Todd Haynes’ next film, Wonderstruck. Source:

6. Alicia Vikander

Move over ladies, here comes a soon-to-be Oscar winner. That claim may be a little premature, as Alicia has some lovable competition in this year’s race of Best Supporting Actress. Kate Winslet walked away with the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a drama, and Alicia just claimed the SAG Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, so it will be interesting to see who takes home Oscar—probably Rachel McAdams. Enough digression. Alicia is a star on the rise, and most everyone will remember her 2015 performance in The Danish Girl; however, her performance in the underrated Ex Machina may be even more complex and more appealing. Either way, we’re sold. More Alicia, please! The 27-year-old actress (and classically trained dancer) will also star in the upcoming Jason Bourne flick alongside Matt Damon. We presume he saw her in anything and felt the same way we do. Source: YouTube

5. Marisa Tomei

Oscar winner Marisa Tomei is like a fine wine. She is now 51, and in some respects, more beautiful and alluring on screen than she has ever been before. Looking back at her body of work, it is highlighted with incredible, unforgettable performances. For those who didn’t see the romantic comedy Only You (1994), it’s far from a perfect film, but it pairs Marisa with Robert Downey Jr. and their chemistry is off the charts. She proved her worth yet again in 2015 with an understated, yet impressive performance opposite Steve Carell in The Big Short, and we’re expecting to see her jump into the role of Aunt May in the upcoming Avengers flick, Captain America: Civil War. We think Robert Downey Jr. may have had a lot to do with her being cast in that role. And anyone doubting her versatility…? Check out her work on Empire. Source:

4. Cate Blanchett

From Galadriel in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth sage to her Oscar winning turn in Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett is another actress who does little to no wrong. A request to all those in charge of making movies that Cate might actually agree to appear in: more comedy, please. Cate is funny. She’s brassy. She’s bold. She has proved it time and time again in dramatic roles. Cate is another who can be cast to be incredibly sexy, intimidating or off-putting, but she is always engaging. It’s so easy to be drawn into any of her performances due to her ability to tell a story. Thinking back to her portrayal of Kathrine Hepburn in The Aviator, she was so on point with such a cinematic and cultural icon that she out-shined everyone else in the film…and earned her first Oscar. Source:

3. Viola Davis

“You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” Viola Davis may have offered one of the finest performances of all time in The Help. You watch a film like that, and you have to ask yourself, “Why does humanity still have such an issue with race!?” Another discussion for another time on another entity…we just wanna brag on the slice of awesome Viola offers every time she steps in front of the camera. At present, everyone is ready and waiting for her appearance as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad. If this movie fails to hold up, she may be the only thing worth watching. That said, our fingers are crossed and it’s obvious that Viola can only be an asset to the cast. In the meantime, she can be seen from week to week delivering the goods on How to Get Away With Murder. Source:

2. Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain may rival perfection when she’s at her best. She defied all show business odds, considering her rise to A-List leading lady. She didn’t experience tremendous success until she was in her 30s, and it was such a shock to see someone with such depth, maturity and acting chops as a newcomer, people didn’t really know what to make of her. So they nominated her for an Oscar. Jessica is quite magical in everything she has done, and it’s nice to see that she chooses projects that she thinks will be fun, in addition to the hard-hitting dramas in which she’s so perfectly cast. To offer a little perspective, Jessica started making a little headway as an actress when she was in her late 20s, but in 2010, at age 32-33, something clicked. 2011 thrust her presence to the masses in The Tree of Life and The Help. Source:

1. Brie Larson

Brie Larson is the present Hollywood “it” girl. Move over, Jennifer Lawrence. Brie is hardly a girl, and is impossible to peg when it comes to guessing her age on screen. She can play teens to 30s, and at the time of publication, she is a whopping 26 years old. She also presently holds the inside track to scoring the Oscar for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her performance in Room. We have to offer a little love to Toni Collette (who, honestly, should be on this list next to any number, so here’s a most honorable mention), who worked with Brie during a very formative point in her career on The United States of Tara. Brie, of course, has been acting professionally since she was a kid. It’s great to see she has done it in a manner geared toward sustainability. Source:

James Sheldon

James Sheldon

James Sheldon has been writing about music, movies, and TV for Goliath since 2016.