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Top 10 Badass British Actresses

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Marc Turner
So much for “fighting like a girl”. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Badass British Actresses. For this list we’re looking at actresses who have earned a reputation for playing some of the toughest and most kick-ass characters on screen. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Badass British Actresses

So much for “fighting like a girl”. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Badass British Actresses.

For this list we’re looking at actresses who have earned a reputation for playing some of the toughest and most kick-ass characters on screen.

#10: Emily Blunt

She may have started her career in costume dramas, but Blunt has since begun to take on more action-heavy roles. For her part in “Edge of Tomorrow”, she endured months of training to play special forces soldier Rita Vrataski. She then battled a Mexican drug lord as FBI Agent Kate Macer in the 2015 thriller “Sicario”, and the film earned her a second consecutive nomination for Best Actress in an Action Movie. Her badass status could have been elevated, however, had she not turned down the chance to play Black Widow or Peggy Carter in the MCU.

#9: Emma Watson

Despite showcasing her versatility in films like “The Bling Ring”, Watson will always be associated with her role as Hermione Granger. Hermione is considered to be the brains of Harry Potter’s band, but there are plenty of times when she shows herself to be as tough as she is clever. And let’s face it, Potter wouldn’t have survived his time at Hogwarts without her. Watson also gave us one of the most awesome moments in the franchise, when she did this to Draco Malfoy. That clip never grows old!

#8: Helena Bonham Carter

Also featured in the world of Harry Potter, Helena Bonham Carter easily makes the cut for her portrayal of the sadistic dark witch Bellatrix Lestrange. Described by JK Rowling as Voldemort’s most dangerous Death Eater, Bellatrix was powerful enough to deflect one of Dumbledore’s spells in “The Order of the Phoenix” – even if she was eventually defeated by Molly Weasley. Elsewhere in her career, Bonham Carter has become synonymous with crazed and eccentric characters, playing badass roles in films such as “Fight Club” and “Sweeney Todd”.

#7: Lena Headey

Headey’s CV includes many formidable characters, including a brutal drug lord in “Dredd” and the Queen of Sparta in “300” and its sequel. She also played Sarah Connor in the TV “Terminator” series, but her most famous role is undoubtedly that of the cruel and manipulative Cersei Lannister in HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. While she rarely carries a sword, there is no more dangerous character to cross in all of the Seven Kingdoms, as shown by her destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor.

#6: Emilia Clarke

“Game of Thrones” is crammed with tough female characters, and Maisie Williams is worthy of consideration for her role as Arya Stark. But for this spot we’ve gone with Emilia Clarke, whose memorable moments as the Mother of Dragons include freeing a slave army and eating a horse heart to win the Dothraki’s approval. And how many other women on our list can say they’ve ridden on a dragon? Clarke also played Qi’ra in the Star Wars spinoff “Solo”, and Sarah Connor in “Terminator Genisys” for which she was nominated for a Jupiter Award.

#5: Dafne Keen

In 2017, Spanish born British actress Keen burst onto the scene as the 11-year-old Laura in X-Men film “Logan”, and doesn’t she look adorable? Playing a mutant girl produced from Logan’s DNA, she displays a savagery to match even Wolverine’s as she takes on a group of Reavers. And a harpoon through the chest? No problem! Reportedly, Laura is set to feature in upcoming X-Men films, including a solo spinoff, so with luck we’ll be seeing a lot more of Keen in future and watch the badass tyke grow into a full-on raging badass.

#4: Daisy Ridley

We strongly considered Felicity Jones for this list for her role as Jyn Erso in “Rogue One”. But instead we’ve gone for Daisy Ridley as Rey, who develops from a scavenger on Jakku into one of the most powerful Force-users in the galaxy. In fact, some fans complain that she is TOO powerful, since she is able to defeat Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker, despite receiving no formal training. Controversies aside, though, Rey is unquestionably a force to be reckoned with in the Star Wars universe, and Ridley a force to be reckoned with on screen.

#3: Kate Beckinsale

Whilst Beckinsale started her career in period dramas, she is best known for action roles in films like “Van Helsing” and “Total Recall”. But her most successful role is as the vampire Death Dealer Selene in the Underworld film franchise. Not only is she super strong, super fast, and super agile, she also has a temper on her. After her family was killed, Selene reportedly embarked on a 600-year killing spree against the werewolves she thought were responsible. It's absolute badassery, brought to life in a way only Beckinsale can.

#2: Karen Gillan

Scottish actress Gillan is quickly building a reputation as one of Hollywood’s all-action heroines. In addition to her prominent role on “Doctor Who,” she starred as dance fighter Ruby Roundhouse in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”; and perhaps her most famous turn is as Nebula in the MCU, where she took part in one of the best sisterly bust-ups in cinematic history. In “Avengers: Infinity War”, Nebula nearly killed Thanos when she sneaked aboard his ship, then made this spectacular entrance to join the fight on Titan. Because if in doubt, hit the bad guy with a spaceship, right?

#1: Gwendoline Christie

Despite being disappointingly underused, Christie’s Captain Phasma was a cool addition to the “Star Wars” franchise. Christie is best known, though, for her portrayal of arguably the toughest character in the Seven Kingdoms: Brienne of Tarth. As well as defeating Jaime Lannister – albeit with his hands tied – she also brutally overwhelms the Hound when – in a deviation from the books – the two meet in series 4. And whilst Brienne seems an honourable warrior, she isn’t afraid to fight dirty when the need arises. It's hard to picture any other actress breathing the same life (and death) into the part.

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