Welcome to MTV News’ search for the Greatest Badasses of All Time. All this month, we’ll be asking celebrities (and you) to help us decide which 10 movie characters should make our list. Submit your own pick at the MTV Movies Blog, and check back in with MTV.com as we unveil the final selections, beginning January 26.
Wow, this party is turning into a real sausagefest.
In the words of the immortal James Brown: This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman. As such, here’s our list of the Top Badass Women who might just snatch the crown away from their testosterone-fueled competitors. They are women; hear them roar.
Selene: This “Underworld” hottie has so many ways she can take you down — from her razor-sharp teeth and superhuman strength to her face-punching fists and ass-kicking boots. Played to perfection by Kate Beckinsale, Selene is the perfect mix of sex, sass and action-scene satisfaction. How popular has the character become? Even though Selene doesn’t appear in the upcoming “Rise of the Lycans” sequel, the movie poster is currently doing its best to make people think otherwise.
Sarah Connor: In 1984′s “Terminator,” Linda Hamilton’s character was a new take on the damsel-in-distress, trying her best to keep up with Kyle Reese and the big man in the sunglasses. Seven years later, she returned in “T2″ ready to rumble, with arms big enough to slap Schwarzenegger around like a girly man. At the time, moviegoers had never seen such a transformation — and as she cocked that massive shotgun with one hand, Hamilton became a household name.
Ellen Ripley: “I love the ‘Alien’ films, and I’m very proud of them,” Sigourney Weaver told us backstage at the Golden Globes . “They have so many fans, still. But I think enough, already.” If that’s the case, then the 59-year-old actress retires Ripley as one of the greatest cinematic creations ever by an actor, regardless of gender. She redefined stereotypes, became the only surviving member of the Nostromo, killed herself and then was cloned into a new version of herself. We can’t wait until Ripley is born — some 83 years from now.
Alice: We’ve had our good “Resident Evil” movies (the first one), and some not-so-good movies (all the others), but one element remains: The badass-itude of Milla Jovovich. In fact, the Russian-born beauty has made a habit out of kicking butt in movies that didn’t seem to be trying nearly as hard as she was (“Ultraviolet,” “The Messenger”). Oh, and the skimpy outfits don’t hurt, either.
Trinity: The “Matrix” sequels may have made her a bit more whiny and tender, but think back to the original 1999 film, in which Carrie-Anne Moss represented the kind of cool, leather-clad chick that every man would secretly like to be slapped around by. All Keanu Reeves could say was, “Whoa,” and all we could do was nod our heads in agreement.
Alabama Whitman Worley: She’s gorgeous, she can kill a man with a toilet lid, and she spits out highly stylized dialogue by Quentin Tarantino. What more could you want in a woman? When Patricia Arquette stepped into the highly stylized world of “True Romance” and giggled, we fell in love. Then she out-lived a Mexican standoff, and we saw how badass she could be.
Erica Bain: Sure, “The Brave One” was little more than a “Death Wish” rip-off updated for modern times. But even Charles Bronson wouldn’t want to encounter Jodie Foster in a dark alley after seeing this brutal flick, which has her attack victim waking from a coma, grabbing a gun and heading out onto the New York streets to exact revenge. Hell hath no fury, indeed.
Yu Shu Lien and Jen Yu: These “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” characters — brought to life by Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, respectively — kept Chow Yun Fat and their other co-stars in check. Beautiful, tough and incredibly well-balanced, while they kicked the butts of the people on screen, they were simultaneously doing the same to the people in the theater.
Beatrix Kiddo: If you or I came across a group of sword-wielding, masked warriors calling themselves the Crazy 88, it’s hard to know which we’d do first: run for the hills or pee our pants. But not the revenge-driven Bride from the “Kill Bill” movies. Dressed in that iconic yellow jumpsuit, Uma Thurman killed more than a hundred people, survived being buried alive and even yanked out Daryl Hannah’s eyeball. Suffice it to say: This is not a woman you’d want to stand up on a date.
Princess Leia Organa: Despite being diminutive in size and cursed with two giant cinnamon buns on her ears, Carrie Fisher held her own in the original “Star Wars” series. She started “New Hope” as a princess in need of saving, but ended “Return of the Jedi” bigger than Jabba the Hutt.
Lara Croft/ Mrs. Smith/ Fox: From the “Tomb Raider” movies to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” to last year’s hit “Wanted,” Jolie is building a body count nearly as high as her number of children. If you ever see Brad in public with a black eye, it seems safe to assume that somebody forgot to take out the trash.
Nancy Callahan/Miho/Becky/Gail/Lucille/Shellie: In 2005, Frank Miller teamed up with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to create a dark, hard world where the men are bitter, the women are beautiful, and both sides are just as deadly as the other. These six characters (played by Jessica Alba, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Rosario Dawson, Carla Gugino and Brittany Murphy, respectively) could kill a man with serious weapons or a good old-fashioned wink and a smile. A trip to “Sin City” would probably cost you your life, but wow, what a way to go.
From James Bond and Darth Vader to Lara Croft and Ellen Ripley, we need your help determining which movie characters should be called the Greatest Badasses of All Time. Head over to the MTV Movies Blog to submit your own pick, and stay tuned to MTV.com as celebrities weigh in with their own lists. We’ll begin unveiling the top 10 on January 26, so check back to see if your pick made the cut!